AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: BENGALS VS CHIEFS BEST BETS/PROPS
Following an electric Divisional Playoff round in the NFL playoffs, this championship Sunday is poised to have exciting games from start to finish. In this AFC matchup, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals travel to Arrowhead Stadium where they take on Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs for the Lamar Hunt Trophy. Last week, the Bengals were able to hold on and defeat the one-seed Tennessee Titans, 19-16, whereas the Chiefs were able to miraculously win in overtime in a shootout against the Bills. With Kansas City playing in front of their home crowd yet again, Cincinnati will have to muster up the strength to overcome Pat Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill and company after playing in a physical matchup with the Titans. With this in mind, here is what I love in this postseason action.
The Bengals opened this game as seven-point road dogs but they are now seven and a half-point underdogs. Although Cincinnati is 7-1 ATS in their past eight road matches, the Chiefs are 11-1 SU in their past 12 home games. While the Bengals have been an unreliable team in the playoffs in the last 20 years to say the least, it is certainly a new era in Cincinnati with the productivity they have on offense. The Chiefs on the other hand come into this game with very little left in the gas tank after playing well into overtime against the Buffalo Bills. Although Burrow will surely be airing it out, they will have to make sure to feed running back Joe Mixon where he averaged 4 yards per carry in their first meeting just a couple weeks ago. If Cincy can take care of the ball and run the offense through Mixon, they have a great chance of keeping this one somewhat close. Although this Chiefs defensive unit has been a steady group this season, they have had some inconsistencies where they have been scorched on that side of the ball. If the Bengals can come out like their first meeting and score right alongside the Chiefs offense, they can keep this game close. Take the Bengals plus the points where they are in a great spot to cover for the third playoff game in a row.
Ja’Marr Chase Over 85.5 Receiving Yards
Following an outstanding performance vs, the Titans, rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase should have another very productive game in the Bengals electric passing attack. Last week, he totaled 109 receiving yards on five receptions. Additionally, in his last four starts (excluding Week 18) he has a staggering 40 targets, so Joe Burrow has been sure to keep him involved as a big part of their offense. Chase has shown he will have a fruitful career and with his receiving total still in this low range, it must be taken advantage of. With fellow receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, Chase is a perfect centerpiece to this offense who is impossible to slow down. The Chiefs pass defense has not been stellar where they allowed the 4th most passing yards per game in the regular season. Ja’marr has been productive no matter the opposition, so expect him to find some form of success against this inferior secondary. Chase has had some monstrous outings this year where he had nearly 300 yards receiving in one game and is on pace to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. With how big of a threat, he is out wide and, in the slot, he’ll make teams pay that give him any space at all. Expect Ja’Marr to stay hot, have a big night overall and take him to get it done on the receiving end with ease.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Any Time TD
With his injury healing just in time for the playoffs, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire should his role increase even more and be a main focus of the Chiefs running game. The 22-year-old made huge contributions to their running game where in just 8 starts he had over 500 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He is a hard runner who finishes drives in the end zone complemented by an excellent offensive line. With his quick cuts and hard running style, he always finds a way to gain yardage and is due to score in this one. The Bengals rush defense is less than stout to say the least and they will have a tough time with the primary back among a menagerie of other players who get carries. This should allow Edwards to be productive at the very least. Take him to score in what should be a more balanced pass-run game plan for the Chiefs offense.
Same Game Parlay:
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Anytime TD Scorer, Patrick Mahomes Over 290.5 Pass Yds, Joe Mixon Under 56.5 Rush Yds, Edwards-Helaire Over 37.5