AFC Championship Game Betting Preview
The AFC Championship Game is the first of our two NFL games on Sunday, and it is the perfect matchup. You have the best team over the last six years, the Kansas City Chiefs, visiting the best team from this past season, the Baltimore Ravens.
This is the sixth time in a row that the Chiefs are in the AFC-CG. For the Ravens, this is their first crack at the conference championship since the 2012 season, when they went on to win the Super Bowl. That means it is also the first AFC-CG of Lamar Jackson’s career.
When the season began, NFL online sportsbooks had Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the favorite to win the MVP award, paying +600. At the time, a bet on Jackson paid +1500. Now, after an incredible year for the Ravens quarterback, Jackson is the heavy favorite at -20000.
And that adds another wrinkle to this matchup. Mahomes has two MVP awards, including last year’s. The presumed MVP win for Jackson will give him a second. That makes Mahomes and Jackson, along with Aaron Rodgers, the only active NFL players with an MVP award, and all three of them will be multiple winners a couple of weeks from now.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (-4)
The initial line on this game was 3.5 points in favor of the Ravens. At BetUS.com, that point spread is up to 4. The current moneyline is -205 in favor of Baltimore, with the underdog Chiefs paying +172.
Despite their dominance, the Chiefs have been underdogs in the postseason before. Last week against the Buffalo Bills, they were 2.5-point underdogs. And at last year’s Super Bowl, they were one-point underdogs to the Philadelphia Eagles. But those are the only two games in the Mahomes era that Kansas City hasn’t been favored to win in the playoffs.
It’s noteworthy that they are 2-0 straight-up in those games.
Regulars at Maryland online sportsbooks have done very well this season betting on the Ravens. They were 11-6 against the spread in the regular season, and last week they easily covered against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round. They also covered the spread in their lone playoff game last season.
The last time Baltimore failed to cover the spread in a playoff game was in the 2020 Divisional Round, when they lost at Buffalo, 17-3.
Top Prop Bets
One of the best things about NFL betting in January and February is the expansion of proposition bets.
For this game, the passing yardage line for Mahomes is 240.5. It’s worth noting that only five times this season in 18 games has a quarterback had more than 240 passing yards against this very good Ravens defense.
For Jackson, his passing line is 209.5, and his rushing yards line is 65.5. Jackson has gone over that rush total in three of his last five games, including last week against the Texans. Last week against the Bills, the Chiefs gave up 72 rushing yards to quarterback Josh Allen.
Other rushing totals include Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco at 63.5. He has gone over that total in each of the last three games, and in two of three postseason games he played last year, including the Super Bowl.
Your top anytime touchdown scorers are led by Jackson at +105. Next is Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce at +115, Pacheco at +125, and Ravens running back Gus Edwards at +130. Jackson and Kelce are paying +700 to score multiple touchdowns.
KIckoff for the Chiefs and Ravens on Sunday is 3:00PM ET.