Bengals vs. Chiefs: The best Patrick Mahomes prop bets for the AFC Championship
Just when you think you’ve seen Patrick Mahomes do it all, you get a 13-second drive in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills to set up a game-winning field goal. The man is superhuman.
In 10 playoff games with @PatrickMahomes as the starter, the @Chiefs are averaging 33.2 PPG. The highest of all time in the playoffs. (min. 5 starts)— NFL (@NFL) January 26, 2022
Now the 2018 league MVP is preparing for his fourth AFC Championship Game in a row at Arrowhead, and faces a rematch with the Cincinnati Bengals. Mahomes threw 26 passes for 259 and two touchdowns against the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 17 and will need a similarly strong performance to book himself into the Super Bowl for the third successive year.
Sun, January 30 2022, 8:00 PM
Over/Under 291.5 Passing Yards
In the 2021 regular season, Mahomes was averaging 284.6 yards per game, but he has simply come alive in the playoffs, throwing for 404 yards against the Steelers and then 378 yards against the Bills.
That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, if you dig into the stats. Mahomes has played 10 playoff games in his career and has averaged 310.6 yards per game in that stretch. He has cleared 292 yards in 60% of them.
The big players excel on the big stage, so it’s no surprise to see Mahomes’ numbers soar.
The Bengals defense has every right to be concerned having watched Mahomes put up 784 yards through the air in his last two games, especially as the Bills had the No. 1 pass defense in the league during the regular season, and "Showtime" Mahomes still put up more than 400 yards on them.
The feeling when you just won one of the best playoff games ever.@PatrickMahomes | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/ovoOOQKhA3— NFL (@NFL) January 24, 2022
The Bengals pass defense ranked 26th during the regular season, giving up 248 yards per game on average. Last week Ryan Tannehill was able to throw for an average of 9.2 yards per attempt on the Bengals, and that came seven days after Derek Carr had thrown for 310 yards against them.
There’s plenty of reason to think Mahomes will be able to move the ball at will against this Bengals defense, and given the way he’s slinging it during this postseason, it would be no surprise to see him top 300 yards again.
Pick: Over 291.5 Passing Yards (-113)
Over/Under 31.5 Rushing Yards
Mahomes is running more now than he ever has done in his NFL career, although he still doesn’t fall into the same bracket as Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson. He can turn on the jets when needed and was the Chiefs' leading rusher last week, with 69 yards on seven attempts against the Bills.
But Mahomes has beaten this line just six times out of 19 games this season (31.6% of the time) and despite his clear ability with his legs, it’s no secret he’s going to do more damage with his arm.
Patrick Mahomes reached 18.9 mph on this 34-yard scramble #BUFvsKC pic.twitter.com/YuCueK3uza— Recruiting Analytics (@RAanalytics) January 24, 2022
Mahomes’ numbers are also inflated by some big plays. Last week against Buffalo he tore off on a 34-yard scramble, in the Wild Card Round against the Steelers he had a 23-yard play, and in the final week of the regular season, he ran for 25 yards on a play against the Broncos.
Take those three big plays away, and his stats start to look considerably weaker.
Patrick Mahomes minus the "One Big Play"
|Opponent||Rushing Attempts||Yards||Yards per Attempt|
The Bengals run defense has been one of the strongest in the NFL this season and if they can prevent the big play from Mahomes, they should be able to keep the QB quiet on the ground at least.
Pick: Under 31.5 Rushing Yards (-118)
Longest Completed Pass Over/Under 37.5 Yards
I thought I’d misread this line at first, such was my disbelief that we’re getting -121 on Mahomes to throw for a longer pass than 37 yards. It is something Mahomes has done in nine of his last 10 matches, and in the one he didn’t, he was only half a yard short against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12.
Patrick Mahomes' longest completions
|Week||Opponent||Longest Completion (Yards)|
The argument against Mahomes is that the Bengals, although not great against the pass, have not allowed too many deep plays of late. In their last 10 games, only half of the teams have managed to complete a pass longer than 31 yards.
Longest completions given up to opposing QBs by the Bengals
|Week||Opponent||Longest Completion (Yards)|
But Mahomes is no ordinary QB, and this is no ordinary game. In his 10 postseason games in his career, Mahomes has thrown a completion longer than this in 80% of them. It’s hard to imagine he won’t have a big play up his sleeve on Sunday.
Pick: Longest Completed Pass Over 37.5 Yards (-121)