We're just hours away from opening kickoff at the AFC Championship.
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. It's the best QB in the NFL against this season's MVP, what more could you ask for?
If you're looking for some bets to place on this game, you've come to the right place. I'm going to give you my three top plays for this marquee showdown.
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AFC Championship Best Bets
- Ravens -4.5 vs. Chiefs
- Lamar Jackson OVER 65.5 rushing yards
- Patrick Mahomes UNDER 243.5 passing yards
Ravens -4.5 vs. Chiefs
The biggest weakness for the Chiefs' defense is their inability to stop the run. The Chiefs rank 25th in opponent yards per carry, giving up 4.5 yards per rush. They also gave up 4.7 yards per carry to the Bills last week. If you look at some more advanced metrics, they're 28th in opponent EPA per rush and 15th in opponent rush success rate.
That's bad news for them this week considering no team runs the football more than the Ravens and few teams run the ball better. They average 5.0 yards per carry and come in at third in both rush EPA and rush success rate.
On the other side of the ball, the Ravens enter with arguably the best pass defense in the league, allowing just 5.2 yards per pass attempt, the best mark in the NFL.
The Ravens also currently boast the second best red zone defense in the NFL, allowing teams to score a touchdown on only 40.82% of red zone trips against them. That could be the difference maker in this game as the Chiefs red zone difference has been a sore spot for them this season, coming in at 19th in red zone touchdown percentage.
I'll lay the points with the Ravens and do the unthinkable by betting against Patrick Mahomes as an underdog.
Lamar Jackson UNDER 65.5 rushing yards
The Chiefs' secondary is one of the best in the NFL, so the Ravens would be smart to keep the ball on the ground, including rushing with Lamar Jackson. The Chiefs rank 25th in opponent yards per carry and 28th in opponent EPA per rush.
Lamar had a big game rushing last week, going for 100 yards on 11 attempts, proving that he has no problem running with the ball early and often when the Ravens are playing in the postseason. I'm confident he's going to run enough times this game to soar over his rushing yards total of 65.5.
Patrick Mahomes UNDER 243.5 passing yards
Patrick Mahomes is set to face his toughest challenge of the season so far. In my opinion, the Ravens have the best secondary in the NFL. They give up just 5.2 yards per pass attempt, the fewest in the league, while also giving up just 191 passing yards per game.
Mahomes is having his worst statistical year of his career, averaging only 261.4 passing yards per game. A lot of that isn't on him, as he has by far the worst receiving core he's had to work with.
I'm going to do the unthinkable and fade the best quarterback in the NFL.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!