Chiefs vs. Bills Betting Predictions

AFC Championship
Kansas City vs. Buffalo, NFL Betting Predictions, AFC Championship Game, January 24

The last time the Buffalo Bills were playing in the AFC Championship Game, Joe Montana was leading the Kansas City Chiefs into Orchard Park. The Bills won that game to advance to the fourth of their four straight Super Bowls, and the fan base might be more excited now to be returning to the championship game than they were in the 1990’s. The challenge is beating Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Kansas City and dethroning the champions for the right to play in the Super Bowl. Mahomes’ health is a big issue in this game, but the Bills have been special this season, and that will continue this weekend no matter the quarterback

Football Team vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds

Nothing about the first two weeks of the playoffs has been perfect for Buffalo, but last week’s defensive performance against Baltimore is the closest thing there’s been to that concept. The Bills defense continues to rise to the challenge and make big plays when needed to help the team win, which is all you can ask of the unit. The offense was historically one-dimensional against the Ravens, but that will likely change slightly against Kansas City, which ranked 21st against the run this season. Devin Singletary has the ability to be an every down back in certain games and be an efficient runner, and that will be tested this week even though the Bills offense relies heavily on Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Buffalo’s passing game is as good as anybody’s in the league and Cole Beasley and John Brown should also earn plenty of looks from Allen this week. The challenge, though, isn’t slowing down Mahomes as much as covering Travis Kelce. The Bills are notoriously bad at covering tight ends – see the game against Indianapolis in the wild card round – and if Buffalo can’t cover Kelce, there isn’t an amount of pressure they can being on Mahomes to slow down this Chiefs offense.

There are two big injury concerns for the Chiefs this week, Mahomes coming out of the concussion protocols and Clyde Edwards-Helaire returning from an ankle injury. There was hope Edwards-Helaire would be able to play last week, but the fact he was inactive is a major concern for Kansas City’s ability to run the ball. His best game of the season this year was the 161 yards he had against Buffalo in Week 6, and he won’t nearly be the same back even if he is active this week for Kansas City. All signs point to Mahomes being able to play this week, but Chad Henne proved he can make the big plays for Kansas City if something does go horribly wrong with Mahomes in the protocols. He has a speedy receiver in Tyreek Hill, who the Bills actually did a good job at limiting in the first matchup, and Kelce, who Buffalo did not. This is a much different Buffalo defense than the one Kansas City faced in Week 6, but Mahomes still completed 21-of-26 passes and Kelce caught both touchdown passes.

Let me be clear that I’m not concerned about the Chiefs offense, but Kansas City has not been very explosive putting up points in recent weeks. The Chiefs have scored 22 points or fewer in the last two games Mahomes has started, and they had to settle for a lot of field goals against Cleveland. Buffalo’s red zone defense excels at limiting teams to field goals, which has an effect on the large 53.5 points on the over/under from the football betting sites in New Jersey. The Bills haven’t allowed more than 26 points in their last eight games, and the 26 points Miami scored were mostly against the backup defense. Kansas City’s defense has been less stringent at times this season, but also kept Cleveland to just 17 points last week. This feels like a game where both offenses are going to struggle to score touchdowns in the red zone, so I’ll be safe and bet under 46.5 totals points at +230 odds.

Bills to win

Since the Chiefs beat the Bills in Week 6, both teams have nearly identical records. Buffalo is 11-1 with its sole loss coming on a Hail Mary against Arizona while the Chiefs are 10-1 with the one loss coming in Week 17 when it rested a bunch of players. The difference is how both teams are winning games. Buffalo has been fairly dominant in every game it has played with eight of its last nine wins coming by double-digit margins. Kansas City hasn’t won a game by more than six point since Week 8 against the Jets. There is something about always being in tight games and making the necessary plays to win, but few quarterbacks Kansas City has played this season can match the playmaking ability of Allen. He’s led three game-winning drives this season – same number as Mahomes – and he’s had two fourth-quarter comebacks. The AFC Championship betting odds from the NFL betting sites in New Jersey are going to fluctuate as we learn more information on Mahomes’ status, but that doesn’t matter. Buffalo continues to rise to the occasion as a team and the offense is ready to put on a show and prove itself against the reigning champions, so I’m betting the Bills on the moneyline to win the AFC Championship.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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