Chiefs vs Ravens Odds & Pick: AFC Championship Game Preview

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Chiefs vs Ravens Odds & Pick: AFC Championship Game Preview

Sunday, Jan. 28
3 p.m. ET
Chiefs Odds
-110o / -110u
Ravens Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Following a thrilling game on Sunday night, we're set for an epic matchup in the AFC Championship Game. Chiefs vs Ravens odds have Baltimore laying 3.5 points across the board after opening at a field goal.

Kansas City will be making its sixth straight AFC Championship Game appearance. This will be the first time that the Chiefs have to go on the road to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, though. M&T Bank Stadium can produce one of the most raucous environments in the NFL and should be at a fever pitch on Sunday.

Let's break down each side and get into my Chiefs vs Ravens pick.

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Kansas City Chiefs

After struggling for much of the season, it appears that the Chiefs offense is starting to get going. There were signs of a breakout back in Week 17 against the Bengals and the Wild Card Round against the Dolphins, but this weekend really solidified that the Chiefs are back. Poor red-zone execution resulting in field goals in those games masked the efficiency, but Kansas City finally was able to find the end zone more often against Buffalo.

Patrick Mahomes’ numbers don’t immediately pop off the page from the game in Buffalo due to lack of volume, but he completed 17-of-23 passes and played a nearly flawless game. Travis Kelce had one of his better games of the season, while rookie WR Rashee Rice continued to be a difference-maker on the outside.

The health of Ravens star cornerback Marlon Humphrey will be important in this matchup against K.C.’s playmakers. Missing Humphrey didn't hurt Baltimore against the Texans, but his absence would be felt in a bigger way against the Chiefs.

Especially if Humphrey is healthy, the Ravens defense will provide a much tougher test to the Chiefs offense.

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Baltimore Ravens

The key for the Ravens against the Chiefs will be their rushing game and ability to attack the middle of the field. This has been a weakness for the Kansas City defense all season that Buffalo was able to exploit.

With Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi injured coming into the game and both safety Mike Edwards and linebacker Willie Gay sustaining injuries early in the matchup, Buffalo pounded the ball straight down the Chiefs' throat for much of the night. The Bills went to the run game over and over, gaining 182 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Most of this came from James Cook and Ty Johnson out of the backfield, but Josh Allen also had a lot of success on both designed runs and scrambles.

Kansas City has been impressive defensively this season, but most of that success has come against the pass. Against the run, the Chiefs ranked 28th in EPA per play allowed and 15th in rushing success rate allowed. They also rank 18th in Pro Football Focus' run defense grade and 14th in tackling.

Unfortunately for Kansas City, Baltimore has one of the best run games in the league. Baltimore ranks third in both EPA per rush and rushing success rate, as well as fifth in Pro Football Focus' rushing grade.

While the Ravens have focused more on their air attack this year than in years past, they still led the league in run play percentage this season at 51.1%. However, when looking at rush frequency vs. expectation, Baltimore is right in line with the rest of the league when adjusting for situation. Still, we should see Lamar Jackson and company lean into their advantage on the ground.

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Chiefs vs Ravens Pick

Both offenses appear to be operating at maximum capacity right now. Kansas City looks like it has resurrected its attack and even though Baltimore’s defense has been fantastic this season, I trust a Mahomes-led offense will score in a big game.

On the other side, the Ravens provide a glaring mismatch for these Kansas City linebackers and safeties. Baltimore should be able to run efficiently and pass over the middle of the field with ease. Depending on the health of some key Chiefs’ defenders I may like this even better.

The weather for next weekend in Baltimore currently appears much nicer than we have seen across the country over the last couple of weeks. As of Sunday night, forecasts are calling for temperatures in the 40s with a 30% chance of rain and low winds.

I like backing both of these offenses, and this current forecast isn’t enough to scare me off of it. Right now I would look to take the over at 44.5 points and would bet this up to 45 early in the week.

Pick: Over 44.5 (-110)
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