Bengals vs. Chiefs AFC Championship Game odds, trends: Bettors backing Cincinnati, now underdog again, and Ja'Marr Chase to score touchdown
There hasn't been an NFL playoff game in recent memory that's seen the spread bounce back and forth as much as Sunday's Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Game rematch – and all of that movement was due to Patrick Mahomes' high-ankle sprain. He is playing and didn't show any signs of a limp in practice this week. Thus, Kansas City is back to being a 1-point favorite at BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. The Bengals were 3-point favorites at one point.
Max Meyer, editorial content writer for Caesars, told CBS Sports that the move to Bengals -3 was just to test the waters: "The waters were certainly tested, because a lot of sharp action [on the Chiefs] came at +3."
Needless to say, Mahomes' mobility could be severely compromised. At BetMGM, 73% of the bets and 79% of the money are on Joe Burrow and the Bengals – Burrow is 3-0 straight up and against the spread when facing Mahomes, with each win by three points. The past two, including last year's AFC title game, finished with the same score of 27-24. Burrow is the only quarterback in the league to have beaten Mahomes three straight times.
"Ohio bettors are coming out with a bang with heavy action on the Bengals. Combining that with Mahomes' health being in question makes the Chiefs a need for BetMGM this weekend," said the book's sports trader, Christian Cipollini.
If this spread sticks, Kansas City would be favored for a 15th straight postseason game, easily a league record. Alex Smiith was still the quarterback for the first two games. With a win on Sunday, the Bengals would become the first team since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975 to defeat the No. 1 seed in its conference in consecutive postseasons.
The total for Sunday's game opened at 48.5 at BetMGM and is now down to 47.5, with 69% of the tickets and 58% of the money landing on the Over. Kansas City led the league in both total offense (413.6 yards per game) and scoring offense (29.2 points per game) during the regular season. The Chiefs can become the fourth team in the past 10 seasons to lead the NFL in total offense and make the Super Bowl in the same year.
The two most-wagered player props at the BetMGM are on second-year Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase: To score the game's first touchdown at +750 and to score an anytime TD at -105. Chase had nine TDs in 12 regular-season games but didn't find the end zone in the Dec. 4 win over Kansas City. He has scored once in both playoff games so far. Other popular props: Mahomes Under 282.5 passing yards at -105; Isiah Pacheco Over 47.5 rushing yards at -115; and Kadarius Toney Under 35.5 receiving yards at -110.
At Caesars, the Under on Toney's receiving yards leads all Conference Championship player prop bets in both tickets and handle. Among all bets on Toney's receiving yards, the Under has taken 98.5% of the tickets and 91.3% of the handle.
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