The AFC Divisional round mesmerized the NFL sphere: the Tennessee Titans shocking victory over the Baltimore Ravens, and the Kansas City Chiefs producing a miracle comeback…in a quarter. The two teams square off in the AFC Championship, drenching with night-and-day differences in style. The Titans have leaned heavily on Derrick Henry in these playoffs, with the powerful running back going over 180 yards rushing for a third straight game. The Chiefs came back from 24-0 to win 51-31, which included scoring touchdowns on seven consecutive drives. Can the Titans pull off a third upset in as many weeks, or will the Chiefs high-scoring offense be too much to handle? Let’s see how our betting team views the 2020 AFC Championship game shaping up with this week’s NFL bets.
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
Time: 3:05 pm EST
Spread: Chiefs -7
Bet predictions from Ben Rolfe
On the surface, this game should be simple. The Chiefs rank higher in offensive and defensive DVOA, and they have the advantage of being at home. However, when Derrick Henry is carrying the ball, nothing is simple. Henry has been a monster for the last three weeks, carrying the ball for close to 600 yards. However, then you look at the Chiefs and their offense, and you question how the Titans will ever stop them. Getting pressure on Mahomes is the simple answer, but the Titans rank 20th in pass rush win rate this year, which is less than ideal.
This game has a feel of the extremes. Either the Titans are going to stun us all again and win a third straight road game as underdogs, or the Chiefs are going to blow them out. With a line set at Chiefs -7.5, there is a potential opportunity to take both the Chiefs laying the points and the Titans on the money line. It leaves you vulnerable if the Chiefs win a close game, but it covers you for the two extreme options, with a chance to make some profit on either side. The easier way to do it is with a teaser bringing the Chiefs down to -1.5, as my colleague Chris Smith has recommended below. In fact, I am going to jump in with Chris and pair the two favorites in a teaser.
2u – Teaser: Chiefs -1 & 49ers -1.5 | -120
A weird quirk coming into this game is that the Tennessee Titans have not attempted a Field Goal since Week 15 of the NFL season. That is 19 quarters of football without a FG attempt. For -125 you can bet on them having less than two in this game, which given the fact they may need to score 30+ points to win this week feels a good bet to me.
1u – Titans under 1.5 Field Goals | -125
Bet predictions from Jason Sarney
We all witnessed what the Chiefs are capable of doing even when down three possessions. If Ryan Tannehill can keep up with Patrick Mahomes, then this can be a one-possession game, however as good as this story has been, I think it may end in Arrowhead. Kansas City and the over in an official tease.
1u – Teaser: Chiefs -1.5 & Over 46.5 Total Points | -120
Bet predictions from Chris Smith
Last weekend, Kansas City hosted Houston in a rematch of Week 6, when the Texans knocked off the Chiefs. After falling behind 24-0 in the first quarter, Patrick Mahomes invoked the Night King, summoning his zombie teammates to rise up and devour the Texans to the tune of six straight touchdowns in a runaway victory.
This weekend, Kansas City hosts Tennessee in a rematch of Week 10 when the Titans knocked off the Chiefs. Take a guess at where I think this is headed. The Titans have had an incredible run led by Derrick Henry and an improved defense, particularly up front. I suspect Tennessee has some success on the ground against a bottom-five Kansas City defense against the run. For this reason, as well as the fact that the Chiefs just dropped 51 points in three quarters against the Texans, I think the under presents some value. As for a side, I will try to wait and get as many points as I can with Tennessee later this week, partly as a hedge against my Kansas City Super Bowl Future (+660) ticket.
If I were picking the game in a vacuum, however, I’d grab the Chiefs at 7 points (purchase the 1/2 point) or less. The Titans have been able to upset New England & Baltimore while limiting Ryan Tannehill’s pass attempts. I don’t think they can count on that type of conservative play this week, as Patrick Mahomes and this Chiefs offense are a completely different animal. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens were built to play with the lead. Kansas City can score in bunches and will not panic if they go down early, as evidenced against Houston.
In the end, I’ll be on the obvious Chiefs-49ers six-point teaser sure to go wrong as my official play for two units. I was on the losing end of the previous two “Joe Public” teasers this year (Dallas-Saints on Thanksgiving & Chiefs-Ravens last week), so I guess you could say I’m a glutton for punishment.
2u – Teaser: Chiefs -1.5 & 49ers -1 | -120
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