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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens: Preview, predictions, odds, & injury report

Conference championship week in the NFL playoffs has arrived. 

The AFC title comes down to the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens and the franchise that has most closely resembled a dynasty in recent years, the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs will be making an incredible sixth consecutive appearance in the AFC Championship. For those counting, that means quarterback Patrick Mahomes has advanced this far every single year in which he has been the starter, although this year is the first in which his team does not have home-field advantage as the AFC's top seed.

The Ravens find themselves in a conference title game for the first time since they won it all in 2012. Will Baltimore cement its status as the best team in the conference, or will Kansas City continue its playoff dominance? 

Let’s break down the mouth-watering matchup.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens odds

Kansas City Chiefs +165 ML 
Baltimore Ravens -200 ML 
Spread Ravens -3.5 
Total Points O/U 44.5 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens information

WhereM&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland 
When3:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 28 
How to watchCBS, Paramount+

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens prediction

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 (-110) 

It’s true that these are not the same Chiefs that won two championships in the last four years. But maybe they were only different during the regular season. 

Now it’s playoff time, and the Chiefs are suddenly looking like the Chiefs of old. They took care of the Miami Dolphins in frigid Kansas City conditions and then picked up a signature road win over the Buffalo Bills this past weekend. 

Can anyone in the AFC beat Patrick Mahomes? 

Mahomes may have fewer weapons than he used to, but veteran tight end Travis Kelce stepped up with two touchdowns in the divisional round, running back Isiah Pacheco had 97 rushing yards and a TD and receiver Rashee Rice has been extremely productive throughout the second half of the season. 

The Ravens should be expected to win this game outright given that they are seeded first and playing at home, but giving more than a field goal to Mahomes and company is simply too much. 

Over 44.5 (-110) 

The game total is set at a relatively low 44.5 number, mainly because the Ravens boast the No. 1 scoring defense in the entire NFL. However, you pretty much know what you are going to get from the Chiefs regardless of their opponent. 

Not including Week 18 in which the starters did not play, they have scored between 25 and 27 points in three straight games and in four of the last five. Even the best defenses in football struggle to contain Mahomes – especially in the playoffs. 

Meanwhile, Baltimore has scored at least 33 points in 4 of the last 5 games played by the starters. This stretch includes a 56-point outburst against Miami in Week 17. Lamar Jackson, who is the likely NFL MVP, rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns during last weekend’s 34-10 drubbing of the Houston Texans. 

All things considered, this will likely be a higher-scoring game than expected. 

Isiah Pacheco Over 64.5 Rushing Yards (-110)  

Following a midseason slump, Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco has been outstanding over the past couple of months. He scored four touchdowns in the last four games of the regular season and during that stretch delivered performances of 110 and 130 rushing yards. 

So far in the playoffs Pacheco has gained 89 yards on 24 carries against Miami and 97 yards on 15 attempts against Buffalo while scoring a TD in each contest. 

Kansas City now faces a Baltimore defense that was 25th in the league in yards per rush allowed (4.5). The Ravens were No. 6 in the NFL in passing defense, so they should be attacked on the ground. All signs point to Pacheco having another big day at the office.  

Kansas City Chiefs injury report  

G Joe Thuney - unlikely to play (pectoral)

G Trey Smith - questionable (illness)

LB Willie gay – questionable (neck)

OT Wanya Morris - questionable (concussion)

S Mike Edwards - questionable (concussion)

DT Derrick Nnadi - questionable (triceps)

WR Kadarius Toney - questionable (ankle)

Baltimore Ravens injury report

TE Mark Andrews – probable (ankle)

CB Marlon Humphrey – questionable (calf)

WR Tylan Wallace – questionable (knee)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens stats 

Mahomes has 4,561 yards, 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 16 career playoff games for a 106.7 passer rating. Kelce has 145 receptions for 1,694 yards and 18 TDs in 20 postseason appearances all time. 

Will those two future Hall of Famers be enough for Kansas City to pull off an upset? Some numbers would say no. Baltimore is coming off a 24-point win over Houston. Since 2009, seven teams have gone into a conference championship game on the heels of a victory by 20 points or more. Those seven teams are 6-1 SU in the next game, including 5-0 SU at home.

Jackson is 2-3 in the playoffs for his career. He was mediocre in the postseason during his first two seasons in the league, but he stepped up in his third season before missing the playoffs in 2021 and 2022.

He completed about half of his passes for three TDs and three interceptions in his first two playoff games. Since then, he has completed over two-thirds of his passes, but his TD-INT ratio in that span is 2-2.

Jackson's rushing game follows a similar trend, struggling in his first two seasons before scoring three times on the ground in the three playoff games he's played after his sophomore season.

The Ravens defense, especially when compared to Kansas City's offense, has little playoff experience. But they have an experienced coach and plenty of playmakers - led by Roquan Smith, Kyle Hamilton, Geno Stone, Patrick Queen, and Justin Madubuike - who will aim to make Mahomes' life miserable.

Head-to-Head

Kansas City Chiefs7 wins (0 this season, 0 all time in playoffs) 
Baltimore Ravens5 wins (0 this season, 1 all time in playoffs) 
Ties all time 

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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