Weather likely will be a huge factor in Saturday night’s Chiefs vs. Dolphins Wild Card game in frigid Kansas City. Odds for the game have defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City favored by 4 points (-110 or better), but the total has dropped.
The total opened at 45.5 but is now down to 42.5, presumably due to the weather forecast. The moneyline: Chiefs (-190), Dolphins (+155).
The forecast for the 8 p.m. ET kickoff is minus-2 degrees with 10-15 mph winds.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper, based in Fort Lauderdale, reported that the Dolphins have never won a playoff game with a kickoff temperature of 46 degrees or colder.
It’s going to be a lot colder on Saturday in Kansas City.
Check our Dolphins vs Chiefs prediction, odds, and best bets.
NFL Wild Card Odds: Chiefs vs. Dolphins Spread, Moneyline, Total
The third-seeded Chiefs did not have a dominating season but still finished 11-6 and 9-8 against the spread. Patrick Mahomes still is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, even with a less-than-dynamic receiver corps. Mahomes was sixth in the league with 4,138 passing yards and 27 touchdown passes. Mahomes and many Chiefs starters sat out the final regular-season game.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce remains Mahomes’ favorite target with 93 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns. Kansas City has the second-most dropped passes with 40, two behind Cleveland.
Sixth-seeded Miami could have avoided the Chiefs and the winter weather with a home win against Buffalo on Sunday but lost, 21-14. If Miami had won, it would have hosted a playoff game in balmy South Florida.
Miami is 11-6, 10-7 against the spread. But the Dolphins have beaten up on bad teams and are only 1-5 against playoff teams.
Miami’s offense is powerful. The Dolphins are the second-highest-scoring team in the league (29.2). Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the NFL in passing yardage with 4,624. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who has been hobbled with an ankle injury down the stretch, led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,799.
For Hill, it will be a homecoming. He played his first six seasons for the Chiefs.
Miami running back Raheem Mostert had 18 rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns — his 21 touchdowns tied for most in the league with the 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey.
The Dolphins defense will be without injured Bradley Chubb (11.0 sacks) and Jaelan Phillips (6.5 sacks). Mahomes has struggled this season while under pressure, so Miami not having two top pass rushers should benefit the Chiefs.
Chiefs vs. Dolphins Player Props
There are some interesting player props for the Chiefs-Dolphins game.
- Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs: Under 254.4 passing yards, That total seems high for a wintry, windy night game.
- Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins: Under 247.5 passing yards. That total seems high. But if the Dolphins fall behind, Tua might pass more frequently.
- Justin Watson, Chiefs: Over 1.5 receptions. Watson has been one of Mahomes’ most reliable receivers. The Over looks like a winner.
- Travis Kelce, Chiefs: Over 5.5 receptions. Kelce is one of Mahomes’ favorite targets. Expect Kelce to go Over 5.5, especially since the Chiefs might employ short, quick passes to combat the weather.
- Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs: Over 60.5 rushing yards. The hard-running Pacheco should gain at least this many yards. Expect the Chiefs to utilize the running game, especially in the second half.
Chiefs vs. Dolphins: Second Meeting This Season
The teams met on Nov. 5 in Frankfurt, Germany, with the Chiefs winning 21-14. Kansas City jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Miami scored all of its points in the third quarter. The Chiefs entered the game as a one-point favorite and the game was under the total of 51.5.
Chiefs vs. Dolphins Analysis & Prediction
Kansas City hasn’t been its dominating self this season. But the Chiefs have an underrated defense — lost in the shadows of Mahomes’ spotlight. The Chiefs are second in total defense behind the Browns, allowing 289.8 yards per game.
Miami was 1-5 against playoff teams with a minus-91 point differential. Expect Kansas City to be better acclimated to the conditions and put together a performance on both sides of the ball that will win the game and cover the spread.
How to Watch Chiefs vs. Dolphins
When: Saturday, Jan. 13
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Where: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium — Kansas City, Missouri
TV: Peacock (subscription needed)