Chiefs vs. Bengals Betting Guide: Safe to Back Andy Reid in the Preseason?
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Andy Reid
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs Betting Odds
- Spread: Chiefs -3.5
- Over/Under: 36.5
- Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
The Chiefs host the Bengals in one of three Preseason Week 1 matchups on Saturday. Let’s take a look at key storylines for both teams, complete with daily fantasy analysis and a pick.
The two schematic areas in which the Rams offense has really stood out during the Sean McVay era is with pace and reliance on play action. With Zac Taylor — McVay’s quarterbacks coach in 2018 — now in Cincinnati, increasing both those factors could theoretically help Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ offense reach new heights — although last season’s version was already a fairly fast-moving unit that utilized plenty of play action.
- Situation neutral pace: Bengals No. 12; Rams No. 3
- Play-action percentage: Dalton 27.4% (No. 10); Goff 35.8% (No. 2)
The Bengals did their best to bolster the big uglies up front this offseason, drafting Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams with the 11th overall pick and later grabbing Ohio State guard Michael Jordan in the fourth round. They also brought in John Miller from the Bills on a multi-year deal and extended right tackle Bobby Hart.
The problem is that injuries have already once again doomed the offense: A.J. Green (ankle) is expected to miss multiple games, while Williams (torn labrum, out for the season) and guard Clint Boling (retirement) are both unavailable.
Kansas City Chiefs
Two hundred and eighty-one quarterbacks have started at least 16 games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Mahomes already finds himself among the game’s best of the best in just about any efficiency metric.
- Completion rate: 65.9% (No. 6)
- Touchdown rate: 8.1% (No. 1)
- Quarterback rating: 111.7 (No. 1)
- Yards per attempt: 8.75 (No. 1)
- Adjusted yards per attempt: 9.42 (No. 1)
- Yards per game: 316.5 (No. 1)
- Fantasy points per game: 25.2 (No. 1)
Mahomes also passed 2013 Peyton Manning (412) for the best fantasy football season from a quarterback ever with 417 points last season.
The Chiefs have the most exciting offense in football, but head coach Andy Reid’s mediocre history of success in the preseason (28-31-1 against the spread, -5.0 units) makes me wary about backing the home squad.
I’m betting under 36.5 in a matchup between what figures to be two improved defenses.
PICK: Under 36.5