If you follow the money, all of the early action on the AFC Championship has been on the Cincinnati Bengals, who are now the betting favorite with a point spread of -2.5. The Kansas City Chiefs are a home underdog at +2.5 after the public reacted to Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury.
The #1 Chiefs host the #3 Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday. It’s a rematch of last year’s AFC championship when the Bengals upset the Chiefs and secured a trip to Super Bowl LVI.
The Bengals were +7 underdogs in last year’s AFC championship and won outright, 27-24, in a thrilling overtime victory.
The Bengals defeated the Chiefs during the regular season. They met in Week 13 in Cincinnati, and the Bengals prevailed as +2.5 home dogs.
In the last 52 AFC championship games, the favorite is 38-14 straight up, but only 30-21-1 against the spread (ATS).
The Chiefs were the betting favorite in the last four AFC championships, and they went 2-2 overall and 2-2 ATS.
The Bengals have a 13-5 ATS record as one of the best betting teams in the NFL this season. The Chiefs won 14 games in the regular season, but they were one of the worst teams at covering the point spread. Including the postseason, the Chiefs are just 6-11-1 ATS.
Path to the AFC Championship
The Chiefs had a first-round bye as the top seed in the AFC. They defeated the #4 Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC divisional round, 27-20, to lock up a fifth-straight berth in the AFC championship. The Chiefs won but failed to cover the -9.5 point spread.
Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter but finished the game despite a brief stint from backup quarterback Chad Henne. Mahomes is expected to start against the Bengals in the AFC championship. He had this injury a couple of seasons ago and played through the pain, though his mobility was impacted.
The #3 Bengals squared off against an AFC North division rival in the first round. They hosted the #6 Baltimore Ravens, who put up a good fight without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson in the lineup. The Bengals won 24-17, but didn’t cover the -7.5 point spread.
In the AFC divisional round, the Bengals went on the road and beat the #2 Buffalo Bills. The Bengals prevailed 27-10 despite the fact it was snowing the entire game, which typically provides the Bills with an edge since they’re used to playing in blustery conditions due to “lake effect” snow. As a +6 underdog, the Bengals beat the spread when they won outright.
AFC Championship Early Line Movement
On Sunday night, oddsmakers installed the Chiefs as a slight favorite over the Bengals in the AFC championship with a point spread of -2. Early bettors jumped on the Bengals as a road underdog. The line quickly moved a full point by Monday morning.
Money continued to get bet on the Bengals over the last 24 hours. On Tuesday morning, the Bengals were the consensus favorites by two whole points at -2 before another line adjustment. The Bengals are a -2.5 favorite shortly before noon in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
For a hot minute, Caesars in Las Vegas adjusted the line with the Bengals a favorite at -3. That line didn’t last long before bettors jumped on the Chiefs at +3, and oddsmakers at Caesars moved the AFC championship point spread back to +2.5
At most sportsbooks in Las Vegas, the Chiefs are moneyline home dogs at +115, while the Bengals are -135 as the moneyline favorite. If you want to shop for the best number on the Chiefs right now, the SuperBook updated the Chiefs at +130 on the moneyline, and the South Point Casino in Las Vegas has the Chiefs at +120.
The overall points total in the game opened at 47.5 over/under on Sunday evening. Bettors jumped on the points under, and oddsmakers adjusted to the public’s reaction to Mahomes’ injury. The total is currently 46.5 o/u.
Philadelphia Eagles Now the Super Bowl Favorite
The NFC championship game is also on Sunday, when the #1 Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) host the #2 San Francisco 49ers (13-4). The Eagles are a -2.5 favorite in a game featuring the top two seeds in the NFC.
The Eagles are now the outright favorite to win Super Bowl LVII at +245 odds, according to DraftKings. The Chiefs and Bengals are second co-favorites at +265 odds. The Chiefs were co-favorites with the Eagles on Sunday night, but the line slightly moved in favor of the Eagles.
The 49ers are the long shot on the futures board at +330 odds with only four teams remaining in the hunt to win the Super Bowl.
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