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Bengals vs. Chiefs 2023 AFC Championship Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

Sunday’s AFC Championship Game is a rematch of the 2022 version as Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals visit Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs – this might be the new marquee rivalry in the AFC going forward.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow is 3-0 in his NFL career against Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes. Cincinnati beat visiting Kansas City late in the 2021 regular season and then upset the Chiefs 27-24 in overtime in Kansas City in the AFC title game as Evan McPherson kicked a 31-yard field goal with 9:22 left in overtime. Cincinnati trailed by as many as 18 points. The 18-point comeback tied Indianapolis (vs. New England in 2006) for the largest in AFC championship history.

The Chiefs had a chance at a winning touchdown in the closing seconds of regulation, but sacks by Sam Hubbard on consecutive plays forced Kansas City to settle for the tying field goal. The Chiefs opened overtime with the ball, but Vonn Bell intercepted Mahomes on the third play, and Burrow and the Bengals took over.

In Week 13 this year in Cincinnati, the Bengals won 27-24 again but this time in regulation. Burrow finished 25 of 31 with two touchdowns and ran in for a 4-yard score. He concluded his day by converting two third downs on passes to Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, allowing the Bengals to run out the clock. Mahomes was 16 for 27 for 223 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score. But the Chiefs fell short on their final possession when Joseph Ossai sacked Mahomes on third-and-3 from the Bengals 33, and Harrison Butker missed a 55-yard field goal wide right.

Nitrobetting is ready to equip its bettors with the latest news, NFL odds, and special features for the entire duration of the 2022 NFL season. This time, let’s take a closer look at the upcoming AFC Championship showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals vs. Chiefs AFC Divisional Round Game Information

  • When: Sunday, January 29, 2023, 6:30 PM ET
  • Where: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: 700WLW (Bengals) // 106.5 The Wolf (Chiefs)
  • Live Stream: NFL Game Pass
  • NFL Odds: Bengals (-1.5) // Chiefs (+1.5)

READ MORE: 49ers vs. Eagles 2023 NFC Championship Odds, Preview & Pick

Why Bet on the Cincinnati Bengals?

Cincinnati was dominant in a 27-10 win in Buffalo in the Divisional Round, the Bengals’ 10th straight win and despite playing without three starting offensive linemen due to injury. Burrow completed 23 of 36 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns and rushed six times for 31 yards. Chase caught five of eight targets for 61 yards and a touchdown. He started the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown to cap Cincinnati’s opening drive. The wideout had another touchdown grab overturned later in the game.

Joe Mixon rushed 20 times for 105 yard and a score. He topped the 100-yard mark for the first time since his Week 9 game vs. the Panthers. Although he was sidelined for his team’s meeting with Kansas City in Week 13 of the regular season, Mixon totaled 115 yards on 24 touches in last year’s AFC Championship Game victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Bengals ranked ninth in EPA per play on defense before shutting down Josh Allen and the Bills, while the Chiefs are 15th. And Kansas City has had the worst special teams efficiency of any team this season.

Why Bet on the Kansas City Chiefs?

The spread for the AFC title game opened Chiefs -2.5 but huge early action on Cincinnati due to Mahomes suffering a high ankle sprain in the Divisional Round win over Jacksonville has shifted it to Bengals -2. Mahomes is going to play through the injury but certainly will be limited mobility-wise. In the regular season, Mahomes led the league in pass attempts outside of the pocket (124) and tied for first in expected points added (EPA) per dropback on such plays.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid noted after Saturday night’s game that Mahomes has played through ankle injuries before. Mahomes injured his left ankle in Week 1 of the 2019 season, also against the Jaguars, and didn’t miss any time, throwing seven touchdowns and averaging 409 passing yards while leading the Chiefs to victories the next two games.

Reid said Monday that Mahomes’ current injury “isn’t quite as bad” as that one his quarterback played through in 2019, though this time Mahomes is feeling pain in his right ankle, which affects his ability to plant and drive as he throws. After he was hurt vs. Jacksonville last weekend, Mahomes winced in pain throughout the second half, struggled at times to get to stretch handoffs, and didn’t scramble unless necessary. The Chiefs altered their game plan after the injury, running fewer play-action plays down the stretch than usual.

Reid said he was expecting the Bengals to put pressure on Mahomes beyond what they normally might because of his limited mobility.

“I’m sure they’ll do something, yeah,” Reid said. “But I’m not going to chase a bunch of different things. We should have things covered in our protections no matter what.”

Bengals vs. Chiefs Betting Trends

  • Bengals are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. AFC.
  • Bengals are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 playoff games.
  • The total went under in 7 of Cincinnati’s last 8 games when playing on the road against Kansas City.
  • Chiefs are 9-24-1 ATS in their last 34 vs. AFC.
  • Chiefs are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall
  • The total went under in 11 of Kansas City’s last 14 games against Cincinnati.

Bengals vs. Chiefs Expert Betting Predictions

Bengals 24, Chiefs 23.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

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