Chiefs -6.5 O/U 49.5
The Ravens are coming into this game with Lamar Jackson starting his fourth consecutive game. He has had the benefit of facing bad defenses in his first three games and that will continue here against the Chiefs 26th ranked defense. The Ravens have been using their running game to move the ball downfield and I expect to do the same here. Their success in doing so makes this week a perfect letdown spot for the Chiefs. The Chiefs have dazzled their way to a 10-2 record with the league’s best offense. I see their offense struggling a little bit down the stretch as the temperature gets colder and running the ball becomes more important. If you were not aware yet, the Chiefs released their starting running back Kareem Hunt after video surfaced of him assaulting another human being. The Chiefs were still able to win last week in Oakland with no issues but the Raiders do not have the same defense that the Ravens have. The Ravens defense has been ranked in the top 5 all year. I think the loss of Kareem Hunt will make its biggest impact today. The Chiefs will need a balanced attack with success on the ground against the Ravens to be able to score enough points to cover this line.
I mentioned on Thursday that the lines this week look very inflated. This is another example as the Ravens are ranked 9th in overall efficiency (16th offense, 4th defense, 7th ST) compared to the Chiefs at number 1 (1st offense, 25th defense, 1st ST). Also factoring into this line is the Chiefs home field advantage against a rookie QB in Lamar Jackson. The Chiefs are also a very public team which plays a factor into the inflation as well. As a football analyst of many many years there are two things I want to remind people of that happen every year:
- Arrowhead Stadium traditionally gets very cold and running the ball well is extremely important this late in the season.
- Andy Reid always starts off hot and then cools off down the stretch.
This is the perfect letdown spot for an Andy Reid coached team. Especially in a game where running the ball will be so important and the Chiefs do not have their best back anymore. This is a game where Mahomes will throw 40-50 times compared to about 11-15 rushing attempts for the team as a whole. If you have ever watched Andy Reid, you know this game is coming. After this week, the Chiefs and Patriots will have the same record but the Patriots will have the inside track to home field in the playoffs with a head to head win over the Chiefs. It is deja-vu all over again in the NFL.
Ravens ML +230