Which NFL Team will Win the 2024 AFC Championship: Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Jan 25, 2024 07:00 PM
Which NFL Team will Win the 2024 AFC Championship: Baltimore Ravens or Kansas City Chiefs?

The NFL playoffs have an epic 2024 AFC Championship matchup in store for us this Sunday, January 28. Last year’s Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, are traveling to take on the NFL-best Baltimore Ravens. Who will emerge as the AFC champion? That’s what we’re here to figure out.

  • What: Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs
  • Date: Sunday, January 28, 2024
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Point Spread: Ravens (-3.5), Chiefs (+3.5)

Not many saw this matchup materializing a few short months ago. Nearly everyone expected the Chiefs to be in play for the AFC Championship. This is, after all, Kansas City’s sixth straight appearance in the AFC title game, which is just absolutely bonkers. Put it this way: Patrick Mahomes has never not played in the AFC since taking the reins of the Chiefs’ offense.

The Ravens, on the other hand, are more of a surprise. They figured to be a 2024 NFL playoffs contender, but few had them posting the best odds to win the AFC conference championship for the better part of the entire season. Yet, here they are. And not only are they here, but the Ravens are actually favored to be the Chiefs in the 2024 AFC Championship:

Baltimore Ravens-186+156Kansas City Chiefs

Please remember to keep double-checking these online NFL playoff betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Ravens vs. Chiefs betting odds are accurate entering Tuesday, January 23. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on January 28.

On the surface, Baltimore has done everything possible to earn favorite status in this AFC title clash. They were the only NFL team to win 13 games during the regular season. They have the league’s best defense. Lamar Jackson, the NFL MVP favorite, is leading a top-four offense. This feels like it could be the Ravens’ year. Here’s the thing: The Chiefs have been here before, and they are still really good. That matters. How much does it matter? Let’s find out.

Can the Chiefs Generate Enough Offense Against the Ravens Defense in the AFC Championship?

Facing the Ravens defense is viewed as a harbinger of doom for the vast majority of offenses. For the first time in a while, the Chiefs may not be any different. They were a middling 15th in points per game during the regular season and now go up against the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense. And it just so happens that defense is also a whiz at finding ways to reach and knock down quarterbacks.

All logical signs point toward the Ravens winning. They are the better football team—both on paper and in practice. The Chiefs have brand-recognition mystique. This is their sixth straight AFC Championship game. Mahomes is among the most recognizable faces in pro sports. Most support for them will be borne from the past.

That’s problematic. Especially because the offensive regression is real. The Chiefs’ receivers, in particular, aren’t as strong as they were in years past. Their 5.9 drop percentage is by far and away the highest in the NFL.

Still, it’s not like Kansas City is a doormat. This is the best defense of the Patrick Mahomes era. And the group plays in a way that suggests they’ll have a fighting chance to limit Lamar Jackson. They don’t gamble. They contain. And grate. And gnaw. Jackson will invariably have to rely on his arm more than his legs. And even then, the Chiefs have the linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties to survive his surgical attacks.

Call us sentimental. But we’re going with the Chiefs.

OSB Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs (+156)

Kansas City Chiefs To beat the Baltimore Ravens

Why We Could be Treated to an Epically Close 2024 AFC Championship Game

Though the Ravens enter the AFC Championship as favorites to win, the latest NFL playoff point spread betting lines don’t give them much separation from the Chiefs:

  • Baltimore Ravens, -3.5 (-108)
  • Kansas City Chiefs, +3.5 (-112)

This feels like a pretty indecisive point spread, almost as if the 2024 AFC Championship linemakers just decided to give Baltimore the usual home-team bump.

Uncertainty surrounding the Chiefs offense likely led to any indecision. And we get it. Mahomes’ receivers have been unreliable. But tight end Travis Kelce just raked in two touchdown passes against the Bills. More importantly, the Chiefs’ offensive line is perhaps the best Mahomes has ever played behind. They will limit the amount of sacks Baltimore is able to amass. And getting to the quarterback is a big part of the Ravens’ defensive model. If they can’t do that, it will open the door for Mahomes to find a way. Even if he has to chip and scrape with a bunch of middle-of-the-field throws, Kansas City will move the chains just enough to keep things close.

OSB Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs, +3.5 (-112)

Kansas City Chiefs To cover the point spread against the Baltimore Ravens

The Final Score of Ravens vs. Chiefs in the AFC Title Game May be Lower Than We Think

Even though both the Chiefs and Ravens rank in the top five of points allowed per game, the latest AFC Championship over/under betting odds aren’t as restrained as we might have thought:

  • Over 44.5 (-108)
  • Under 44.5 (-112)

The “under” has received most of the action so far. That’s no doubt because of the defensive firepower present in this game.

However, we find ourselves drawn to the “over.” Kansas City’s defense should force the Ravens to air it out more, which could increase the number of offensive possessions and scoring opportunities for both sides. There’s also no exaggerating the importance of the Chiefs’ offensive line. Baltimore’s defense is not as terrifying when they can’t get to the quarterback. If the Chiefs’ offensive line can buy Mahomes some time, he could be the first QB to hang 25-plus points on the Ravens since Matthew Stafford in Week 14.

OSB Prediction: Over 44.5 (-108)

Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens To score over 44.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2024 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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