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Dalzell's Dish

AFC Championship Player Props: Mahomes, Burrow, Kelce and Jones

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: January 30, 2022, 1:11 pm ET

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Patrick Mahomes O/U 290.5 Passing Yards vs. Bengals

Patrick Mahomes has tossed 378 and 404 yards against the Steelers and Bills for eight touchdowns to one interception during this postseason.

Over his 10 career playoff games, the star quarterback has thrown for 270-plus yards in nine games (90%) and 286 or more in seven out of 10 (70%), per statmuse

Patrick Mahomes postseason career

 

Mahomes has been a very profitable player in the postseason and I don't see that stopping versus the Bengals. 

Mahomes has thrown for 294, 295 and 325 passing yards in his three career AFC Championship games with nine touchdowns to zero interceptions.

The Bengals have allowed seven of the last nine quarterbacks they faced to throw for at least 250 yards, including Justin Herbert (317), Derek Carr (310), Josh Johnson (304), Jimmy Garoppolo (296), Ben Roethlisberger (263) and Mahomes (259).

We expect the Chiefs offense to look its usual self on Sunday, and when that happens, Mahomes is always a good bet for 300 yards and three touchdown passes.

I gave this out and bet it at Over 285.5 Passing Yards for two units on Wednesday's and Friday's Editions of Bet The Edge. I would play this up to 290.5 for two units and anything from 291 to 300.5 for one unit.

I took the Over 2.5 passing TDs for +100 and would play it out to -115. It opened at -115.

Pick: Patrick Mahomes Over 285.5 Passing Yards (2u), Over 2.5 Passing Touchdowns (1u)

 

Joe Burrow O/U 37.5 Pass Attempts vs. Chiefs

Joe Burrow is 12-6 (66.7%) to the Under on this prop this season, but we are going Over here.

If Burrow does not throw the ball 40-plus times, the Bengals may not have a chance in this matchup. Burrow tossed 34 and 37 times in the past two games and barely won the time of possession battle.

Josh Allen just recorded 37 pass attempts, while Ben Roethlisberger recorded 44 versus the Chiefs. Allen also ran the ball 11 times, so he easily could have gone Over 37.5 pass attempts. 

Last season Allen (47 pass attempts) and Baker Mayfield (37) could not take down the Chiefs, so I expect Burrow to be throwing a ton. With weapons like Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, CJ Uzomah and Joe Mixon -- it's easy to back this prop.

The run game will only work for so long, plus you cannot beat the Chiefs kicking field goals. The Bengals will need to go for it on fourth downs and likely trust Burrow to throw on some crucial third and shorts rather than rely on the ground game.

I would back Burrow up to 38.5 pass attempts, where PointsBet already has this prop set. Every other book has 37.5, but I expect this to move by kickoff to 38.5 or 39.5.

Pick: Joe Burrow Over 37.5 Pass Attempts (2u)

 

Travis Kelce O/U 75.5 Receiving Yards vs. Bengals

The best tight end in football has a positive matchup in the postseason -- watch out.

Travis Kelce has five straight playoff games with 96 or more receiving yards and scored five touchdowns in that stretch, per statmuse.

He has scored in four straight postseason games at home and has 10 total touchdowns in 10 home games. Kelce hit 75 or more yards in seven of those 10 games (70%).

Travis Kelce postseason game log

 

In last week's game, Kelce ran 41 routes, which was tied for the second-most on the season. He also played 87.8% of the snaps, his sixth-highest total for the year. I expect him to be on the field more than that this week.

Cincy has struggled versus tight ends, as mentioned previously. The Bengals ranked bottom of the league in numerous categories against tight ends, including 61.0 yards per game allowed (28th), 5.42 receptions per game (27th) and 11.25 yards per catch (24th).

Kelce is in for a big day and could reach the 100-plus mark yet again, but that would be one of the least surprising things to happen on Sunday.

I bet Kelce at 75.5 yards for 2 units and gave this out on Wednesday's and Friday's Editions of Bet The Edge. I would play this up to 77.5 yards for two units and anything after for one unit up to 84.5 yards.

Pick: Travis Kelce Over 75.5 Receiving Yards (2u)

 

Bengals at Chiefs: Kansas City Team Total O/U 30.5

Kansas City averages 29.7 points per game during the regular season (4th) and 29.0 at home (5th).

During the playoffs, the Chiefs upped that to 42 points in each of its games against the Steelers and Bills. During Mahomes postseason career, Kansas City has played 10 games and been outstanding to bet on.

The Chiefs scored 31 or more points in eight of those 10 playoff games (80%). The only two Unders were in the Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year and a meeting with the Cleveland Browns in the same postseason.

The Chiefs are also 7-3 ATS (70%) and 8-2 on the ML (80%) in Mahomes' postseason career, per NBC's Edge Finder. 

KC ATS with Mahomes playoffs

 

The Bengals have allowed four teams this year to surpass 30 points, the Jets, Browns, Chargers and Chiefs.

Cincy will have its work cut out for them going against Mahomes and company a second time, but this time in Arrowhead and not Ohio. Derek Carr and Ryan Tannehill were fun tests for Cincy, but there is a Red Sea of points coming.

Pick: Chiefs Team Total Over 30.5 (1u)

 

Chris Jones To Record A Sack vs. Bengals

Joe Burrow and the Bengals were sacked nine times last week, so you know Chris Jones and company are licking their chops.

Jones recorded the second-most sacks of his career this season at 9.0. Jones had two sacks against the Bengals in the previous meeting and registered four tackles. 

Jones also wrecked the AFC North this year. Jones totaled two sacks against the Bengals, two versus the Browns and disrupted both the Steelers with 1.5 TFL in the AFC Wild Card. 

Burrow is the most sacked quarterback in the NFL at 51 times for the regular season and 11 in the postseason already. He was knocked down 49 times during the regular season (9th-most), so I expect plenty of pressure from Kansas City, particularly Jones in this matchup.

Jones does not have a sack in his postseason career yet (crazy stat), but this is a great spot to take him against a second-year quarterback and questionable offensive line in the AFC Championship at home versus a team that has never been here - -you catch my drift?

Jones also has seven of his nine sacks at home this season (77.8%). I played Yes for a Sack at -126 odds on FanDuel.

Pick: Yes to Record a Sack (0.5u)

 

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