Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow Props: Picks for AFC Championship Game
Pictured: Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The AFC Championship Game features the two best young quarterbacks in the NFL, as Joe Burrow of the Bengals battles Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs for the fourth time in two seasons.
Remember, there’s always value in the player props market, and that’s true for Bengals vs. Chiefs props too. By prop-shopping around, I’ve found ways to wager on these superstar quarterbacks on Sunday afternoon.
If you’re looking for different ways to get action on NFL player props, I’d recommend PrizePicks. The app allows you to parlay NFL player props for real money in 30 states, including states where online betting is unavailable.
Let’s consider how to wager on Allen and Mahomes in the AFC Championship Game.
Over Passing Yards
I might be misled, but I believe the ankle injury has been overblown — especially because Andy Reid doesn’t need Mahomes to be the hero he’s been in the past. After Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs emphasized a shorter passing attack with a solid rushing game.
Mahomes’ average depth of target has remained under 7.8 yards for the second consecutive season, and the Chiefs are seventh in rush EPA per play since Week 12.
Mahomes will not sit out this game, but the ankle sprain shouldn’t limit his ability to quickly read defenses and hit skill players over the middle. I also imagine play-action will be a deadly tool for the Chiefs this weekend.
Remember what Reid did with Chad Henne last week? He scripted a 98-yard touchdown drive on the strengths of a short passing attack and the run game. Reid can do that with a hobbled Mahomes.
Ultimately, Mahomes’ prop lines are depressed because of his injury, but I think the market has overcorrected to that injury, especially considering how the Chiefs’ offense has adjusted this year.
Meanwhile, the Bengals have played better defensively, but they aren’t world-beaters. Surprisingly, Cincinnati has allowed seven of the past 10 opposing quarterbacks to cash the over on their passing yards total.
I expect more of the same from Mahomes, who will still be a highly efficient quarterback, no matter his injury status.
And there’s still the chance Mahomes plays this weekend and looks 100% healthy, which would make every square under bettor very nervous.
Best available line: Over 283.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
PrizePicks Line: Over 274.5
Pick: Mahomes Over 283.5 Passing Yards
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Over Rushing Yards
Burrow is not an immobile quarterback. He’s a pure pocket passer, but he’s fine using his legs when needed.
For example, Burrow picked up 31 rushing yards on six attempts last week against Buffalo. He compiled 78 rushing yards in a two-week stint against Tennessee and Kansas City.
Actually, Burrow has cashed over 25 rushing yards in his past two opportunities against Kansas City, compiling 71 yards on 16 attempts.
Additionally, this is the week we need to factor in the Bengals’ offensive line injuries. It was impossible to produce a pass rush in the snow during the Buffalo game, which neutralized the Bills’ pass rush and covered up Cincinnati’s issues.
This week, Chris Jones will attack the two backup tackles relentlessly, and I think we’ll see Burrow have to scramble more often. And in a huge playoff game like this, Burrow will leave everything out on the field and won’t be afraid to push for extra yards.
Given the Bengals’ offensive line issues and Burrow’s scrambling ability, I think Burrow will be forced to produce some yards with his legs. I’m willing to bank on that by attacking the over on his rushing prop.
Best available line: Over 17.5 (+100) at DraftKings Sportsbook
PrizePicks Line: Over 17.5
Pick: Joe Burrow Over 17.5 Rushing Yards
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