Before the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs, everybody on our panel of contributors thought it might be an in depth sport between the Kansas Metropolis Metropolis Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. Two of them (and the same share of our readers) even predicted a Buffalo victory. As a bunch, we referred to as for a 24-21 Kansas Metropolis win. That was solely six factors faraway from the 27-24 final, making it our greatest group prediction of the season. Stephen Serda and Matt Stagner’s picks (every with six factors of error) had been the closest particular person predictions, whereas the picks by Rocky Magaña, Jared Sapp and Ron Kopp every missed by solely eight factors.
For the sixth straight season, that brings us to the AFC Championship, the place the Chiefs are on the street towards the Baltimore Ravens. In response to DraftKings Sportsbook, Baltimore is favored by four points.
Let’s see what the workers — and our readers — take into consideration the matchup.
Nate Christensen (@natech32)
The Chiefs proved me unsuitable. I didn’t assume they might beat a really elite playoff crew just like the Buffalo Payments — however they did it on the street in primetime. No matter whether or not this season ends efficiently or not, I absolutely admit I didn’t see that coming. I’m, nevertheless, selecting the Ravens for this sport — not as a result of I don’t assume the Chiefs can beat them, however as a result of this Baltimore squad is likely one of the finest I’ve ever seen. By DVOA, it measures as an all-time great team. If the Chiefs win, will — by far — be their most spectacular win of the final six years. However I belief the Ravens’ expertise — and their teaching workers — to win over 60 minutes.
Ravens 30, Chiefs 23
This seems to be like probably the most troublesome sport the Chiefs will face this season. It’d even be more durable than any matchup Kansas Metropolis might face in the event that they make it to Tremendous Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. On paper, this seems to be like a sport that Baltimore ought to win; we’d be fools to assume it might probably’t occur. However which means it will likely be a really shut contest — and whereas Lamar Jackson has had an awesome season, Patrick Mahomes has as soon as once more made me a believer. In an in depth sport with every part on the road — and an opportunity to redeem himself after an uncharacteristic season — I simply can’t choose towards him.
Chiefs 27, Ravens 24
The Divisional Spherical felt like a milestone in Patrick Mahomes’ unbelievable profession. The street playoff win is additional proof that he’s a legendary quarterback — however as we after the 13-second sport towards the Payments, these moments don’t at all times finish with a championship. The Ravens are superior to any of the three groups that Kansas Metropolis’s starters have crushed of their present successful streak. Baltimore has the expertise to benefit from the place the Chiefs will likely be weak. I see them killing the thrill of a assured Chiefs Kingdom.
Ravens 27, Chiefs 20
I’ll admit it: a few months in the past, I didn’t assume the Chiefs could be right here. Irrespective of what number of occasions Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid show me unsuitable, I one way or the other let the outdated pessimist in me creep into the forefront. However Kansas Metropolis is right here — enjoying with home cash — and it’s in too deep to get scared now. I consider successful and confidence are a realized trait. There’s a cause that some proficient franchises (just like the Chargers) underperform yr after yr. The Chiefs are the other of that. In a do-or-die sport, give me the crew that’s confirmed it might probably get the job performed.
Chiefs 24, Ravens 20
I’m going to need to be practical. Baltimore has essential benefits, together with homefield, relaxation — and most significantly, well being — in its favor. However though some nationwide pundits have (laughably) urged it’ll occur, I don’t see the Chiefs getting blown out. I do assume, nevertheless, that the Ravens have the expertise to current vital challenges on either side of the ball. Can Kansas Metropolis pull it off? Definitely. In the event that they do, nobody must be shocked. However the Ravens are rightfully favored. Essentially the most difficult-to-predict variable would be the stress. The Chiefs are positively “enjoying with home cash.” The Ravens — particularly Lamar Jackson — might want to overcome the stress of lastly assembly postseason expectations. I anticipate that they’ll — but when they’re not, the Chiefs will likely be able to take benefit.
Ravens 27, Chiefs 23
That is the Chiefs’ hardest postseason take a look at but — and I feel the Ravens are an amazing crew. Their protection is loaded with elite playmakers — and in at present’s NFL, Lamar Jackson is likely one of the actually particular gamers. Happening the street towards the Baltimore protection looks like a tall process for the Chiefs, however I feel there’s been a little bit an excessive amount of doubt floating round this week. I feel the Ravens have matchup benefits on this sport — however with Mahomes enjoying at this degree, the Kansas Metropolis offense shouldn’t be taken calmly. in the meantime, the Chiefs’ protection is way nearer to the Ravens than many would have you ever consider. All of which means this sport has all of the makings of Kansas Metropolis upset in Baltimore. I feel it will likely be a hard-fought sport — however on the finish of the day, I merely can’t guess towards playoff Patrick Mahomes.
Chiefs 28, Ravens 24
It’s bizarre to say that the defending champs are enjoying with home cash — or that they’re the underdogs or that I don’t anticipate them to win. However I feel all of these issues are true this week. This season, Baltimore has been the extra dominant crew. It has the perfect protection and the (presumed) MVP — together with some proficient younger pass-catchers. Nonetheless, the Chiefs appear to be peaking on the proper time — with higher vibes than we have now seen all season. Playoff Patrick Mahomes, playoff Travis Kelce, playoff Isiah Pacheco and playoff Chris Jones have stepped up their video games. They need to all be anticipated to be nice towards the Ravens. It’s going to be a large take a look at. But when the Kansas Metropolis offensive line can maintain up with out Joe Thuney — and the protection can deal with Lamar Jackson — it must be an in depth sport. And in an in depth sport, championship expertise means one thing. I don’t anticipate a win — however I might see it occurring.
Chiefs 31, Ravens 24
Per week in the past, I picked towards the Chiefs. I assumed it might go both approach. Taking part in at dwelling, nevertheless, tipped the size in the direction of the Payments. I really feel equally about this sport — particularly since there’s a case to be made that the final time the Kansas Metropolis offense appeared as in rhythm because it did in Buffalo was approach again in Week 7. The Ravens’ protection is more healthy than that of the Dolphins and the Payments — which, fairly truthfully, worries me — however I’m not going to make the error of selecting towards Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid once more. I additionally assume there is a bonus to just about each key participant on the Chiefs has already performed in an even bigger sport than this one: Tremendous Bowl LVII in Phoenix. Give me Kansas Metropolis to discover a approach — one way or the other, a way — of their hardest take a look at but.
Chiefs 24, Ravens 23
Prop bets (from Pete Sweeney)
Head on over to DraftKings Sportsbook and take… the Kelce and Rice overs.
- Travis Kelce O61.5 receiving yards (-135)
- Rashee Rice O59.5 receiving yards (-125)
Which crew wins Chiefs (13-6) at Ravens (14-4)?
Chiefs in a blowout (14 or extra factors)
Chiefs in a straightforward win (8-13 factors)
Chiefs in an in depth sport (7 or fewer factors)
Ravens in shut sport
Ravens in a straightforward win
Ravens in a blowout
286 votes whole