AFC Championship Game: Bengals at Chiefs

travis kelce

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs Pick and Preview

AFC Conference Championship Matchup

Point Spread: Bengals +1.0 | Total Points: 48.0

As the Bengals prepare for this AFC Conference Championship matchup, they have an overall record of 12-4. and are riding an 8-game win streak. Against AFC opponents, they have a record of 8-3 and knocked off the Buffalo Bills by a score of 27-10 in the Divisional round. Heading into the game, the Bengals were 5.5-point underdogs, resulting in both a straight-up and ATS victory. With an over-under betting line of 48, the two teams fell below that figure as they combined for 37.

The Chiefs will look to pick up their 6th straight win and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. Last week, the Chiefs knocked off the Jaguars by a score of 27-20 but did not cover the spread as 9.5-point favorites. The team’s combined scoring of 47 points fell below the posted betting line of 52.

Bengals vs Chiefs History

The last time these two teams played came back in week 13, where the Bengals picked up a 27-24 win over the Chiefs. Cincinnati came out on top in large part to a strong performance in the passing game. Quarterback Joe Burrow threw for a total of 286 yards, on a completion percentage of 80.6%. Not only did the Bengals win straight up, but they also covered the spread as 2.5 point underdogs. The two team’s offense’s combined to score 51 points. This figure was below the over-under betting line of 53.5.

Across the previous 3 matchups between Kansas City and Cincinnati, the Bengals have played well, sitting at 3-0. However, the average point differential between the two teams has been close, with Cincinnati averaging 29 points and Kansas City at 26. When looking at the last 3 times the Bengals have traveled to Arrowhead Stadium, they have put together a record of 2-1. In terms of betting, Cincinnati holds a recent edge vs the spread, going 4-1 in the previous 5 meetings. These games have finished with an average point total of 55, leading to an over-under mark of 2-3.

Notable Injuries

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Alex Cappa (Ankle) Questionable
  • Tre Flowers (Hamstring) Probable
  • Jonah Williams (Knee) Questionable
  • Hayden Hurst (Calf) Questionable
  • Joe Bachie (Foot) Questionable
  • Tycen Anderson (Hamstring) Questionable

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Mecole Hardman (Pelvis) Questionable
  • Jody Fortson (Elbow) Questionable
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Ankle) Questionable

Keys To Victory: Cincinnati Bengals

In what is projected to be a tightly contested game, Joe Burrow will be looking to put together a strong performance for a Cincinnati offense ranked 7th in points per game. For the season, Burrow is averaging 279.7 passing yards per game through the air. This figure has him sitting 4th among quarterbacks. Burrow is coming off a 215-passing-yard performance, leading to a passer rating of 80.9. Against the Chiefs, the team will look to get receiver Ja’Marr Chase involved in the passing game. This year, he is averaging 11.2 targets per game, leading to an overall receiving yards total of 1046.

Running back Joe Mixon heads a Cincinnati rushing attack, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Overall, he is the league’s 26th-ranked running back in yards per game. As a team, the Bengals have struggled to move the ball on the ground, which figures to continue against a tough Kansas City rush defense.

Keys To Victory: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs’ offense comes into the game averaging 29.2 points per game (1st). Their strong offensive play led to the team accounting for 57.0% of the total scoring, equating to an average scoring differential of 7.5 points per game. Look for the Chiefs to rely heavily on the passing attack in this week’s matchup, as not only are they one of the better teams at moving the ball through the air, but they have a good matchup against a Bengals defense that is ranked just 23rd in yards per game vs. the pass. So far, Mahomes has thrown for 5250 yards and has one of the best passer ratings at 105.2. So far, the team’s top receiving threat has been JuJu Smith-Schuster, who comes into the game with 933 receiving yards. For the season, he has been the recipient of 33.0% of the pass attempts to wide receivers.

On the ground, the Chiefs are averaging 115.9 yards per game, placing them near the NFL average. This week could be a struggle for the unit, as the Bengals have been tough to run against this season. So far, the team’s leading rusher is Isiah Pacheco, who is averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. Through 17 games, he has rushed for a total of 830 yards on the ground.

Betting Trends

  • Cincinnati is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
  • Cincinnati is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
  • Cincinnati is 10-0 ATS in their last 10 games as the underdog.
  • Cincinnati is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as the favorite.


This should be a very close game between two high-powered offenses. While the Bengals may have won this game last year, we like the Chiefs to squeak out the victory this time.  Chiefs to win

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