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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

2023 Championship Weekend Best Bets

Spreads and Totals

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens(-4.5)

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers OVER 52.0/51.5

NFL Best Bet Season Record: 66-69-6


3 More Games means it's time to really lock in on Best Bets. Let's Rock

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens(-4.5)

DK -110

FD -105

Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid in the playoffs are nearing never bet against them territory. The streak of conference title games is insanely impressive. Mahomes knows how to elevate for the postseason as well. Chris Jones is a one man wrecking crew for their front 6 that allows for their corners to do their thing in press man, and as those corners do their thing in press man, it allows Justin Reid to be a punishing strong safety. Steve Spagnuolo is taking advantage of how those dominoes are falling masterfully, and we have a great playoff team.

I am not as confident in them because I've seen this movie before. The Patriots with Brady had years where the offense just doesn't have the firepower to overcome other elite offenses and defenses. 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2019 immediately come to mind in that regard. In all of those years they either had sub-par or injury riddled weapons and also they had some very poor offensive line years post Dante Scarnecchia.

The Chiefs losses in the post season have come down to poor offensive line play and a lack of weapon depth. Joe Thuney is going to be out, putting a career special teamer in at LG, and we all know it's Rice, Kelce, Pacheco, and prayer for the KC weapons. I cannot see them scoring more than 3 touchdowns against this Ravens defense, especially since without Thuney, the math has changed for their Offensive line. Creed Humphrey now has to be on a dedicated double team with Nick Allegretti. The Chiefs already have the two worst tackles in the NFL and have only been surviving that because of how good Thuney, Heumphrey, and Smith have been on the interior. The Run game will be worse. Pass protection will be worse, and that cannot be happening against a defense that causes as much chaos as the Ravens' defense does. Justin Madubuike and Odafe Oweh are likely going to line up right next to each other over Allegreti and Smith and eat their lunch.

This is also without mentioning how great Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen are at shutting down the middle of the field and can hang in coverage with TE's. Kyle Hamilton can be used as a TE eraser and the entire Ravens Secondary can handle the Chiefs receivers. The way for the Chiefs to win this game is to hold the ball, get Pacheco 25 carries, and hit the big play when it presents itself, but this is Andy Reid and he loves to get cute with it.

The Ravens have their own challenges ahead of them but I believe in their ability to hold the ball and their willingness to adapt. The Ravens have the number one rushing attack in the NFL and the Chiefs can be had on the ground. We saw a Raiders team play ball control on Christmas Day and let Mahomes beat himself. The Ravens are much better at every aspect of football than the Raiders. While Lamar has been excellent this year, he still isn't the best against 6 man rushes, and I expect Spagnuolo to throw out exotic looks that turn into defensive back blitzes, but those can only be used a handful of times a game. If you do not get home and only have 5 to cover 6 because Lamar is a runner that needs to be accounted for, you end up losing the math battle. This is all before mentioning how KC has issues stopping the run and they are going up against the number one rushing attack in the NFL. The Chiefs are going to have to continually send extra bodies to defend the run and defend the pass, and that is hard to survive against a QB that has weapons that can get open. The return of Mark Andrews also puts strain on this Chiefs defense. He will likely be bracketed over the middle, giving Isiah Likely, Zay Flowers, and Odell Beckham Jr 1 on 1's that they now have better opportunities to win, especially if they can get Likely on Mike Edwards, who has left a lot to be desired this season from the free safety position.

All in all, I am imagining a low scoring game through 3 quarters, but one where the Ravens pull away and never look back. Ravens cover

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers OVER 52.0/51.5

DK O 52.0 -110

FD O 51.5 -114

This game is a little easier to call in my opinion. Both teams have dudes galore, but the 49ers have more dudes on offense than the Lions do on defense. I think the Lions will be able to score in this game. I think they'll run the ball well because the 49ers can be run on quite easily. Their strength in their run defense numbers is that teams give up on running the ball since they often find themselves in a deficit. I don't think Detroit will abandon the run since they can run the ball explosively. I think Goff will be fine since he is from California and played outdoors in California a lot. I think the Lions will try and attack Ambry Thomas in coverage and try to get the ball out quickly so that the NASCAR front of Bosa, Armstead, Hargrave, and Young have to work extra hard every single down to get home to Goff and then chase after the ball carrier. The Lions will score points this game. They have too many dudes and their OLine is too good. The issue for them is the other side of the ball.

The Lions defense is bad overall. Aiden Hutchinson, Alim McNeil, Alex Anzalone, and Ifeatu Melifonwu are certified dudes. I think they are nowhere near enough to come close to start challenging this 49ers offense. Unless Aaron Glenn is able to rotate like crazy and just confuse Purdy over and over again, and if Hutchinson and McNeil take advantage of a really pretty bad 49ers OLine outside of Trent Williams, I can't see them winning. I think an onslaught of Deebo, Aiyuk, Kittle, and McAffery is just too much strain on what's been a bottom half unit in the NFL. The one interesting aspect is that the Lions play disciplined rush defense. This could potentially lead to McAffery not having his best day and forcing Purdy to beat them over the top. I don't think they will. Shanahan is too good a play caller, Purdy is too sound in his decision making, and the weapons are overwhelming. Barring injury, I think we see at least 30-34 points out of the 49ers.

All in all, I picture a back and forth game in the 1st half, where both teams are trading blows, and eventually the 49ers weapons are just too much and we see a huge Aiyuk or Kittle seam shot that flips the game. I love everything about the Lions, but I think they need some reinforcements on the defensive side before they can beat the 49ers.

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