The Kansas City Chiefs have reached the AFC Championship Game for a sixth straight year, although this will be the first time they experience it in a place other than Arrowhead Stadium.

Over the past five years, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, head coach Andy Reid, and Co. have turned Arrowhead into a fortress for the AFC title game. Each time, the road to the Super Bowl has run through the Chiefs’ home field. That won’t be the case this weekend, as the Chiefs are on the road for a playoff game for just the second time in Mahomes’ pro career. The first was last weekend’s win at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo.

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh’s Ravens are fighting to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since winning it at the end of the 2012 season, but Harbaugh will first have to get past his former mentor Reid and the defending champion Chiefs.

The stage is set for a thriller at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium, so let's take a closer look at this matchup as we make a couple of picks and predictions.

Best Same-Game Parlay Picks for Chiefs vs Ravens AFC Championship: 3-Leg Parlay Pick (+525)

Spread Bet

Leg 1: Baltimore Ravens -4.5 (-110)

Touchdown Scorer

Leg 2: Mark Andrews to score a touchdown (+195)

Rushing Yards

Leg 3: Justice Hill 30+ Rushing Yards (-190)

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Chiefs vs. Ravens Preview

The Kansas City Chiefs had to rediscover their offense at Buffalo last weekend, knowing full well that quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills were going to put points on the board.

Buffalo went into the halftime break leading 17-13, but the Bills were shut out in the fourth quarter while Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid did what they do best – win in the playoffs.

By all accounts, this has been a down year for the Chiefs, who didn’t move the football anywhere near as freely this season as they have in years prior to 2023. Kansas City relied on its running game and a frustrating defense more than it had in the past, because the team was missing a superstar receiver for most of the year.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce fell short of 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in eight years, albeit by only 16 yards. He had gone well over 1,000 for several seasons, but he simply didn’t have his best stuff in numerous 2023 outings.

Despite that, Kelce came alive at Buffalo last weekend. He did just what great players do by showing up with his best performance when it mattered most. The future Hall of Famer caught five passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills. It marked the first time since last year’s playoff opener that Kelce had two touchdown receptions in the same game.

Chief wide receiver Rashee Rice was a little quieter than Kelce, but it was the rookie who had stepped up his game in back-to-back outings against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 and the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs’ Wild-Card Round. Rice went over 125 receiving yards in each of those games, and the talented young receiver appears poised to be one of Mahomes’ top targets for years to come.

On Sunday, the Chiefs will need the best they can get from their defense in order to beat Baltimore. Those defensive players struggled at times last weekend against Buffalo, particularly when defending the run.

Bills offensive coordinator Joe Brady saw the inside run working effectively and kept going back to it -- constantly challenging Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense to shut it down. Buffalo finished the game with 182 rushing yards, which could be a problem for Kansas City as it prepares to face quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

For the most part, however, the Chiefs have been able to claim one of the NFL’s top five defenses in 2023-24. During the regular season, Spagnoulo’s unit ranked fourth in the NFL for average passing yards allowed per game. That defense is now in for a fascinating matchup against the Ravens new-look spread offense led by offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Jackson has looked like the complete package this season, making all the NFL teams who publicly denied any interest in his services during the past offseason look incredibly foolish. The former league MVP is now the favorite to win the award a second time, just months after having been the story of the offseason due to a contract standoff.

The Ravens quarterback is now proving he was worth every penny, and for the first time in three seasons was completely healthy heading into the playoffs. An injured Jackson had to watch from the sidelines when the Ravens crashed out of the playoffs a year ago, but he is now one win away from playing in his first Super Bowl.

Baltimore isn’t known only for its high-scoring offense. As good as the Chiefs defense has been this year, the Ravens have been just as good if not better, especially at home.

M&T Bank Stadium has proven to be an extremely difficult place for visitors to play in 2023-24, as teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Miami Dolphins all crumbled there during the second half of the season.

Baltimore’s defense is as complete as it could be, and the Ravens have players they can deploy to cover Kelce and Co. Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton, who was recently named to his first Pro Bowl in just his second NFL season, will now go toe-to-toe with Kansas City’s legendary tight end when a Super Bowl appearance is on the line.

NFL Schedule Week 18 – Game Info - Chiefs at Ravens

2023 AFC Championship Game
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens
Date: Sunday Jan. 28
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: FuboTV, NFL+

Chiefs vs. Ravens Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - AFC Championship Game

Moneyline: Kansas City Chiefs +165, Baltimore Ravens -200
Spread: Chiefs +4 (-110), Ravens -4 (-110)
Total: Over/Under 44.5 points 

Chiefs vs. Ravens Prediction and Pick

Going into Kansas City’s game against the Buffalo Bills last weekend, the question surrounding head coach Andy Reid’s Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes was whether they could win a playoff game on the road. Despite all their past success, the Chiefs had never played a postseason game in another team’s stadium during the Mahomes years, because their strong regular seasons had been rewarded with a string of home playoff dates. Their visit to Buffalo marked the first time the Chiefs had to endure a hostile environment in the playoffs.

They came away with the win, and they deserve credit for it, but let’s not forget how close that game was to going Buffalo’s way. The Bills hurt themselves on several occasions, including a failed attempt by Damar Hamlin to convert a fake-punt run on fourth down. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs also dropped a potential game-breaking deep pass, and kicker Tyler Bass missed a field-goal attempt that would have tied the score with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

The Chiefs need to be perfect against the Ravens, and I think this Baltimore defense could prove extremely disruptive against a Kansas City offense that has struggled to find its rhythm in multiple games this season.

If Baltimore’s defense plays the way it has for most of the year, and quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense are able to competently move the football, I see head coach John Harbaugh’s team covering the spread at home.

The Pick: Baltimore Ravens -4 (-110)

Chiefs vs. Ravens Player Props Best Bets

Kansas City rookie Rashee Rice has emerged as the Chiefs’ leading wide receiver and one of just a couple of reliable targets for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Fellow receivers Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney have both been absent from the lineup in recent weeks. While these two younger veterans have struggled to gather any momentum throughout 2023-24, Rice has been the one showing up for his quarterback in big moments.

That might be the case, but getting consistent targets and receptions against this Ravens defense is not easy for anyone, let alone a rookie. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa managed to find Tyreek Hill only six times for 76 yards when the Dolphins visited the Ravens on New Year’s Eve, and Houston QB C.J. Stroud could only connect with receiver Nico Collins five times for 68 yards in last week’s Divisional Round playoff game at Baltimore.

Rice will need to be a factor in this game, but getting seven catches is a tough ask for any young receiver going up against the Ravens.

The Pick: Rashee Rice Under 6.5 Receptions (-160)

During last Saturday’s Divisional Round game, Baltimore running back Justice Hill seemingly had the hot hand in the Ravens’ running game. I expect to see a lot of carries for running backs Gus Edwards, Hill, and even Dalvin Cook in this game, particularly after watching the Chiefs struggle to defend Buffalo’s James Cook (Dalvin’s younger brother) several times last Sunday.

The Ravens force defenses to spread out, and Kansas City’s players are going to have their hands full trying to cover Baltimore tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely over the middle. Andrews is expected to play in his first game since suffering an injury in Week 11 against the Bengals.

So, since the Chiefs’ defense has a lot to think about here, I expect that we will see Hill turn in another good performance, and I like his line more than I like Edwards’ line for this matchup.

The Pick: Justice Hill Over 33.5 Rushing Yards (-110)

Odds are subject to change*

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