Bills vs. Chiefs Betting Preview: Odds, Picks & AFC Championship Prediction
With their Divisional Round win against the Ravens, the Bills have won more playoff games in the last two weeks than they had in two decades. Now Bills Mafia is one game away from returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 27 years.
Advancing won’t be easy, though. They’ll have to upset Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium — something they couldn’t when they hosted the Chiefs at Bill Stadium in Week 6.
However, oddsmakers predict a close game and bettors seem to like the Bills’ chances.
Bills vs. Chiefs: AFC Championship Odds
The Chiefs are only 3-point favorites across on the online sports betting industry, and the spread remained steady after the Chiefs cleared Mahomes from concussion protocol. According to Scores And Odds, the Bills have received 62% of bets against the spread, while 57% of money is on the Over.
The Bills have been the second-most profitable team against the spread (12-6, 66.7%) this season; meanwhile, the Chiefs are 1-9 ATS in their last ten games.
What Happened Last Time
The first time these teams met, the Bills practically begged the Chiefs to run the ball. Head coach Andy Reid was not stubborn.
Largely abandoning the passing game, the Chiefs ran the ball 46 times for 247 yards as they beat the Bills 26-17.
With fewer pass attempts from Mahomes, the Bills held Tyreek Hill to three receptions and only 20 yards. In fact, Demarcus Robinson led the Chiefs in both receptions and yards, and even Byron Pringle had had more yards receiving than Hill. Mahomes also targetted his running backs five times.
I don’t expect the Bills to change things significantly, which could mean another big day on the ground for Chiefs running backs Darrel Williams and Clyde Edwards Helaire.
AFC Championship Weather
With a temperature of 38 degrees and only light winds at kickoff, the weather should be perfect for the AFC Championship. Thunderstorms are in Sunday’s forecast in Kansas City aren’t expected to move in until after the game.
Stay on top of the weather for both the AFC and NFC Championship with Kevin Roth’s NFL weather report.
Bills: The Bills are without running back Zach Moss, leaving them without a reliable running game outside of Allen. With Devin Singletary in the backfield, we saw the Bills pass 46 times. In fact, the Bills didn’t hand the ball of until late in the second quarter.
Unfortunately a pair of Bills receivers, Gabriel Davis and Cole Beasley, are banged up. Beasley is trending in the right direction but Davis remains questionable. If either receiver is outt, then Ian Mckenzie is the next man up. McKense had a huge Week 17, and is big-play threat when the Bills use him in their four-receiver sets.
Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes cleared concussion protocol on Thursday, but that’s not the only thing bothering him after the Browns game. Mahomes is also dealing with a toe issue (presumably tur toes). The good news is that it “gotten a lot better,” according to Mahomes. The Chiefs’ quarterback accounted for 10 runs against the Bills in Week 6, but the toe injury could slow him down and decrease his mobility in the AFC Championship. It’s safe to assume less of a running role for Mahomes tonight
In other news, WR Sammy Watkins is a game-time decision but, according to Adam Schefter, the Chiefs aren’t very optimistic about the receiver’s outlook. If Watkins is out, that means more Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and maybe a little bit of Byron Pringle.
Officially inactive for Kansas City is running back Le’Veon Bell. On the bright side, the Chiefs should have Clyde Edwards-Helaire at their disposal.
NFL DFS Tips
With Edwards-Helaire trending in the right direction and Le’Veon Bell out, I really like playing Darrel Williams in both the two-game slate and showdown contests.
As the Chiefs showed in Week 6, they aren’t afraid to run the ball if the Bills are focused on containing Hill and Travis Kecle downfield. Plaing Williams is a great way to get some leverage at the running back position, especially if Mahomes and Hill aren’t in your lineups. Even if they are, including Williams in Chiefs stacks is one way to make them more unique.
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AFC Championship Prediction & Picks
Hoping to grab some closing line value, I bet on the Chiefs the moment AFC and NFC Championship lines opened. For the most part the AFC Championship spread hasn’t budged at the sportsbooks, except for BetMGM, where its Chiefs -3.5.
I still think the Chiefs are undervalued as 3-point home favorites. Remember, in Week 6 the Chiefs were 6-point favorites in Buffalo. Of course, a lot has changed since. The Bills, behind the arm and legs of Josh Allen, have proven to be one of the best teams in the NFL, while the teams have consistently played the Chiefs closer than expected. But has enough changed between these two teams for the Bills cover the spread at Arrowhead Stadium? I don’t think so.
PointsBet KC -3.5 for Larger Payout
What do I like more than laying three points on Chiefs? Laying Chiefs -3.5 at PointsBet Sportsbook. Let me explain.
By pointsbetting the AFC Championship game, we give up a half-point on the line in exchange for the opportunity of a massive payday, as the payout of a pointsbet is mulitplied by how many points our team covers the spread. For example, if the Chiefs win by 14, they cover the spread by 10.5, thus a $10 wager returns $105 (10.5x)
However, pointsbetting doesn’t come without risk. If the Chiefs lose by 7 points, then you lose 10.5x ($115) on that same wager. Bettors should exercise caution and proper bankroll management when pointsbetting, but I think there’s an edge to pointsbetting the Chiefs when they are favored by less than touchdown.
Consider this: In his eight career losses, Patrick Mahomes has never lost by more than eight points. Though the Chiefs haven’t been profitabl this season, historically the Chiefs have proven more than capable of blowing out teams even when the spread suggests a tight game is ahead.
Look at the Chiefs vs. Ravens earlier this season. Kansas City entered as 3.5-point underdogs by won by 14 points. And in last year’s playoffs, the Chiefs won every game by double digits.
Ultimately it comes down to this: I think a 20-point victory in at Arrowhead is well within the range of outcomes for Kansas City. On the other hand, the Bills beating the Chiefs by at least 10 points, while certainly not implausible, seems significantly less likely than a blowout on behalf of the home team.
For Bills-Chiefs player props, check out Joe Cistaro’s best NFL bets for Championship Sunday
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