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Ravens vs. Chiefs

AFC Wildcard Game

Betting Line: Ravens -3 o/u 40.5



The Ravens at Chiefs game could very well be the game of the week. When the line opened, it was possible to get Baltimore -1 with some heavy juice, or Baltimore -2.5, but Ravens money came in early and continued to come in all week to the point where this game is a steady -3 across the board. The Ravens money will likely continue to come in. Most of the "public" bets on game day, and they are no doubt going to bet the Ravens. Are they right? Well, we're not going to offer a strong selection here, but we are going to play devils advocate for the Chiefs.

We can't help but think back to a year ago when these Ravens had to travel to New England for an impossible game against the Pats. No one gave the Ravens much of a chance. The game was over before halftime and it wasn't the Pats on top. It was one of those games where the momentum just carried one team, the Ravens, and they never looked back.

I watched the Chiefs a few times this year and was impressed with their home crowd, particularly the opening Monday Night game. The place was an absolute mad house. The Chiefs have long been known for that home field edge, but watching that particular game really hammered that point home and was a reminder for me. It's ironic because I made a mental note at that time, and then the Chiefs went on to go 7-1 at home this year.

In fact, they are a different team at home all together. You can write off the last game against the Raiders. It was a game that really was difficult for the Chiefs to get up for. Either way they were playing a home playoff game the following week. If you toss the Raider game, the Chiefs were 7-0 at home, giving up 14,10, 20, 10, 13, 6 and 14 points. Oh, and we can't forget the offense, they scored 21, 31, 42, 13, 31, 10 and 34 points. That's pretty good folks.

The Chiefs at home, is the true meaning of a home field advantage. If you break this game down and take a look at the Ravens yards per point numbers on the road and the Chiefs at home, you'd fine the Ravens with a 14.5 on offense and a 17.8 on defense and the Chefs with a 14.9 on offense and a 21.3 on defense. Those numbers would favor the Chiefs in the game by a 3.5 points. 

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Now, if you take a look at the last 7 meaningful games for both teams, those yards per point numbers look like this. Ravens 12.7 and 21.4 for a +8.7 while the Chiefs numbers are 15 on both sides of the ball. This is both home and away games, the last 7 meaningful games for each team. So, an edge to Baltimore here.

The Ravens are the better, more consistent football team. They have solid numbers no matter which part of the season you want to look at and regardless of whether they are playing home or away.

The point here being, the Chiefs home field edge is very real. That edge is what keeps us off if this game. If the Chiefs were to get a quick lead, that crowd would make it very difficult for the Ravens to get back in it. That's when you see the snowball affect of everything going wrong for the visitors.

What do we think will happen? We think the Ravens will likely find a way to win. Again, they are the more consistent football team, from start to finish. Their numbers are playoff numbers across the board. But we'd use caution. The way bettors were pushing money through the windows all week, as if the result of this game was a foregone conclusion made us take a step back and take a closer look. Nothing is ever that easy. Be careful


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