Cincinnati Bengals At Kansas City Chiefs [AFC Championship Game] - NFL Picks And Predictions

Arrowhead Stadium
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Ernesto Cova

Two of the hottest teams in the National Football League will square off when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC Championship Game.

Joe Burrow's squad continues to have a dream-like season, proving their doubters wrong despite having one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Their defense has been stout and solid but they'll face their toughest task yet when they meet Andy Reid's team again.

Both teams already starred in an epic shootout in the regular season, one of the most exciting matchups of the year. Now, it'll be for way more than just bragging rights.

Patrick Mahomes Wants Another Trip To The Super Bowl

Patrick Mahomes
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The Chiefs bounced back from a terrible start of the season and are once again the clear-cut favorite to take the Vince Lombardi trophy home. Should they beat the Bengals, they'd made it to their third Super Bowl in as many years:

"When you have been to the Super Bowl the last two years and you walk off the field with a loss last year, you want to go back and get that revenge and get that win," Mahomes told ESPN after beating the Steelers.

Now, they'll have to finish the job.

Will Tyrann Mathieu Be Back?

Chiefs fan eating
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The biggest story ahead of this game is whether Chiefs' safety Tyrann Mathieu will be able to play or not.

Mathieu left the game after getting kicked in the head by his own teammate and immediately entered the league's concussion protocols. Even so, it seems like the Chiefs expect him to be out there on Sunday, per FanSided.

The Honeybadger is the heart and soul of Steve Spagnuolo's defense and their most vocal leader, and having Daniel Sorensen handling Ja'Marr Chase seems like a terrible idea.

If he sits, the Bengals might as well shock the world and get the upset on the road.

Key Stats, Injuries, And Trends

Damien Williams
Wikimedia | Jeffrey Beall

The Chiefs would love to have backup RB Damien Williams (toe) back for this matchup, as well as the aforementioned Mathieu. Other than that, both teams are pretty much healthy ahead of this game.

When it comes to the best trends for this matchup, it's worth noting that the Bengals are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall, while the Over is 7-0 in Chiefs last 7 games overall and 5-0 in Chiefs last 5 games following a ATS win.

Picks And Predictions

Joe Burrow scrambling
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The Cincinnati Bengals already know what it takes to win at Arrowhead Stadium. They upset the Chiefs in the regular season with a majestic game by Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase.

While we don't expect Burrow to throw for 400 yards and 4 scores again or Chase to log 200+ yards and 3 scores, the Bengals will make this closer than oddsmakers think.

In the end, we still think the Chiefs will make the most of their home-field advantage and clinch another Super Bowl trip, but seven points feel like a huge spread at this point in the season. Right now, 56% of the public is backing up the Bengals to cover the spread.

Also, both offenses are explosive and we expect this to be another shootout, similar to the 34-31 from the regular season.