The Bengals travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in the AFC championship game on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox). A rematch of the 2022 conference title game, this epic clash will decide if Joe Burrow and his squad will make the Super Bowl for the second straight year or if Patrick Mahomes and the top-seeded Chiefs will get back to the big game for the third time in four years. This matchup features a ton of playmaking stars, so naturally, we will be perusing the prop betting market to find our favorite and most potentially lucrative props.
The big question marks heading into this game involve Mahomes. Will his high-ankle sprain limit his mobility or hinder his planting ability on downfield passes? Can he and the Chiefs finally beat Burrow after starting 0-3 against him early in his career? Can the presumed second-time MVP also put a second AFC championship trophy into his awards case?
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Prop bets are great for close games that could go either way, and with this game flip-flopping favorites early in the week, we will likely be putting more money on game and player props than on the traditional spread, moneyline, or total.
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Let’s get you ready for Bengals-Chiefs from a prop perspective, picking the game and player props we think are most interesting and most likely to put some money in your pocket this conference championship weekend.
Chiefs-Bengals Best Prop Bets: Advice, picks, odds for AFC championship game
Travis Kelce anytime TD scorer (-110)
Kelce has made us a ton of money with TDs in big games this season, and there seems like no better bet going into this game with the whole season on the line. You’re getting the same odds as if you bet on either team’s spread or moneyline, and yet this seems like far less of a coin flip than which squad will win. The All-Pro tight end hauled in the second-most TDs this season (12) and found paydirt twice last week in Kansas City’s win over Jacksonville. Kelce failed to score the last time he faced Cincy, but he has found the end zone in each of the Chiefs’ past four postseason games. That includes Kansas City’s stunning 27-24 loss to the Bengals in last year’s conference championship game in which the 10-year vet hauled in 10-of-11 targets for 95 yards and a TD. Smash play this prop — you simply won’t have a better value wager all weekend.
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Patrick Mahomes UNDER 2.5 passing TDs (-185)
This just seems like a logical bet to make even though it’s a little juiced up. Mahomes will be playing through a high-ankle sprain he sustained last weekend, an injury that typically sidelines QBs for multiple weeks. Even if he makes it the whole game like the Willis Reed of football, do we really expect him to dominate like usual? Cincinnati’s defense has actually been one of the stronger units this season, with PFF ranking it top six in cover rate and tackling and top 10 in overall defensive grade. But Cincy’s pass-rush, led by Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard, is what will really be making Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy sweat this Sunday night. Cincy has taken down opposing QBs 11 times over the past four games, good for 2.75 per contest. The last time Mahomes got sacked more than twice, he passed for just one TD and logged a season-low home QB rating of 80.9 (vs. TEN, Week 9). Lou Anarumo and his Bengals D will be bringing the heat this weekend, and we expect Mahomes to have fewer than three passing TDs for the fifth time in the past six games.
Passing yard props: Joe Burrow UNDER 279.5 (-115), Mahomes UNDER 281.5 (-115)
These are two individual passing yard props, but we figured we would lump them together as they both seem like value-yielding wagers. We’re basically playing the averages here, and we won’t lose much if just one of them hits so the risk is pretty low. As good as Burrow has been during Cincy’s 10-game winning streak, he has finished with UNDER 279 passing yards in five of the past six games. Mahomes, who finished the regular season with the most passing yards and TDs in the NFL, has netted 224 passing yards or fewer in three of Kansas City’s past four games. Everybody and their mom will be pounding the OVER on each of these superstar QBs, but we’ll be playing it safe with two logical contrarian bets.
Isiah Pacheco OVER 47.5 rushing yards (-135)
Every week, the rookie Pacheco gets more national spotlight for his strong vision and unbelievable burst. The way to move the ball on the Bengals is typically through the air, but Cincy has low-key surrendered 328 ground yards over the past three weeks and Bieniemy will run the ball plenty to keep pressure off Mahomes and his ankle. With the QB’s pocket mobility likely limited, establishing the play-action pass early in the game will be imperative. The Bengals will likely be bringing the heat with blitzes, so expect Pacheco to break off at least a couple of chunk-yard gains.
Tee Higgins UNDER 56.5 receiving yards (-115)
I love Higgins, but this number seems way too high. Ja’Marr Chase is Burrow’s go-to receiver, so Higgins sees a lot of “second-progression” lines. In the six games since Chase returned from injury in Week 13, Higgins has exceeded 37 receiving yards just once. He may come down with one big catch or score a TD, but we’re not banking on him suddenly going off for 57-plus yards against a Chiefs team that only allowed 144.5 total wideout yards per game this season.
Team total points: Bengals OVER 23.5 (-120)
Cincinnati has averaged 28 points per game across its past five road games despite playing solid defenses like Buffalo, New England, and Tampa Bay. The Bengals averaged 374.6 total yards over those five road victories. Cincy has also dominated the Chiefs in all three Burrow vs. Mahomes matchups since Jan. 2022. The past two meetings were 27-24 Bengals victories, and the Jan. 2, 2022, regular-season game was a 34-31 Cincinnati victory — and Mahomes’ ankle wasn’t relying on a heavy tape job in those games like my Christmas gift-wrapping skills. Again, we’re playing the averages and picking the props that will be fun to root for and have high degrees of winning us money without paying too much juice. These seven props seem to perfectly fall into all those parameters.