The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs threw down the gauntlet in their respective AFC Wild Card games last weekend, both coming through with comprehensive double-digit victories to advance into the second round. Thus, the pair of AFC heavyweights sets up a fascinating contest in the Divisional round on Sunday Night Football, one that is delicately poised on the NFL odds board.
BetUS sportsbook serves up the Chiefs as the small home favorites, but the betting public appears to be high on the Bills at early doors. With money coming down the wire toward Buffalo, the line has seen some significant movement already.
Game: Buffalo Bills (12-6-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (13-5-0)
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Day/Time: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET
The Buffalo Bills crushed the New England Patriots 47-17 in the AFC Wild Card round, coming through as the 4½-point home chalk with ease. In hindsight, the NFL line was laughable as Buffalo more than covered the point spread in the 30-point margin of victory.
The Bills got off to a flying start and took the 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Patriots were knocking on the door and looked all but certain to match Buffalo’s hot start until Micah Hyde’s sensational interception in the end zone that likely changed the momentum of the game. Had the Patriots scored on that passing touchdown attempt, who knows what would have happened.
Stop everything and watch this interception by Micah Hyde.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 16, 2022
What did happen was the Bills took over from that point onward and ran away with the game. Josh Allen was sublime. He finished with 21 of 25 for 308 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 66 yards rushing to his day’s account. Devin Singletary led the team with 81 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Tight end Dawson Knox had two touchdowns while Gabriel Davis, Emmanuel Sanders and Tommy Doyle all scored a touchdown apiece.
Chiefs are Back
For the first time this season, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like themselves, the team that has come to dominate the AFC over the last three years. It was a veritable offensive delight with Patrick Mahomes seemingly finding the rhythm on offense that eluded him all season long.
Granted, the Chiefs were facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, who barely squeaked into the playoffs. However, it doesn’t take away from the complete performance they put in to come through as the 11½-point home chalk for NFL picks against the spread.
Mahomes dialed up 404 passing yards while going 30 of 39 passing with five touchdowns and one interception. Mahomes added 29 rushing yards to his day’s account. Tight end Travis Kelce had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown and set up another score as he went 1 of 1 passing for a TD.
Last season, the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs collided in the AFC Championship Game with the Chiefs coming up trumps. For a second year in a row, the pair reprise hostilities in the AFC playoffs, but this time they meet one round earlier.
The Bills take a 1-0 head-to-head edge into Kansas City after clinching a regular-season win at Arrowhead, but the Chiefs are the proven side in the AFC playoffs. They are the heavyweight in the conference these past few years with a Super Bowl to underline their championship credentials.
Thus, it’s no surprise that bookmakers went to press with the Chiefs as the firm home favorites with odds hovering around a field goal. However, the line didn’t hold for long as early money poured in on the Bills, prompting the markets to adjust the line to 2½ points within hours of opening. In the last 24 hours, the line dropped by an additional half a point.
Lookahead NFL lines had the Chiefs as the 2½-point favorites for this game. Now that the line is down to -2, those looking to back the Chiefs should pull the trigger before the needle goes back up. Getting the Chiefs at anything less than the lookahead 2½ points is a steal bet
On the flip side, for those eyeing up the Bills in this matchup, waiting for later in the week might be the best strategy. As the line dwindles, there’s sure to be buyback on the Chiefs and that could push the line up to a field goal. It might be worth waiting to see if that line shows up again before placing your final NFL picks.
Similarly, the total opened on 53 points but jumped out to 53½ points within hours of going to press. Since markets opened on Sunday, this number has climbed steadily and now sits on 54½ points with BetUs sportsbook. If that’s not a sign that bettors are expecting a veritable shootout on Sunday Night Football, what is? Then again, who can blame them after Allen and Mahomes both dropped five touchdowns in the Wild Card round.
As far as the total goes, the over does seem to be the popular bet and the most likely outcome between these offensive-minded outfits. So, grab the over now before the line climbs higher.