Bills vs. Chiefs Odds: Preview, Picks and Prediction
Bills vs. Chiefs Odds
|Date||Sunday, Jan. 23|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
On Sunday evening, the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs will battle at Arrowhead Stadium for a chance to host the AFC Championship Game. When these two teams met in Week 5, the Bills dominated the Chiefs in a 38-20 victory. Since that game, Buffalo is 8-5 overall, including their 30-point victory over the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round. Sine Week 5, Kansas City is 11-2, with their only two losses coming to the Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals–both of whom played on Saturday in the AFC playoffs. Oddsmakers are anticipating a tightly-contested affair in this one–pricing the Chiefs as 1.5-point home favorites on the spread. Let’s take a deeper dive into the data before revealing our free play on the game.
Josh Allen was arguably the most volatile quarterback in the NFL during the regular season. Allen had 13 games with multiple touchdown passes, but also four games with multiple interceptions, and seven games in which he completed less than 60.0 percent of his pass attempts. Allen was outstanding last weekend against the Patriots, tossing five touchdowns, completing 21-of-25 pass attempts, and combining for 374 passing-plus-rushing yards. Allen could find life much more difficult in this one, on the road against a strong pass defense, playing in a hostile environment.
Since Thanksgiving, opposing quarterbacks have posted an abysmal 7-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio against the Bills. Having faced Trevor Siemian, Mac Jones (three times), Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Zach Wilson in that stretch–Buffalo has allowed only 146.1 passing yards per game, and only 5.1 yards-per-attempt through the air. The Bills held opposing signal callers to the lowest passer rating and lowest completion percentage of any team in the NFL this fall. Buffalo was not as dominant against the run, but remained respectable–allowing only 4.2 yards-per-carry. However, it is worth noting that this defense has allowed 4.8 yards-per-carry since Week 13. The Chiefs are not known for their running attack, but they could have room to run if they choose to attack the Bills on the ground.
Few people have criticized Patrick Mahomes more than me this season, but it is time to give Mahomes his credit. Following a disastrous beginning to the campaign, he has posted a 17-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his last six games. Mahomes excelled down the stretch, despite not having reliable pass-catching options in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce –both of whom have been extremely volatile members of the offense during the second half of the year. Still, the Chiefs have one of the best offensive lines in football, and remain exceptionally well-equipped to put points on the board, no matter the opponent.
From Week 1 to Week 5, the Chiefs allowed 296.4 passing yards per game, 9.0 yards-per-attempt through the air, and a 10-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Since Week 6, Kansas City has allowed only 230.2 passing yards per game, 6.2 yards-per-attempt through the air, and has held opposing signal callers to a 19-to-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The main concern for this defensive unit on Sunday is on the ground. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed more yards-per-carry this fall than the Chiefs. This group has shown little improvement over the course of the season defending the run, as they have allowed 4.7 yards-per-carry since Week 10. Other than Chris Jones and Melvin Ingram III, the personnel for the Chiefs is poorly equipped to slow down opposing rushing attacks.
Pick and Prediction
As of this writing, only 43 percent of the bets are on the Bills, but 80 percent of the handle is on Buffalo. Though typically such a breakdown is a sharp money indicator, this feels like a dramatic overreaction to a strong performance from the Bills in their Wild Card matchup against the Patriots. After all, New England was starting a rookie quarterback and was missing Isaiah Wynn on the offensive line. Kansas City has home field advantage in this one, and the benefit of having been through multiple deep playoff runs in recent seasons. The smart lean on this one is on the more experienced team. Take the Chiefs.
- PICK: Chiefs -1.5
Image Credit: Imagn