The New England Patriots appeared in eight straight AFC Championship games from 2012 to 2019. It’s one of the most impressive runs in recent NFL history. The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t at that level yet, but they are themselves in a dominant run. The Chiefs will play the AFC Championship Game on Sunday for the fifth straight season. It will be the second consecutive season that they meet the Cincinnati Bengals for a chance to go to the Super Bowl.
Although line movement for this game has been wild all week, Kansas City is currently a 1-point favorite against the Bengals. If that holds up until kickoff, it will be the fifth consecutive AFC Championship game that the Chiefs have been favorites to win. Let’s take a look at how the Chiefs have done betting-wise at this point over the last few seasons.
The Chiefs were favorites in every game
Not only have the Kansas City Chiefs advanced to the AFC championship game in five consecutive seasons, but they have been favorites to advance to the Super Bowl in all five games. This highlights the dominance of the partnership between Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.
However, the Chiefs are only 2-2 both straight and against the spread in their last four AFC Championship games. If you’re a fan of the offense, the Chiefs are a welcome sight in the AFC championship game. The overs are 3-1 and each match has scored at least 51 runs. Let’s take a look back at all four games.
2019: leaders against patriots
The Kansas City Chiefs hosted Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2019 AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs were home favorites from 3-pointers with a total of 50 points.
New England took a 14-0 lead into halftime before the Chiefs fought back in the second half. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs scored to cut New England’s lead to 17-14. This set up an absolutely wild back-and-forth quarter kick.
Damien Williams scored a touchdown to give Kansas City a 28–24 lead with just over two minutes left. On New England’s ensuing drive, Charvarius Ward intercepted Brady but the play was called off because Dee Ford lined up in the neutral zone. That likely would have sealed the win and coverage for the Chiefs, but Brady capitalized on the slip. Rex Burkhead scored to give New England a 31–28 lead with 39 seconds left.
The story continues
However, the Chiefs weren’t finished as Mahomes moved them quickly into field goal range and Harrison Butker sent the game to overtime with a 39-yarder. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the Patriots won the toss and Rex Burkhead scored the game-winning touchdown. New England got the upset total as underdogs by 3 points with the game flying over the total as the teams combined for 68 points.
2020: bosses against titans
In January of 2020, the Chiefs were once again the home favorites in the AFC Championship Game. This time, they were scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. The total for the game was set at 51.5 points.
Tennessee jumped out to an early 10–0 lead on a Greg Joseph and Derrick Henry field goal rushing for a touchdown. Once again, the Chiefs had to play from behind in the AFC Championship Game.
Mahomes and Kansas City responded immediately with a Tyreek Hill touchdown run, but the Titans went to their trick bag on their next drive when Ryan Tannehill threw a touchdown pass to an offensive lineman to recapture a 10-point lead. However, Kansas City roared back before halftime. Hill scored his second touchdown of the game and Mahomes added a rushing touchdown to give Kansas City a 21-17 lead at halftime.
Over punters and Chiefs supporters had to sweat it out through a scoreless third quarter, but the fourth quarter was good for them. Damien Williams and Sammy Watkins scored to open a 35-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter to open up an 18-point lead. Anthony Firkser scored a late touchdown to make the final score more flattering for Tennessee, but the Chiefs came back as 7-point favorites and the game once again went over the total.
2021: Chiefs vs. Bills
Despite all the talk we’ve heard about the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills in recent years, they’ve only met in the AFC championship game once. In January of 2021, the Chiefs were 3-point home favorites with a total of 53.5 points.
For the third straight season, the Chiefs got off to a slow start. A Tyler Bass field goal and a Dawson Knox touchdown gave Buffalo a 9–0 lead after Bass missed the extra point. However, Kansas City once again roared. Touchdowns by Mecole Hardman, Tyreek Hill, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire gave Kansas City a 21-9 lead. Buffalo added a field goal just before halftime to make it 21-12.
In the third quarter, the teams traded field goals before Travis Kelce scored two receiving touchdowns to open up a 38-15 score in favor of Kansas City. Buffalo scored nine late runs, but it wasn’t enough even as they cashed in the over for the punters. Kansas City won 38-24, easily covering as a 3-point favorite and once again topping the total.
2022: Chiefs against Bengalis
The most relevant game for this coming weekend is the most recent AFC Championship Game. Kansas City was at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and they were sizable favorites. Cincinnati was a 7-point underdog. Oddsmakers were expecting a lot of points, with a total of 54.5 points.
This time it was the Chiefs who got off to a flying start. Hill, Kelce, and Hardman scored touchdowns in the first half to open up a 21-3 lead. Late in the first half, Joe Burrow threw a screen pass to Samaje Perine which went 41 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 21-10. It looked like Kansas City was going to score before halftime, but Tyreek Hill was tackled short of the goal line with five seconds left and the Chiefs left the points on the scoreboard.
Down by 11, Evan McPherson cut the lead to eight. After a Mahomes interception, Burrow found Ja’Marr Chase for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion to Trent Taylor tied the game. With just over six minutes left, McPherson kicked a 52-yarder to give Cincinnati their early lead. Mahomes and the Chiefs got down late to the five-yard line and it looked like they would score a late touchdown to win it. However, Mahomes was sacked twice, forcing Butker to send the game to overtime with a field goal.
Kansas City won the overtime toss, but could not take advantage as Mahomes was shut out by Vonn Bell. A few plays later, McPherson won the game for the Bengals. Cincinnati won outright as a 7-point underdog and finished the game with just 51 points, meaning the unders were the right team for the first time.
There is not much to take away from the point of view of the spread and / or the game result. The Chiefs are 2-2 both up and against the spread. However, looking back on the history of the Chiefs in the AFC championship game, I have two key takeaways.
All four games saw sizable comebacks. Kansas City erased a 14-point deficit to force overtime against New England. They overcame a 10-point deficit against Tennessee and a 9-point deficit against Buffalo to comeback to win. They lost last year despite having an 18-point halftime lead. This would lead me to consider live betting on this game if either team takes a big lead. There seems to have been huge momentum shifts in every game they have played at this stage. There is an opportunity to cash out through live betting.
Additionally, these AFC Championship games featured points. The last four games have featured 68, 59, 62 and 51 points. The total for Sunday’s game is just 47.5 points. Sure, the under hit in the matchup between these teams last year, but that total was a touchdown higher than this year. Patrick Mahomes appears to be progressing well from his ankle injury in training.
All three Chiefs-Bengals meetings in the past 13 months have scored at least 51 points. This is a low buy point on the over. Sure, he’s a risk due to Mahomes’ injury, but the guy is an animal and I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked to see him jump out with a compromised leg.