2024 AFC Championship Game Player Props: Will Mahomes Shred Baltimore Again?

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This year’s AFC Championship Game is a rare heavyweight fight between the top 2 scoring defenses and two quarterbacks who have won MVP awards in their careers. Now Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes meet in the playoffs for the 1st time with the Ravens a 3.5-point home favorite and the total set at 44.5 points.

You can always check out the player props section on OddsTrader, and we included the top sportsbooks where you can bet these player props for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

Picks Summary

  • Lamar Jackson Rushing Yards Over 66.5 (-110)
  • Zay Flowers Receptions Over 4.5 (+120)
  • Patrick Mahomes Passing Touchdowns Over 1.5 (-115)
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling Receiving Yards Over 14.5 (-110)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, January 28, 2024 – 03:00 PM ET at M&T Bank Stadium

Lamar Jackson – Total Rushing Yards

If we can still evoke the name of Colin Kaepernick in the NFL, he seemed to set a pretty good precedent a decade ago that a running quarterback should let it all hang out on the field in the postseason. There is no next week if your team loses, so run as much as you can in these games as most defenses cannot keep up with someone that dynamic at the quarterback position.

That strategy served Kaepernick well as he reached a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 2012 and another NFC Championship Game in 2013, nearly beating the Seahawks’ historic defense at the end of the game.

Embrace the Kap Strategy?

Lamar Jackson needs to embrace that strategy too, and if last week is any indication, he will do it this year. He faced a blitz on 75% of his passes against the Texans, so he used scrambles and some designed quarterback runs to run 11 times for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns.

This was the 3rd time in his playoff career that Jackson has rushed for 100 yards in a game. He also did it against the Titans in 2019 and 2020, so he has cracked 100 yards in 3-of-5 playoff games on the ground.

He also rushed for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Chiefs in their last meeting in 2021, his only win against the Chiefs to this point. We have seen other running quarterbacks do what they can against the Chiefs in big playoff games recently. Jalen Hurts had 15 runs for 70 yards and 3 touchdowns in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl loss last year, and just last week, Buffalo’s Josh Allen had 12 rushes for 72 yards and 2 scores.

The Pick

The Chiefs have a great pass rush and some very good corners too. Passing should be difficult, and there could be rain falling during the game, making for slick conditions.

However, the teams are experienced at dealing with bad weather and the Ravens are the superior running team as long as they have Jackson. Look for him to take off and go for over 66.5 rushing yards, something he has done in 3-of-4 meetings with the Chiefs.

NFL Pick: Lamar Jackson Rushing Yards Over 66.5 (-110) at Bet365

Zay Flowers – Total Receptions

In his playoff debut, rookie Zay Flowers caught 4-of-5 targets for 41 yards against Houston. That is a below-average game for him this year, though the Ravens barely needed to throw to win that game.

Things should change this week with the Chiefs coming to town and the way Patrick Mahomes can put up points. When you look at Baltimore’s offense, it is hard to call this an all-star cast with Flowers leading the way.

Share the Ball

He may have to share the ball with tight end Mark Andrews, if he does indeed return from injury this week, but Flowers is still the No. 1 wide receiver. Someone like Odell Beckham Jr. only had 1 catch last week.

When you look at how the Bills played the Chiefs last week, Khalil Shakir caught 7-of-9 targets for 44 yards and a touchdown. The Bills were throwing a ton of short passes and didn’t have any gains longer than 18 yards, but that Shakir usage could be a blueprint for how the Ravens should use Flowers against some very good corners in L’Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie.

The Pick

Count on more passing attempts from the Ravens this week. Flowers has gone over 4.5 catches in 9-of-17 games this season, including all 3 games the Ravens lost, and several of their higher-scoring games this year against the Rams (37-31), Cardinals (31-24), and 49ers (33-19).

So, if you think the Chiefs can pull off the upset or make the Ravens get into a higher-scoring game than usual, then that should only strengthen the pick of Flowers catching at least 5 balls for good odds.

NFL Pick: Zay Flowers Receptions Over 4.5 (+120) at Bet365

Patrick Mahomes – Total Passing Touchdowns

Patrick Mahomes has already proven himself to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in postseason history. With 2 more touchdown passes this week, he will tie Peyton Manning with 40 touchdown passes in the postseason. Only 4 quarterbacks have more than that. A win would also tie Mahomes with Manning for the 3rd-most playoff wins (14) in history.

Mahomes has passed for multiple touchdowns in 12-of-16 playoff games. He just tossed a pair in Buffalo, proving he can also take his act on the road in the postseason.

Back to Maryland

Mahomes has not played Baltimore since 2021, but there are few defenses he has ever perked up against as much as the Ravens. In 4 career meetings, Mahomes is 3-1 with 12 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 119.1 passer rating, and he has passed for at least 343 yards in every game.

He has at least 3 touchdowns in the last 3 games against the Ravens, but again, those games were years ago. Still, Mahomes is coming off a game against Buffalo where he had 3 deep completions and the offense looked as good as it has all year.

The Pick

The Ravens have not faced a quarterback as good as Mahomes this year. You can talk up some of the numbers Brock Purdy and Tua Tagovailoa had in those systems, but Mahomes is still the gold standard, and if this defense wants to be a historic one, they must do something to make him look mortal this year.

The issues for the Chiefs this year have been mistakes like dropped passes, fumbles, and penalties. It’s not like they are not moving the ball or putting themselves in a position to score more points. If they execute their offense this week, they should find scoring opportunities. Mahomes should go over multiple touchdown passes again.

We are going to trust the best player in the league to deliver in another AFC Championship Game, a round where he has 14 touchdowns in 5 games.

NFL Pick: Patrick Mahomes Passing Touchdowns Over 1.5 (-115) at Bet365

Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Total Receiving Yards

It feels like a brave pick (or madness) to trust Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS) in a playoff game like this one, but he has gone over 14.5 yards in 9-of-18 games, so it is like a coin flip.

Someone has to catch the ball for Mahomes, besides Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice, and throwing to Mecole Hardman is a complete waste of time as he never bothers to track the ball.

Heating Up?

At least MVS looked good in Buffalo, pulling in catches of 32 and 30 yards. He also had 17 yards in New England and 25 yards in Green Bay, so he’s gone over 14.5 yards in his last 3 road games.

Maybe MVS is getting ready for his best week in the NFL. In the 2020 NFC Championship Game when he was with Green Bay, MVS had 115 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay. In last year’s AFC Championship Game against Cincinnati, MVS had 116 yards and a touchdown to help the Chiefs win.

The Pick

With the attention going to Kelce and Rice, let’s roll with MVS making a big catch that could hit his over in 1 snap. Let’s just hope he doesn’t drop the opportunity because that is what he’s known best for.

NFL Pick: Marquez Valdes-Scantling Receiving Yards Over 14.5 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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