There aren’t many regular season games in college football where you can see the #1 and #2 teams matching up. And the same may hold true in the NFL. But on Monday night, you may be seeing the two best teams in the league go at it when the Baltimore Ravens play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium. They will kick things off at 8:15 PM ET, and when you are a BetAnySports customer, you get reduced juice for better odds, plus the opportunity to place wagers all throughout the contest when you take advantage of Sports Betting Prime.
Kansas City’s struggle last week against the Chargers may be an indication as to how difficult it is to repeat as a Super Bowl champion. Los Angeles had to turn to a rookie quarterback when Tyrod Taylor had punctured a lung, and Justin Herbert topped 300 yards and had the Bolts ahead almost all the way in his pro debut. Yes, the Chiefs escaped with a field goal in the waning moments, but was that a one-off result?
Baltimore has looked nothing less than awesome in the first two weeks of the season, rolling over Cleveland and Houston, and they are doing it largely the way they did it last season in rolling up the NFL’s best record- through very physical play on each side of the ball, and the athletic ability of their quarterback. Reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson does not get a lot of respect as a passer, but he’s not a “pitty-pat” guy by any means, ranking 10th in the NFL in Intended Air Yards, and standing at the top of the league at 9.7 yards per attempt. he also came into the weekend as the second-ranked QB in the league.
In the Monday Night Football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Baltimore is laying more than a field goal at home:
Baltimore Ravens -3.5
Kansas City Chiefs +3.5
Over 54 points -110
Under 54 points -110
If you remember when we were looking at the Chiefs prior to the Super Bowl, we were recognizing the Kansas City defense had a vulnerability to the run. indeed, they gave up 4.6 yards per carry, third from the bottom in Stuff Rate and 31st in “Second Level Yards.” Yes, they did improve after getting a little healthier, but even then they only got back to about the middle of the league. In other words, you can run against them. And that is one of the ways the Chargers were able to hold the advantage almost the entire distance. The Chiefs gave up 183 yards on the ground and 479 yards overall. That’s 479 yards against a quarterback with only about a month of training camp, who made the start on every short notice.
That makes them susceptible to what Baltimore can do.
We’ve already talked about what Jackson has done with his arm. And of course you know that he had 1206 rushing yards. The Ravens can pound you with the run game – and it’s deep, with Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram, JK Dobbins. They keep coming at you. And you know that they are going to be up near the top when it comes to yardage, yards per carry and run percentage. This is Greg Roman’s game plan, and the Ravens’ offensive coordinator is about the best in the business when it comes to taking advantage of a mobile quarterback.
These teams will trade punches; there is no question at all about that. The Chiefs have the potential for a very dynamic ground game with the addition of rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and they supplement what they do with reverses (although Sammy Watkins not likely due to concussion). This game is perfectly capable of going over the total, and yes, we’ll go that way, but Baltimore presents such a difficult matchup that we have to lean toward them to get their FIFTEENTH consecutive regular season wins (they’ve covered 11 of their last 12 in the regular season as well).
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