It’s not Burrowhead, but Cincinnati QB Jake Browning hopes to bring some magic to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday in the week 17 Bengals at Chiefs betting matchup. It’s been years since Kansas City has looked as vulnerable as they have with losses in four of their last six games, and that includes an almost unprecedented 3-4 home record.
Despite all the drama surrounding the Chiefs (9-6) this season, they’re still just a win or a tie away from wrapping up their 8th straight AFC West Championship. The Bengals (8-7) are in a little more dire circumstances, one of four teams tied at 8-7 vying for the final AFC wild card berth. Kansas City is a -6.5 favorite on Sunday afternoon but just 53% of the betting public is giving the points.
Why the Bengals Have Value at +6.5
The Chiefs have pivoted to winning more defensive struggles this season instead of offensive shootouts, so in a game where 20-24 points might win it +6.5 points is a lot. The Bengals have scored 27+ points in three of their last four, so they’ve found a way to find the end zone even without Joe Burrow at QB.
Jake Browning has played extremely well in Burrow’s absence. Browning faced his first real adversity last week throwing 3 INTs in a 34-11 loss in Pittsburgh, but he also threw for 300+ yards for the third time in five starts. Browning’s QBR is 98.5 while Burrow’s was just 91.0 in 10 games.
Browning has found a nice connection with Tee Higgins, who had 140 yards receiving vs. the Steelers and caught his third TD in the last two games. Ja’Marr Chase (shoulder) is expected to be a game time decision but if he plays Patrick Mahomes is going to be jealous of those weapons after the Chiefs have been plagued by drops this year.
Why the Chiefs Have Value at -6.5
Browning had another 300+ yard passing game last week for the Bengals, but a lot of those came in garbage time when the Steelers had already built up a 24-0 halftime lead. It’s possible that Browning has been exposed in his fifth career start – and that was against the Steelers’ 21st ranked passing offense. The Chiefs have put together the 2nd best pass defense in the league allowing just 173.8 ypg through the air.
The Chiefs defense has really been the key for their closing in on an 8th straight AFC West crown with a win on Sunday. K.C. is also 2nd in the NFL in total yards allowed and in points given up (17.7). That’s the type of unit that would’ve even given Burrow some trouble when the Bengals won three straight in this series in the 2022 calendar year.
It’s not like Mahomes is struggling this season, as he’s about to surpass 4,000 yards passing and has thrown 26 TDs to 14 INTs. The body language is off though as the Kansas City QB seems frustrated with everything around him. That could change Sunday though against a Bengals squad that gave up two 65+ yard TD hookups between Mason Rudolph and George Pickens last week.
Free Week 17 Bengals at Chiefs Betting Preview
Are the Chiefs sick of everybody saying they’re done – because this is still a team you don’t want to meet in the postseason. The best bet is that Kansas City comes out angry here, Browning struggles on the road again against a good defense – and the Chiefs put the critics on mute, for a week or two at least.
Free Pick: Chiefs -6.5