Welcome to the fourth edition of the Mahomes-Jackson Bowl. Arguably the two brightest young stars in the game, Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs have met Lamar Jackson and his Baltimore Ravens three times, and the Chiefs prevailed on all three occasions.
So it’s no surprise Kansas City is laying 3.5 points in this spot, especially with Baltimore nearly barren in the offensive backfield and missing star cornerback Marcus Peters in the secondary. But it’s the home opener for a veteran team that should be desperate following a brutal Week 1 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, so John Harbaugh and Co. can’t be counted out.
Let’s size up the second Sunday Nighter of 2021, with odds as of midweek courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook, one of three official betting partners of the NFL.
Chiefs Ravens Odds: Baltimore +3.5, Total 55.5 | Matchup Report
WHY THE CHIEFS WILL COVER THE SPREAD
Not only do they appear to have Baltimore’s number, but they’re off to a much stronger and healthier start, they easily defeated the Ravens at this very site last September, and they enter this game on more rest.
They struggled defensively in Week 1, but they’re getting All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu back in the lineup for a matchup with a team that is down several key offensive players.
On top of all that, Mahomes is beginning to look unstoppable again behind a revamped offensive line, and the Ravens might no longer have the front-seven firepower to get to him on a consistent basis anyway.
WHY THE RAVENS WILL COVER THE SPREAD
Put it all together and that’s why oddsmakers are hanging that hook over our heads. Three points would be a no-brainer for most bettors here, but that extra half-point is dangerous considering that this veteran, well-coached Ravens team is unlikely to lay down and accept an 0-2 start in front of their home fans without a fight.
And yeah, the Ravens lost their top three running backs to preseason injuries, but Jackson is a magician with his legs, Ty’Son Williams shined in his debut last week, and the Chiefs’ weak run defense can be exploited here. The Browns did exactly that last week and nearly beat K.C. at Arrowhead.
CHIEFS RAVENS BETTING PICK
At +3.5, I’m reluctantly siding with the team that needs it more and is due. The Chiefs are remarkable, but there are still flaws there and Baltimore should be able to exploit those just enough to hang within a field goal at home.
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Anytime TD Scorer Prop Bets
Three picks from Brenden Deeg, our resident Anytime TD prop guru and profit maker.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire +115
Edwards-Helaire had 17 targets in the season opener and played in 72% of the offensive snaps. The Ravens will be forcing the Chiefs to run the ball as the strength of the Ravens defense is their secondary.
Lamar Jackson +120
I don’t believe Lamar will be held out of the end zone in back-to-back games. He is going put the team on his back in this game
Longshot: Demarcus Robinson +360
Taking a swing on the Chiefs’ third wide receiver. He played in 74% of the offensive snaps in Week 1.
KC Baltimore Betting Trends
Chiefs have won 15 straight September games SU(12-3 ATS)
Chiefs 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games
Chiefs 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games
Chiefs 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games at Baltimore
Chiefs 20-2 SU in their last 22 games against an opponent in the AFC
Ravens 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games when playing as the underdog.