Chiefs Open as 6.5-Point Favorites vs Ravens in Week 3 Home Opener

Will the Chiefs take down Baltimore in their home opener? Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr).
  • Ravens bring their league-leading rushing game to Kansas City to face off against the Chiefs aerial attack
  • Chiefs hold head-to-head advantage in this matchup with a 5-4 edge through eight regular-season games and one postseason contest since 1996
  • Teams meet for second straight season at Arrowhead Stadium

With both teams off to 2-0 starts for the first time since 2017, one of the NFL’s two hottest teams will almost certainly suffer a setback on Sunday when the teams square off at Arrowhead Stadium.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Baltimore Ravens +6.5 (-105) +235 O 54.5 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 (-115) -280 U 54.5 (-110)

Odds taken on 09/16/19.

Familiar Foes

The two teams met last December at Arrowhead, with the Chiefs edging the Ravens 27-24 in overtime, and the current Ravens vs. Chiefs odds have Kansas City in position to grab another victory. With Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson’s record as a starter 8-1 after Sunday’s win over Arizona, it remains the former Heisman Trophy winner’s only NFL loss in the regular season.

His counterpart, Patrick Mahomes, attempted an NFL career-high 53 passes in that contest to help his team to victory, outdueling Jackson in passing yardage 377-147. Both QBs threw for two touchdowns, while Jackson outrushed his rival with 67 yards compared to Mahomes’s -3 yards.

Advantage, Chiefs

Kansas City established a new NFL record in its 28-10 victory in Oakland on Sunday, scoring 26-or-more points for the 20th consecutive game. With league-high average of 405.5 passing yards per game, more than 60 yards in front of second-place Cincinnati, the Chiefs’ passing game is downright scary.

Mahomes, the reigning NFL MVP, showed just how explosive his teams’ passing game was in the second quarter of Sunday’s win. After falling into a 10-0 hole early, the youngster put up a 15-minute spell for the ages, passing for four touchdowns and 278 yards.

Even without Tyreek Hill, who was hospitalized with a shoulder injury after Week 1 and could be out for up to six weeks, the Kansas City receiving corps had a field day on Sunday, with Demarcus Robinson grabbing two touchdowns on 172 yards receiving, with tight end Travis Kelce adding 107 yards and a TD.

In fact, Mahomes ensured the Chiefs thrived with the long ball, torching the Raiders deep down the field.

With the NFL’s 19th-ranked passing defense, the Ravens have given up an average of 254 passing yards per game. More disturbingly, on 10 occasions they have given up play of 20-plus yards, with only Arizona and Oakland having given up more. It could be a long afternoon for the Baltimore secondary next Sunday.

Advantage, Ravens

Optimism is high around Baltimore these days, and with good reason, too.

Jackson is one of the leading early-season contenders to win the NFL MVP award, as the sophomore quarterback currently leads the league’s best offense statistically, averaging 541.5 total yards. While the Ravens have the fourth-best passing attack, they boast the most dangerous running game as well, with the likes of Mark Ingram II combining with the dual threat of Jackson to put up an average of 223.5 yards per game.

While the 122 rushing yards were a new career high, Jackson’s performance with his arm was an impressive follow-up to anyone who thought last week’s five-touchdown, 324-yard demolition of the Dolphins was a fluke. As a result, it has taken Jackson just five quarters this season to surpass his entire TD total from last year (six).

And while receivers like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will justifiably take much of the praise with 233 yards after two games, tight end Mark Andrews has been an equally valuable outlet for the 22-year-old quarterback, and is putting up numbers, too.

Showdown Sunday

The buildup to this game will focus on the two young QBs who will likely be stars in this league for years to come. But given the injury doubts around Ingram, who seemed to hurt his back on a hit by DJ Swearinger and was held to just 47 yards, the line for this game may shift in the Chiefs’ favor.

With that in mind, and the effect his absence, or any limitation in his abilities, might have on the Ravens’ league-leading rushing attack, the Ravens might not be firing on all cylinders on Sunday.

Add to that that Sunday’s game is Kansas City’s home opener, after back-to-back road wins, in a stadium where the average margin of victory was 12.7 points last year, it’s starting to look like the advantage is going to the Chiefs.

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