Flip the script: Joe Burrow and Bengals are now favored to beat Chiefs, advance to Super Bowl

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) motion for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an NFL division round football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

When the betting line opened for the AFC championship on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs were as much as a field goal favorite on the opening line at major sportsbooks. But as of Monday night, that changed: The visiting Cincinnati Bengals are now favored to reach their second straight Super Bowl.

As of Tuesday morning, the point spread for Sunday’s game (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS) is Bengals -1.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook. The money line is Bengals -126, meaning that for every $12.60 wagered, $10 is the potential profit. The Chiefs’ money line is +108, meaning for every $10 wagered, $10.80 is the profit.

The winner advances to Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

The game’s over/under total also has dropped to 46½ from an opener of 47½.

At other sportsbooks, the shift has been different but still noticeable: Caesars Sportsbook has the Bengals favored by 2, but BetMGM and Barstool Sportsbook have Cincinnati -2½, just under the important field goal spread. WynnBET is even with Caesars at Bengals -2.

The movement likely is due in large part to the injury status of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of Saturday’s Divisional Round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He left the game but returned in the second half, clearly limping and less effective than normal.

High ankle sprains typically require a recovery time of multiple weeks, so even though Mahomes has said he plans to play against the Bengals, he’ll undoubtedly be less than 100%. The betting market has reacted accordingly, making the Chiefs — who had been favored to win the Super Bowl since the playoffs began — very sudden home underdogs.

After some early movement, the betting line on the NFC championship game has settled, with the Philadelphia Eagles favored by 2½ over the visiting San Francisco 49ers.

Mahomes’ injury has also scrambled the futures market, with all four remaining teams in close range to win the Super Bowl: Philadelphia is the slight championship favorite at FanDuel with +230 odds, with the Bengals just a nickel behind at +250, the Chiefs at +280 and the 49ers at +320.

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