Last Updated Jan 30, 2023, 12:27 AM
AFC Championship Game Odds and Action Report
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
AFC Championship Game odds went up even as the Cincinnati Bengals were still on the field against the Buffalo Bills. While the Kansas City Chiefs watched from home, Patrick Mahomes and Co. opened as field-goal favorites.
But that didn't last long at all, with early bettors either concerned about Mahomes' ankle injury or thoroughly impressed with Joe Burrow right out of the gate.
Multiple oddsmakers provide insights on AFC Championship odds and action. Check back all week for updates.
Opening line: Chiefs -3; Over/Under 49
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday (CBS)
UPDATE 5:45 P.M. ET: With kickoff approaching, the Chiefs are 2-point favorites in the AFC Championship Game odds market at PointsBet USA. Last Sunday, Kansas City opened -1.5, but the number flipped to Cincinnati -2 by Tuesday.
However, by Thursday, the line jumped the fence again to K.C. -1. The Chiefs have been favored ever since, peaking at -2.5 Saturday and sitting at -2 most of today. Spread ticket count and spread money are both running about 2/1 on the Bengals. Cincinnati is also netting 65% of moneyline tickets/55% of moneyline dollars.
"The book is rooting for the Chiefs and the Under," PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn said.
The total opened at 47.5, bottomed out at 46.5 Tuesday morning, then stabilized at 47.5 Wednesday night. Late Friday night, the total climbed to 48, and it's 48 as game time looms. The Over is netting 72% of tickets/62% of money.
UPDATE 3 P.M. ET FRIDAY: As with other sportsbooks, Caesars Sports has seen back-and-forth movement with this line on the AFC Championship odds board. On Sunday, Caesars opened the Chiefs as 2.5-point favorites, but by Monday night, the number flipped all the way to Bengals -1.5, bolstered in part by a $220,000 Bengals +1 wager.
And the shift wasn't done yet, as Tuesday morning, Cincinnati got to -2.5 and – The total opened at 47.5, bottomed out at 46.5 Tuesday morning, and it's been stable at 47.5 since Wednesday night. The Over is netting 61% of tickets, while the Under is taking 61% of money.very briefly – to -3.
"We saw the rash of Bengals money and were wondering when it was going to stop. We obviously saw that at 3, and then at 2.5, that’s when sharper bettors started to get involved," Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said on Wednesday.
Along with sharp play, two big Chiefs bets landed at +2.5: $165,000 and $190,000. And there was a $210,000 play on Chiefs moneyline +110.
Then, as Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes participated in practice Wednesday and Thursday, the line continued moving toward the Chiefs. On Thursday night, K.C. returned to the favorite at -1.
Cincinnati is taking 74% of spread tickets and 58% of spread money. In addition, 74% of moneyline tickets/61% of moneyline dollars are on the Bengals. However, on both the spread and moneyline at Caesars, that's a significant decrease from Wednesday. Midweek, Cincy was netting 79% of spread bets/85% of spread money, and 80% of moneyline bets/88% of moneyline dollars.
"Given all the positive news up to this point, it's not a surprise that the action has swung more to the Chiefs and the Over the past couple days," Pullen said. "From what we know now, I can see this line going further up, a little bit. I don't think anybody expected Mahomes to be fully practicing, which he's done over the past couple days.
"I can't see this line getting to 3, but I would think if the positive news continues, it can get to 2 or possibly 2.5 by game time."
The total opened at 48.5, quickly went to 47.5 and by Tuesday bottomed out at 46.5. Since then, it's toggled between 47 and 47.5 a couple of times, and it's currently at 47.5. Ticket count is 3/1 on the Over, but money is running dead even.
"Obviously, Bengals-Chiefs [total] is more balanced because there was a rash of Under money early on, because of the Mahomes injury and uncertainty whether he'd play," Pullen said. "Now, he's out there on the practice field, so the total has gone up. But usually for big games like this, we'll be needing the Unders."
UPDATE 6:15 P.M. ET THURSDAY: In what's been a volatile point-spread market all week, Kansas City is once again favored on the AFC Championship Game odds board. PointsBet USA has the Chiefs laying 2 points at home, a half-point above where this line opened Sunday night.
In between, the line jumped the fence as far as Bengals -2 Tuesday. The number spent much of Wednesday toggling between Cincy -1.5 and -1, then this morning jumped the fence again to Kansas City -1. The Chiefs briefly touched -2 late this afternoon, returned to -1.5, then in just the past few minutes went to -2 again.
Pretty much all the movement is influenced by news on Patrick Mahomes' status. Mahomes was reported as a full participant in today's practice, as he was Wednesday. That noted, the Bengals are still seeing 71% of spread tickets/73% of spread money. Plus, Cincy is netting 69% of moneyline tickets/76% of moneyline cash.
"We're seeing more action on the Bengals, so at the moment, we'll be rooting for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to win at home," PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn said.
The total opened at 47.5, bottomed out at 46.5 Tuesday morning, and it's been stable at 47.5 since Wednesday night. The Over is netting 61% of tickets, while the Under is taking 61% of money.
UPDATE 6 P.M. ET WEDNESDAY: This line has been on a roller-coaster ride since Sunday afternoon, when AFC Championship odds first hit the board. TwinSpires Sportsbook opened Kansas City -1 and got shoved to Cincinnati -2.5 by Tuesday morning.
However, the line has since trimmed to Bengals -1. Cincinnati is seeing 70% of spread tickets and 77% of spread dollars. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' ankle situation is certainly contributing to Bengals action. But Mahomes was listed as a full participant in today's practice.
"As of now, the Bengals are our biggest liability for Sunday. The Bengals are being teased a lot, too. Cincinnati/San Francisco 6-point teaser is very popular," TwinSpires director of retail sports Zachary Lucas said.
The total initially fell a point from 48 to 47, and it's now 47.5 in TwinSpires' AFC Championship Game odds market. The Over is seeing 66% of early tickets, while 57% of early money is on the Under.
"Sharp play on Under 48," Lucas said.
UPDATE 11:30 P.M. ET SUNDAY: The AFC championship odds board looks similar to last year a this time, with the Bengals and Chiefs set for a rematch in Kansas City. The winner gets a Super Bowl date with either Philadelphia or San Francisco, the final two teams in the NFC Championship odds market.
In Sunday's NFL Divisional Round action, Cincinnati went to Buffalo as a 5.5-point underdog today and dominated in the snow from start to finish, notching a 27-10 victory. Joe Burrow and the Bengals (14-4 SU and ATS) head to K.C. on a 10-game SU win streak, going a stout 8-2 ATS in that stretch.
In fact, Cincy is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 outings.
Meanwhile, Kansas City might or might not have a serious injury situation with Mahomes. The superstar QB suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of Saturday's divisional playoff against Jacksonville. He ultimately returned but was clearly limited in the Chiefs' 27-20 victory as 9.5-point favorites.
While K.C. improved to 15-3 SU, the Chiefs are a dismal 5-12-1 ATS. With 12 minutes left in today's Bengals-Bills game, The SuperBook opened Kansas City -3 in the AFC Championship Game odds market, and the reaction was swift.
"The floodgates opened on the Bengals +3, from sharps and the public, knocking us down a point at a time, all the way to Cincinnati -1," The SuperBook's Casey Degnon said of action in the first 30 minutes or so today. "We eventually saw some buyback on K.C. +1 and pick, moving us to where the market has somewhat settled at Chiefs -1. I expect this game to write some tremendous two-way action throughout the week."
Degnon also noted that the Over saw some smaller bets, but the total actually dipped 1.5 points to 47.5 tonight.
The Chiefs and Bengals met in a highly anticipated Week 13 clash, with Cincy claiming a 27-24 win and cover as a 2.5-point home chalk. That has the Bengals 3-0 SU and ATS against Kansas City over the past two seasons. In the 2021-22 regular season at home and in the AFC Championship Game on the road, Cincinnati rallied to win both games.
K.C. is in its fifth straight AFC Championship Game, reaching and winning the Super Bowl in 2019-20 against San Francisco, and losing the 2020-21 Super Bowl to Tampa Bay.