Bengals-Chiefs Picks: Don’t Count Out Patrick Mahomes

Joe Burrow is 3-0 in his career against the All-Pro QB


January 27

With the NFL divisional round officially behind us, we can now turn our attention to the conference championship games for this weekend’s slate.

Let’s examine three bets to make for the AFC title game as we inch closer to Super Bowl LVII. Let’s start on the moneyline.

Kansas City Chiefs moneyline vs. Cincinnati Bengals, -120 on DraftKings
Both teams come into this game with drastically different looking injury reports. Chiefs fans’ hearts skipped a beat last week when star QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle was caught under a defender, leading Mahomes to temporarily leave the game and return with a noticeable, hindering limp for the remainder of the contest. Mahomes ultimately was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and has been practicing all week with the expectation he will play. The Bengals have no such worries. Their star QB, Joe Burrow, is healthy and continues to dominate week to week no matter the opponent. Ultimately, this game comes down to a few different factors. I trust Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and his experience more than I do Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. I trust the home-field advantage of Arrowhead Stadium in the playoffs. I trust Mahomes can stand in the pocket as a more traditional passer and throw darts all evening since his mobility will be compromised. I also am having a hard time seeing Burrow beat Mahomes a fourth straight time. Mahomes is 0-3 head-to-head against his contemporary. This bet comes down to trust. Give me the Chiefs on the moneyline at -120 available on DraftKings.

Chiefs vs. Bengals Under 48 total points, -110 on DraftKings
The Bengals finally have found balance on offense. Burrow usually is the catalyst to their success offensively. Obviously, he’s done an immaculate job with that responsibility, but running back Joe Mixon also has stepped up to the plate whenever he’s been tasked with more responsibility. Last week against the Buffalo Bills, the Bengals wanted to play ball-control offense and lean on a strong ground game. Mixon rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown. The Bengals are a more dangerous team when Mixon has games like that. The Chiefs will be looking for more run/pass balance, as well, with the mobility of Mahomes limited. Kansas City has a stable of options out of the backfield in both Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon. There will be a heavy emphasis on the run game from both teams for these different reasons. Give me Under 48 total points, available at -110 on DraftKings.

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Jerick McKinnon anytime touchdown, +140 on DraftKings
My final bet for the AFC Championship Game is on Kansas City’s versatile running back. Due to the injury of Mahomes, that means Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will need to be more creative than usual to get their playmakers open and available. McKinnon’s versatility, both in running and receiving the ball, gives him ample opportunity to reap the benefits of those play calls. I’ll take him to score an anytime touchdown, available at +140 on DraftKings.

Thumbnail photo via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images

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