Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs: Divisional Round Preview
The Bills and the Chiefs will battle it out for a place in the AFC Championship game when they meet at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night. Can Patrick Mahomes hold his nerve, or will Josh Allen upstage him?
Date: Sunday, January 23, at 6.30pm EST
Location: Arrowhead Stadium
Weather: Cold, partly cloudy, with 13mph wind
The Bills should be full of confidence after thumping the Patriots 47-17 in the wild card round last weekend. It was the heaviest defeat New England has ever suffered in the playoffs, as Bill Belichick could not figure out a way to tame Josh Allen.
The Bills QB threw 21 for 25 for 308 yards and five touchdowns, while a running game led by Devin Singletary and Allen was on point. Buffalo was 27-3 up at half-time, and it continued to dominate the rest of the game.
The Bills came into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, which saw them finish above the Patriots at the top of the AFC East, with an 11-6 record. Allen was handed a huge $258 million contract extension last summer after a terrific season, and he has justified his salary in recent weeks. He is leading a pass heavy attack with an improved receiving unit this season, and the results have been devastating at times.
The Chiefs will also be buoyant after torching the Steelers 42-21 in their wild card round game. Mahomes threw 30-for-39 for 404 yards and five touchdowns during a commanding performance.
Kansas City was 35-7 ahead at one point, before easing off somewhat in the closing stages of the game. Pittsburgh has a talented defense, but it struggled to cope with Mahomes’ dynamism throughout the game.
The Chiefs also finished top of their division with a 12-5 record, so they get home advantage for this game. They were the preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl, but they made a sluggish start to the campaign.
Yet nine wins in their final 10 games of the regular season turned things around. They are currently the second favorites for Super Bowl glory, priced at +400 with various others. That leaves them just behind the Packers, who are +375. The Bills are third in the betting at +500 or +550 with most books.
The team that wins this game between the Bills and the Chiefs is likely to be installed as the new favorite to go on and lift the Vince Lombardi trophy.
These teams met at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 5 of the regular season. The Chiefs were struggling at the time, and Buffalo secured an impressive 38-20 win.
Allen delivered another impressive performance, throwing 15-for-26 for 315 yards and three TDs, and adding another 59 rushing yards off 11 carries to lead his team to victory. Mahomes showed flashes of his brilliance, but he also threw two interceptions.
That was Buffalo’s first win against the Chiefs since 2017. These teams locked horns in last season’s AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium, which resulted in a 38-24 win for the Chiefs. Allen and Mahomes were both excellent in that game, but it was Mahomes that came out on top. Who will prevail in the battle of superstar QBs on Sunday?
Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones suffered a minor injury in the win against the Steelers, but he should be back in time for this game.
Starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury. Darrel Williams was not ready to play much against Pittsburgh, paving the way for Jerick McKinnon to step up with 61 yards off 12 carries. Edwards-Helaire is a doubt for this game, but he may rally in time.
Mario Addison, Buffalo’s leading sack artist this season, was the only Bills player to pick up an injury in the blowout win against the Pats. He hurt his shoulder in an attempted tackle, and he has been pictured with a sling, so he is doubtful for this game.
·The Chiefs are now 9-9 ATS this season after destroying the Steelers last weekend.
·The Bills are 10-6-2 ATS.
·Buffalo has 29.4 points per game this season, the third highest mark in the NFL.
·Kansas City has scored 29 points per game this season, the fourth highest tally in the league.
·Buffalo has the toughest defense in the league, with just 17 points per game allowed.
·Kansas City allows 21.4 points per game, which is the 10th best record in the league.
·The Chiefs over/under record is 11-7 this season, and the Bills are 9-9.
Kansas City is the 2-point favorite for this game. BetMGM leads the way with -105 on the Chiefs -2, while PointsBet has -105 on the Bills +2. The total points line has been set at 54.5, with -105 available on over and on under. Kansas City is the -125 moneyline favorite with DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM and a few others, while FOX Bet and PointsBet are offering +115 on the Bills to win the game straight-up.
Everyone is expecting a shootout in this game. It pits the two most talented young QBs in the league against one another, and we should see fireworks. The total points line looks inflated at 54.5, but it is still easy to see this game going over. There were 58 points when these teams last played and 62 in their previous encounter, so over 54.5 points at -105 with FanDuel looks great.
It is very hard to call the winner. The Bills have become a far more rounded and impressive team since losing to Kansas City in the playoffs last year, and the Kansas City defense is looking leaky, but Mahomes is 7-2 in the playoffs, with his only two losses coming against Tom Brady. The Bills are +115 on the moneyline, which looks like a better option than covering them to win the spread, but it seems more sensible to stick to totals.