The Chiefs are battle-tested. This team was counted out early when the defense wasn’t good enough, but Kansas City has rebuilt itself midseason with a very good defense, an offense that’s changing with the times and continued elite special teams and coaching.
Kansas City is the finest team the Bengals will play all season. Cincinnati has not played a team currently among the top-eight DVOA teams all year. The best opponent the Bengals faced, the Packers, largely dominated Cincinnati most of the game, out-gaining the Bengals by 100 yards and only leaving things to overtime because of a comedy of field goal errors, a late touchdown and two-point conversion allowed.
The Bengals are the hot team, and the line is moving in Cincinnati’s favor as money comes in on the home team. But I’m going to have to see it to believe it.
This is effectively a playoff game. The Chiefs want to stay hot and keep the 1-seed and secure the bye. We know Kansas City shows up for these monster games against good opponents — we’ve seen it for years now. We don’t know what the Bengals look like in a game of this caliber against this good an opponent. I have to trust the team that’s proven trustworthy, especially with the line moving in our favor.
I’ll bet the Chiefs to win and cover, even on the road against a tough Cincy team. I’ll play Kansas City to -5.5 if necessary. The Bengals need to prove it.
Pick: Chiefs -4.5 | Bet to: -5.5