Bengals vs. Chiefs: Final Odds, Spread Picks for AFC Championship Game 2022January 30, 2022
Bengals vs. Chiefs: Final Odds, Spread Picks for AFC Championship Game 2022
The 2022 AFC Championship Game is almost here, football fans, and we're going to see history made Sunday.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs are set to do battle with a trip to Super Bowl LVI as the prize. If the Chiefs win, quarterback Patrick Mahomes will become the youngest signal-caller in NFL history to start three Super Bowls. If the Bengals win, they will return to the big game for the first time since the 1988 season.
The Bengals defeated the Chiefs during the regular season. With Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase leading one of the league's most potent offenses, they could do it again. This time, though, Kansas City will have the benefit of a home-field advantage.
One thing is certain: One of the NFL's best young quarterbacks will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. Will it be Burrow or Mahomes? You'll find a prediction here, along with everything else you need to know about this year's AFC title game.
AFC Championship Game Info
Date: Sunday, January 30
Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV and Live Stream: CBS, Paramount+
Moneyline: Chiefs -320 (bet $320 to win $100), Bengals +250 (bet $100 to win $250)
Line: Chiefs -7
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Fortunately for fans everywhere, both Cincinnati and Kansas City are relatively healthy coming into the game. The Bengals lost defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi for the remainder of the playoffs to a foot injury in the Wild Card Round. However, the Bengals only have two players listed as doubtful.
Defensive tackle Cameron Sample (groin) and wideout Stanley Morgan (hamstring) are doubtful, while Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou (knee) is questionable.
Kansas City lists star safety Tyrann Mathieu as questionable with a concussion. Mathieu will need to clear concussion protocol to play, but the Chiefs are hopeful and believe that Mathieu is "good to go," according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
"He has had no setbacks in the concussion protocol and is set to play barring a late surprise, the source said," Fowler wrote.
Kansas City also lists running back Darrel Williams as questionable with a foot injury. Fellow running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable with a should injury but was a full participant in practice all week.
The full injury report for this game can be found here. A list of injuries for both championship games can be found at NFL.com.
Preview and Prediction
The Chiefs have been here before. They are about the play in a fourth consecutive AFC title game, and they have a chance to reach a third straight Super Bowl. The Bengals haven't been here in more than 30 yards, but they won't be intimidated by the big stage.
"It's been a normal week for us," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said, per ESPN's Ben Baby.
Kansas City isn't going to overlook the upstart Bengals, either.
"They beat us. It wasn't a fluke," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, per ProFootballTalk's Myles Simmons. "They beat us, so they're a good football team."
Expect both squads to be laser-focused Sunday and to bring the intensity. With two of the league's best quarterbacks on the field, there should be plenty of offensive fireworks too.
While Mahomes, Burrow and the offenses will be in the limelight, expect defense to make the difference in this one. Whichever team makes the key stops late is going to come out on top. In the regular season, Cincinnati was that team.
While the Chiefs carried a 28-17 lead into halftime, they scored only three points in the second half.
This time, though, Kansas City has the home-field advantage. That, plus a potent pass rush led by Chris Jones, could force Burrow into a rare mistake. He will at the very least experience a lot of pressure. No quarterback was sacked more during the regular season (51 times), and Burrow was sacked nine times against the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round.
Burrow was sacked four times in the teams' regular-season meeting, though he managed to avoid turnovers against Kansas City. That may not happen a second time, especially with the quarterback and the Bengals battling a hostile Chiefs crowd.
Expect Kansas City to be the better second-half team this time around and to survive in a second straight instant playoff classic.
Prediction: Chiefs 37, Bengals 32
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