Bengals vs. Chiefs: The best rushing prop bets for the AFC Conference Championship
This weekend’s AFC Championship Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs has a relatively high total of 54.5 points.
Sun, January 30 2022, 8:00 PM
The offenses are led by two of the best young quarterbacks in the game, but that doesn’t mean the ball will spend the entire time in the air. Let’s look at three rushing props to bet in this weekend’s AFC title game.
Joe Burrow Over 8.5 rushing yards
Burrow suffered a devastating knee injury last year that forced him out for the season and had many questioning how close to 100% he would be entering 2021. At the very least, many predicted that he would take it easy in the pocket, utilizing a Tom Brady-esque strategy of throwing the ball away or dropping to the ground if a big hit looked imminent.
Fast forward to today, and Burrow looks great. He isn’t a runner, by any means, but he’s shown increasing confidence. In an elimination game against a below-average Kansas City defense, I expect him to see open field and a chance for a big run at least once.
Burrow is a competitor and will take advantage of that chance when he gets it.
Joe Burrow runs it in for the score before halftimepic.twitter.com/lqaBFBpWXR— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 5, 2021
Burrow ran for 118 yards in the regular season. Across the 16 games he played, that is 7.4 yards per game. However, if you exclude the first four games, he went for 105 rushing yards and an 8.8 yards per game average.
He also tied for his most rushing attempts (five) against any opponent in the first matchup against the Chiefs.
The Chiefs defense has a low sack percentage and gave up plenty of rushing yards last week to Bills quarterback Josh Allen, plus Burrow isn’t completely immobile. He averaged 27 yards per game on the ground while in college.
Pick: Over 8.5 rushing yards (-115)
Patrick Mahomes Under 31.5 Yards
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has plenty of speed for a quarterback that is known for his gunslinging arm, but this is a really high number for a quarterback to get to.
Mahomes rushed for 381 yards this season in 17 games, or 22.4 yards per game average, which is well below this number.
Patrick Mahomes stats in AFC title games!— Chiefs Focus: Behind the Numbers 📊 (@CFStatistics) January 25, 2022
68 comp./104 att. (65% completion %)
914 passing yards
9 passing TD's
69 rushing yards
1 rushing TD@PatrickMahomes is a big-time performer on the big stage! Can't wait to see what he has for us next! pic.twitter.com/d6t3VRhWwy
In the first matchup, he only took off two times for 25 yards, and he has rushed less in the later part of the season than he did in the first.
Through the first seven games of 2021, Mahomes rushed 32 times (4.5 attempts per game) for 219 yards, or a 31.3 yards per game average. The Chiefs were 3-4 in those games, before going on an eight-game winning streak and finishing their season a much different team.
After those first seven games, Mahomes rushed just 34 times in 10 games (3.4 attempts per game) for 162 yards (or 16.2 yards per game).
Mahomes has all his major receiving weapons to target for this game, and it is clear that his arm is more dangerous than his legs.
Look for Mahomes to take off only when he absolutely needs to and for the Under to cash as he defers to his arm whenever possible.
Pick: Under 31.5 rushing yards (-117)
Joe Mixon Over 57.5 rushing yards
Bengals running back Joe Mixon has become the bell cow of this rushing attack and continues to see the majority of the team’s carries. He rushed for 1,205 yards in the regular season, a 75 yards per game average.
Joe Mixon: 957 rushing yards after contact this season— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) January 26, 2022
💥 3rd most among all running backs pic.twitter.com/cnHJV8LQrR
The Chiefs defense ended the season 30th in the league in yards allowed per rush, and in the early part of the year, they looked completely lost trying to stop the run.
Mixon only carried 12 times for 46 yards in the first matchup, but with the game in Kansas City, I expect the Bengals to try a little harder to take some air and time out of the matchup with a little more ball control on the ground, if they can.
Take Mixon’s Over against a Chiefs defense that does not impress.
Pick: Over 57.5 rushing yards (-115)