For two weeks, bettors have been able to take the Cincinnati Bengals at long odds compared to the other three remaining teams in the NFL playoffs.
The Bengals’ Super Bowl odds plummeted from +800 before the team’s dominant Divisional Round win over Buffalo to +270 — the same as the Kansas City Chiefs — heading into the AFC Championship Game.
That hasn’t stopped bettors from heavily backing Joe Burrow & Co. The Bengals opened as 1.5-point underdogs at Kansas City on Sunday evening, but the line had already slightly shifted to +1 by mid-day Monday.
Sports betting in Ohio kicked off on Jan. 1, so Bengals fans will have plenty of options for betting on the AFC Championship Game.
Joe Burrow vs. Patrick Mahomes IV is set
The Cincinnati Bengals will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game, which the Bengals won in overtime, 27-24, en route to Super Bowl LVI.
The Bengals famously defeated the Chiefs three times during the 2022 calendar year. Cincinnati won all three games by exactly 3 points.
The Bengals have also overcome massive deficits against the Chiefs. The team came back from down 14 points in Week 18 of 2021 and overcame an 18-point deficit in the 2021 AFC Championship Game. Mahomes is 0-3 against Burrow.
Burrow vs. Mahomes:
- Week 18, 2021: Bengals 34-Chiefs 31
- AFC Championship 2021: Bengals 27-Chiefs 24
- Week 13, 2022: Bengals 27, Chiefs 24
The Bengals will head into the rematch at Arrowhead Stadium as 1-point underdogs — a sign of respect from the betting market, which typically awards around a 2-point advantage to the home team.
The line sitting at Bengals +1 suggests they might actually be favored on a neutral field.
Bettors are heavy on the Bengals at this point, with 77% of bets and 81% of handle on Cincinnati at BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio.
Bengals, Chiefs co-favorites to win AFC
Heading into the Divisional Round, the Cincinnati Bengals were +800 to win the Super Bowl — the longest odds of the remaining NFL playoff teams. They were +1200 before their Wild Card win against Baltimore.
BetMGM line movement (Divisional Round, current):
- Eagles +500 to +250
- Chiefs +280 to +270
- Bengals +800 to +270
- 49ers +400 to +300
The Philadelphia Eagles are now the betting favorite to win Super Bowl LVII and will host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Championship Game.
Surely, sportsbooks ought to be ready for heavy Super Bowl betting from Ohio should the Bengals pull the mild upset in KC.
Sportsbooks off the hook with Buffalo Bills eliminated
The highest rate of Super Bowl tickets (12.4%) and handle (16.1%) at BetMGM were on the Bills to win the Super Bowl. That liability is now off the books.
Bettors are backing the remaining playoff teams at similar rates, though the Bengals’ longer odds over the past two weeks leaves them as the biggest liability remaining.
BetMGM ticket %, handle %:
- Chiefs: 10.4%, 11.6%
- Bengals: 10.0%, 10.0%
- Eagles: 8.7%, 9.0%
- 49ers: 8.7%, 10.7%
The Bengals are on a massive run of success under Burrow, who has led the team to five playoff victories in two seasons after the franchise suffered through a 30-plus year playoff victory drought.
Cincinnati was 0-7 in the NFL playoffs between a 1991 victory over the Houston Oilers and Burrow’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders in last season’s Wild Card round.
The 26-year-old QB is now 5-1 in the playoffs, with the only loss coming to the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LVI.
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