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Look, I've been very adamant about my love for the Bengals this year. But can Joe Burrow and his very contagious swag to lead this team to another improbable win, keeping this Bengals bandwagon rolling along for another week? I think there's enough momentum to keep this within a touchdown, so I like the Bengals +7, but I see Kansas City still winning outright. Sure, I said the Bengals have value as the longshot to win the Super Bowl, and I still believe that, but if I'm looking at just this game, taking my heart out of things, the Chiefs are the better team, and should come out of this with another AFC title.
My hopes for a 49ers-Bengals Super Bowl is a factor here, but I also genuinely believe in the Bengals to not only cover the spread, but to pull the upset, making the moneyline a great value. The Bengals are 6-0 ATS against good passing teams with a completion percentage of 61 percent or better this season, so they can keep this close. They're also 8-2 SU against teams with winning records this season, and they beat the Chiefs outright earlier this month, 34-31, as 3.5-point underdogs. I think they can do that again to move on to the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs are almost certainly going to win this game. The question will be by how much? The Chiefs are coming off an exhausting and emotional overtime win with 30 fewer hours of rest than the Bengals, and they also lost S Tyrann Mathieu to concussion protocols. The Bengals have played in a remarkable 11 one-score games this season. With the way Joe Burrow has been slinging it lately, I think there's a very good chance we see Joey Back Door make an appearance. And while Patrick Mahomes is phenomenal, he's just 13-15 (46%) ATS when favored by a touchdown or more. I don't feel great about it, and it's quite possible Cincy gets ripped in this game, but I'll take the +7 and pray we get a good game Sunday.
This is one of the best player prop values in the AFC championship. Mixon has gotten 19-plus touches in seven consecutive games, but has averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in every one of those games and has gone over this 61.5-yard total only one time in that span. Instead, the talented running back has found success as a pass-catcher and in this exact matchup back on Jan. 2, he took 12 carries for 46 yards while catching seven of eight targets for 40 yards. Considering the fact that the Bengals beat the Chiefs, 34-31, that day by throwing the ball 40 times and rushing it 19 times, it’s more than likely that they’ll elect to air it out in this rematch. BetQL projects Mixon to rush for only 45 yards as a result, so I'll take the under.
If you're in the camp that thinks this is going to be a high-scoring, pass-heavy game, I'd take a look at some under-the-radar pass-catchers in the Anytime TD market. Sure, Tyreek Hill (-125), Travis Kelce (-125), Ja'Marr Chase (-125) are all fine picks, there's just not much value for them on this prop alone (not saying I won't also take any of those guys; after all, these TD props aren't zero-sum). But the better value lies in guys like Tee Higgins, who was second on the Bengals with six TDs this season, and Byron Pringle, who has five TDs in his last five games and three this postseason.