Kansas City Chiefs vs Cincinnati Bengals (12/4 @ 4:25 PM EST)
Spread: Chiefs -2
Money Line: KC -130 / Cincinnati +110
Overview and Betting Info
The Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) will head to Cincinnati this weekend to take on the Bengals (7-4) in a matchup between two of the AFC’s top teams. The Bengals lead the overall series 17-14 and have won four of the last five matchups. Their previous two games were decided by three points.
The Chiefs are 4-6-14 against the spread this season, covering three of their last five. They have gone over the total five times this year but have gone under in three of their previous five.
The Bengals are 8-3 versus the spread and have covered seven of their last nine. They have gone over the total 4 times, including three of their previous four.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs find themselves at 9-2 thanks to an elite offense that leads the NFL in yards (440.7) and points (29.6) per game. They are led by Patrick Mahomes, who is having another MVP season with 3,585 yards and 29 touchdowns (leads NFL in both). He’s been improving as the season goes on and now has 320 yards over his last 6 games. A big part of his success has been due to the league’s top tight end, Travis Kelce. The veteran has 912 yards and leads the NFL with 12 touchdowns. He joins receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (653 yards, 2 TDs), but he is still listed as questionable with an illness (missed last week). Keep an eye on speed-demon Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a major downfield threat with 515 yards and 1 TD.
The Chief’s run game has been underwhelming this season, but the emergence of rookie Isiah Pacheco could turn it around. The Chief’s lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire a couple of weeks ago, and the rookie has stepped up to handle the increased load, averaging 4.8 yards per carry since becoming the starter. Pacheco is a bruising back that perfectly complements Jerick McKinnon, who has been their back for passing downs. The duo is more than enough to support the passing attack and should challenge the Bengals on Sunday.
The Chief’s defense allows 357.5 yards and 22.1 points per game this season. They have been playing well lately, allowing 17 or fewer points in three of their last five games. They are fifth in the NFL with an impressive 35 sacks. Their success is led by defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is eighth in the NFL with 10 sacks on the season. He’s been dominant and has failed to register at least 0.5 sacks just three times. The Chiefs have also gotten great play from linebacker Nick Bolton who leads the teams in tackles (106) and interceptions (2). Their secondary has played well, especially corner L.Jarius Sneed who has a team-high 8 pass deflections to go along with an interception and three forced fumbles.
The Bengals had a rocky start to their season, but they’ve now won five of their last six games. They are powered by a talented offense averaging 387.6 yards and 25.9 points per game. They are again led by Joe Burrow, who has 3,160 yards and 23 touchdowns despite being sacked a whopping 33 times (3rd in the NFL). He’s managed to keep this offense going despite injuries to their skilled players and an offensive line that is among the league’s worst. Tee Higgins currently leads the team with 80 receptions and 826 yards, but Ja’Marr Chase is expected to return to the lead role this weekend. He had 15 catches for 262 yards and four touchdowns combined in his last two games before the injury. Don’t forget about Tyler Boyd, who has 595 yards and four touchdowns. Expect all three to see a lot of action on Sunday.
Cincinnati has a ton of talent in the backfield with Joe Mixon, but he’s been limited this year thanks to an offensive line that has failed to create holes. The veteran back has 608 yards, six touchdowns on the ground, and another 314 yards and two touchdowns through the air. His inability to find a running room has been a problem, and he’s now returning from injury after missing last week. He will join Samaje Perine (434 total yards, 3 TD) to try and resurrect the Bengal’s run
The Bengal’s defense allows 338.6 yards and 21 points per game. They’ve been stellar as of late but have not played a top-10 quarterback since week 5 in Lamar Jackson. The good news is that they fared well against Lamar and Tua the week before (at least until he was injured). One issue they have is an inability to get into the backfield, with just 17 sacks on the season (30th in NFL). This is despite a fantastic season from Trey Henderson, who leads the team with six sacks and two forced fumbles. The secondary has been led by safety Vonn Bell, who has five pass deflections, four interceptions, and 52 tackles. He has been making plays all over the field and will be a key player against the Chiefs’ pass attack on Sunday. We’ll also be watching Sam Hubbard, who has an impressive 4.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
Free Pick: Over 53
While we’re unsure how much Chase and Mixon will be able to contribute, their presence on the field will open up things for this Cincinnati offense. They are averaging 27.4 points per game over their last five games, and that continues with those weapons back on the field. On the other side, the Chiefs are averaging an impressive 29.4 points per game. Neither of these defenses is overwhelming, and the Bengal’s offensive line has been playing well over the last three weeks (4 sacks). These teams are focused on playoff positioning, meaning they will come out aggressive. It may take time to get them going, but we expect to see a lot of points between these teams on Sunday.
We are taking the over for this one.