The NFL’s divisional playoff round comes to a close with a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Arrowhead Stadium will again serve as host.
Buffalo Bills (12-6, 10-6-2 ATS) at Kansas City Chiefs (13-5, 9-9 ATS)
Time: 6:30 p.m. EST
DraftKings Line: Chiefs -2.5 (54)
The skinny: This is a rematch of last season’s AFC title game, won by the Chiefs 38-24 in Arrowhead as a 3-point favorite.
Facts: In that game last January, the Chiefs overcame a 9-0 second-quarter deficit and were 5-for-5 scoring TDs on first-and-goal possessions despite having mostly backups along the offensive line. That victory ended an 0-8-1 ATS stretch for K.C.
But in Week 5 this season, the Bills prevailed 38-20 as a 2.5-point choice in K.C., the Chiefs’ most lopsided home loss in QB Patrick Mahomes’ career. K.C. had a -4 turnover differential including two INTs. One came at Buffalo’s 8-yard line. That was the only game all season both quarterbacks led their team in rushing.
Bills QB Josh Allen had a passer rating of 157.6 in last week’s 47-17 win over New England in wind chill below zero, the best for anyone this season with a minimum of 10 passes, and had his first career outing with five TD throws. Assisting the offense has been a more healthy line and the rushing of RB Devin Singletary, who’s averaged 93 yards and 4.8 yards a carry the past three weeks.
Mahomes threw for five scores last week, too, in a 42-21 wildcard win over Pittsburgh, but it was his third time to do it this year.
K.C. is only 1-3 this season against division winners, including losses to all three remaining AFC entrants, with that lone victory coming against Green Bay in the one game QB Aaron Rodgers missed because of COVID. And the Chiefs failed to cover the 7-point spread, winning only 13-7.
|Sun (12/10) @ 4:25pm ET||Bills||+130||+120||+115||+118||+120||+116||+125|
|Sun (12/10) @ 4:25pm ET||Bills||+3.0 -110||+2.5 -108||+2.5 -110||+2.5 -110||+2.5 -108||+2.5 -106||+2.5 -110|
|Chiefs||-3.0 -110||-2.5 -112||-2.5 -110||-2.5 -110||-2.5 -114||-2.5 -114||-2.5 -110|
|Sun (12/10) @ 4:25pm ET||Bills||o48 -110||o47.5 -108||o47.5 -110||o47.5 -110||o47.5 -112||o47.5 -110||o47.5 -110|
|Chiefs||u48 -110||u47.5 -112||u47.5 -110||u47.5 -110||u47.5 -109||u47.5 -110||u47.5 -110|
Analysis: A tipping-point advantage for the Bills here is their pass defense, which yielded only 5.7 yards per attempt this season, the lowest rate for any team the past 10 years. By comparison, K.C. gave up 7.3 yards a throw, the worst average of any of the remaining playoff squads.
In that previous meeting this year, Mahomes averaged only 5.0 yards on his 54 passes, his second lowest norm of the season. That’s compared to his rate of 10.4 last week in K.C.’s runaway win against Pittsburgh.
Of course, the Bills are missing standout cornerback Tre’Davious White, who was injured on Thanksgiving at New Orleans. But in their past five games, the Bills have held foes to 130.6 passing yards a game. That helps explain why Buffalo’s defense is ranked No. 1 overall. K.C.’s unit is 27th.
Anyway, with Allen also being a stout running threat and Buffalo having a terrific pass rush, the Bills should be able to move on. After all, they have given a league-high five teams their worst loss of the season.
Bills at Chiefs Pick
Bills 31, Chiefs 21
Last week: 3-3 ATS, 4-2 SU
Season total: 128-134-3 (.489) ATS, 163-101-1 (.617) SU
Also read: NFL Playoffs Betting Line Moves: Divisional Round | Rams Vs. Bucs: Betting Odds & Pick | Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Tennessee Titans Odds: Take Tennessee Over Cincy In NFL Playoffs | Super Bowl 2022 Odds At DraftKings, FanDuel: Bills, Bucs Offer Value