Tough one last week. Ugh. Had the game capped well, expected the Titans' defensive line to dominate and pummel Joe Burrow, but the Bengals overcame it thanks to Ryan Tannehill. Better quarterback prevailed. And so it goes.
Our heater is over as we are now 27-18 on the season. And precious few games remaining.
I'm not going to lie, this is a tough weekend for me. I'm not in love with the spreads. Both of these games feature teams that have met recently, but I have difficulty factoring in what from those outcomes might carry over into these games, with the stakes so much higher. Usually, I stick to point spreads, but I mentioned last week in this space that I liked the Bills/Chiefs over and I would tease it down and tease the Chiefs spread down if I wanted to be conservative and go with something safe.
With that in mind, I'm going to take a look at the AFC Championship Game and try to follow a trend of young, explosive quarterbacks setting the scoreboard on fire.
Chiefs vs. Bengals: Over 54.5
This looks a lot like the number from the game at Arrowhead a week ago. And I get that the Bengals have not been finishing drives like the Bills and Chiefs have been. But I also could see a scenario in which the Chiefs ride the home crowd and their decided advantage in experience in championship game settings to run up an early lead. And I could see them sitting back and not blitzing as much as Burrow and Co. eventually make their run. I also could see the Chiefs' defensive line taking this game over, hitting Burrow a ton, and that resulting in some turnovers ... because the odds would say if the Bengals' offense keeps having this degree of issues protecting the QB, it's inevitable, on the road, to lead to short fields for the other team.
I don's see the Chiefs being held under 35 points in this setting. They just have too many ways to score, and score quickly, And the Bengals will score into the low 20s, because their assortment of weapons and ability to get YAC is special. And the Chiefs' secondary has struggled with that recently and I know Tyrann Mathieu returned to practice but it still gives me a little pause against this group. If you made me choose, I'd take K.C. to cover but I prefer to go with this game being another shootout and going over the number.
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