Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where each week I’ll provide a detailed betting overview of the upcoming Monday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also highlight at least one player- or game-based prop each week that I feel has profit potential.
The 2020 Week 3 MNF schedule gifts us one of the marquee matchups of the season, as the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens at M & T Stadium. The game pits the two teams many assumed would have met in last January’s AFC Championship Game before the surprising Tennessee Titans disrupted those plans by toppling Lamar Jackson and company in the divisional round.
Both teams are 2-0, with the Chiefs set to play their second straight road game after escaping Los Angeles in Week 2 with a 23-20 overtime victory against the Chargers. The Ravens followed up their season-opening thrashing of the Browns with a 33-16 home win over the team Kansas City defeated in the first game of the 2020 season, the Texans.
All betting takes will be classified as a “pick” or “lean”, with considerations such as relevant injuries, past betting trends and recent performances of each team leading up to the game factoring in.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Chiefs vs. Ravens odds
This shapes up as one of those scenarios where the on-field action should live up to the hype. The Ravens come in with the better defensive reputation. However, they’re seeing a major boost in caliber of opponent after mostly manhandling an overmatched and inconsistent Baker Mayfield in Week 1 and an undermanned Deshaun Watson in Week 2.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs, much like a good chunk of last season, are having trouble slowing down the run. There is no worse team to take on under those circumstances than the Ravens. Owners of the best ground attack in the league last season by far, Baltimore is at again through the first two weeks of 2020 with an average of 170.5 rushing yards per contest.
For KC, there is some cautiously optimistic news on two fronts, however. First, Baltimore had a difficult time stopping two quality backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the opener. The duo is largely responsible for the Ravens yielding 4.9 yards per carry through two games.
Rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire only logged 10 rushes in Week 2 against the Chargers after a 25-carry workload versus Houston in the opener. Coach Andy Reid may opt to test the Ravens with the run game a bit early to see what inroads he can make toward a balanced attack. However, even if that largely proves unsuccessful, he can take solace in the fact Patrick Mahomes has touched up many of these same Ravens DBs for 377 and 364 yards the first two times he’s faced them in his career.
On the other side, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman could opt to overfeed the backfield trio of Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins against a KC defense already allowing 4.5 yards per carry to RBs and 150.5 rushing yards per game overall. Naturally, the Baltimore running game also includes a healthy dose of Jackson, who’s enjoyed success on the ground in two prior games versus KC. However, the going could also be very good through the air. The Chiefs allowed rookie Chargers QB Justin Herbert to torch them for 311 yards in Week 2.
Although it should be a wire-to-wire battle, I see the more favorable overall matchup for the Ravens carrying them to a particularly coveted win over Mahomes and company following two previous close calls.
The Pick: Ravens moneyline (-185 or better)
MNF Point Spread
I felt better about this spread when it was at its early-week number of three points. Now that it’s gone beyond that critical benchmark, I classify this as much more of a lean.
The Chiefs are 1-1 against the spread this season, including 0-1 as a road team and 1-1 in conference matchups.
The Ravens are 2-0 against the spread this season, including 1-0 as a home team and 2-0 in AFC matchups.
The Lean: Ravens -3.5 or better
MNF Over/Under Total
This total is an elevated one for a Ravens game, but it’s naturally taking into account the caliber of two of the AFC’s elite, matchup-transcending offenses.
The Over is 1-1 in Kansas City’s games this season, including 0-1 in its road games and 1-1 in conference matchups.
Then, the Over is 0-2 in Baltimore’s games this season, including 0-1 in its road games and 0-2 in conference matchups.
Given Mahomes has already proven he can get the best of this often stingy Ravens secondary and Baltimore’s running game sets up very well against Kansas City’s defense, I am in the camp of the Over prevailing.
The Pick: Over 54 or better
Best MNF Prop Bets
Any time touchdown scorer- Lamar Jackson (+120 or better)
Jackson had a rushing score against the Chiefs in last year’s meeting and has averaged 5.1 yards per rush on 22 attempts versus KC in his two career games against them. The Chiefs also tied with several teams for third-most rushing touchdowns surrendered to quarterbacks last season (four), and have already given up two in the first two games of the season.
Patrick Mahomes passing yardage over 292.5 (-120 or better)
Mahomes has averaged 375.5 passing yards in his two previous career meetings against the Ravens while facing much of the same personnel he’ll see Monday night. This figures to be a very competitive game that KC could very well trail in late, upping the chances of Mahomes exceeding this figure.
Ravens to win by 1-6 points (+350 or better)
This is theoretically my lowest-confidence prop of the three, but it’s still one that’s very plausible and that carries the best price. The Ravens did have an average scoring margin of +8.2 points at home last season, but given the caliber of competition and the fact KC has beaten Baltimore in consecutive meetings, this figures to be a hard-fought victory if it does come to pass.