Island games are the highlight of any NFL week for betting enthusiasts. As the industry continues to grow, some of the most discussed moments belong to single-game opportunities.
As such, this is the only betting guide needed to unearth tons of expected value for each Sunday night contest throughout the 2021 NFL regular season.
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Both the Chiefs and the Ravens are coming off intense Week 1 games. While the Chiefs were able to come from behind to beat the Browns, the Ravens lost in overtime to the Raiders on Monday Night Football. The Ravens were tied for the fourth-highest odds to win the Super Bowl entering the season. They'll be looking to bounce back against arguably the best team in the NFL.
Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale has one of the more recognizable defensive philosophies in the NFL: play man coverage and blitz — a lot.
However, with season-ending injuries to cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Chris Westry, not only is the Ravens’ typical heavy-blitz man coverage scheme naturally not going to be as effective, they’re going up against the team arguably best set up to beat it.
Mahomes has an 80.1 passing grade under pressure in his career and earned a 90.2 offensive grade facing the blitz in 2020. Superstar weapons Tyreek Hill (84.9 receiving grade vs. man coverage in 2020) and Travis Kelce (90.9) both thrive against man coverage.
In their Week 1 loss to the Raiders, the Ravens allowed Derek Carr to total 435 passing yards en route to a 65.4 overall team defensive grade, 13th in the NFL in the opening week.
Think about it this way: If Carr and the Raiders’ 10th-ranked offense from 2020 were able to have their way against this Ravens defense, are you really gonna bet against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs having even more success, especially with the Ravens on short rest?
Didn’t think so.
Another matchup to watch: Chiefs star DT Chris Jones versus the Ravens’ banged up offensive line.
With Ravens starting LT Ronnie Stanley questionable for Sunday Night’s game, the Ravens could opt to move Alejandro Villanueva from right tackle to left tackle, where he played his entire career in Pittsburgh, and start Patrick Mekari at right tackle. Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue of the Raiders lived in the backfield versus the Ravens in Week 1, combining for 19 pressures including 13 by Crosby alone, which resulted in Villanueva finishing with a horrible 13.4 pass-blocking grade. That's not what you want potentially protecting Lamar Jackson’s blindside.
Since 2018, the Chiefs’ Jones is second among all DTs in pass-rush grade, trailing only Rams future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Donald. He had had two sacks versus the Ravens in their 2020 matchup, which the Chiefs won 34-20.
PFF Greenline, which is now 11-6 on predicting totals this season after correctly predicting the over in the Washington Football Team vs. New York Giants game on Thursday Night Football, gives the advantage to the under in this game, with a 52.8% cover probability and a positive expected value at -110 odds.
PICK: Chiefs -3 and under 54.5