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Conference Championship Early Lines to Target: Chiefs Home Underdogs in AFC

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Jan 24, 2023 · 8:12 AM PST

Bengals QB Joe Burrow rolling out
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow moves around in the pocket as he looks downfield.
  • In the NFL Conference Championship early lines to target on Sunday, January 29, the Kansas City Chiefs (AFC) are the first home underdog in either game since 2017
  • Away underdogs are 2-2 straight up and 3-1 against the spread in the past two seasons
  • Home underdogs have won and covered twice since 2015

The NFL Conference Championship early lines to target are showing that oddsmakers believe that a home team could lose one of this year’s title games.

In the NFC, it’s the hometown Philadelphia Eagles who are 2.5-point favorites over the San Francisco 49ers. However, playing at home in the AFC Championship Game for the fifth consecutive season, the Kansas City Chiefs are the slight 1-point underdog to the visiting Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch of last year’s game. This line opened KC -1 but quickly shifted due to the ankle injury suffered by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Which of these games are worth a play in the Conference Championship NFL odds as ATS picks? Let’s take a look at all of the AFC and NFC Championship game lines and picks against the spread.

Conference Championship NFL Picks Against the Spread

Matchup Spread Pick Units Risked
Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs CIN-1 CIN 1
San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles PHI-2.5 SF 1

Odds as of January 24 at Caesars Sportsbook. Get this Caesars Sportsbook bonus code to bet on the NFC and AFC Championship Games.

Our top NFL ATS picks this week in the table above will feature plays on the Bengals and 49ers.

Looking back at the Divisional Round, underdogs covered in two of four games. Both AFC road underdogs covered. Each NFC home favorite covered. The Bengals were the only underdogs who won outright. Home teams were 2-2 ATS.

Home Teams and Visitors Dead Even Since 2015

Reviewing recent AFC and NFC Championship Game betting lines, underdogs are more than holding their own. In the conference championship games played since 2015, home teams have covered in four of seven NFC games.

Home favorites were successful three times and one home underdog was also able to cover. Away underdogs, though, have covered the past two seasons and in three of the last four NFC title games. Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020) and Los Angeles Rams (2018) won outright as away underdogs.

Away underdogs are 3-3 against the spread in the past seven AFC Championship Games. The Bengals both covered and won outright at Kansas City last season. New England also won and covered the line on the road against the Chiefs in 2018. One year earlier, the Jacksonville Jaguars covered as 7.5-point away underdogs in a 24-20 loss to the Patriots.

In 2015, the Denver Broncos beat the Patriots as 3-point home underdogs.

49ers vs Eagles ATS Pick

Home? Away? Favorite? Underdog? It really doesn’t matter. In the NFC Championship game, the 49ers are coverage monsters.

Even though San Francisco lost to the Los Angeles Rams in last year’s game, the Niners still covered as 3.5-point road underdogs in a 20-17 loss. In 2017, a crushing 37-20 decision over the Green Bay Packers enabled San Fran to cover as the 8-point home chalk. The 49ers are 3-1 ATS in their past four NFC Championship Game appearances.

In Philadelphia’s most recent NFC Championship Game appearance, the Eagles covered against the Minnesota Vikings as 3-point home underdogs. As a favorite in the betting lines, Philadelphia is 1-3 in NFC title games.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers +2.5 (-110), 1 unit

Bengals vs Chiefs ATS Pick

This may be the fifth straight home conference title game for the Chiefs, but it would be wrong to suggest that Kansas City is enjoying the home cooking. The Chiefs are 2-2 ATS at home in the previous four AFC Championship Games.

Of course, that includes last season’s setback to the Bengals, who arrived in KC as 7-point underdogs and won 27-24. The Bengals were 3-0 ATS as away underdogs in last season’s playoffs. They’re 1-0 in that scenario following last week’s 27-10 win at Buffalo as 5.5-point road underdogs.

However, Cincinnati is suddenly favored in this game. Cincinnati is an AFC-leading 13-5 ATS overall this season. Away from home, the Bengals are 8-2 ATS on the season and 8-1 over their past nine games. As a road favorite, the Bengals are 5-2 ATS this season.

At home this season, the Chiefs are a dismal 2-6-1 ATS. Kansas City is 0-1 ATS as a home favorite.

The NFL public betting splits are loving Cincinnati. The Bengals are drawing massive percentages in both handle and bets for the moneyline and the point spread on this game.

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -1 (-110), 1 unit

    • ATS season record 35-26-1
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