Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Odds & Predicitons
The Buffalo Bills take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday for the AFC Title. The winner of this game goes to the Super Bowl. These teams are clearly the class of the conference. You have the defending Super Bowl Champions in the Chiefs taking on a team that really made some improvements over the year in the Bills. After seeing Patrick Mahomes go down last week, the Chiefs had to hang on against Cleveland for a 22-17 win. The Bills had it easier in a dominant performance against the Ravens, 17-3, to get to this spot.
A Lot in Common
At root, you see two teams that use a similar formula for success to get to the winner’s circle. Both offenses flex a lot of aerial firepower. With Mahomes working with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, with Josh Allen working with Stefon Diggs, and a gaggle of aerial threats, these teams take to the air with dynamic young quarterbacks. The run-game can make an impact, but neither team relies all that heavily on it. Both teams also have defenses that can play well on given days. Both defenses make a lot of plays and are adept at taking the ball away and creating other havoc. But both defenses rank as middling units in terms of overall stoutness.
The Power of Momentum
The Bills are really rolling now. If not for that crazy Hail Mary against Arizona, they’d have 12 straight wins. As it is, they have won eight in a row, including two wins over really good teams already in the postseason. We see a few close games, but mostly Buffalo has been winning decisively. Going back three months or so, you see a long slew of consecutive covers. They've been winning while also being a solid choice at the betting windows.
Then you look at the Chiefs. On the one hand, they won all but two of their games this season, one in week 17, where they basically phoned it in. So there's not much one can really say in light of such a rousing season in defense of their Super Bowl crown. But then we've seen some less-fearsome Kansas City performances coming down the stretch, culminating in last week's near-disaster against Cleveland. Even looking gimpy before the supposed concussion, Mahomes figures to go on Sunday, but suffice to say, it's not very timely for Mahomes to suddenly be going through injury concerns.
Even as a team, the Chiefs haven’t really looked like the Chiefs for the most part over the last few months. There is this subtle slowing and dulling of the Chiefs' recipe for success in recent weeks. They haven't covered in eight of their last nine games, with that one cover being by a hook. They have been a major letdown from a betting standpoint lately. So can they revert to the vintage Chiefs? Picturing the Chiefs beating the Bills isn't so hard, perhaps, but the version we've seen for the better part of the last two months would be hard-pressed to beat Buffalo, perhaps even more so now with the questions looming around Mahomes.
Possible Issues for Buffalo
Even if the Chiefs haven't been in top form lately, they still represent some major challenges for the Bills this week. The Bills have played some tough teams this season, and two playoff wins counts for a lot too. But they have not been tested aerially by a team like the Chiefs. Between Hill, Kelce, and all their other weapons, it's a lot to contain, particularly for a secondary that hasn't really been great against the better aerial offenses they faced this season. The Buffalo pass defense has been bigger in the area of splash plays than in actually being stout against the pass. At these stakes and at home, the possibility that a very potent KC offense will surface here is somewhat realistic.
Normally, with a full house in this climate, a home title game at Arrowhead would loom large. And with some semblance of a crowd, it’s still a factor. But without all those people and against a team that has shown they can win big games in weather, it’s less of a factor than it otherwise may have been. If any other team in the conference is built to thrive in this context, it’s Buffalo. They’re a cold-weather team that might be the only AFC team that could hang in there with the Chiefs in the event of a full shootout ensuing.
- Get more details: AFC Title Game Match-up Stats