- The Cincinnati Bengals are now favored over the Chiefs in Sunday’s AFC Championship game in Kansas City
- The Bengals are 2.5-point favorites after opening as 2.5-point underdogs
- A look at the line movement with analysis can be found below
The favorite has flipped in the AFC Championship Game in the Bengals vs Chiefs odds.
The Cincinnati Bengals are now favored by 2.5 points over the Chiefs by most sportsbooks for Sunday night’s game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The Chiefs opened as 2.5-point favorites last Sunday night.
The Chiefs are the top seed in the AFC while the Bengals are seeded third.
Bengals vs Chiefs Odds
|Over 46.5 (-110)
|Kansas City Chiefs
|Under 46.5 (-110)
Odds as of January 24th at Caesars Sportsbook
Cincinnati is currently -135 favorites on the moneyline in the AFC Ttitle Game.
Jumping on Bengals Bandwagon
The biggest reason for the Bengals becoming the favorites in the Bengals vs Chiefs odds at 2.5-points basically boils down to one simple point: They have been getting much more action than the Chiefs both from sharp bettors and the public.
As of 2 pm ET Tuesday, 77% of the spread bets at DraftKings had been on the Bengals compared to 23% for the Chiefs in NFL public betting trends. The Bengals had also received 85% of the total handle while the Chiefs had received just 15%.
Recency bias is likely a factor in so many people jumping on the Bengals.
Cincinnati handled the #2 seed Buffalo Bills 27-10 on Sunday on the road in a divisional-round playoff game. The Chiefs weren’t as sharp in their 27-20 home win over the #4 Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday.
He makes it look easy 😤
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 24, 2023
Furthermore, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the favorite to win NFL MVP, missed most of the second quarter with a high ankle sprain.
There is also a historical factor involved.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is 3-0 against Mahomes in head-to-head matchups. That includes last year’s AFC Championship Game in Kansas City and a 27-24 victory on December 4 in Cincinnati.
How Healthy Is Mahomes?
Mahomes returned to last Saturday’s game in the second half after being replaced by veteran backup Chad Henne for 13 snaps. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday that Mahomes will start against the Bengals.
Mahomes was not moving well before exiting the game. While he seemed to have somewhat better mobility upon his return, he still did not look like his usual self.
In all, Mahomes completed 22 of 30 passes for a season-low 195 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) January 24, 2023
Henne is in his 15th NFL season but has started only one game in the last six seasons. During the 2020 season, he came off the bench when Mahomes went into concussion protocol and helped the Chiefs beat the Cleveland Browns in a divisional-round playoff game.
Still, the Chiefs’ offense would experience a significant hit if forced to switch from Mahomes to Henne at some point in Sunday’s game.
Time to Play Chiefs
While Mahomes’ ankle is a concern, the Chiefs shouldn’t be underestimated. They are on a six-game winning streak, had the best record in the AFC in the regular season and have the experience of playing in the last four AFC title games.
They are certainly worthy of at least a small wager as underdogs on the moneyline in the AFC Championship odds despite favorites winning 70% of the NFL’s conference championship games outright over the past 20 seasons.