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AFC Championship – Bengals at Chiefs Predictions

The championship window for the Kansas City Chiefs is still open, but there’s another contender they have to deal with in order to reach the Super Bowl. Hosting their fifth straight AFC title game the Chiefs look to avenge last year’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch, though they might be without former MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Suffering an ankle injury in last week’s win over the Jaguars, Mahomes was visibly affected by the injury and odds for the game have shifted in favor of the visitors, who are on a major heater winning 10 consecutive games while going 8-1-1 ATS. The Bengals also earned three payout wins over the Chiefs in the last 12 months.

The AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs will take place at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 29, 2023 and will be televised on CBS.

Bengals vs Chiefs Odds

Cincinnati Bengals -1.5

Kansas City Chiefs +1.5

Over/Under 47

Odds Analysis

When the conductor of the NFL’s highest scoring offense gets hurt people take notice. Oddsmakers and the betting public are well aware of what’s going on in KC with the spread jumping the fence in the short time it’s been posted. KC opened as a 1.5-point favorite but early action on the visitors forced plenty of movement. As of this writing the Bengals emerged as a 1.5-point favorite as the hottest team in the AFC. They continued their run to another Super Bowl appearance by knocking off Buffalo, 27-10, last week as a 6-point dog. It was their 10th straight win overall going 8-1-1 ATS in that stretch. The Chiefs played as a dog twice this season beating Tampa Bay and losing to Buffalo. They are 4-2 SU and ATS over their last six games when catching points on the NFL betting line.

Cincinnati Bengals

Maybe it’s time to give the Bengals the props they deserve. They went on the road last season upsetting the AFC’s No. 1 seed Tennessee and Kansas City to reach the Super Bowl. They couldn’t finish, though, losing to the Rams in what was essentially a road game, covering the 4.5-point spread in a 23-20 loss. They beat the Ravens in a wild card game and matched the franchise’s postseason win total from the previous 51 seasons with convincing 27-10 win at Buffalo last week, their fifth playoff win in the last two years. The offense has been efficient with Joe Burrow leading the attack and the defense has been solid holding the last four opponents to 18 points or less. The Bengals are arguably the best team in the NFL right now.

Burrow put together an MVP-caliber season throwing for 4,475 yards and 35 touchdowns while completing better than 68 percent of his throws. Cincy had the fifth-best pass attack during the season and ranked among the top-8 in average yards and points. In sloppy conditions last week Burrow was 23 of 36 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He led five scoring drives in Cincy’s first seven possessions. Burrow and the Bengals have also had KC’s number over the past two seasons. In three 3-point wins over the Chiefs Burrow completed 72.2 percent of his passes with eight TDs and one interception.

Kansas City Chiefs

The big news out of KC is obviously the health of Mahomes. Injured early in last week’s win over the Jags, Mahomes returned to the contest in the second half but was visibly affected. He was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and those are tricky. Mahomes said he’s going to play on Sunday and the Chiefs are preparing for him to be behind center. The question is how effective will he be and can the line protect him with his limited mobility. Worst case scenario is Chad Henne gets some reps, and the veteran backup scraped off some rust last week hitting on 5 of 7 pass attempts for 23 yards and a TD in one full series. Henne attempted just two passes during the regular season.

With Mahomes hobbled the Chiefs took a hit on the betting line going from a slight favorite to an underdog. Simply put they aren’t the same team with their star QB limited since a big part of his game is creating outside the pocket. Andy Reid is an expert game manager and makes adjustments on the fly, much like he did last week when Mahomes returned to the game. Also impacted by the injury is the defense. The Chiefs were average on that side of the ball often bailed out by the league’s highest scoring offense. They allowed more than 29 points per game in the last three meetings with Cincy and the group has to step up big time on Sunday.

Bengals vs Chiefs Prediction

Everyone is jumping on the Bengals bandwagon and rightfully so. Last season they were Cinderella and this year they aren’t. It would be easy to let out a heavy sigh with the possibility of not facing Mahomes, but that would be a mistake. The Chiefs are still a quality football team and they will rally behind whoever takes snaps.

Our Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs +1.5 and UNDER 47

View today’s NFL betting odds.

George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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