The Chiefs and Bengals are set to face off for the second time this season, and for the second year in a row with a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
The game will be on CBS at 6:30pm, with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on the call from Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.
Here are the betting odds for Sunday’s AFC Championship game, courtesy of BetOnline.ag:
AFC Championship Odds
Spread: Chiefs -1.5
Moneyline: Chiefs -131/Bengals +111
The below Twitter InfoMap is based on geotagged twitter data since Sunday Night (after matchups were set) tracking fan hashtags in every state. For example #WhoDey (Bengals), #ChiefsKingdom (Chiefs), #FlyEaglesFly (Eagles), and #GoNiners (49ers). Over 180,000 tweets tracked.
Bengals: 23 states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming
Chiefs: 19 states (Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin)
Eagles: 6 states (Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
49ers: 2 states (California, Oregon)
The elephant in the room throughout championship weekend will be Patrick Mahomes and his ankle injury. The star quarterback was rolled up on by Jaguars Arden Key last weekend and had to leave the game for X-rays for the rest of the half before returning and leading Kansas City back to the AFC Championship game.
Say what you will about Andy Reid, but not only is he a great coach – he also protects his players. Mahomes was reeling to get back into the game without getting his leg checked, but Reid was adamant that his QB needed to be cleared with the training staff before returning. Mahomes has practiced in full all week, and looks to be OK to play this Sunday.
After starting the season 4-4, the Bengals have won ten in a row on the back of Joe Burrow. Burrow is currently the only quarterback in the same stratosphere as Mahomes – and the two of them are on a Brady vs. Manning-type trajectory as far as rivalries go.
It’s not only Cincinnati’s offense that’s propelling them, though. Their defense is legit too. Guys like Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, DJ Reader in the front seven, along with Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, and Mike Hilton on the back end have given their offense plenty of breathing room to succeed.
If we truly want to equate this to the Brady vs. Manning rivalry, then – at least right now – Burrow is Brady and Mahomes is Manning. Mahomes has the regular season success and better stats, but Burrow is 3-0 against the Chiefs in his career and has shown a high-quality clutch gene is just his third season.
Abiding by those parameters – the Bengals win a tight one at Arrowhead (or “Burrowhead” according to some Cincinnati players) and get to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
Prediction: Bengals 31 – Chiefs 28
Side: Bengals +1.5
Total: OVER 48
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