Rovell’s Pick for AFC Championship Game: Bengals vs. Chiefs

Rovell’s Pick for AFC Championship Game: Bengals vs. Chiefs article feature image

Picture edited by Matt Roembke. Pictured: Joe Burrow, Darren Rovell, Patrick Mahomes.

When the AFC Championship Game was set, the Bengals as +1.5 underdogs was a joke to me.

Patrick Mahomes with no ability to throw outside of the pocket? Or off platform?

And with how well Joe Burrow did against the Bills — with an incredibly beat up and below-average offensive line — that opening spread felt mispriced.

I initially felt really good locking in the Bengals' spread all the way up to even. And to some respects, that's still an okay pick. The Bengals are going to score buckets of points against the Chiefs' middling defense, bad o line and all.

But now, with Mahomes looking like he'll be at least 75% healthy — if not more — I'm not so sure. The updates out of Kansas City look promising, and with that, the Bengals' spread isn't as attractive.

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As long as Mahomes is able to move outside of the pocket and pass the ball accurately, this highest scoring offense in the NFL will also put up plenty of points against a Bengals defense that leaves a lot to be desired.

All of this is to say that the over is the better, safer pick.

Weather won't be a factor, unlike last week, when snow poured down pregame in Kansas City and the two teams in Buffalo were mired by it all game.

And the Chiefs and Bengals might actually be underrated in the over department. KC is 10-8 to the under this season while the Bengals are 10-7, meaning the market might be favoring that side heading into this game.

I caught the total at 46.5 on Tuesday, but with Mahomes' progress, that line has now hit 48.

That's a bad number. A total of 47 is the fourth-most common final score in NFL history, behind just 41, 40 and 51 (in that order).

I'm all about value insurance. I don't think this total is coming down. So buy it down to the key number of 47 at -125 at BetMGM.

BetMGM's bonus offer will give new users will get a $1,000 risk-free bet on their first wager.

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