Bengals vs. Chiefs: The best player prop bets for the AFC Conference Championship
Fresh off the back of arguably the greatest playoff game of all time, the Chiefs are ready to host their fourth AFC Championship Game in a row at Arrowhead Stadium.
Sun, January 30 2022, 8:00 PM
Kansas City saw off Buffalo in a game for the ages last week, as Travis Kelce’s overtime touchdown secured a wild 42-36 win.
The Bengals are the visitors this weekend, with a spot in Super Bowl 56 up for grabs. Joe Burrow led Cincinnati to a surprise comeback in Week 17 of the regular season against the Chiefs, turning a 28-17 deficit in the first half into a 34-31 win at home.
This time in Kansas City, the Chiefs are favored by a touchdown. Here are the best bets for what is set to be a cracker of a game.
Ja’Marr Chase: Over/Under 85.5 Receiving Yards
What is there left to say about Ja’Marr Chase? The rookie is an absolute stud. If people were worried about how the 21-year-old would cope with the pressure of the postseason and the weight of expectation in Cincinnati, they shouldn’t have been.
Chase silenced those doubters with nine grabs for 116 yards in the Wild Card Round against the Raiders, and then last week, he hauled in another five passes for 109 yards against the Titans.
In his last five games, Chase has had a total of 44 targets (8.8 per game), 34 catches (6.8 per game), and 642 receiving yards (128.4 per contest). He’s an absolute phenomenon.
And there is plenty that should worry the Chiefs. In Week 17, Chase caught 11 of 12 passes thrown his way for an incredible 266 yards. That’s not a one-off either, as last week Gabriel Davis had himself a career-best day, bringing in eight of his 10 targets for 201 yards, as the Bills dismantled the Chiefs’ secondary.
The points line for this match has already moved from 50.5 to 54.5, so bettors are expecting another high-scoring thriller, and Chase should be at the heart of it.
Kansas safety Tyrann Mathieu left the Bills game early with a concussion and is in a race to clear protocols in time for this game. If he isn’t, that makes this prop bet even more appealing.
Byron Pringle: Over/Under 36.5 Receiving Yards
Byron Pringle might not be putting up massive receiving numbers the likes of which you see from Kelce or Tyreek Hill, but he’s flying under the radar a bit and caught our eye this weekend. In the two postseason games, Pringle has a target share of 17% with the Chiefs — not a bad return when Patrick Mahomes has chucked the ball 83 times.
In four of Pringle’s last five games, he has had at least seven targets and at least five catches, which bodes well for this clash with the Bengals. Pringle is averaging just 4.7 yards per target in the postseason, but that was as high as 9.5 yards per target in the regular season, and you’d have to expect that to regress closer to the mean.
That should mean an uptick in yards to match his consistent target share, which makes this line very beatable.
In regular-season games with Mahomes in Pringle’s career, the receiver has seen five targets or more on seven occasions. His average yards per game in those matches is 59.6, and he’s cleared 37 yards in all but one of them.
While he isn’t likely to be the star of the show on Sunday, Pringle is a useful part of Mahomes’ offense, and with the Chiefs QB in such red-hot form, it’s smart to go over on Pringle.
Evan McPherson: Over/Under 6.5 Kicking Points
I don’t regularly look at the kicking props, but it felt only right after last week’s games saw three matches decided with walk-off field goals. Not only that, but this bet on Evan McPherson looks like a stone-cold lock for Sunday’s clash at Arrowhead.
The line has opened at 6.5 kicking points for the Bengals kicker, which looks too low, considering he’s beaten that line in eight of the last nine weeks.
Not only has he beaten it in that stretch, but he’s also beaten it comfortably, averaging 10.8 points per game since the Week 10 bye.
Evan McPherson's Kicking Points Since the Week 10 Bye
Both the Bengals' red-zone offense and the Chiefs' red-zone defense are middle of the pack when it comes to converting opportunities into touchdowns, so that could give McPherson a few chances of easy field goals, while with such a high points total, there’s the likelihood that he could get an opportunity at three or more extra points.
In the Week 17 game against the Chiefs, McPherson pinged two field goals along with four extra points. He’s 36 from 41 attempts on the season (87.8% success rate) for field goals and hasn’t missed one inside 40 yards. His longest kick of the year has been 58 yards, and he’s 49 from 51 on extra points (96%).
Take the over and feel good about it.