NFL Football: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 19, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8:20 p.m. ET, Sept. 19, 2021
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Where to watch: NBC

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Chiefs -3.5; O/U 54.5; Chiefs -190, Ravens +160
BetMGM: Chiefs -3.5; O/U 56; Chiefs -175, Ravens +150
Caesars: Chiefs -3.5; O/U 55; Chiefs -200, Ravens +170

Season record
Chiefs: 1-0
Ravens: 0-1

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Chiefs - Ravens preview and analysis


Recent form
Chiefs: won 33-29 vs. Ravens on Sept. 12
Ravens: lost 33-27 (OT) at Raiders on Sept. 13

There has to be a rule somewhere that says dirt shall never be thrown on the collective bodies of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Unless they’re playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, then by all means.

But Sunday showed that the Chiefs are never going to be out of a game, no matter how much it seems like Patrick Mahomes and co. are being outplayed. Kansas City survived 33-29 against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday after trailing by 12 twice in the game, including 22-10 at the end of the first half.

But now the Chiefs move to the road for Week 2 in another matchup against an AFC North opponent, this time the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.

The Chiefs, fresh off their second consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl, showed a third straight showing in the Big Game is certainly a possibility as long as Mahomes stays healthy. The former MVP three for 337 yards and three touchdown passes in what was another stellar showing from the Chiefs’ franchise quarterback.

Good luck trying to find anyone better in the month of September than Mahomes. Not only is he 11-0 all-time in the league’s first calendar month, but he’s averaging 330 passing yards per game and 35 passing touchdowns. Oh, and he’s thrown zero interceptions in September.

Tight end Travis Kelce caught two of those touchdown tosses on Sunday, and Tyreek Hill added nearly 200 yards on 11 receptions and a 75-yard touchdown score for what should be regarded as the best offense in the league.

The only question for the Chiefs is how to get stops on defense. Outside of the late interception on Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter, the Browns still had 457 total yards with 153 on the ground. Nick Chubb had 83 of the 153 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Facing QB Lamar Jackson is an entirely different animal, but the Las Vegas Raiders showed on Monday Night Football that there could be a blueprint to mildly contain the former MVP before he gets out of the pocket. Jackson had 321 total yards with 86 of them on the ground, but he was sacked three times, twice by Maxx Crosby, and the last in overtime on a strip-sack from Carl Nassib.

Derek Carr threw the game-winning touchdown to Zay Jones two plays later.

The Ravens’ defense played admirably despite their depleted secondary, playing without corners Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith. But Baltimore ran out of gas in the fourth quarter giving up 17 points in the final 9:18.

Asking that unit to now find a way to stop Mahomes is a daunting ask for the underdog Ravens. 

Prediction


One thing you can be sure of is the over will be a great play. Given the uncertainty of the Chiefs’ defense, this is a good chance for Jackson to take the game over in both facets and put some points on the board. But the schedule isn’t kind with the Ravens having one less day of rest after that overtime thriller. Kansas City will have another strong offensive output that will be a highlight of this NFL season before taking on the Chargers next week. Chiefs by 10

Betting trends


The Chiefs are 32-7 straight up in their last 39 and 22-17 against the spread.

Kansas City is 29-14 ATS after allowing 450 or more yards in its previous game.

The Ravens are 5-2 ATS in their last seven as an underdog.

Players to watch


Chiefs: If the Chiefs don’t fall behind by two scores again early, look for KC to utilize running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire a bit more. The lead running back had only 43 yards on 14 carries against a strong Browns run defense.

Ravens: Much like the Chiefs have with Tyreek Hill, getting Marquise “Hollywood” Brown involved is going to help the pass game. Brown caught all six targets for 69 yards and a touchdown on Monday.

Statistical leaders


Chiefs:
Passing: Patrick Mahomes -- 337 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Clyde Edwards-Helaire -- 43 yards 
Receiving: Tyreek Hill -- 197 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Chris Jones -- 2 sacks

Ravens:
Passing: Lamar Jackson -- 235 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Lamar Jackson -- 86 yards
Receiving: Sammy Watkins -- 96 yards; Marquise Brown -- 69 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Patrick Queen -- 9 tackles, 1 sack

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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