A Super Bowl appearance is the prize as the Cincinnati Bengals travel to Kansas City, Missouri to take on the No. 1 seed Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday night (23:30 UK time).
Bengals @ Chiefs NFL Betting Tips
The AFC Championship game is a repeat of last year’s game between the two sides – an occurrence that’s rarer than you would think.
The last time a NFL Conference Championship was an immediate rematch was 2012, where the Ravens beat the Patriots.
The Bengals (20/23) shocked the Chiefs (20/21) in Kansas City this time last year, winning 27-24 in Arrowhead overtime.
Kansas City would have been slight favourites for this one, with home field advantage, before their talismanic QB Patrick Mahomes went down with a high ankle sprain, during the win over the Jaguars last weekend.
Now, Zac Taylor’s team are the ones with the advantage according to the bookmakers and after winning their last three match-ups against the AFC behemoth, who can argue?
Other than Mahomes, who practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday, injury concerns around RB Jerrick McKinnon and LB Willie Gay appear to be unfounded, as they both look fully fit for Sunday.
Mercole Hardman was limited with a pelvis problem, but may be ok to play some part.
Taylor is likely without Jonah Williams and Alex Cappa, who have played no part in practice. CB Tre Flowers looks to have recovered in time but there are doubts about TE Hayden Hurst, who is struggling with his calf.
Linebacker Joe Bachie was also limited in practice and will be a late assessment.
Kansas City Chiefs ML – 20/21
I’ve agonised long and hard over this one. For most of the week I’ve planned to write how the Bengals will walk into Arrowhead, just as they did at Bills Stadium, and overturn the favourite.
The injury to Mahomes only cemented that opinion but in the last 24 hours I’ve done a full 180.
The Chiefs just look built differently this year. They took that loss to Cincy personally and in the summer, despite losing their most potent offensive weapon in Tyreek Hill, have gone on to lead the league in wins, points and yards.
Their defence also looks a lot tighter than last year and the offensive line is providing way more cover for Mahomes in the pocket, which will be vital with his limited mobility.
If #15 is at 70% of fitness or better, he will still be a match for any defense in the National Football League.
I don’t expect this to be an easy night’s work by any stretch of the imagination. Burrow, Chase, Mixon, Higgins and co will be in the ascendency for large parts of this game and I think it could come down to a final kick, hopefully by Harrison Butker.
Travis Kelce 1st Touchdown scorer – 13/2
One man crucial to any chances KC are to have is future Hall of Fame Tight End, Travis Kelce.
The 33-year-old continues to break records in his 11th season in the NFL and shows no signs of slowing down.
He is only the 5th man to break the 10,000 reception yards as a tight end and was the fastest man ever to do it.
He racked up 12 TD’s in the regular season and two more in the Divisional round win over Jacksonville.
We also have the following offer on all playoff games this weekend:
- Place a pre-match First Touchdown scorer bet on any NFL Playoff game this weekend and if they score the first TD and then score again, we’ll double their odds !
Meaning that if Kelce does score first and then goes on to grab another TD later in the game, you’ll be paid out at a huge 13/1!
*All prices correct at the time of writing.