Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#295 Kansas City Chiefs vs.
#296 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 8:20pm EDT
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s a primetime clash on the gridiron between a pair of AFC teams that were playoff teams a year ago in Charm City. The Kansas City Chiefs are on the road as they travel to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football. Kansas City opened their season with a come from behind 33-29 home victory over Cleveland last Sunday. Baltimore was knocked off 33-27 in overtime on the road by Las Vegas on Monday Night Football in their season opener. In the all-time regular-season series between the teams, the Chiefs own a 7-3 advantage and have won the last four meetings. That includes a 34-20 home victory in the most recent meeting on September 28, 2020.

Kansas City Chiefs Look to Build Off Second Half Showing

Kansas City struggled in the first half of their season opener against the Browns but turned things around in the second half to come up with the victory. The Chiefs hope to build off their performance in the second half and carry that over to this contest as they seek a 2-0 start. Kansas City trailed for more than three quarters as they were down 8-3 after the first quarter, 22-10 at the half and 22-20 after three quarters. The Chiefs trailed 29-20 with 10:24 to play but scored two touchdowns in a span of 3:06 to take the lead for the first, and only, time in the game. Kansas City’s defense made the plays late to ensure that the lead would stand up, with Mike Hughes picking off Baker Mayfield at the Chiefs’ 42 with 1:09 to play to secure the victory.

Patrick Mahomes was solid as always under center, completing 27 of 36 passes for 337 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions. He added five carries for 18 yards and a score on the ground. Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the team on the ground with 14 carries for 43 yards. As a team, the Chiefs had their struggles on the ground, running the ball 23 times for 72 yards, a 3.2-yard per carry average. The usual suspects did the damage in the passing game as Tyreek Hill led the way with 11 receptions for 197 yards and a score, which came from 75 yards one play after the Browns took that 29-20 lead in the fourth quarter. Travis Kelce added six catches for 76 yards and two scores, including the go-ahead touchdown with 7:04 to play. Harrison Butker drilled all three extra-point attempts and two of two field-goal tries as he connected from 28 and 43 yards in the contest.

Baltimore Ravens Trying to Regroup After Missed Opportunities

Baltimore had plenty of chances to come up with a win in their season opener but ended up falling short due to missed opportunities and untimely mistakes. The Ravens hope that a return home can help them regroup and get back in the win column. Baltimore led 7-0 after one quarter, 14-0 midway through the second quarter, 14-10 at the half and 17-10 after three quarters. The Ravens blew a pair of fourth-quarter leads: 24-17 with 6:04 to play and 27-24 with 42 seconds to go, to wind up in overtime. A Lamar Jackson fumble in overtime gave the Raiders the ball once last time and they scored the winning touchdown, sending Baltimore to defeat. In the contest, Baltimore was outgained 491-406, gave up 26 first downs while picking up 20 and lost the time of possession by a 34:08 to 32:14 margin. The Ravens turned the ball over twice, the critical one coming in overtime, and forced only one takeaway in the contest.

Lamar Jackson was 19 of 30 passing for 235 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He led the team with 12 carries for 86 yards on the ground but fumbled three times, losing two, including the critical one in overtime. Ty’Son Williams, in his first career start, ran the ball nine times for 65 yards plus a score though Latavius Murray (10 carries, 28 yards, TD) took over most of the work in the second half. Marquise Brown led the team with six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown while Sammy Watkins grabbed four passes for a team-leading 96 yards. Williams (29 yards) and tight end Mark Andrews (20 yards) each hauled in three balls in the game. Justin Tucker hit all three extra-point attempts and both his field-goal attempts, connecting from 40 and 47 yards.

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The Ravens are a team that has been decimated by injuries. Their top three running backs coming into the season, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, all went down with season-ending injuries before the season began. That means besides Williams, you’ll see Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell seeing action in the backfield this season. The Baltimore defense was shredded for 456 yards through the air by Derek Carr last week and now has to deal with Mahomes and his merry band of targets. They also lost former Chiefs' corner Marcus Peters (ACL) for the year in practice two weeks ago. It’s not inspiring when you get carved up by a passing attack that no one confuses with a powerhouse. Kansas City played much better in the second half than they did in the opening half against Cleveland. Once the Chiefs get going, they’re hard to slow down. Seeing how poorly Baltimore played on defense last week, it’s hard to trust them here. Look for Kansas City to get the win to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs -3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams were involved in high-scoring affairs in their season openers. Kansas City and Cleveland combined for 62 points in their opener to cruise past the total of 55 points that was set for that contest. Baltimore and Las Vegas put up a combined 60 points, blowing by the 50-point total that was set for the game. When these two teams meet, hefty point totals tend to follow. Three of the last four meetings between the teams have gone over the mark and the one that missed, which was last season’s meeting, totaled 54 points to miss the mark by a single point. With as shaky as the Baltimore defense was last week and how Kansas City put up 33 points despite their struggles in the first half, you have to think that this one is going to be an up-tempo affair. Look for the over to hit in this contest.

Prediction: Over 54.5

Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

Chris Kubala has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well. as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.