Bengals to Edge out Over Chiefs: AFC Championship Game Picks

  • The Cincinnati Bengals are 1-point road favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Patrick Mahomes is making his fifth-straight conference title appearance while Joe Burrow is looking to punch his ticket to back-to-back Super Bowls
  • Sunday’s AFC Championship Game kicks off from Arrowhead Stadium at 6:30pm ET on CBS

Kansas City opened as a 2.5-point home favorite in the AFC Championship, but the line has been steadily moving towards Cincinnati. Patrick Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Divisional Round and is 0-3 in his career against Joe Burrow.

Can the Bengals win an 11th-straight game and punch their ticket to a second-consecutive Super Bowl? Before we check the odds on this matchup, here’s where you can find the best Super Bowl betting tips and the top betting sites for NFL football in 2022.

Chiefs vs Bengals

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Cincinnati Bengals-1.0 (-113)-126Ov 47 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs+1.0 (-107)+106Un 47 (-110)

Patrick Mahomes playing hurt

Is it Joe Burrow who owns Patrick Mahomes? Or is it Lou Anarumo? The Bengals defensive coordinator helped his team stage an 18-point comeback in last year’s AFC title game by holding the Chiefs offense to just three second-half points. For his encore, he limited Mahomes to just 16 completions (his fewest of the season), 223 yards and a touchdown in a 27-24 win in Week 13.

To make matters worse, the soon-to-be two-time NFL MVP will be playing on Championship Sunday with a high-ankle sprain. An injury that will severely limit his effectiveness outside the pocket, where he has thrown a league-leading 15 TDs over the past five postseasons.

Joe Burrow’s unshakable confidence

Joe Burrow was supposed to be in trouble behind a beat-up offensive line missing three starters. Instead, he surgically dismantled a toothless Bills defense for 242 passing yards and two TDs in an easy 27-10 victory. The Chiefs defense should present a tougher challenge after finishing second in the NFL in sacks. But, the 26-year-old had no trouble against KC in Week 13, throwing for 286 passing yards with three total TDs.

In addition to being 3-0 versus Mahomes, Burrow is 7-0 in January and 3-0 in road playoff games. Cincinnati is also 14-1 this season when their quarterback is sacked fewer than five times.

Cincinnati BengalsTo Cover Spread
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Kansas City ChiefsTo Win
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Kansas City vs Cincinnati

Kansas City is a 1-point home underdog at Arrowhead Stadium and the over-under is set at 47 points. Patrick Mahomes passed for 195 yards and two TDs in the second half of Saturday’s victory over Jacksonville. Travis Kelce was his dominant self as well, hauling in 14 receptions for 98 yards and two scores. The Hall of Fame tight end is averaging 108 receiving yards in his last seven playoff games with eight spikes.

Still, with Kelce likely to see bracket coverage and Mahomes hobbled, the Chiefs will need Isiah Pacheco to keep pace offensively. The explosive rookie ran the ball 12 times for 97 yards in the Divisional Round, but Cincinnati is a top-ten defense against the run.

Best Bet

Patrick Mahomes has a penchant for delivering superhuman performances. But, don’t forget he got blown out in Super Bowl 55 the last time he tried to play through an injury, tossing two picks and getting sacked thrice. Cincinnati’s defense is also red hot. They’ve held the opposition to fewer than 20 points in five of the past six contests. And Buffalo only put up 10 points last Sunday after averaging 28.4 this season.

On Championship Sunday, there have been 13 rematches from the regular-season since 2014. The team that won the regular season meeting has gone 10-3 in the title game. Look for the Bengals to win their 11th-straight and return to the Super Bowl for the second-consecutive season.

Final Score Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Kansas City 19

Chiefs vs Bengals-110
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.

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