Kansas City Chiefs Can't Afford to Take It Easy vs. Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Kansas City Chiefs Can't Afford to Take It Easy vs. Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17

Remember when the reigning NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs were the odds-on favorites to win Super Bowl 58? It feels like forever ago. And it kind of was. Recently, though, a stretch of three losses in four games obliterated their Super Bowl 58 betting lines. Can they get back on track to close the season, including their Week 17 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals?

Here are all the details for the scheduled kick-off of this matchup:

  • What: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals
  • Date: Sunday, December 31, 2023
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Point Spread: Chiefs (-3.5), Bengals (+3.5)

It should come as little surprise that the latest NFL online betting odds have the Chiefs entering Week 17 favorites. But they’re not favored by that much, as you can see below:

Kansas City Chiefs-155+148Cincinnati Bengals

Keep double-checking these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Chiefs vs. Bengals Week 17 betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, December 13. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on December 31.

Definitely brace for serious movement across all Chiefs vs. Bengals betting lines. The best football betting sites already have the moneyline, point spread and over/under available. Lines are often released far in advance for the final two weeks of the season. But online operators will react to changes in team records and gambling markets over the next couple of weeks. Keep this in mind if you’re not placing your Week 17 NFL bets prior to Week 15 games.

Many might believe the Chiefs’ shaky favorite status vs. the Bengals has to do with a dearth of stakes. But this is a mistake. Kansas City has far from clinched the AFC West Division Title. The Broncos are suddenly nipping at their heels. 

Technically speaking, the Chiefs aren’t even assured of a Wild Card playoff bid if they squander their AFC West lead. A handful of teams across the conference are within one loss of Kansas City. Another one or two bad weeks from the Chiefs could destroy their NFL playoff odds. That’s why it’s paramount they get a victory in Week 17 over the Bengals. The question is: Will they?

Week 17 will Likely Have Playoff Implications for the Kansas City Chiefs 

At this writing, the Chiefs are clinging to a one-game lead over the Broncos in the AFC West. After splitting their season series, the tiebreaker between these two teams would default to the better divisional record. That belongs to Kansas City, who is 3-1 against fellow AFC West squads compared to 2-2 for Denver. 

But there is still time for that tiebreaker to evaporate. And since the Bengals play in the AFC West, this game holds monumental importance for the division-title race and the guaranteed playoff bid that comes with it.

Luckily for the Chiefs, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is out for the season. Backup Jake Browning has filled in admirably so far, but Kansas City’s defense is a bear. They rank third in points allowed per game and fourth in net yards allowed per passing attempt. And while they don’t force a ton of turnovers, they do get to the quarterback. The Chiefs have the third-highest sack percentage in the league on the season.

With that said, there are some concerns. Kansas City has struggled in the red zone and is mediocre at getting stops on third down. They have also seen their sack percentage plummet over their three-losses-in-four-game stretch.

And this says nothing of the apparent offensive decline. The Chiefs are down to 11th in points scored per game and have eclipsed 20 points just once over the past four weeks. We still give them the advantage. After all, they are at home. And the offense’s ceiling is exponentially higher than this. But the fact that they’re not ultra-heavy favorites over a shorthanded Bengals squad is cause for reflection.

OSB Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs (-155)

Kansas City Chiefs To beat the Cincinnati Bengals

Why Isn’t Kansas City Favored by More Points Against Cincinnati in Week 17?

Without Joe Burrow in the fold, the expectation is that the Bengals will enter the rest of their matchups getting a ton of points from the top football betting sites. However, the latest NFL Week 17 point spread betting lines actually suggest they’ll be able to hang with the Chiefs:

  • Kansas City Chiefs, -3.5 (-110)
  • Cincinnati Bengals, 3.5 (-110)

Wondering why the Chiefs aren’t laying more points? You’re not alone. We can answer the question in one word: turnovers. 

Kansas City is turning the ball over on 14.9 percent of their offensive possessions this season. That’s the fifth-highest mark in the NFL. The Chiefs are also 27th in interceptions thrown. That could prove problematic against aggressive midfield and downfield coverage from the Bengals.

In the end, a 3.5-point spread isn’t enough to get us behind Cincinnati. Burrow’s absence looms too large. But our hesitance speaks to how much Kansas City’s stock has suffered in recent weeks. 

OSB Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs, -3.5 (-110)

Kansas City Chiefs To cover the point spread against the Cincinnati Bengals

Will the Kansas City Chiefs Offense Recapture Their Mojo in Week 17

The explosive Chiefs offense we have come to know during the Patrick Mahomes era is laboring through some warts in recent weeks. You might think that would be reflected in the latest NFL Week 17 over/under betting lines for their matchup with the Bengals. But, well, those struggles don’t seem to be factored in here:

  • Over 50.5 (-110)
  • Under 50.5 (-110) 

Aggressive much? The Chiefs have not played in a game that cleared 50 total points since…Week 3. And what’s more, that’s the only game on their schedule to leapfrog the 50-point benchmark.

Kansas City is responsible for this ratio on both sides of the field. The defense has done an excellent job limiting opponent scores, and their Patrick Mahomes-powered offense has lacked their usual punch. 

Even if you think the Chiefs will recapture their offensive mojo in Week 17, talking yourself into this “over” is ridiculously difficult. It will still require a Burrow-less Bengals squad to hold up their end of the scoring bargain. 

OSB Prediction: Under 50.5 (-110)

Chiefs and Bengals To score under 50.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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