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Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs preview: Predictions, odds and 3 matchups to watch

For the second consecutive season, the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs will do battle in the AFC Championship Game with a spot in Super Bowl LVII on the line.

Kansas City disposed of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Playoffs despite Patrick Mahomes suffering an ankle injury. As for the Bengals, they are looking to make back-to-back Super Bowl appearances for the first time in franchise history after dismantling the Buffalo Bills in Western New York on Sunday.

Related: Bold predictions for Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs odds

The latest odds for the Bengals and Bills matchup are provided by BetMGM.

  • Spread: Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
  • Point total: 48.5
  • Moneyline: Kansas City Chiefs (-125), Cincinnati Bengals (+105)

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs game info

cincinnati bengals at kansas city chiefs preview
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s everything you need to know before the Bengals and Chiefs do battle during Championship Sunday.

  • Time: 6:30 PM ET
  • TV info: CBS
  • Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Date: Sunday, January 22, 2023
  • Broadcasters: Jim Nantz and Tony Romo

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills matchups to watch

Ja’Marr Chase vs L’Jarius Sneed

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

Chase caught a mere five balls for 61 yards in Cincinnati’s divisional playoff win, going up againstTre’Davious White in the process. It was not a plus-level matchup for the talented receiver. Despite that, he did provide Joe Burrow with a consistent target as his Bengals came away with a 27-10 win.

The Pro Bowler has a somewhat better matchup in the AFC Championship Game against L’Jarius Sneed and an otherwise young Chiefs cornerback group. Snead yielded a 66.3% completion rate during the regular season. However, he played pretty darn well against Jacksonville in the divisional round.

The expectation here is that he’ll follow Chase around the field because Kansas City doesn’t want to rely on rookies Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson to contain the all-world receiver.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Travis Kelce vs Cincinnati Bengals safeties

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

A future Hall of Famer, Kelce recorded an NFL Playoff record 14 receptions with two touchdowns against Jacksonville last week. In his past seven postseason games, Kelce has caught 68 passes for 757 yards and eight touchdowns. That’s just absurd stuff.

It won’t be easy in the AFC Championship Game against a Bengals defense that ranked in the top 10 in the NFL during the regular season in stopping tight ends. The safety duo of Jessie Bates (51.4% completion percentage, 76.1 QB rating allowed) and Vonn Bell (64.0% QB rating) is among the best in the game.

We expect the Chiefs to attempt to create mismatches in this one. That is to say, getting Kelce in matchups against Bengals tight ends. With that said, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will want these safeties up against Kelce. It’s their best chance of containing the elite talent.

Related: Ranking NFL Playoff quarterbacks

Joe Burrow vs Patrick Mahomes

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

In two career games against the Chiefs, Burrow has dominated to the tune of eight touchdowns with one interception for a 121.0 QB rating while completing nearly 79% of his passes. That included a brilliant performance in last season’s AFC Championship Game.

At this point, it does seem that Cincinnati is Kansas City’s kryptonite with Burrow leading the charge. He’s just been brilliant against the Chiefs.

As for Patrick Mahomes, he suffered a high-ankle sprain in the NFL Divisional Playoffs. The likely MVP should be good to go in this one. But he’s not going to be anywhere near 100%. We shall see how much of an impact that will have on the star quarterback.

In reality, the AFC Championship Game will come down to quarterback play. That’s the way both teams want it with each having a tremendous amount of confidence in their stars coming to play with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs prediction

cincinnati bengals at kansas city chiefs preview
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

As noted above, Cincinnati has had its way with Kansas City in each of the past two games. The AFC Championship Game doesn’t seem to be too large of a stage for Burrow after what we saw in his final season with LSU and last January. He’ll be prepared for this one.

The Chiefs’ offense is still dynamic with Mahomes and Kelce leading the charge. Though, it will be facing a different monster in that of the Bengals. Here’s a unit that gave up just 10 points in the divisional round to a Bills squad that ranked second behind Kansas City in scoring during the regular season. That will be the difference as the Bengals punch their ticket to the Super Bowl for a second consecutive year.

  • Prediction: Bengals 27, Chiefs 23
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