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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)
January 20th, 2024
The top four seeds will square off in the AFC divisional round and both games will be played in cold weather. Along with picks for both games, YouBet’s James Scully tabs a few player props for the AFC divisional games.
Houston will try to carry their form forward outdoors, traveling to play on Baltimore’s cold grass field. The Texans excelled over the last two weeks indoors, shredding Cleveland’s vaunted defense and recording a pair of Pick 6s in a 45-14 wild-card beatdown, but much-improved Houston proved inconsistent going 4-4 on the road, defeating Cincinnati and Jacksonville but losing to Atlanta and Carolina with C.J. Stroud at full-strength. This will be a difficult task in Baltimore.
Before resting its starters in Week 18, Baltimore went 5-1 ATS down the stretch. The passing offense evolved to an elite level, averaging 34.2 points per game over the last four games Lamar Jackson started (Weeks 14-17), and the Ravens stretch the field with Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and Odell Beckham Jr. Tight end Isaiah Likely has enjoyed a breakout season with Mark Andrews sidelined, and Baltimore owns the NFL’s top-ranked scoring defense (only 16.5 points allowed per game).
We expect a fast start for the Ravens, who will prove too much for up-and-coming Houston, and have some action on Baltimore in the first half (-5.5) along with our main play.
See you at the Bank in 24 hours 😈@Lj_era8 | @SouthwestAir pic.twitter.com/PR6Wjr3FDV— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 19, 2024
See you at the Bank in 24 hours 😈@Lj_era8 | @SouthwestAir pic.twitter.com/PR6Wjr3FDV
Buffalo enters on a six-game win streak and jumped out to an early 21-0 lead over Pittsburgh in the wild-card round. The Bills are averaging 25.7 points during the win streak, with three of their last four games going Over, and Josh Allen has had success against Kansas City, winning three of the last four meetings. Buffalo must score points because its defense is banged-up, missing several key contributors, and we expect a high-scoring game.
Kansas City’s offense was firing under freezing conditions in the wild-card round, scoring 26 points on Miami, and Patrick Mahomes will be able to exploit a makeshift Buffalo secondary. Travis Kelce exits one of his best games this season, catching seven passes for 71 yards, and the Chiefs rushed for 245 yards the last time they traveled to Buffalo.
Buffalo won’t go down without a fight, we project a high-scoring game that could go either way and will side with the Over.
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore): Over 283.5 passing/rushing yards -115
Zay Flowers (Baltimore): Over 47.5 receiving yards -115
Isiah Pacheco (Kansas City): Over 63.5 rushing yards -115
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