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Bengals vs. Chiefs: The best Patrick Mahomes prop bets for the AFC Championship

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

January 27th, 2022

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.

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

KC Chiefs

Moneyline

-345

Spread

-7

Total

O 54.5

CIN Bengals

Moneyline

+270

Spread

+7

Total

U 54.5

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 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.

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"

OpponentRushing AttemptsYardsYards per Attempt
Buffalo Bills
6
35
5.8
Pittsburgh Steelers
2
6
3.0
Denver Broncos
8
29
3.6

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

WeekOpponentLongest Completion (Yards)
Divisional Round
Bills
64
Wildcard
Steelers
48
18
Broncos
44
17
Bengals
53
16
Steelers
50
15
Chargers
69
14
Raiders
44
13
Broncos
38
12
Cowboys
37
11
Raiders
38

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

WeekOpponentLongest Completion (Yards)
Divisional Round
Titans
41
Wildcard
Raiders
26
18
Browns
26
17
Chiefs
53
16
Ravens
28
15
Broncos
28
14
49ers
41
13
Chargers
47
12
Steelers
41
11
Raiders
31

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)

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