Bookies Exclusive: KC Reporter Aaron Ladd Breaks Down Chiefs-Bengals
Mark Strotman | 6 mins
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The past two conference champions will square off on Sunday in the AFC Championship Game and the chance to earn a trip to Super Bowl LVI. It’s the Bengals and Chiefs, it’s Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes, it’s Zac Taylor vs. Andy Reid.
The stakes couldn’t be any higher and from an NFL betting perspective, picking the right team to cover couldn't be harder considering Patrick Mahomes' high-ankle sprain has caused this line to jump all over the place this week.
KSHB41 sports anchor Aaron Ladd covers the Kansas City Chiefs and spoke to our Jasmine McCoy about all the intriguing angles of this matchup—perhaps none more interesting than the aforementioned major shift in the point spread.
RELATED: Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs Odds, Picks + Predictions
With Mahomes’ status unknown—he played through a high-ankle sprain in the Divisional Round win over Jacksonville but may not be at 100% in this one—the Bengals went from a 2.5-point underdog to a one-point favorite. It’s one of the few times in Mahomes’ career that he’ll enter as a home underdog, and Ladd sees it straight up.
"It’s left oddsmakers with no idea what to do with this game. Expect this one to be a 50-50 shot, because that’s what it feels like coming into this one, even though Cincinnati has had Kansas City’s number recently."
Ladd said regarding Mahomes’ unknown health status.
That last line is the second layer of intrigue here. The Bengals have won three straight games against Mahomes and the Chiefs, including a convincing 27-24 victory back in December (not to mention last year’s AFC title game). Do Burrow and the Bengals have Mahomes’ number?
“This is what makes this one so fun. It’s got that rivalry feel if you will,” Ladd said. “They’ve got Patrick Mahomes’ and Andy Reid’s number. Not a lot of teams can say that in this modern era.
Kansas City feels like they’ve been in each and every one of these games, and they really have.
What about a lean on the total? Despite two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, both teams have hit the under more than the over this season (Kansas City is 8-10; Cincinnati is 7-10-1). Might that trend continue?
From a quarterback perspective, we know they’re not going to play each other, but when you see the offenses…you’re like, ‘They’re gonna score, we’ve got to score every time we touch the ball."
Mahomes’ injury will certainly play into that, but Burrow’s embarrassment of riches and the fact that Mahomes and the Chiefs offense averaged an NFL-high 29.1 points per game this season could be a lean toward the over.
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