Chiefs vs. Bengals Player Props for AFC Championship: Targets Include Isiah Pacheco, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Mixon, and Joe Burrow

    Two MVP QBs, two elite receiving corps, and two great backfields. Here are the top Chiefs vs. Bengals player props for the AFC Championship.

    Chiefs vs. Bengals Player Props for AFC Championship: Targets Include Isiah Pacheco, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Mixon, and Joe Burrow

    If you’re planning to make NFL prop bets for this thrilling Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals AFC Championship Game on Sunday, you’ve come to the right place.

    We’ve analyzed the game’s highest-probability scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated and which could fall short of expectations. All prop bets are based on DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, or FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can get a no-sweat first bet up to $1,000.

    Top Chiefs vs. Bengals Player Props To Target

    The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data. Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes.

    In a conference filled with heated (and presumably not-so-heated) rivalries, the Chiefs vs. Bengals are one of the newest. And assuredly, their rivalry will intensify in the coming years, as we might see many more playoff encounters by the end of this decade.

    Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow are both MVP candidates. When their careers end, both could be top five in passing yards and touchdowns. Simply put, we’re witnessing excellence in the prime/pre-prime stages of potentially historic careers.

    And unlike most NFL quarterbacks, these two are backed by a talented cast on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs are hosting the AFC title game for the fifth consecutive time. Incredible.

    Meanwhile, the Bengals are only two years removed from a 4-11-1 campaign. Now they’re a victory away from back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Had Burrow not gotten hurt in 2020, they might have won an extra game or two, presumably depriving them of Ja’Marr Chase or even Jaylen Waddle, or perhaps even DeVonta Smith.

    Disappointment can be reverse-engineered into success. Such was the case for a Bengals squad that had the third-worst Super Bowl odds entering last season.

    Almost as remarkably, Cincy has beaten KC three straight times, including twice last January. The Chiefs are NFL royalty. The Bengals are on the verge of displacing them — or at least, stopping KC from becoming a true dynasty. In so doing, Cincinnati can become the team to beat in 2023 and beyond.

    But first, a rematch for the ages (cue exciting music).

    The following prop recommendations assume a roughly 26-20 Chiefs victory. Kansas City doesn’t have the defensive firepower to significantly slow Burrow, despite their elite pass rush. Burrow has persevered this season despite having less time to throw than any QB not named Tom Brady. He knows how to get the ball out quickly and has the personnel to capitalize against a defense yielding the most passing TDs.

    Additionally, Kansas City has run over Cincinnati these past three games. But it hasn’t been enough. Will they challenge the Bengals’ secondary more than usual? Perhaps. However, I’m banking on continued success on the ground, led by a high-functioning, versatile backfield that can keep the chains moving and keep the ball out of Burrow’s hands.

    Patrick Mahomes Player Props

    I think this game will move fairly quickly, thanks to strong QB play and run-friendly attacks. Assuming KC’s backfield operates at least proficiently, I’m betting against a blow-up performance for Mahomes versus a bend-not-break Cincinnati defense.

    • Passing yards under 282.5
      (-114) — FanDuel
    • Passing touchdowns under 2.5
      (-185) — DraftKings

    Isiah Pacheco Player Props

    As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Clyde Edwards-Helaire will return, and, if so, what role might be anticipated. For now, it’s safe to assume that with this franchise’s season on the line, they’ll stick with their most successful RB as their lead back.

    Isiah Pacheco is one of three 2022 late-seventh-round picks to make waves in the postseason. While Skylar Thompson’s future as a starter remains cloudy and the Niners continue to weigh installing Brock Purdy as their “franchise QB” in 2023, Pacheco appears to be locked into a long-term role in a dynamic offense. He’s exceeded all realistic expectations and should continue to get 10+ touches against the Bengals.

    • Rushing yards over 47.5
      (-120) — BetMGM
    • Receiving yards over 6.5
      (-110) — DraftKings

    Kadarius Toney Player Props

    Despite the crowded receiving corps, I remain bullish about Kadarius Toney. The Chiefs acquired him before the trade deadline to bolster a group that still didn’t have a strong identity beyond all-world TE Travis Kelce. Essentially, the No. 1 WR job was still up for grabs.

    Toney’s 4.39 40-yard speed and sterling 82.4% catch rate with his new team should serve him and the Chiefs well in this high-stakes rematch. And remember, he was hurt when these teams faced off in Week 13.

    MORE: Kadarius Toney Among Fantasy Football Conference Championship Sleepers

    KC is 10-0 when Toney’s on the field. Last week against the Jags, he netted season highs in targets (seven) and receptions (five). Expect that usage level to continue.

    • Receiving yards over 35.5
      (-105) — DraftKings

    Joe Burrow Player Props

    Not much needs to be said about Burrow. He’ll be under duress against a pass rush that’s secured the second-most sacks (3.2 per game). Burrow has been sacked roughly 3.1 times per game during his career — the highest rate I’ve found after conducting some initial research last week.

    The point is, I’m not concerned for Burrow. He’s faced similar adversity throughout his young career. Expect some creativity near the line of scrimmage, as well as some deep shots to his two high-end wideouts — the kind of 50/50 balls that the Bengals can win.

    • Passing yards over 276.5
      (-122) — FanDuel
    • Passing touchdowns over 1.5
      (-180) — DraftKings
    • Rushing yards under 17.5
      (-110) — DraftKings

    Joe Mixon Player Props

    I was wrong about Joe Mixon in the Divisional Round, believing that Buffalo would largely shut him down in favorable conditions. Credit to those who believed in the Bengals’ bell cow.

    But unlike last weekend, Mixon is more likely to encounter a moderately negative game script. And as opposed to previous seasons, Mixon hasn’t been the same weekly high-volume bell cow. Sure, these are the playoffs. You roll with your top guys. Yet, looking at his recent performances, I’m not sold on Mixon coming close to replicating last week’s production.

    • Rushing yards under 59.5
      (-114) — FanDuel

    Tee Higgins Player Props

    One of my favorite underrated receivers in the league — if we can still call him “underrated.” His props suggest we can.

    Tee Higgins possesses the skills to take over a game. Trenton Irwin is a nice story. Tyler Boyd has a role to play. But Higgins has been underutilized for three straight weeks. I like his rebound odds.

    • Receptions over 4.5
      (-115) — DraftKings
    • Receiving yards over 56.5
      (-114) — FanDuel

    B.J. Rudell is a betting and fantasy analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here and follow him on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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