Coming into Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals are 13-5 against the spread. This was his second best performance in the NFL, behind the New York Giants. Bettors who have backed Cincinnati all season have made a sizable profit.
Line moves surrounding the Kansas City-Cincinnati matchup have been all over the place all week. Kansas City originally opened as a three-point favorite. Immediately, the market moved in Cincinnati’s favor. The Bengals were the road favorites by 2.5 points by midweek. Once the practice report on Patrick Mahomes came out, the market turned back in Kansas City’s favour, who finished with his 1.5-point favorite.
BetMGM covered that number with 69% of bets and 73% of funds in favor of Cincinnati. They were popular underdogs. The Bengals had a dominant win against the Buffalo Bills, but the Chiefs were playing with compromised Mahomes. The Bengals have been friendly to bettors all season, but not on Sunday.
both favorite covers
It was the story of two different games on Sunday as both conferences played championship games. However, there was one fact that held true for both games.
In the early games, any hopes of competitive gaming were quickly dashed. The Eagles scored on their first drive, but it was not without controversy. On fourth and third from the 35-yard line, Jalen Hurts found Devonta Smith a 29-yard gain downfield. Ruled a catch on the field, the Eagles rushed to the line and snapped the ball to challenge out of the equation. A replay clearly showed that the ball hit the ground. Play continued, however, and two plays later, the Eagles were in the end zone on a Miles Saunders run.
On the 49ers’ first offensive drive, Brock Purdy fumbled, but the biggest point taken from the play was the injury to the 49ers’ quarterback. He hurt his elbow and was replaced by Josh Johnson. The 49ers defense was high for a while and eventually San Francisco tied the game with a Christian McCaffrey touchdown.
But just before halftime, the Eagles took a 14–7 lead with another Sanders touchdown, and the 49ers got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining. With the fourth quarterback entering the game, they had to decide whether to run out the clock or take the risk. Well, they took a risk, but it backfired. Johnson mishandled the snap and Philadelphia got the ball back. Four plays later, Boston Scott was in his zone at the end of his 21-7 lead.
In the third quarter, Johnson hit a pocket and hit his head on the ground. He was ruled out after a few minutes. Purdy re-entered the game at quarterback, but it was clear from the start that he lacked the physical ability to field the ball. Philadelphia sold out on defense and added 10 points in the second half for a huge 31–7 win.
The Eagles were a popular bet. At BetMGM, 74% of his bets and 82% of his money were covered by the Eagles as his 2.5-point favorite. It was a win without sweat. The quarterback’s injury deprived his football fans of a compelling game, but Eagles bettors were perhaps less frustrated.
There was drama throughout the AFC Championship match. It was a field goal kicking competition early on as Kansas City led 6-3. With 4 and 1 from the Bengals 14-yard line, the Chiefs bypassed another field his goal. The risk soon paid off as Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce to extend the Chiefs’ lead to 13-3. Cincinnati added a field goal before halftime.
In the third quarter, the teams traded touchdowns. Joe Burrow gave Tee Higgins his 27-yard score to tie the game, but Kansas City quickly answered with a 19-yard connection between Mahomes and Marquez Valdes Scantling. Cincinnati tied the game early in the fourth quarter with a Samaje Perrine touchdown.
The Chiefs punted the ball back to Cincinnati on the ensuing drive, but the Chiefs defense intercepted Burrow. With 2:36 remaining, Andy Reed and the Chiefs had to make a decision. At 4 and 8 from the 38-yard line, the Chiefs decided to punt and a potential 56-yard field he evaded the goal. The Bengals picked up his two downs in the first but were eventually forced to punt with 41 seconds remaining.
Sky Moore returned the punt 29 yards, and with 30 seconds left, the Chiefs attacked at their own 47-yard line. With 17 seconds left, Patrick Mahomes scrambled for a 5-yard gain to score his first down. The Chiefs’ offense would have needed a few more yards to get into legitimate field goal range, but they were relieved as Mahomes was hit out of bounds by Joseph Assay. A 15-yard penalty set up a 45-yard game-winning field goal by Harrison Butker.
The Chiefs won and covered as the 1.5 point favorite. Unlike the Eagles, the Chiefs were not popular home favorites. Most of the money was on the road poor. The Chiefs win was a good result for the sportsbook.
During the NFL regular season, Under went 149-119-3 with a winning percentage of 55.6%. He had a low-scoring season as many famous quarterbacks struggled. Overall, scoring has fallen across the league.
This trend crumbled in the opening weekend of the playoffs. In the wildcard rounds, 5 out of 6 games exceeded the total. Some wondered if that meant more scoring as the playoffs progressed and more attacks in the league progressed.
In the divisional round, the unders were 4-0. Both games fell short of their totals last weekend.
San Francisco and Philadelphia combined finished with 44.5 points. With the score at half time he was 21-7 and over he bettors probably felt better. However, San Francisco played most of the second half with a quarterback who could not throw the ball onto the field. Philadelphia weren’t satisfied with just killing time by moving the ball. The team had just 38 points combined.
The offense moved the ball well in the AFC Championship game. However, many drives failed in the red zone. Harrison Butker and Evan McPherson combined he scored his goals five fields. Joe Burrow threw his two interceptions and also killed the drive. The game ended with a total of 48.5 points, but he had only 43 points across the two teams combined.
Looking ahead, he underhit with his fourth consecutive Super Bowl win. The Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl total is currently set at 49.5 points.
Bettors struggle with props
Props are a common way to participate in betting games when bettors cannot choose sides or wager totals. However, many of his bets on his most popular prop at BetMGM this weekend didn’t hit.
In the NFC Championship Game, bettors expected a big game from the Philadelphia star. Bettors liked both AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith to explain the receiving prop. Brown’s prop set him at 73.5 yards and Smith’s prop set him at 66.5 yards. However, the Eagles did not perform well in aerial combat. Smith had 36 yards and Brown had him 28. Both came comfortably below the total.
Jalen Hurts’ rushing prop was also a popular bet. Bettors preferred him over his 46.5 rushing yards. Despite closing in on Hurts, he finished with just 39 yards on 11 carries. Had the match been closer he might have scrambled more, but he didn’t need to.
Bettor made a bold move to fend off Patrick Mahomes in the AFC Championship match. The bulk of the bet was for Mahomes to fall short of his 285.5 yards. But the Chiefs quarterback cashed the over for bettors who believe he gained 326 yards and won’t slow down on his ankles.
Bettors preferred Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco to have a big game on the ground, but his rushing yards were just 26 yards, well below the 49.5-yard prop line.