Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs : NFL AFC Championship Preview

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs : NFL AFC Championship Preview

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs : NFL AFC Championship Preview

We’ve seen a great deal of cold weather in the NFL playoffs so far, but Sunday’s forecast for the afternoon showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals, as the two teams meet in a rematch of Week 17, when Cincinnati came back from a 14-0 deficit to knock off the Chiefs, 34-31, up in Ohio. To get to the AFC Championship, the Chiefs had to escape a high-octane showdown with the Buffalo Bills that saw the teams combine for 28 points in the last two minutes of the game and saw the Chiefs get the luck of the coin flip and draw the first possession of overtime. Cincinnati had a similar scare, seeing a 16-6 lead over Tennessee turn into a 16-16 game in the waning moments, and it was just a Ryan Tannehill interception (his third of the game) that gave the Bengals the ball back in a solid position to gain a few yards and then kick the deciding field goal. What drama will ensue this week?

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NFL Playoff Preview: AFC Championship (Sunday, January 30)
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

When: Sunday, January 30, 2022, 3:00 pm ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
Radio: Westwood One
Live Stream: Hulu
NFL Odds: Kansas City -7 / O/U 54.5 // Cincinnati +285 / Kansas City -360

Why should you bet on the Bengals?

Each week, the Cincinnati Bengals have notched bigger accomplishments in the playoffs. In the wild card round, they held off the Las Vegas Raiders at home for the team’s first postseason win since 1991. In the divisional round, they went to Tennessee and eliminated the top seed in the AFC, picking up the first road playoff win in franchise history. It helped that Tennessee’s star tailback, Derrick Henry, was not at 100% after missing half the season with a foot injury, but the Bengals executed when they needed to.

Cincinnati’s defense bent again and again, permitting over 350 yards to the Tennessee offense. However, they did get those three interceptions, and on offense, a unit that had been prolific all season long struggled. The Titans have a physical and grinding run defense, and their pass rush found Joe Burrow for nine sacks. Even so, Burrow prevailed and made the passes that he needed to. Joe Mixon pounded the ball on the ground, and the Bengals survived a difficult test. The Chiefs’ defense is not as punishing as the Titans’, and the Bengals should have plenty of confidence after hanging 34 on Kansas City in Week 17.

Why should you put your money on the Chiefs?

Despite some early season struggles, the Chiefs have the top offense in terms of yardage in the NFL, averaging 515 yards and 30 points per game. The Kansas City O-line did permit some pressure from the Buffalo pass rush, but Patrick Mahomes had the mobility to scramble away from the rush and extend plays. He ran for 69 yards in the win, most of that coming on the game’s opening drive, which he capped with a touchdown on the ground.

The Chiefs’ defense was absolutely porous; even though they limited the opportunities for Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis caught eight passes for 201 yards and four scores for the Bills. Safety Tyron Mathieu remains in concussion protocol for the Chiefs, so you will want to check his updated status before locking in your wager. What we did learn that Mahomes is a quarterback on another level in crunch time; coach Andy Reid told him on the sideline that, “when things look grim, be the Grim Reaper,” and Mahomes compiled, going 10 of 13 for 188 yards and two scores in the game’s last two minutes and overtime, and Buffalo ended up being the team that blew a three-point lead in 13 seconds and got sent to the off-season.

Final Score and Betting Prediction

The size of this spread is a bit surprising. Cincinnati was able to go toe-to-toe with Kansas City in terms of scoring, and I don’t expect much to be different this time. The point total opened at 51 and has grown to 54.5; I’m still tempted to take the “over” anyway, as both teams could end up in the 30s again. I also think Kansas City and Cincinnati come down to the final possession, and so while I like the Chiefs to advance, I’m taking the Bengals to cover. I predict a final score of Kansas City 38, Cincinnati 34.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs : Bet the Game Today


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