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Ravens move to as high as 4.5-point favorites, with balanced wagering

The Ravens opened as 3.5-point favorites over the Chiefs. That number has since moved.

Via David Purdum of ESPN.com, Baltimore's margin has moved as high as minus-4.5. Purdum also notes that some of the biggest wagers reported this week have been placed on the AFC's No. 1 seed.

Purdum notes that Caesars Sportsbook received a $100,000 bet on Baltimore to win the Super Bowl at +195 odds, and BetMGM took a $175,000 money-line wager on the Ravens to beat the Chiefs, at -200 odds. That said, Purdum notes that the point-spread betting for the AC Championship has been "relatively balanced."

(Call my cynical, because I am, but it's hard not to wonder whether some sportsbooks selectively "report" certain major wagers on a given team in order to lure even more action on that team.)

It's only the twelfth time, per Purdum, that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been an underdog. He hasn't been a 4.5-point underdog since Week 2 of the 2018 season, when the Chiefs played the Steelers in Pittsburgh — and when the Chiefs won, 42-37, with Mahomes throwing more touchdown passes (six) than incompletions (five).

That's the biggest question hovering over this one. With Mahomes playing in an AFC Championship away from home for the first time, will he be the same Mahomes we've always known? And, even if he is, will Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson do enough to overcome it?