The Cincinnati Bengals pulled off the upset in the Divisional Round, knocking off the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans on the road. They’ll now travel to Arrowhead this week to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the Conference Championship. One more game stands between these two teams and the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at the Bengals vs. Chiefs matchup, examine the latest NFL odds, and make a pick and prediction.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs pick, prediction | Conference Championship
- Spread: Chiefs -7 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Chiefs -335, Bills +260
- Over/Under: 54.5
Can the Bengals beat the Chiefs again?
Joe Burrow and the Bengals have already pulled off one win against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs this season. In Week 17, a Cincinnati team that hasn’t been anywhere near the same class as Kansas City in recent years successfully defeated the Chiefs on a last-second field goal.
Burrow was excellent in that victory, throwing for 446 yards and 4 touchdowns. He passed for nearly 200 more yards than Mahomes in that contest on only 4 more attempts, proving to any doubters that he and his weapons can absolutely compete with one of the greatest offenses in football.
How will the Bengals’ defense fare in their second matchup against the Chiefs’ offense? Cincinnati was only able to sack Ryan Tannehill once in the Divisional Round. That may have been due, in part, to the Titans’ run-heavy scheme, but the Bengals will certainly need to pressure Mahomes if they want to slow down the Chiefs.
Cincinnati will need to orchestrate a different game plan against Kansas City than they did against Tennessee. The Bengals did a great job stuffing Derrick Henry, holding him to just 3.1 yards per carry on 20 rushing attempts. Defensive tackle D.J. Reader was influential in that effort, but the Chiefs offense plays a totally different style of football.
Chiefs at home again for AFC Championship
The Chiefs pulled off a heroic win against the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round, which left NFL fans stunned. It was one of the most exciting contests in recent memory and a playoff game for the ages. Kansas City and Buffalo combined for 25 points in the final two minutes as two of the league’s stars of today went toe to toe.
The Bills left Mahomes and the offense needing a field goal to tie with 13 seconds remaining in the game. Mahomes got down the field in two plays — an underneath throw to Tyreek Hill and a pass up the seam to Travis Kelce — leaving enough time for Harrison Butker to attempt a 47-yard field goal to tie it up.
Controversy about the NFL’s overtime rules aside, the Chiefs drove the field and found the end zone with a Kelce touchdown in the corner. Kansas City moves on and must get past the Bengals to make the Super Bowl.
Bengals vs. Chiefs betting trends
The Bengals have won four games in a row against the spread, including their underdog victory against the Chiefs in Week 17. In fact, they’ve been the underdog in three of those four games and won them all outright. The Bengals were 4-point underdogs last weekend against the Titans and won the game by 3.
The Chiefs’ matchup with the Bills marked the sixth game in a row in which Kansas City cashed the over. They’ve scored 30+ points in five of those games, and have found their form offensively right in time for a deep playoff push.
Bengals vs. Chiefs prediction
This game will depend on the Bengals’ defensive front, which must apply pressure on Mahomes. Burrow can play with the big boys — we know that by now. He has a group of weapons that is on par with the Chiefs’ pass catchers. The question is, can Cincinnati slow Mahomes and his group enough to take the lead and the victory?
I think the Chiefs have the edge playing at home. But I love the Bengals against the spread and the over in this one.
Bengals vs. Chiefs Prediction: Chiefs 31, Bengals 30