John Warner previews this week’s NFL MNF matchup and gives out his favorite bets!
We conclude Week 3 with what is absolutely the game of the year so far, your reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs (that just never gets old does it?) visit the reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. I’m not sure how ESPN lucked out and managed to get this game for MNF, which usually has some random flotsam, but I’m thankful they did, it doesn’t get much better than Monday Night.
For Baltimore, this year has all the makings of a revenge tour. They were clearly the best team in the league last year, they had a unanimous MVP in Jackson, and they were just crushing teams week after week. Then the Titans happened and embarrassed the Ravens at home from start to finish. It’s well known Baltimore is the most analytically driven team in the NFL, and it paid off time and again last season. I’m definitely looking for Baltimore to be even more aggressive than usual this week, given who is taking snaps for their opponent. You absolutely cannot go into a shell against Kansas City, we’ve seen them put up 28 points in 9 minutes before. This may sound basic but I’m looking for Baltimore to rush for over 200 yards here. They ran for 194 against KC in 2018, and 203 against KC in 2019. Granted, there was plenty of garbage time in last year’s game, but I do think the second level of the Chiefs defense has taken a step back from last year.
The Chiefs tackling looked downright dreadful at times, constantly letting Austin Ekeler and Justin Herbert slip away from the initial point of contact and gain more yards. Baltimore is going to control the clock even better than San Diego did last week, I can tell you that much right now. We know all about Mahomes and KC’s offense, but it was KC’s defense that tightened up at the end of last year en route to the title. And that’s exactly what’s going to be the key to the game here. If the Chiefs and Mahomes are going to move to 3-0 against Lamar Jackson they are going to have to strike early and often, and make the Ravens play from behind. Jackson is a fine passer as well, but we know the run game is what they really want to do.
We got bailed out last week with Minshew coming alive in garbage time, but all three were just bad bets, plain and simple. We’re still struggling to find our footing here, but I’d like to think I have a pretty good read on my team. Mahomes is starting his 34th NFL game, he’s kept every game within one score, or won. I also see both offenses pretty much getting to move at will, despite the quality of both team’s defenses.
Monday Night Football Bets
Chiefs +9.5/Over 48.5 6-point tease -110
Clyde Edwards-Helaire under 3.5 receptions +120 .5x
Lamar Jackson over 63.5 rushing yards -115
Season Total: 5-7-1 -1.27x