Chiefs vs. Ravens Pick – Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 (-110)
Week 2 got off to a flying start on Thursday Night Football, which isn’t always the case. Despite a lackluster on-paper matchup, the Washington Football Team and New York Giants delivered a thriller to kick off the week. Thanks to a crucial offsides penalty in the waning seconds, Washington came away with a 30-29 victory after a last-second field goal from Dustin Hopkins to notch their first win of the year.
Sunday brings a full slate of action and a number of intriguing matchups. No game looks more fun than the high-octane clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens in the late window. These have been the AFC’s two best teams over the past couple of seasons, and the two have engaged in some memorable battles in recent years.
The Chiefs come into this one at 1-0 after coming back to beat the Browns last Sunday in Cleveland. The Ravens, meanwhile, are looking for their first win after falling to the Raiders in overtime in Monday Night Football. Baltimore has dropped each of their last four meetings against Kansas City dating back to the 2015 campaign, including a 34-20 setback at home last September.
As usual, Patrick Mahomes and co. are favored in this one. The Chiefs opened as 1-point favorites at NFL betting sites, but public betting has since pushed the line to Kansas City -3.5. This game also features an over/under of 54.5 points, which is tied with Titans-Seahawks for the second-highest mark of Week 2.
Different Year, Same Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs fell into an early hole last Sunday in Cleveland, but everyone watching the game knew it was just a matter of time until the Kansas City offense woke up. KC’s defense didn’t do them any favors, but Mahomes was ultimately able to lead an impressive second-half comeback.
Mahomes was up to his usual tricks. He completed 27 of his 36 attempts on the day for 337 yards with three touchdowns and no turnovers. He also rushed for another score, for good measure. Mahomes connected with Tyreek Hill on a 75-yard strike to bring the Chiefs to within two points early in the fourth quarter. One drive later, Mahomes delivered his second TD pass of the day to Travis Kelce to put the Chiefs ahead for good with just over seven minutes to play.
We know what to expect from Andy Reid’s crew by now. KC can put points on the board against anybody, even if the ground game isn’t working. The Chiefs averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on their way to 73 rushing yards against the Browns, and running on the Ravens won’t be much easier. Baltimore allowed just 101.3 rushing yards per game a season ago, which was the sixth-best mark in the NFL.
Of course, that doesn’t really matter if Mahomes has time to do damage with his arm. The Chiefs’ new-look offensive line allowed just a couple of sacks on Sunday against the Browns, which is no small feat given the quality of the Cleveland pass rush. When these two teams met nearly a year ago, Mahomes racked up nearly 400 yards through the air with four touchdown passes to four different receivers.
Can Baltimore Bounce Back?
The Ravens are coming off of a relatively disappointing season, and the offseason wasn’t much better. Baltimore lost several players to season-ending injuries before the campaign even got underway. Three of the team’s running backs – JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill – are done for the year. Another of last year’s leading rushers, Mark Ingram, is now in Houston.
So, Lamar Jackson is having to work with a completely new group of running backs. Baltimore has become the most dominant rushing attack in football since Jackson took over as the QB1, and they did run the ball well last week in Las Vegas. The Ravens totaled 189 yards on 34 attempts with a couple of touchdowns in Week 1, which comes out to an average of 5.6 yards per carry.
Of course, Jackson has plenty to do with that. The 2019 NFL MVP led the team with 86 yards on the ground last week against the Raiders, and he may have even more work to do on that front with Baltimore sporting a new-look backfield. Rookie Ty’Son Williams impressively finished with 72 yards on nine carries of his own, while newcomer Latavius Murray was rather unproductive (10 carries, 28 yards).
KC struggled to stop the Browns’ full-throttle rushing attack last week, as Cleveland racked up 153 rushing yards in that game. That was the fifth-most of any team in the league in Week 1, so Baltimore should be able to keep it going on the ground.
Whether the Ravens can keep up with the Chiefs may depend on just how well the passing game fares. Jackson accounted for just one touchdown in Week 1 while completing 19 of his 30 attempts through the air. We know Jackson is capable of dominating a game with his arm, and he’ll need to be on point in that regard for the Ravens to have much of a chance here.
What’s the Best Bet?
It’s hard not to like the Chiefs. That’s just a general rule of thumb when it comes to betting on NFL today. Kansas City is favored just about every single week, regardless of whether they’re playing at home or on the road. The Chiefs failed to cover the five-point spread last week in Cleveland, but the fact that they were favored in that game to begin with speaks to the overall quality of this team. There won’t be many road teams favored to beat the Browns on the road this year.
The same can be said of the Ravens in Baltimore. John Harbaugh has built this team into a consistent winner, yet the Chiefs have had their number over the past few seasons. The clash of styles is a fascinating one. The Chiefs’ aerial prowess has vaulted them to the top of the AFC, while the Ravens are one of the few run-heavy teams left in the league.
The Ravens are the better defensive team, but I’m still not convinced that their offense is well-rounded enough to survive a track meet against Mahomes. As long as the O-line can keep the former MVP upright, Kansas City is going to be nearly impossible to slow down.
Once again, I’m on the Chiefs here. Take Kansas City to win and cover the 3.5-point spread in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
The information found on Gamblingsites.org is for entertainment purposes only. It is a purely informational website that does not accept wagers of any kind. Although certain pages within Gamblingsites.org feature or promote other online websites where users are able to place wagers, we encourage all visitors to confirm the wagering and/or gambling regulations that are applicable in their local jurisdiction (as gambling laws may vary in different states, countries and provinces).
Gamblingsites.org uses affiliates links from some of the sportsbooks/casinos it promotes and reviews, and we may receive compensation from those particular sportsbooks/casinos in certain circumstances. Gamblingsites.org does not promote or endorse any form of wagering or gambling to users under the age of 18. If you believe you have a gambling problem, please visit BeGambleAware or GAMCARE for information and help.