Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs
Kickoff: 10 a.m. PT
One advantage bettors have wagering on football in the beginning of the campaign is that it’s possible to pounce on certain markets before oddsmakers fully adjust.
Like in the case of one of Week 3’s most high-profile matchups, a clash between the Ravens and the Chiefs. So long as these two dazzling offenses continue on their current trajectory, which seems more likely than not, a meeting between them if it were to take place later in the season would most likely command an over/under much deeper into the 50’s — like several NFL games toward the end of last year.
And how can anyone doubt either of these two sides right now on the offensive side of the ball? Patrick Mahomes positioned himself as one of the faces of the sport with one of the most memorable seasons ever in 2018, and through two games, he hasn’t skipped a beat despite not having No. 1 wide-out Tyreek Hill (and now running back Damien Williams).
The Chiefs are unsurprisingly 2-0, with Mahomes already totaling more than 800 passing yards and heaving seven touchdowns to no interceptions. His offense also supplied 68 points in the two games, putting them right in line with last year’s unit that accumulated the third-most points scored (565, or 35.3 per game) in NFL history. And you know they’ll be extra fired up for this one, being Kansas City’s home opener.
Of course, the Ravens have a solid defense, one that has looked good so far in yielding only 27 points across their two ballgames. But let’s also take into account those two assignments were opposite a dreadful Miami Dolphins team and an Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback who was tasked with trying to put up points in a hostile environment last week.
Besides, when these two clubs squared off last season — with Baltimore sporting arguably a better defense than this year’s group — the Chiefs were victorious in overtime, 27-24, including a clutch last-minute drive in the fourth quarter that forced the game to go beyond regulation.
There should be no doubts about Mahomes’ outlook. But what about Lamar Jackson? The former Louisville Cardinal has quickly silenced his critics (myself included if you’ll recall our Week 1 under) with a pair of sensational performances in as many tries, even nearly reaching 600 yards total through the air. Like his counterpart in this one, he’s also registered seven touchdowns compared to zero picks. Not bad for someone who was simply dubbed a scrambling quarterback.
Jackson has indeed expanded on his game in a big way and he was confident in this major progress, too, which is another reason I think he can keep it up because it’s not a fluke. The second-year signal-caller has also continued to be effective with his feet, racking up 126 yards on 19 carries. He’ll have a nice ceiling here considering KC’s D allowed more yards than all but one team a season ago.
Those on this over should definitely consider buying a half-point like I did, as I envision a 30-something to 20-something type of affair. Getting the total at 51 protects you in case of a 31-20/34-17 outcome, so don’t be afraid to spend the extra dime on your bet. Play: OVER 51.5 (-120)
Last Week’s Result: Jaguars-Texans Under 44 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 NFL Over/Under Betting Record*: 2-1, +0.9 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit