Kansas City (2-0) at Baltimore (2-0)
When: Monday, September 28th, 2020
Where: M&T Bank Stadium,
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Baltimore -2.5/52.5
The matchup we were expecting in last year’s playoffs will take place this Monday night as the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Baltimore Ravens in what should be a ratings bonanza. Baltimore couldn’t get past the AFC Divisional round back in January that would have set up this highly anticipated matchup, paving the way for the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl. Baltimore buried its first two opponents – the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans – and are 16-3 since the start of the 2019 regular season. They’ve won 14 consecutive regular-season games. They are 0-2 against Mahomes and the Chiefs with losses each of the past two seasons by a grand total of eight points, including 33-28 in Week 3 last season. Kansas City survived a Week 2 scare at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers, needing a Harrison Butker 58-yard field goal in OT to stay undefeated. It was the Chiefs first ATS loss in the last 11 games overall.
The Ravens come into this game as a 3.5-point favorite according to Bovada Sportsbook with a total that opened at 54. In last year’s 33-28 Chiefs win over Baltimore, Mahomes passed for 374 passing yards and three TDs, while Lamar Jackson was held to 267 passing yards and one rushing TD. The Ravens are 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last ten AFC games and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Kansas City is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five Monday games. The under is 4-0 in the Ravens last four games as a favorite and 4-0 in the Chiefs last four on the road.
Mahomes has started off strong with 513 passing yards and five TDs through the first two games with his top targets being Travis Kelce (15 receptions, 140 yards, 2 TD) and Tyreek Hill (10, 145, 2). Kansas City enters Week 3 ranked eighth in the NFL with 28.5 points per game and 13th in total offense with 391.5 total yards per contest. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is in danger of missing the Ravens game with a concussion. The area the Chiefs are struggling in this year is stopping the run. Kansas City is surrendering an average of 150.5 rushing yards per game, ranking 27th in the league. They are also 26th in passing defense, allowing 269 yards a game. The Chiefs will host New England next Sunday.
Baltimore will go as far as Jackson can take them, but the defense is starting to show how dominate it can be. The Ravens currently have the longest active streak of allowing 21 points or less, having done it in 13 straight contests. The Ravens dominated all areas of the game against the Texans last week, compiling 230 rushing yards, kicker Justin Tucker nailed four field goals and linebacker L.J. Fort even returned a fumble for a TD. Baltimore ranks fourth in the NFL with 170.5 rushing yards per game behind the trio of Jackson, Mark Ingram, and Gus Edwards. The offensive line did allow four sacks for a loss of 27 yards against the Texans last week. The Ravens will play at Washington next Sunday afternoon.
The defense for Kansas City worries me a bit, but this game will be about the offense and who scores last. Mahomes is already 2-0 against the Ravens and Lamar tends not to play well in bigger games. So, the oddsmakers are giving me Mahomes plus a field goal and a hook? Yeah, I’ll take it.
Pick: Chiefs +3.5
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