In 18 regular season and playoff games played, the Cincinnati Bengals were branded underdogs just three times. With their convincing 27-10 win over the Bills in divisional round of the AFC playoffs, Joe Burrow and company improved to 3-0 ATS in those contests. The other two upset wins came against the Ravens in Baltimore and a 27-24 home win over the Chiefs.
Andy Reid’s hot streak after a BYE week continued as the Chiefs beat the Jaguars 27-20 in the AFC divisional playoffs. However, those of us holding Kansas City -9.5 bet slips were crushed when Doug Pederson elected to kick a meaningless field goal in the final seconds of the game to invite a backdoor cover into our lives. It’s somewhat on brand for the Chiefs as they dropped to 6-11-1 against the spread this season.
Now, everybody's attention turns towards Patrick Mahomes and how his sprained ankle will hold up against a Cincinnati team he has yet to beat.
AFC Championship: Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs Game Info
January 29, 2023, 6:30 pm ET
Opening Betting Odds
Chiefs -1.5 / O/U 48.5
The Chiefs opened as 2.5-point home favorites, but the line has moved quite a bit since late Sunday from Kansas City -1 to Cincinnati -2.5 at some of the best online sportsbooks we track. The Chiefs moneyline odds are around +108 as concerns surrounding Mahomes' health continue to grow. The point total opened at O/U 48.5, but has since dipped to O/U 46.5. The UNDER has hit in 7 of the Chiefs 9 home games this season.
The Bengals are 8-2 ATS on the road this season, while the Chiefs are 3-6 ATS at home.
Joe Burrow is a perfect 3-0 against the Chiefs in his career.
|Week 17-2021: Bengals 34 Chiefs 31||Burrow 4 TDs, Chase 266 Rec. Yards, 3 TDs|
|2022 AFC Championship: Bengals 27 Chiefs 24 (OT)||Chiefs scored 3 points in the second half|
|Week 13-2022: Bengals 27 Chiefs 24||Bengals reached red zone 7 times, Kelce fumble converted into touchdown (difference in game)|
Bengals News and Notes
- Missing three o-line starters and with center Ted Karras hobbled by a knee injury, Cincinnati's trench warriors held strong against the Bills pass rush.
- Allowed just one sack and three QB hits of Burrow.
- La'el Collins is out with ACL, while popular opinion believe both Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams are doubtful for Sunday.
- During their active 10-game win streak, the Bengals defense has allowed just 18.5 points per game with seven games where they allowed 21-or-fewer points.
- With Joe Mixon sidelined in the first meeting against the Chiefs, Samaje Perine rushed 21 times for 109 yards and caught six passes for 49 yards.
- He's the better pass blocker should the o-line struggle against the Chiefs vaunted pass rush.
- Joe Burrows TD:INT ratio in games where the temp dips below 40 degrees is 11:4 and he's completing well-over 70% of his passes in those conditions.
Key Performance Indicators Head-to-Head
Under the assumption that Patrick Mahomes plays Sunday afternoon, these metrics do a pretty solid job highlighting some of the most important metrics on gameday. You'll see that - to the surprise of nobody - the Chiefs offensive metrics on third down and inside the red zone rank second in the NFL, while Kansas City's defense has been known to get picked apart - especially in the red zone.
It'll be interesting to see what Cincinnati's offensive line looks like Sunday because the Chiefs pass rush is often overlooked, while K.C.'s o-line has protected Mahomes well all season.
|Team||Off. 3rd Down Conversion Rate||
Off. RZ Conversion Rate (TD)
|Def. 3rd Down Conversion Rate||Def. RZ Conversion Rate (TD)||Sacks Allowed per Game|
|Bengals||47.16 (4th)||65.08% (5th)||38.72% (13th)||49.12% (5th)||2.4 (9th-most)|
|Chiefs||48.78% (2nd)||70.67% (2nd)||39.15% (17th)||67.24% (31st)||1.4 (3rd-fewest)|
By comparison, the Chiefs converted 60% of their third downs, 100% of their red zone trips, allowed the Jaguars to convert 53.8% of their third downs and turn 67% of their red zone trips into touchdowns. The offensive line did not give up a sack last weekend.
The Bengals converted 60% of their third downs against the Bills, 50% of their red zone trips, while the defense let Buffalo convert just 1/3 of their third downs and red zone trips. The makeshift offensive line allowed just one sack.
Chiefs News and Notes
- All we know is that Andy Reid said Patrick Mahomes is expected to play with the high-ankle sprain.
- Update: practiced Wednesday
- Never played without practicing before.
- The classic "day-to-day" injury status is in effect.
- Back-up quarterback, 37-year-old Chad Henne, has not started a game for the Chiefs since late 2020 when Kansas City rested their starts in the season finale.
- Henne has been with the Chiefs the past five seasons. So, he knows the offense.
- Lost in Brock Purdy's rise to fame is the play of fellow-seventh round draft pick Isiah Pacheco.
- He's averaging 4.9 yards per carry this season.
- He racked up 95 rush yards on just 12 carries against the Jaguars last weekend.
- Pacheco posted 66 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown in the regular season loss to the Bengals.
- Cincinnati's rush defense ranks 7th in the NFL at 106.9 yards allowed per game.
- Kansas City's pass rush finished with 55 sacks during the regular season, second only to the Eagles 70.
- They only sacked Burrow once in the regular season loss.
- Forecast: temps in the low-to-mid 20s at kickoff, no snow expected, light winds
Betting Pick: Chiefs -1.5 / Tease U52.5
Pick Update: After the Mayor of Cincinnati decided to go all Maury Povich by sarcastically asking for a paternity test to determine if Joe Burrow is Patrick Mahomes' daddy, I flipped to Chiefs -1.5.
It's quite amusing how little information trickles out of both AFC camps in the days leading up to the conference championship. With that said and knowing that Patrick Mahomes will be playing at, best, 80%, I lean Bengals in this matchup, but wouldn't be opposed to a 6-point teaser on the Chiefs +8.5. Andy Reid will have a gameplan in place to adapt to Mahomes' limitations and if Chad Henne needs to step in, he's proven to embrace the moment.
Player Prop: Travis Kelce anytime touchdown