The Week 3 contest between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs might end up being a matchup of the top MVP candidates for the 2019 NFL season. Lamar Jackson has played as well as anyone ahead of Baltimore’s visit to Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes looks like he might be an even better quarterback than he was last season when he was voted the league’s most valuable player.

Jackson and the Ravens still have more to prove before they will be considered on the same level as the Chiefs. That’s why Baltimore is a 6.5-point road favorite Sunday afternoon, according to the latest betting line at OddsShark

It’s hard to know exactly how much stock to put into the Ravens’ hot start. Baltimore’s 59-10 Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins didn’t look quite as impressive after Miami was shut out 43-0 the following Sunday. The jury is still out regarding how good the Arizona Cardinals might be after they tested the Ravens in Baltimore’s 23-17 Week 2 win.

There is no question that Jackson has taken a leap in his sophomore campaign. The quarterback has gone from completing fewer than 60 percent of his passes as a rookie to leading the NFL with a 145.2 passer rating through two games. Jackson ranks first with seven passing touchdowns and 12.9 yards per attempt to go along with 596 passing yards and 126 rushing yards.

Jackson, of course, won’t put up numbers like that all season long, but he could be in for another big day against a mediocre Kansas City defense.

Mahomes should be able to match the Ravens’ quarterback in the Chiefs’ season opener. He leads the NFL with 821 passing yards, completing 71.4 percent of his passes for seven scores and no interceptions. Mahomes has only been sacked twice.

Baltimore’s defense isn’t what it was last year when it ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed. The unit gave up 349 passing yards to Kyler Murray in Week 2. The Ravens only escaped with a win because the Cardinals settled for three field goals from within five yards of the goal line.

The Chiefs beat the Ravens 27-24 in overtime when they hosted Baltimore in Week 14 last season. Between Jackson’s development and what the Ravens have lost on defense, Sunday’s contest could soar over the total of 54.5.

Sunday’s game could play out in a similar fashion as last year’s matchup with Baltimore giving Kansas City all they can handle before the Chiefs manage to pull out a victory.

The Chiefs went 7-1 at home last season. They’ve won at least six home games in five straight years. 

Laying nearly a touchdown against a team as good as the Ravens might not be the smartest pick. Betting against Mahomes in Kansas City is also a dangerous proposition.

Mahomes has undoubtedly replaced Tom Brady as the NFL’s best player. It’s a title he could hold for the next decade-plus.

Kansas City hasn’t missed Tyreek Hill at all because Mahomes is just that good. He has turned Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman into dynamic weapons, completing 10 passes to them for 223 yards in Week 2.

Even if the 2018 MVP has to complete another miraculous fourth-down pass in the final minutes to keep the Chiefs alive, which he did against the Ravens last season, he’ll find a way to keep Kansas City perfect on the season.

Prediction: Kansas City over Baltimore, 34-31