There's something about the Chiefs' upcoming AFC Championship Game that is different from their previous four title-game matchups in their current run. The favored team each of the past four years, Kansas City opened as the favorite again this season, but the line flipped early in the week as K.C. became a 1.5-point underdog for Sunday's showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals. On Thursday the line flipped again, with the Chiefs now 1-point favorites, according to Caesars Sportsbook. 

As the line continues to bounce around, it's worth noting that there are tangible reasons behind the Bengals briefly being a rare title-game favorite. For one, they've defeated the Chiefs three times over the last two years, including last year's thrilling AFC title game. Cincinnati overcame a 21-3 deficit and won the game in overtime after Bengals safety Vonn Bell picked off Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to set up Evan McPherson's game-winning field goal in Kansas City. 

Cincinnati recorded a 27-24 victory over Kansas City in Week 13 after scoring the game's final 10 points. Linebacker Germaine Pratt's forced fumble of Travis Kelce early in the fourth quarter set up Burrow's game-winning touchdown pass to Chris Evans

Mahomes, who will likely win his second league MVP next month, was asked about his team's struggles against Cincinnati after the Week 13 loss. 

"First off, they have a great quarterback, and a guy who's won a lot of football games, even if that was in college, and now he's won a lot of football games in the NFL," Mahomes said. "He's someone that competes to the very end, too. They've got playmakers all over there, they're well-coached, have a good defense. At the end of the day, they've executed at a higher level in the critical situations."

As Mahomes mentioned, Burrow has been at his best in games against the Chiefs. In his first three games against the Chiefs, Burrow completed 72% of his passes with eight touchdowns against just one interception. 

Joe Burrow
CIN • QB • #9
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Speaking of quarterbacks, the high ankle sprain Mahomes suffered during Saturday's divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars is surely another reason why the Bengals are favored. Mahomes, who got hurt during the first half, briefly left the game before finishing with 195 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-30 passing. However, Mahomes has since practiced in full and seems to be good to go, which is likely why the Chiefs are now favored again.

Patrick Mahomes
KC • QB • #15
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The Bengals' success away from Cincinnati is likely another reason why they were favored at one point this week. Including last Sunday's win at Buffalo, the Bengals are 7-3 on the road this season and winners of their last five road games. Cincinnati is 8-3 in its last 11 games as road favorites. Conversely, the Chiefs are 0-2 as a rare home underdog over the past two seasons. 

Given their past three matchups, Sunday's game will likely be another close game between the AFC's top two teams. Each of their past three matchups were three-point outcomes, with the Bengals coming out on the winning end in each matchup. 

The winner of Sunday's game will further cement its place in history. Kansas City can become the eighth team to play in at least three Super Bowls over a five-year span, and the first since the 2010s Patriots. The Bengals can become only the fifth team this century to appear in consecutive Super Bowls. Should they win the Super Bowl, Cincinnati would join the 1971 Cowboys,1972 Dolphins and 2018 Patriots as the only teams to win the Super Bowl one year after losing the big game.