Cincinnati Bengals vs. Prediction, Preview & Odds Kansas City Chiefs – 1-29-2023

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The Kansas City Chiefs (15-3 SU, 5-12-1 ATS, 8-10 O/U) host the Cincinnati Bengals (14-4 SU, 13-4-1 ATS, 7-10-1 O/U ) on Sunday night at 6:30 pm ET from GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship Game. The winner of this game heads to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona to face the winner of San Francisco/Philadelphia.

Last year, the Bengals defeated the Chiefs 27-24 in overtime from Arrowhead Stadium as 7-point underdogs to earn a spot in the Super Bowl, where they lost to the LA Rams 23-20, but covered 4.5.

This year, the Chiefs flew to Ohio and fell in Cincinnati (same score) 27-24 as a 2.5-point favorite.

To get to this point, the Bengals defeated Baltimore at home 24-17 as a home favorite by 7.5 points in the first round and defeated Buffalo on the snow last week 27-10 as a 6-point road dog in the round. divisional.

Kansas City held on to beat Jacksonville 27-20 as a 10-point favorite last week in the divisional round. They had a bye in the first round.

Burrow leads the Bengals to their 10th straight win

How confident is Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow? After leading the Bengals to a 27-10 road win over the Bills, denying Buffalo a chance to play Kansas City at a neutral site for the conference championship, he told Tracy Wolfson of CBS that those fans “better send those refunds.” Burrow and the Bengals closed in on Buffalo, who featured safety Damar Hamlin for the first time since he collapsed on Cincinnati’s field on Jan. 2, and simply mauled them physically by rushing for 172 yards and passing for 240 in the snow. . . Defensively, they also held quarterback Josh Allen and company to just 64 rushing yards and 261 yards. Burrow was 23 of 36 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Mixon had an outstanding game with 105 yards on 20 carries with a TD.

Burrow enters this game with a 3-0 record against Patrick Mahomes. Last season, he passed for 250 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the AFC title game. This year, Burrow is an even better quarterback. When you think of great or even good Cincy quarterbacks, Boomer Esiason, Ken Anderson and even Andy Dalton come to mind. But this year, Burrow has surpassed them with team-highs for completions (414), pass attempts (606) and TD passes (35). In the playoffs he has completed 67.6% of his passes for 451 yards with three quarterbacks and has rushed for 40 yards and a TD. He will take chances and he has 12 interceptions this season.

It helps to have weapons, too, and Burrow has some of the best in WR Ja’Marr Chase, who has missed four games due to injuries and still led the team with 87 catches for 1,046 yards. WR Tee Higgins (6-4, 215) can stretch the field and the chains. He has 74 catches for 1,029 yards and seven TDs. Mixon has had a mixed year with 814 rushing yards and seven TDs, but just 3.9 yards per carry. If there’s a concern on offense, it’s on the line where right tackle Jonah Williams (knee), G Alex Cappa (ankle) and OT La’el Collins (knee) are out. That’s a concern against one of the strongest pass-rusher groups in the NFL, which has 55 sacks. TE Hayden Hurst (calf) is also questionable for this game.

Defensively, Cincy allows 335.7 yards per game (16th) and 229.1 passing yards (23rd). They’re strong against the run (106.6 yards allowed, seventh), but that probably won’t matter much in this game. In their last game, the Bengals allowed just 211 passing yards to Mahomes and 138 rushing yards. Sam Hubbard and Joseph Ossai each had a sack. Trey Hendrickson leads the Bengals with 8.0 sacks on the season while Vonn Bell leads in interceptions with four.

How healthy is Mahomes?

Patrick Mahomes is having an MVP-caliber season, but what else is new? He is starting his fifth conference championship game and has been a monster in the playoffs with 28 TD passes and just three interceptions in 10 career playoff starts at home.

The Chiefs struggled last week against Jacksonville, leading 20-10 going into the fourth quarter, but were up 20-17 after allowing a four-yard touchdown run to Travis Etienne Jr. Mahomes led the team onto the field, hitting Márquez Valdés-Scantling for a six-yard touchdown pass to ice the game with 7:08 remaining. However, Trevor Lawrence led the Jags downfield in less than two minutes and put his team in position for a quick touchdown. but Jamal Agnew fumbled at the Chiefs’ 4-yard line with Nick Bolton recovering. Jaylen Watson also had an interception on the next possession to give the Chiefs the win.

Mahomes completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, but suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter. Chad Henne came on and threw a TD pass while Mahomes was receiving ankle X-rays, which came back negative. TE Travis Kelce caught 14 passes for 98 yards and two TDs. Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco led the way with 95 rushing yards

“Obviously, I feel like I can still do a lot of things,” Mahomes said in the LA Times. “We’ll see as we get closer and closer, and we’ll see it during the game.

“You can’t exactly do what you’re going to be at those times during the game, but all I can do is prepare myself in the best possible way, and then when we get into the game, you expect the adrenaline to take over. you can make those pitches when you need to.

This season, Mahomes has completed 67.1% of his passes for 5,250 yards with 41 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He’s doing it without a true No. 1 receiver. So it goes to Kelce (110 receptions for 1,338 yards, 12 TDs) and RB Jerrick McKinnon has caught 56 ​​passes for 512 yards this season with nine TDs. JuJu Smith-Schuster leads all wide receivers with 78 receptions for 933 yards (13ypc) with three TDs.

Kansas City leads the NFL with 413.6 yards per game and in passing yards (297.8). The addition of Pacheco (925 yards, 5 TDs), a seventh-round pick, has improved the running game (115.9ypc), where at least you can’t sleep on that aspect.

Defensively, if you’re an opponent, you better prepare for DL ​​Chris Jones (6-6, 311). With Aaron Donald sidelined with injury this season, Jones was the most dangerous inside pass rusher in the game with 15.5 sacks. When Jones gets pressure pressure, the Chiefs are hard to beat. They allow 328.2 total yards (11th), 220.9 passing yards (18th) and just 107.2 rushing yards.

The best bets for this game

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The Bengals are a young and talented team that is not afraid. Joe Burrow doesn’t mind going to the snow in Buffalo or the cold weather at “Burowhead Field.” Mahomes, who will likely win MVP and deservedly so, has struggled against the Bengals’ defense, especially in the fourth quarter, where he has a 63.8 passer rating through three games. Even this season, Mahomes has struggled in the fourth quarter with an 87.7 passer rating. Now, he’s going into this game with a sprained ankle that seems fine in practice, but when he’s fighting on a very cold day, that’s when you have to worry about his accuracy.

So the Bengals can play the chip in the shoulder and disrespect card, and even if the world isn’t against them, that motivation has worked to the point where they’ve won 10 straight games. I’m not going to say that Burrow is a better quarterback than Mahomes or a better primetime quarterback, but with those weapons and with Mahomes far from 100%, I have to go with Burrow and Cincinnati to win this game outright and heading to a second straight Super Bowl.

Prediction: Cincinnati +1.5

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This year, these teams combined for 51 points and last season, they combined for 51, albeit in overtime. That’s not counting the regular season game on January 2, 2022 (34-31 Cincy). Burrow passed for 446 yards and four TDs in that game. The Chiefs gave up 20 points at home last week against the Jaguars, who gave up late-game turnovers with a chance to go as high as 30. These two quarterbacks are certainly capable of big games, even with an injured Mahomes. Expect a big game from Mixon, who didn’t play in the Dec. 4 regular-season game due to injury. Samaje Perine had 106 rushing yards in that game and is one of the best number two running backs in the game who can make an impact in a game as a running back and receiver. The same can be said for McKinnon for the Chiefs. Both coaching staffs now know how to take advantage of their personnel and that makes it difficult for defenses to stop them.

Prediction: over 47.5

Written by
Ben Hayes, “Ben the Pen”

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and professional basketball, college and professional football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball, and even college gymnastics. He has also been involved in the gaming industry for almost 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13 years old! Ben has been highly successful in college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA, and the MLB for over 27 years. His Twitter account is @BenHayesWAW

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