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Chiefs-Bengals NFL Championship Recreation sports activities wager line uncommon

Jay Kornegay — govt vp for SuperBook Sports activities operations — says what’s transpired over the previous 72 hours is unprecedented in an AFC or NFC Championship Recreation.

Kornegay’s SuperBook Sports opened its line Sunday night time with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs favored by three for Sunday’s house sport towards the Cincinnati Bengals. Lower than 24 hours later, so many Cincinnati bets got here in that the Bengals grew to become the favored staff.

And as of early Tuesday afternoon, that development hadn’t slowed, with the road shifting to Bengals by 2 1/2 (although it moved again to 1 1/2 afterward Tuesday).

“We speak concerning the Bengals’ nice efficiency (towards the Buffalo Payments final week), however that is a 5 1/2-point transfer. That simply does not occur,” Kornegay mentioned. “And I might say 90% of that’s due to (Patrick) Mahomes’ harm.”

The Chiefs quarterback Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain final week towards Jacksonville, which restricted his mobility within the second half. Mahomes has vowed to play Sunday towards Cincinnati, although, that means sportsbooks had been left to take a position about his standing whereas making an attempt to set their opening strains.

Kornegay mentioned he and a handful of different handicappers met Sunday through the Payments-Bengals sport to determine SuperBook’s opening line.

They began the dialogue with Mahomes. They knew from the previous that top ankle sprains could possibly be critical, estimating that Mahomes can be round 60-80% of his ordinary manufacturing (with some within the dialogue leaning nearer to that decrease 60% mark).

The subsequent speaking level, although, was about Chiefs coach Andy Reid. May the bookmakers give that a lot deduction to Mahomes if the Chiefs teaching workers may game-plan some round Mahomes’ lack of mobility?

“We expect that there will be sure performs that can be designed to maintain Mahomes in that pocket or a extra dink-and-dunk sort of passing plan to restrict his limitations,” Kornegay mentioned. “And so we take into consideration that.”

The group additionally tried to maintain the massive image in thoughts. For instance, one of many largest surprises from Sunday’s Bengals-Payments sport was Cincinnati’s run sport; operating again Joe Mixon had 20 carries for 105 yards, and the Bengals averaged 5.1 yards per rush.

Whether or not that will be repeatable towards the Chiefs, although, was a special dialogue.

“The Bengals had been simply operating proper on the Payments, and the Payments could not do something about it. It was simply surprising to us,” Kornegay mentioned. “So we thought that was sort of an anomaly of what we had been seeing, just because the Bengals actually have not been ready to try this all season lengthy.”

The handicappers additionally had current historical past to consider. The Payments had been favored by six at house over the Bengals in that sport Sunday, with extra bets coming in on the Payments’ facet. That quantity, if nothing else, could possibly be the beginning of a baseline for a way Cincinnati needs to be seen when touring to KC.

Kornegay mentioned the group finally got here to a consensus: SuperBook Sports activities, which prides itself on posting a number of the quickest opening strains within the NFL whereas working in seven states and at Westgate in Las Vegas, started with the Chiefs favored by three.

“You are taking all these variables, and also you throw them within the hat. And we spit out three, regardless that I’ll admit … I will admit that it wasn’t our greatest work,” Kornegay mentioned with amusing.

In response to Kornegay, Cincinnati had “a rush of cash” within the first few hours to maneuver that line all the way down to Chiefs by one late Sunday night time. By Monday morning, the Bengals had been favored. Nevertheless, Kornegay famous some “extremely revered handicappers” began to wager Kansas Metropolis when the sport was a decide ’em or Cincinnati favored by one.

That also did not cease Cincinnati’s assist as the road shifted to 2 1/2 factors. As of Tuesday afternoon, Kornegay had solely seen a quick occasion of a sportsbook making the Bengals a three-point favourite earlier than shifting again to 2 1/2; that three-point quantity is a giant one in betting circles, as NFL video games usually finish with a three-point margin due to area targets.

“What’s shocking to us at this level,” Kornegay mentioned, “is that (the bets) simply retains snowballing on the Cincinnati facet.”

A few of this could possibly be attributed to recency bias, Kornegay mentioned. The Bengals appeared dominant of their 27-10 win over the Payments, whereas the Chiefs did not cowl their 8 1/2-point unfold in a 27-20 house win towards the Jaguars.

Kornegay spoke by means of some hypotheticals to offer context on the place the general public was touchdown with the Bengals-Chiefs line. He mentioned with a totally wholesome Mahomes, he’d put the Chiefs as 4- to 4 1/2-point favorites towards the Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. If Mahomes had been dominated out, he’d set the road at Bengals by 5.

There have been NFL cases previously, Kornegay mentioned, when a staff lacking its beginning quarterback and turning to its backup has moved a line between seven and 10 factors. These are sometimes excessive examples.

This circumstance is exclusive, nevertheless, as a result of it is attempting to estimate a wholesome Mahomes towards an injured one.

“I feel all people’s eyes — whether or not you are a bettor, educated participant, sharp man, sharp handicapper, bookmaker, oddsmaker — all people’s gonna be taking a look at that ankle all week,” Kornegay mentioned.

With that info, Kornegay mentioned, the road might nonetheless shift both manner.

“It is actually going to be based mostly off these apply studies,” Kornegay mentioned. “I feel that persons are gonna have a look at that and see — together with us — and skim between the strains of what is reported to actually get an concept of ​​how wholesome he’s.”

Nothing that occurs forward adjustments the craziness of what is already occurred with the Cincinnati-Kansas Metropolis unfold.

Kornegay says the road has been a “scorching subject” in Vegas this week, with different handicappers he is talked to agreeing that they’ve by no means seen something like this.

“That is the most important transfer,” Kornegay mentioned, “I’ve ever seen in a Championship Recreation.”

This story was initially printed January 25, 2023 6:30 AM.

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Jesse Newell — he is received an EPPY for greatest sports activities weblog and beforehand has been named high beat author in his circulation by AP’s Sports activities Editors — covers the Chiefs for The Star. His curiosity in sports activities analytics comes from his math instructor father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters annually.

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