Jan 11, 2023
Jan 11, 2023

NFL Playoff predictions - AFC Championship: Are the Kansas City Chiefs the best Super Bowl value?

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AFC Championship analysis

NFL Playoff predictions - AFC Championship: Are the Kansas City Chiefs the best Super Bowl value?

There’s not much to choose from, in terms of performance, between the majority of the teams in the NFL, which could be the reason why there’s significant changes in the playoff list from last season and no clear top team that the rest are looking up to. It makes for an exciting playoff atmosphere with every team having the opportunity to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

With the list of teams set, football data expert Ben Brown has used current Pinnacle pricing plus data points from PFF’s suite of betting tools to see what teams may offer value in various betting markets. Below he evaluates how each of them can win the Super Bowl 2023 and the best bets to make along the way. 

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AFC Championship contenders


+165 [2.650]* to win the AFC (37.7%)

+330 [4.300]* to win the Super Bowl (23.3%)

PFF: 41.0% to win the AFC, 24.0% to win the Super Bowl

Kansas City Chiefs' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

Kansas City are the rare favourite that actually offers some value based on PFF simulations.

Their path to the Super Bowl might be slightly more complicated if they take on the Bills at a neutral location for the AFC Conference Championship game, but that really only swings their percentage of winning down a point or two. The Chiefs received the best path based on the situation that played out after the Bengals/Bills cancelled matchup and avoids at least one of the other two best teams in the Conference. 

The Chiefs' Divisional round tie will most likely be against the winner of the Jaguars and Chargers Wild Card matchup.

Their Divisional round tie will most likely be against the winner of the Jaguars and Chargers Wild Card matchup, which Pinnacle has the Chargers listed as having a 55.8% implied probability to win. Kansas City haven't faced-off against the best version of the Chargers this year, but did enough to squeeze out two three-point victories against their divisional rivals this year. 

As much as everyone wants to point toward their offence, the key to both of their AFC matchups could be the progress of their young secondary, which ranks as the third-best unit (and highest-ranking playoff team) based on PFF coverage grade this season.

Best bet(s): Kansas City Chiefs +165 [2.650]* to win the AFC Conference Championship


+200 [2.990]* to win the AFC (33.3%)

+400 [5.000]* to win the Super Bowl (20.0%)

PFF: 26.0% to win the AFC, 15.0% to win the Super Bowl

Buffalo Bills' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

The preseason favourites at +666 [7.660] (and potentially one of the best Bills teams ever) currently have the second-shortest odds to win the Super Bowl as we start the playoffs. Despite Josh Allen’s occasional turnover struggles, their offence is coming close to living up to the preseason hype of being on par with the Kansas City Chiefs, as they rank second in EPA [expected points added] per play so far this season. 

Their concerns are clearly for their defence, as injuries have turned them into one of, if not the most injured team entering the playoffs. Their secondary is down to third-string players at safety, and hasn’t had the emergence of rookie cornerbacks playing their best football like they hoped in the preseason. 

Their pass rush misses Von Miller, as they moved from a league-average pressure rate with him in the fold, down to the 24th-ranked unit since his injury. With a depleted secondary and struggling pass rush, Buffalo look like the most vulnerable high seed with the highest chance of slipping up, especially in a stacked AFC Conference. 

Best bet(s): None

NFL Insights: 2023 Championship games preview 


+400 [5.010]* to win the AFC (20.0%)

+800 [9.000]*to win the Super Bowl (11.1%)

PFF: 18.0% to win the AFC, 10.0% to win the Super Bowl

Cinicinnati Bengals' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

No team enters the postseason peaking quite like the Cincinnati Bengals. Once again, they have exceeded expectations and look like a team confident enough to beat anyone. 

It all starts with Joe Burrow, PFF’s top-ranked passing quarterback, as he found a way to get it done with an injury-hit wide receiver unit throughout the 2022 regular season. Despite injuries along both sides of their line, Burrow’s early-season sack issues seem to be a distant memory, as the team’s offence has been remade into a quick-passing attack with Burrow becoming more comfortable resetting under pressure and delivering strikes downfield. 

They rank 22nd in pressure rate generated this season, but do have the sixth-best coverage grade based on PFF. It might take a perfect game from Joe Burrow, but the Bengals once again look like the biggest threat to blocking the Chiefs from winning the Conference. 

Best bet(s): Bengals -6.5 against an injury-ravaged Baltimore Ravens unit. With no Lamar Jackson playing for the Ravens, Cincinnati should coast to an easy first playoff victory. 


+2000 [21.030]*to win the AFC (4.8%)

+4800 [49.000]* to win the Super Bowl (2.0%)

PFF: 5.0% to win the AFC, 2.0% to win the Super Bowl

Jacksonville Jaguars' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

Jacksonville made the playoffs a year ahead of their schedule, winning a depleted AFC South division in dramatic fashion. The immediate question is whether they can continue on a similar path to the Bengals’ 2021 team and get on a hot streak on their way to a couple of upset victories in the playoffs. 

Trevor Lawrence is a hot young quarterback (who may not have even hit his ceiling yet), posting the third-best PFF passing grade since Week 8. The problem is the two quarterbacks above him look to be his potential opponents in both the Divisional and Conference Championship rounds - if the Jaguars make it that far. 

The comparisons to the Bengals of 2021 probably stops at the quarterback position, as both the Bengals’ skill position players and defence were better than what the Jaguars put forth this season. Given their average performance along the offensive line as well, Jacksonville don’t look to have quite enough talent outside of Lawrence to win more than one playoff game this season. 

Best bet(s): Rollover Money Line bets on each Jaguars playoff game 


+1000 [11.010]* to win the AFC (9.1%)

+2250 [23.510]* to win the Super Bowl (4.3%)

PFF: 5.0% to win the AFC, 2.0% to win the Super Bowl

Los Angeles Chargers' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

Bookmakers are pricing the Chargers as one tier below the top three teams in the AFC; however, with much shorter odds than all the remaining AFC teams. It makes sense, given that quarterback Justin Herbert has very much shown his potential to stay as a top-five quarterback for the remainder of his career. 

The question about the 2022 Chargers team has always been health, as they were one of the most injury-hit teams at various stretches during the regular season. Recently, things were definitely trending in the right direction for the team until an interesting decision by Brandon Staley to play all of his starters in a meaningless Week 18 game led to question marks over the health of both Mike Williams and Joey Bosa.  

The Chargers' offence was stagnant without a healthy trio of wide receiver options

The Chargers' offence was stagnant without a healthy trio of wide receiver options, and Mike Williams’ questionable status could be the biggest storyline for the Chargers heading into their game against Jacksonville. For as good as they have been recently, they still seem to be overvalued in the betting market and don’t look like a team capable of making a run through the loaded AFC. 

Best bet(s): None


+1700 [18.030]*to win the AFC (5.6%)

+3800 [39.020]* to win the Super Bowl (2.6%)

PFF: 3.0% to win the AFC, 1.0% to win the Super Bowl

Baltimore Ravens' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

Baltimore’s chances of getting to the Super Bowl hinge on the availability of Lamar Jackson, who hasn’t practiced in over a month. It seems highly unlikely that he will be available in the first round of the playoffs, but the +6.5 spread for the Ravens against Cincinnati indicates some sort of uncertainty on his status as we move toward the game. 

If Jackson is able to play we could see this number close at +4 but his unavailability could push this figure to, or even above, +7. Given the uncertainty and lack of information coming from Baltimore, this looks like a wait-and-see situation, especially given the Bengals’ performances over the second half of this season. 

Best bet(s):None 


+3000 [31.040]* to win the AFC (3.2%)

+7500 [76.030]* to win the Super Bowl (1.3%)

PFF: 2.0% to win the AFC, 1.0% to win the Super Bowl

Miami Dolphins' path to winning Super Bowl LVII

Unfortunately, continued questions over the quarterback position leave Miami with the longest odds of any team to win the Conference or Super Bowl. Tua Tagovailoa seems highly unlikely to play again this season, so the Dolphins’ long odds hinge on the availability of Teddy Bridgewater, who is one of the better backups in the NFL and provides so much more to this team’s offence than what Skylar Thompson is capable of.

The problem is that it still may not be enough for a team who don’t have enough quality in defence to win anything but shootout games against better teams in the AFC. Without a ton of luck on their side, Miami should very much be a one win maximum team and will likely exit the playoffs quite early.

Best bet(s): None

Feel informed and ready to back Ben’s best bets? Take advantage of Pinnacle's unrivalled NFL odds. You can also read Ben's NFC Championship playoff preview right here and you follow him on Twitter too (@PFF_BenBrown).

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