Chiefs Open as Favorites, Bengal Money Pours in
For the fourth time in the last 12 months, the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals face each other. This AFC Championship rematch favors the Chiefs ever so slightly based on the NFL Conference Champion betting odds. ODDS UPDATE: (Bengals -2 1/2 -110) (O/U -46 1/2) As of 1/24
But it is Cincinnati that has won three straight versus Kansas City and as an underdog for all of these games. Will Patrick Mahomes and KC finally solve Joe Burrow and Cincy?
Game: Cincinnati Bengals 14-4 vs Kansas City Chiefs 15-3
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MI
Bengals Continue to Deliver as Underdogs
Keep underestimating Cincinnati Bengals at your own peril. The Bengals continued to profit as underdogs by putting on a clinic against the Bills on their own snowy turf.
The AFC Championship game odds have Cincinnati as such a small underdog it might as well be a pick’em game. The Bengals have also won eight straight games against the AFC and are 13-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last 16 games. In fact, with a 69.2 percent cover rate (27-12-0), Cincinnati has the best ATS record in the previous two seasons combined. ODDS UPDATE: (Bengals -2 1/2 -110) (O/U -46 1/2) As of 1/24
Burrow and the offense get a lot of shine but it’s the team’s defense that has become this team’s backbone. The Bengals’ defense saved their bacon against Baltimore Ravens.
Now, it held the Bills to 325 total yards and a 33 percent third-down conversion rate (4-of-12). Most importantly, the defense forced Josh Allen to throw his worst game with a 68.1 passer rating with no touchdowns and an interception.
A lot of the Bengals’ credit goes to defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo who defensive back Eli Apple said was “a mad scientist”. Anarumo’s defensive schemes confused the Bills while Burrow led the offense, which controlled the game from start to finish.
“Domination from start to finish,” Burrow said. “That’s what we expected. Job’s not finished.”
At their current pace, the Bengals may be one of the new NFL teams with little-to-no weaknesses. Thus, the NFL Conference Champion betting odds give this team close to a 50 percent chance at winning the game and returning to the Super Bowl.
Is Fourth Time’s the Charm for Chiefs?
In this fourth meeting between Burrow and Mahomes, there may be extra work for the Chiefs. Mahomes hurt his ankle against the Jacksonville Jaguars and is currently listed on the NFL injury report. While the injury is not expected to be serious, Mahomes could be hobbled against Cincinnati. This will impact his ability to scramble or run and can limit the Chiefs’ offense.
The Chiefs dominated the NFL and led the league in scoring (29 points per game). The team kept chugging along despite switching between Mahomes and backup Chad Henne against the Jaguars. The defense held their own by forcing a pair of turnovers while keeping Trevor Lawrence neutralized.
“I mean I’m not coming out of an NFL playoff game unless they take me out,” Mahomes said. “I’m just going to play. I love this sport too much; I love this game. I love playing with my teammates and being able to go out there and enjoy it together.
We prepare all year to be in the playoffs and to play in these games and I’m glad that I was able to get back in the game and it’s something that I just love competing in this sport and pain is pain and you’re going to have to deal with it either way.”
Kansas City has won five straight home games and is 68-24 at home since Andy Reid took over as coach. This is still the team to beat as the NFL Conference Champion betting odds indicate.
But to get over Cincinnati, Mahomes will have to find a way to exorcise his past demons. He was intercepted twice as the Chiefs managed just three second-half points and blew a 21-3 lead in their AFC Championship meeting last year.Follow us on Twitter
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