2022 NFL Playoff Picks: Can Surging Bengals Upset Chiefs in AFC Championship?

2022 NFL Playoff Picks: Can Surging Bengals Upset Chiefs in AFC Championship?

Check out our best NFL bets for the AFC Championship matchups between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals.

Though odds on the NFL playoffs are defied each and every year, it's always a shock when we watch breakthrough cases piece together their Cinderella run. And that's exactly what the Cincinnati Bengals are doing right now as they enter their 2022 AFC Championship showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.

No one at the beginning of the year picked the Bengals to do much of anything. Even when taking stock of the odds and standings in the AFC ahead of the playoffs, after Cincinnati was already on the map, few expected them to win a single postseason contest, let alone wind up one victory away from a Super Bowl appearance. Now, everyone making 2022 NFL picks finds themselves asking whether the surging Bengals can upset the Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Let's begin by taking a look at the latest betting odds for the NFL on both 2022 Conference Championship games set to take place this Sunday, January 30:

FavoriteBetNowBetNowUnderdog
Kansas City Chiefs-330+275Cincinnati Bengals
Los Angeles Rams-172+152San Francisco 49ers

All of our 2022 NFL playoff picks will be based on NFL betting odds published as of Tuesday, January 25. Make sure you're double-checking them for accuracy if you're placing a wager thereafter, as all 2022 NFL playoff betting lines are liable to shift right up until opening kickoff.

Also, with so many of the best NFL playoff betting sites running specials this time of year, it's a great idea to go through our reviews of the top online sportsbooks and suss out the right fit for all your football betting.

The Chiefs are Heavy Favorites vs. Bengals for a Reason

None of us should be downplaying what the Bengals have been able to accomplish this season. Cincinnati's defense is among the best operations in the NFL, a machine that's able to hold its own against both rushing and passing attacks as well as two-minute-drill offenses. But let's not overcomplicate our 2022 AFC Championship picks

The Chiefs are going to win.

Kansas City's offense has proven to be unstoppable since it dipped below .500 during the middle of the season. Including the playoffs to date, they've failed to top 30 points just once since Week 14, during which time they're averaging nearly 40 points per game overall.

Cincinnati's defense was once upon a time built to derail higher-powered attacks. That's not really the case anymore. The Bengals have quietly slipped to 21st in net yards allowed per passing attempt. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes should have a field day.

It doesn't help Cincinnati that their offense remains rather inexperienced, either. Quarterback Joe Burrow is showing poise that belies his age, and he was no stranger to big games while playing at LSU. But going up against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium is nothing like he's ever done. On top of that, while Kansas City's defense has tumbled a bit over the past month or so, they continue to run one of the NFL's most aggressive coverages. Sure, they rank 26th in net yards allowed per passing attempt, but they're 12th overall interceptions. One mistake from Burrow, a sophomore, is all they need to turn this into a blowout.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs (-330)

Kansas City Chiefs To beat the Cincinnati Bengals
-330
BetNow

Can Cincinnati Cover Point Spread vs. Kansas City?

Below you'll find the latest point spread betting odds for Chiefs vs. Bengals:

  • Kansas City Chiefs (-7): -110
  • Cincinnati Bengals (+7): -110

Although many will gravitate toward the Chiefs at -7, we find ourselves drawn to the Bengals. Burrow has both the arm and weapons around him to successfully keep his team above water during an offensive shoutout. Cincy has climbed all the way up to third in net yards per passing attempt and seventh in total passing touchdowns.

We may not trust the Bengals to win this overall; the Chiefs are too good. But this is a game that, despite its blowout potential, also has the makings of a winter classic. Expect it to be decided by less than a touchdown when all's said and done.

OSB Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals will cover at +7 (-110)

Cincinnati Bengals To cover vs. the Kansas City Chiefs
-110
BetNow

Should You Bet the Over or Under in Bengals-Chiefs

Here are the latest over/under betting odds for Kansas City vs. Cincinnati:

  • Over 54.5: -109
  • Under 54.5: -111

Good lord is this over/under difficult to predict.

On the one hand, the Chiefs and Bengals are averaging close to 70 points per game between them since Week 14. On the other hand, offenses tend to slow down when it's cold out, and we still think there's a chance Cincinnati's attack could implode under the weight of the stakes they're not used to facing.

Ultimately, we're trusting the law of averages to pan out in our favor. Cincinnati has tallied more than 20 points just once over their past three games, but if we're being honest, they only need to muster 14 to 17 points for us to trust the over. The Chiefs are on that much of a roll right now.

OSB Prediction: Kansas City and Cincinnati will combine to go over 54.5 points (-109)

Chiefs and Bengals To go over 54.5 points
-109
BetNow

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NFL betting: