Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Lines

NFL AFC Championship Betting Lines

In a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs will determine the conference representative in Super Bowl LVII. The Chiefs are hosting for a fifth consecutive season with last year’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Bengals making them 2-2 in the previous four conference title games. The big concern for the Chiefs ahead of this matchup is the health of Patrick Mahomes, who sustained an ankle injury in the Divisional Round win over Jacksonville. While KC has won a bunch of games over the years with Mahomes running the show, they are 0-3 SU and ATS in the last three encounters with the Bengals.

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

AFC Championship Betting Odds

Cincinnati Bengals -1.5

Kansas City Chiefs +1.5

Total: 47

Money Line: Bengals -128, Chiefs +108

Odds Analysis

The status of Mahomes is having a major impact on the betting line. The Chiefs hit the board as a 1.5-point favorite with that number quickly wagered down to where the game became a tossup. More action on the visitors forced the line to jump the fence with the Bengals getting as high as -1.5. And expect the spread to continue fluctuating as news of the KC signal-caller gets updated and released. Mahomes said he’s playing on Sunday, but how effective is he going to be on a gimpy ankle? Even when healthy, Mahomes and the Chiefs have had problems with the Bengals losing three games during the 2022 calendar year. They dropped a 34-31 decision in Week 17 last season before falling 27-24 in OT in the title game. Cincy won in Week 13 this season giving them three 3-point wins when playing as a dog. The Bengals extended their overall winning streak to 10 games with a thorough 27-10 road win over Buffalo last week catching 6-points while improving to 8-1-1 ATS during the run.

Key Injury

I guess it doesn’t get any bigger than having the former MVP and Super Bowl winner dealing with an injury that’s been known to cause problems. Mahomes was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain when getting rolled on last week. He exited the Jacksonville game only to return later and was noticeably hobbled when doing so. Mahomes topped the NFL throwing for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns during the regular season as the Chiefs led the league averaging over 29 points and 413 yards. Backup Chad Henne threw just two passes during the season both landing incomplete. Mahomes finished 22 of 30 for 195 yards and two TD’s last week with the game plan simplified

Working within the pocket the entire second half, Mahomes’ mobility was limited. And if he plays you can expect the Bengals to devise packages to create pressure. While the Bengals recorded just one sack of Josh Allen last week, their relentless pressure forced errant throws and the defense took the Bills out of their comfort zone. Allen was 25 of 423 for 265 yards and Cincy held the explosive Buffalo offense to 325 yards and 4 of 12 on third down attempts.

Key Stat

With Joe Burrow and all his weapons in the passing game, we don’t always think of the Bengals’ defense. But the stop unit has been among the best over the last month of the regular season and into the postseason. They held both playoff opponents to fewer than 20 points and four straight overall failed to reach the 20-point plateau. Stretch that out a bit farther and five of the last six opponents scored less than 20 points with an average of just 15.7 points allowed in those six games. They did face a Ravens squad twice without Lamar Jackson, but what the Bengals did to Josh Allen and the Bills last week was an eye opener. And the Bengals have forced three turnovers in two playoff games while holding teams to 30.4 percent on third downs.

Free ATS Pick

With Mahomes a question mark for this game the tide has turned in favor of the Bengals. Not only do they have KC’s number, they’ve also done a nice job limiting the Chiefs QB. And it’s hard to argue that Cincy isn’t the better team. Mahomes will do everything in his power to play and be successful and I like the Chiefs at home to avenge last year’s defeat in the AFC title tilt as an underdog.

NFL Pick: Kansas City Chiefs +1.5 / UNDER 47

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