AFC Title game betting preview

Joe Burrow and the Bengals travel to Arrowhead to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Frank Schwab gets you set for this exciting championship bout with his lean on the line, total and first-half line. Make sure to stick with us as Minty Bets will have the NFC preview as well.

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Video Transcript



FRANK SCHWAB: Welcome to your Sportsbook Daily. It is Tuesday, January 25. I am your betting guy, Frank Schwab, and we're going to talk some conference championship football.

What a great divisional round weekend. And now, we hope anyway, we can get a couple more games to live up to what we just saw. Let's start in the AFC. That's the first game on Sunday, and we have the Cincinnati Bengals traveling at the Kansas City Chiefs.


And I'll be honest, I was a little surprised by this line. The Bengals came out 7 and 1/2 point underdogs. It seems a little bit high to me. And I'll tell you why. I think the Chiefs left a lot on the field on Sunday night. We all saw that game, one of the greatest games of NFL history-- 25 points scored in the last two minutes of regulation. The Chiefs just pulled that out of their hat. They had two great drives at the end, the great overtime drive to win it.

And I'm going to give a little bit of a history lesson right here. It reminds me a lot of the 1981 Chargers. If you go back-- the epic in Miami, one of the great NFL games of all time-- they played a double overtime game against the Dolphins. They won that game but just had absolutely nothing left for the AFC Championship game, which was ironically against the Cincinnati Bengals. That's a famous freezer game. It was awful weather. That hit played a big part in that. But the Chargers just look like they left everything on the field in Miami and didn't have a lot left.

Now, the Bengals played a tough Game 2 against the Titans. They got past Tennessee Last play, great win for them-- Joe Burrow, that team. But I just wonder if there's going to be a little bit of a letdown for the Chiefs. Everybody had talked about that game like that's the real AFC Championship game. One of the number one seeds lost on Saturday. It was almost like well, that's the real Super Bowl, so to come back and try to get up again against the Bengals is going to be tough for the Chiefs.

Now maybe something helping them is they just saw the Bengals and lost. They're not going to forget that. They went on the road to Cincinnati late in the season, lost a tough game- 34-31. We kind of maybe remember that game from Zac Taylor going for it multiple times on fourth down, penalty keeping that drive alive, and the Bengals kicking a field goal on the last play to win it.

But the Bengals aren't going to be scared in this game. I think that that's a big factor here. They don't go into Arrowhead Stadium scared at all. This is a different Bengals team. This team has a lot of swag. Joe Burrow leads that. He's cool, calm, and collected. I really like what Burrow brings. And in that first meeting against the Chiefs, he had 446 yards, 4 touchdowns. Ja'Marr Chase went nuclear on that game-- 266 yards, 3 touchdowns.

I don't think Chase is going to have 266 yards again, but it's a Chiefs defense that gave up a lot of yards, a lot of big plays to Josh Allen. We're seeing some of the things that were hurting them early in the season kind of come back when they're playing elite offenses. And I think the Bengals will be able to move the ball. They're going to be able to score. And when you get into a game where you have 7 and a half points, backdoor is always open with an offense like the Bengals. They can score on you, especially late in the game. If the Chiefs are up 13, the Bengals have the ball, Chiefs maybe play a little bit of prevent defense, I think the Bengals can get in the backdoor.

Or they just compete this whole game, keep it within 7 and 1/2. I know a lot of people, after watching Patrick Mahomes do his magic, are going to think this is going to be a blowout. I'm not really on that train. I think the Bengals can keep this close. I'm not sure that they can win, but it's going to be a competitive enough game. 7 and 1/2 is just too much for me for a Bengals team that's really, really played well late in the year-- obviously has a ton of confidence.

I don't know about the over-under. 54 and a half-- that's a tough one for me. Probably go over just with the way both of these teams can explode scoring-wise. We saw that at the end of the Bills-Chiefs game, obviously. I think the over is probably the right side, although it feels a little bit square with a number that big. Also have to keep an eye on the weather reports too. One other bet I like that's not exactly the side-- it's the first half of the Bengals plus 4 and 1/2. The same things I just talked about how the Chiefs might have a little bit of a letdown, Bengals going to be fired up, an extra day of rest, and maybe they come out strong. Bengals plus 4 and 1/2 in the first half, I'll be on that one too.


So let's recap really quick. I like the Bengals as 7 and a half point underdogs. Little surprised that that number was above a touchdown given how the Bengals have played well. They beat the Chiefs. The Chiefs are coming off such an emotional game. I think 7 and 1/2 is a little too many. I'll be reluctantly on the over 54 and 1/2. That total seems really, really high, but both of these teams can really score. And then as an extra one, give me the Bengals plus 4 and 1/2 in the first half. I think that the Bengals come out strong. Chiefs might take a quarter two or three to really get into the flow of the game after such an emotional win over the Bills. But I think we're going to get a really, really good AFC Championship game.

You can follow me over on Twitter at @yahooschwab and follow all of our content over at Yahoo Sportsbook. Create a BetMGM account and place your first bet risk-free up to $1,000. If your bet loses, you get your bet amount up to $1,000 added back to your account at free bets. You must be 21 or older Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Terms apply. Go to to get started and use the promo code Yahoo, making your first deposit. Pam Maldonado will be back tomorrow on Yahoo Sports Daily to talk some golf. Until then, goodbye, good luck.


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