After several days of decent line activity at the sportsbooks, the point spread for the AFC Championship Game Friday morning has the Kansas City Chiefs listed as 1.5-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Kansas City went from favorite to favorite and back to favorite during the week, each upgrade during the Chiefs quarter Patrick MahomesAn injured ankle has caused a financial rush for both teams at the sportsbooks. Mahomes, who reportedly suffered a sprained ankle in Saturday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been listed as a full participant in practice this week.
“I still feel like I can do a lot of things, but we’ll see as we get closer and closer,” Mahomes said Thursday. “We’ll see in the game. You can’t completely predict what it’s going to be like in those moments in the game. All I can do is prepare myself as best as possible, and then when we get into the game, you hope the adrenaline picks up and you can make those shots when you need them.
The Bengals, who opened as a 3-point underdog, drew plenty of action earlier in the week. Superbook said it only took two bets on the Chiefs in the first two hours after posting the line Sunday, making the Bengals the quick betting favorite.
Cincinnati has a 3-point favorite, albeit a short one, on Tuesday at Caesars Sportsbook in Nevada. Caesar took the Bengals to -3 for about five minutes Tuesday afternoon before quickly returning to -2.5.
Max Meyer, Caesars Sportsbook’s editorial content writer, told CBS Sports that the trip to Bengals-3 was “just to test the waters.”
“The waters have definitely been tested, because it’s a lot of sharp action. [on the Chiefs] It came in at +3,” Meyer told the network.
Chris Andrews, a veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker and sports book director at South Point Casino, said he also noticed increased interest from bettors on Tuesday.
“I mean, I remember.” [Tuesday] There should be some kind of report [Mahomes] Andrews told ESPN on Thursday. “They showed that film clip yesterday and it looks like he’s doing well, and the floodgates have opened since then.
The point spread is mostly stuck around -1 and -2, with either team favored for most of the week. Over the past five seasons, including the playoffs, 9% of games have ended with a margin of victory of less than three, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
The Chiefs have enjoyed a 14-game playoff streak, the longest such streak in the Super Bowl era.
In the NFC Championship Game, the Philadelphia Eagles are 2.5-point favorites against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.
“We can reach it [Eagles] 3-3,” Andrews said. “I think there’s a good chance for that, but if we get to 3, I think the 49ers will jump right in.”