Both the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs have become must-see-TV in recent years. Whether it is the dynamic Lamar Jackson making plays for the Ravens offense or Patrick Mahomes completing the impossible pass, these teams are fun to watch — and bet on.
For their Week 2 Sunday night matchup in Baltimore (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), the Chiefs opened as 2.5-point favorites and were bet to -3 last Sunday night. After the Ravens’ loss to the Raiders on Monday Night Football, the game reopened -3.5 on most oddsboards, was bet up to -4 in some spots including DraftKings and BetMGM, before settling back to -3.5 market-wide as of Wednesday.
While Baltimore’s injuries make the movement past the key number ‘3’ understandable, the Ravens are still an excellent team. As for the Chiefs, they are still the team to beat in the NFL.
The total hovers around 55.
Here are odds for Chiefs vs. Ravens at various online sportsbooks.
|Spread||Chiefs -3.5 (-118), Ravens +3.5 (+102)||Chiefs -3.5 (-110)||Chiefs -3.5 (-110)|
|Moneyline||Chiefs -200, Ravens +168||Chiefs -200, Ravens +170||Chiefs -200, Ravens +170|
Kansas City Chiefs Overview
Kansas City fans wanted their team to do one thing in the offseason — improve the offensive line. From the way their narrow 33-29 Week 1 win over the Browns played out, it looks like the Chiefs accomplished that mission. The first half was not the prettiest, but with an o-line comprised of all new starters, growing pains are to be expected.
But they got over them in the second half, held their own against a formidable Cleveland defensive front, and led the way for an incredible comeback. The line figures to be the key to a win over the Ravens this week as well.
If the line can give Mahomes time, he will connect with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and the Chiefs’ other receivers. If it can open running lanes as they did in the second half against Cleveland, the ground game can also be productive, which will help the passing game be more effective.
The more the Chiefs offense is on the field and scoring points, the less time Jackson will have to do the same. As dynamic as he is, when everyone expects him to throw and defenses are playing accordingly, he struggles.
Defensively, the Chiefs played well enough against the Browns and made a few big plays. It would help if the D could make a few more against the Ravens.
But bettors should not count on it. If the Chiefs win, it will be because of the offense.
Baltimore Ravens Overview
When you have as many guys go down with season-ending injuries during the preseason as the Ravens had, bouncing back is not easy. Despite the injuries, Baltimore was a 3.5-point favorite to beat the Raiders on Monday night
Even after losing three running backs before the season to injuries, the Ravens offense still clicked, putting up 27 points in defeat. The run game generated 189 yards, and Jackson had a solid night throwing the ball (19-30 for 235 yards and a touchdown). But they made too many mistakes and left the door open for the Raiders to steal the game — and that’s exactly what Las Vegas did.
Offensively, the Ravens are in better shape than one may have expected. After how well Ty’Son Williams ran the ball, chances are good he will see a few more carries against the Chiefs. Latavius Murray’s contributions may improve, too, after actually practicing with the team a few times.
However, this game could be over quickly if the Baltimore defense does not do better against the pass. The Ravens gave up 435 yards and two touchdowns to Derek Carr. Mahomes is a far better quarterback and has better tools at his disposal. It is not hard to imagine him having an even better night.
Baltimore’s best chance is to take a page out of Cleveland’s playbook and run the ball early and often. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 116 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in Kansas City last week. Jackson, Williams, and Murray should be able to duplicate, or better, that effort.
If the Ravens can run the ball well and finish off drives in the endzone, they can limit Mahomes’ opportunities. Even Mahomes cannot score when his team does not have the ball.
But mistakes could sink the Ravens. No one capitalizes on them as well as the Chiefs do (ask the Browns about that).
This would have a better chance to be a more competitive game if the Ravens were at full strength. Jackson is incredible, but he needs more help than the Ravens are currently able to give him.
Take the Chiefs via the moneyline (-200) and against the spread (-3.5 -110). The total could go either way, but with the offensive potential in this game, OVER 54.5 at DraftKings is probably the better bet.