This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
AFC Championship Best Bets for Chiefs vs Bengals
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Alright alright.....let's do this! I'm thrilled to have this assignment as I have been dialed in during the AFC playoffs. I called Miami's close call with Buffalo as well as Buffalo's defeat at the hands of these Bengals. I also called the Jags' backdoor cover of the Chiefs. Now, these budding rivals meet for a chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and there are SO MANY storylines to unfurl. Let's get to it.
Chiefs vs Bengals Betting Odds for AFC Championship
Patrick Mahomes' status has caused this line to swing quite drastically only to come back to rest at the opening number of KC -1.5. Once speculation of the severity of Mahomes' ankle injury increased, the line got all the way to CIN -2.5 in many spots on Tuesday. Since then, positive reports on his ankle has brought the line all the way back to where it started. Given the swing, the % of bets/money on either side right now is rather irrelevant without the time delta to apply to it. At the current line, the Chiefs are as low as -120 on the moneyline (at DraftKings) while the Bengals are as high as +108 at FanDuel. The total opened at 47.5, dipped a bit, but is now up to 48 in some spots.
Chiefs vs Bengals Betting Picks This Week
We've heard "Cincy is the new KC, they have their number" roughly 34,129 times this week. So has Kansas City, and so has Joe Public. This is a proud and grizzled group with tremendous leadership across the board. I love Cincy as much as anyone, but they are no longer sneaking up on teams, particularly the Chiefs. There is also the narrative that KC doesn't cover as a favorite, and while it is true they are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games in which they were favored, a closer look is needed. First, in that stretch, KC won nine of the games outright, which is basically all that is needed here. And It is true that betting against KC as big home favorites has been profitable....hell, I did it last week. However, when that line goes under 3, it is a very different story as Mahomes has dominated as a small favorite in his career. I just did a quick check and EVERY ESPN expert picked Cincy. I'm feeling even better about my selection.....my Best Bet for the AFC Championship is Kansas City -1.5. I also have a heavy lean to the UNDER in this one as well, both as a fail-safe in the event Mahomes' ankle deteriorates and as a legit play with two strong defenses and windchills falling into the teens by game time fueled by a strong northerly wind.
Bengals @ Chiefs Best Bet: Kansas City -1.5 (DraftKings)
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AFC Championship Prediction
Mahomes' ankle will be strongest at the start of the game, so I foresee KC coming out and throwing haymakers at the Cincy D in an effort to get out to a fast start and force the Bengals to play from behind. I see the Bengals coming out and doing the same to put the pressure on Mahomes to come back on that ankle. I think a first-quarter over bet might be a fun small bet to place as both teams get on the board a couple of times and a 10-7 Chiefs lead. Things start to settle in the second quarter as the teams exchange short FGs for a 13-10 Chiefs lead at half. Cincy throws everything they have at KC coming out of the half while the Chiefs hang on for dear life. They withstand the barrage but give up the lead, 17-13, heading into the fourth. Starting in the third, KC concentrates on establishing the run and it starts to pay dividends in the final quarter. I like a Ronald Jones long shot anytime TD as a flier bet to come through in this quarter as KC scores twice and salts away the victory, 27-17.