Chiefs vs. Ravens Prediction, Odds, and Picks for the AFC Championship: Will Lamar Jackson Advance to his First Super Bowl?

Will Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson advance to the Super Bowl? In our Chiefs vs. Ravens prediction, we give out our best bet for the AFC Championship.

For the sixth year in a row, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are playing in the AFC Championship Game, although this time under entirely new circumstances — as road underdogs to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

In our Chiefs vs. Ravens prediction, we break down the matchup between the two AFC contenders and give out a best bet.

Chiefs vs. Ravens Odds

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  • Spread
    Ravens -3.5
  • Moneyline
    Chiefs +145, Ravens -170
  • Total
    44.5

Chiefs vs. Ravens Prediction

Blewis: This Sunday’s AFC Championship Game will be the first in Baltimore since 1971, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Not only is the presumptive MVP, Lamar Jackson, looking to make his first Super Bowl appearance, but he will have to knock out the defending champions in the process.

In our early picks and predictions, I gave out the under as my favorite bet for this game. But since then, the line has moved down a point, and I have given this matchup more thought. While I still lean toward the under, at anything above 43.5, after further review, I’m even more interested in backing the Ravens here than I originally was when the NFL betting lines first came out.

Firstly, you don’t have to worry about how the Ravens perform against elite competition. Including Saturday’s 34-10 win over the Houston Texans, the Ravens (not counting Week 18, when they rested their starters) were 7-2 with a point differential of +121 against playoff teams during the regular season.

With both the NFL’s best record and point differential this season, the Ravens were simply the best team in the NFL, and even against Mahomes and Andy Reid, this matchup should work very well in their favor.

In the Chiefs’ 27-24 win over the Bills, they had their best offensive performance of the season by yards per play and EPA (expected points added) per play. Simply put, they were incredibly efficient, especially on early downs, as the Chiefs only had five third downs for the entire game.

But is this offensive performance by this version’s Chiefs sustainable? My answer is no, and especially not against this Ravens defense.

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The Chiefs successfully attacked the middle of the field against a depleted Bills defense. After exploiting the Bills’ remaining healthy linebackers, the Chiefs will be going against a Ravens defense with two All-Pro players at the position and another one at safety. This is a strength of the Ravens’ defense, which was a top-five unit by DVOA, EPA, and success rate during the regular season.

While my faith in the Ravens is largely due to their defense, I still have confidence in their offense to put up enough points to secure a Super Bowl berth.

Although this is the best defense of the Mahomes era, the Ravens’ offense, led by Jackson, has scored 30+ points in four of their last five games, with each of them coming against other playoff teams. Like Josh Allen on Sunday, who ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns, expect the Ravens to lean on Jackson in the running game.

When betting on this game, it’s extremely important to shop around for the best line. Right now, DraftKings and BetMGM are the two sportsbooks where you can bet the Ravens as three-point favorites without the hook. While I feel confident in backing the Ravens here, I’m far less interested in laying more than a field goal.

Chiefs vs. Ravens Prediction: Ravens -3 (-120 at BetMGM)

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