How Has Patrick Mahomes Responded To Being An Underdog With Chiefs?

How Has Patrick Mahomes Responded To Being An Underdog With Chiefs?
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

It’s not often that the Kansas City Chiefs have been NFL betting underdogs since the Patrick Mahomes era began in the final week of the 2017 regular season.

But that’s the scenario facing the team and its star quarterback this weekend.

This Sunday, Mahomes will be an underdog for the first time ever in a playoff game when the Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year. 

DraftKings Sportsbook Kansas lists the Chiefs as a 1-point underdog, as of Wednesday afternoon, against the defending AFC champion Bengals. One of these two teams has represented the AFC in the Super Bowl each of the past three seasons.

Here's how Mahomes has fared as an underdog during his career.

How Kansas City Chiefs Fared as Underdog With Patrick Mahomes Starting

Date, OpponentSpreadResultMahomes stats
Dec. 31, 2017 at Broncos Denver -3 KC won 27-24 22-35, 284 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT
Sept. 9, 2018 at Chargers Los Angeles -3.5 KC won 38-28 15-27, 256 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT
Sept. 16, 2018 at Steelers Pittsburgh -4.5 KC won 42-37 23-28, 326 yds, 6 TD, 0 INT
Oct. 14, 2018 at Patriots New England -3.5 KC lost 43-40 23-36, 352 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Nov. 19, 2018 at Rams Los Angeles -3 KC lost 54-51 33-46, 478 yds, 6 TD, 3 INT
Dec. 8, 2019 at Patriots New England -3 KC won 23-16 26-40, 283 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sept. 28, 2020 at Ravens Baltimore -3.5 KC won 34-20 31-42, 385 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT
Oct. 2, 2022 at Buccaneers Tampa Bay -1 KC won 41-31 23-37, 249 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Oct. 16, 2022 vs. Bills Buffalo -2.5 KC lost 24-20 25-40, 338 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT

Mahomes Tough To Beat as an Underdog

This is just the second Chiefs playoff game since legal sports betting in Kansas launched last fall. In the first one, the Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 in the AFC Divisional Round but failed to cover the 9-point spread.

Overall, the Chiefs are 7-1-1 as an underdog with Mahomes under center and have a 6-3 straight-up record in those contests.

How good has Mahomes been as an underdog? The only two times in his career when he has passed for six touchdowns in a game both came when the oddsmakers favored Kansas City’s opponent.

The only time the Chiefs haven’t covered as an underdog with Mahomes was earlier this season, when the Buffalo Bills went to Kansas City and pulled out a 24-20 victory as a 2.5-point road favorite at Kansas sports betting apps. That was also the only time in his career that Mahomes has been a home underdog at Arrowhead Stadium. 

Overall, in those nine contests, Mahomes has averaged 328 passing yards with 30 passing touchdowns against just 10 interceptions.

Chiefs QB a Home Playoff Underdog For First Time

Sunday marks Kansas City’s fifth consecutive home AFC Championship game. Mahomes has never been an underdog in the playoffs and has never played a true road playoff game, either, with just two neutral-site Super Bowls.

In 12 career playoff games under Mahomes, the Chiefs are 7-5 against the spread and are 9-3 straight up in a moneyline bet. In those games, Mahomes averages 298 passing yards per game with 30 passing touchdowns, five rushing scores and only seven interceptions. 

In 10 postseason Arrowhead affairs, the Chiefs are 8-2 straight-up and 6-4 against the spread, scoring 20-plus points in every game.

Why is Kansas City a Home Underdog To Cincinnati?

Mahomes, who is considered the favorite to be named the 2022 NFL MVP — he is +325 at PointsBet Sportsbook Kansas— suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of Kansas City’s win over Jacksonville on Saturday. Mahomes’ ankle was rolled up on after he completed a pass to tight end Travis Kelce and No. 15 immediately began to limp.

The All-Pro quarterback exited the game briefly in the second quarter, then backup Chad Henne led a 98-yard touchdown drive to help Kansas City take a 17-10 lead into the locker room.

Mahomes was slated to be at practice Wednesday and said the ankle sprain was not as bad as a toe injury he suffered previously. 

The Chiefs, who were 2.5-point favorites in Cincinnati (a 27-24 loss) on Dec. 4, were short favorites for the AFC Championship Game when the openers came out. That shifted Monday as the favorites flipped and the total (opened at 49) came crashing down. The total (over/under) now sits at 47 as of Wednesday afternoon, according to Caesars Kansas Sportsbook.

The Bengals have defeated the Chiefs in the past three meetings between the teams, including that 27-24 win in December. That’s the only loss for the Chiefs in their past 12 games, including the playoff game against Jacksonville.

Whatever your feelings about Kansas City’s chances of reaching the Super Bowl, get the best Kansas sportsbook promotions here at BetKansas before wagering on Sunday’s big game.

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Contributors

Shelby Dermer is a reporter for BetKansas.com. Shelby has been a sports reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer for the last five years and now lends his expertise to the Kansas sports betting market. He grew up in Waynesville, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio University.

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