Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
When these two teams met late last season, the game went to overtime, with the Chiefs eventually pulling out the victory. Lamar Jackson has taken a step forward in his second year in the league, so the Ravens seem to be a trendy upset pick this week, but they don’t nearly have the same defense as they had last season. In free agency, they lost five of their top-11 in terms of snaps played in 2018 and since then they’ve lost another two, cornerbacks Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith, due to injury. They did add Earl Thomas to the backend of their defense, but he can’t mask all their other losses by himself.
They’ve gotten off to a good start to the season on defense, but they haven’t faced tough competition at all, going against the Dolphins and Cardinals. The Chiefs are a huge step up in competition and should give the Ravens’ defense a lot of trouble. We haven’t seen Lamar Jackson win a shootout thus far in his career and I wouldn’t expect him to do so on the road in Kansas City. This line is 5.5, but I have it calculated at 8, so we’re getting good line value with the Chiefs. I’m keeping this as a smaller bet though, because the Chiefs could be tired after starting the season with back-to-back road games (teams are 28-52 ATS in week 3 home openers since 1989).
Kansas City Chiefs 31 Baltimore Ravens 23
Pick against the spread: Kansas City -5.5