Sunday Night Football Picks: Kansas City Chiefs vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction

Our lead NFL analyst Ben Gretch previews tonight's Sunday Night Football and provides his best bet for the Chiefs @ Ravens
Ben Gretch
Sun, September 19, 7:20 AM EDT

Sunday Night Football Picks: Kansas City Chiefs vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction

Key Note: Baltimore’s early-season health issues have continued to mount on a short week, with LT Ronnie Stanley and CBs Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith all listed as questionable.

View betting odds for the Chiefs vs Ravens here.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction

The Ravens return home after a tough road loss on Monday Night Football last week in overtime to the Raiders. The short week is one obstacle, the continued piling up of injuries is another, and the schedule also does them no favors in terms of opponent, as a healthy Chiefs’ team awaits them.

Baltimore and Kansas City have played in each of the past three regular seasons since their current quarterbacks took over the franchises. Though it may feel like the two former MVPs have faced in the playoffs by now, they have not. In each of their three meetings, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have gotten the better of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens — the Chiefs needed a last-minute TD and overtime to win back in 2018, but both the past two matchups featured the Ravens trying and failing to mount a fourth-quarter comeback.

The short week for the Ravens, and their early-season injury issues that are unmatched across the league, make it tough to envision this is the matchup where they’ll get the KC monkey off their back. Baltimore lost guard Tyre Phillips (IR) to an injury last week, and LT Ronnie Stanley didn’t practice all week. Stanley is questionable, but was not looking good to play as of head coach John Harbaugh’s late-week media sessions.

In the secondary, they are hopeful to have Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith active, but both are listed questionable and the Ravens have already lost Marcus Peters and three others in their secondary to IR, leaving them dangerously thin against Tyreek Hill and company.

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The Chiefs looked pretty strong in a Week 1 win over a Browns team that came out aggressively and looking good. While the Browns certainly could have won that game, I took that as more of a notch on the Browns’ belt than a knock on Kansas City. Mahomes was absolutely in midseason form, particularly connecting with his two stars. Hill caught 11 of 15 targets for 197 yards and a score, while Travis Kelce had six catches on seven targets for 76 and two touchdowns.

By comparison, Jackson didn’t look quite as sharp, and he certainly didn’t have the same comfort in the pocket as his offensive line and running back blitz protection did not help him out. That’s a big problem for Week 2 as the Chiefs boast a strong defensive line anchored by Chris Jones and the return of Frank Clark, who missed Week 1.

The contrast of how the two quarterbacks played in Week 1, and the health and talent that surrounds Mahomes on his roster relative to where the Ravens are right now, are why I like the Chiefs to cover on the road.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Baltimore Ravens PredictionKansas City Chiefs -3.5 

Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch
Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.
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