The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs are going to reprise hostilities under the lights on Sunday night when they collide in a pivotal AFC showdown that promises to have far-reaching implications. Books opened this game with the Chiefs in favor, but the public has bet down the NFL betting lines and odds. As things currently stand, the Chiefs are laying merely a field goal to the visiting Bills.
|Game: Buffalo Bills (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City. Date: Sunday,
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|Buffalo Bills||+3 -120||+130||56½ -110o|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-3 Ev||-150||56½ -110u|
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have had Josh Allen’s and the Buffalo Bills’ number. In both meetings last season, the Chiefs came out on top in fine style, including the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs won at Buffalo 26-17 in their first meeting on Oct. 19, 2020. They then beat the Bills 38-24 in January to advance to the Super Bowl.
Reflecting on the AFC Championship Game defeat, which quashed Buffalo’s hope of winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history and ended its deepest postseason sojourn since 1994, Allen promised they’d take motivation from it. Well, he gets another crack at Mahomes and the Chiefs. This game won’t have quite the same magnitude of a championship contest but, in the broad spectrum of the season, it’s still an important game that the Bills will want to win. The stakes are high because if the Bills can finally beat the Chiefs, they’ll officially gain the attention of everyone. And it will go some way toward validating their NFL odds as the third-best bet to win Super Bowl 56.
Next game: Tennessee Titans
The Buffalo Bills are riding the moment of a three-game winning streak. Their disastrous season-opening defeat to visiting Pittsburgh is a distant memory, although it’s still a bit of a head-scratcher considering where the Steelers are currently in their campaign.
Most recently, the Bills are coming off a 40-0 shutout of the Houston Texans. It was a comprehensive beatdown that allowed the Bills to pad the stats sheet nicely. Allen went 20 of 29 for 248 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Even Mitch Trubisky got to touch the ball a couple of times, completing his only pass attempt and rushing for 10 yards on four carries for a score.
Running back Devin Singletary led the team in rushing, galloping for 79 yards on 14 carries, while Allen’s BFF, Stefon Diggs, led the receiving corps with 114 yards on seven receptions. Tight end Dawson Knox had 37 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions.
Defensive end Efe Obada (calf), safety Jordan Poyer (ankle), cornerback Taron Johnson (groin), guard Jon Feliciano (concussion) and linebacker Matt Milano (hamstring) are all questionable for Sunday’s clash with the Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs
Next game: at Washington Football Team
The Kansas City Chiefs bounced back into the win column after seizing a confidence-boosting 42-30 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. It was a crucial win nonetheless as the Chiefs ended a two-game slide and improved to 2-2-0 in the AFC West standings to remain one game behind their division rivals.
Mahomes had the Chiefs offense humming like a finely tuned engine, and no GPS was required to drive a truckload of touchdowns into the end zone. Mahomes finished with 24 of 30 for 278 yards and five touchdowns. Tyreek Hill scorched the Eagles for 186 yards and three passing touchdowns while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 102 yards and added a TD reception.
The win over the Eagles was also noteworthy for Andy Reid, who made NFL history by winning his 100th career game with a franchise for the second time in his career.
Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff (hand), center Austin Blythe (hernia), cornerback Chavarius Ward (quadricep), defensive end Frank Clark (hamstring), cornerback Rashad Fenton (concussion), and linebacker Willie Gay (toe) are questionable for Sunday. Defensive end Joshua Kaindoh (ankle) is out indefinitely.
Betting on the Game
The hype and buzz preceding this marquee matchup are at another level, earning it recognition for being the game of the week. Adding to the anticipation is the feeling that an upset may be brewing and that the Bills will finally come out on top. The third try is the charm, so they say.
This notion makes sense when looking at this matchup from a statistical point of view, encompassing the first four games. The Bills appear to have the advantage behind a 3-1 straight-up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) record, which includes a 22½-point average margin of victory and a +13½-point differential versus the spread. The Bills have twice shut out opponents and the defense is conceding a paltry 11 points per game.
The Chiefs, by comparison, are 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS with a narrow 2.2-point average margin of victory and a -3.2 differential versus the spread. They look flawed. The defense has struggled to stop opposing offenses, and Mahome has had a couple of uncharacteristic error-filled games. Additionally, the Bills are leaders in their division, while the Chiefs are the stragglers in theirs.
And yet, things are never quite so simple. At the crux of all these stats lies a crucial distinction in the level of opposition each has faced. The Bills have come up against inferior competition, easily bullying them into submission without so much of a finger lifted in resistance. The Miami Dolphins, Washington Football Team and the Houston Texans have combined for a 4-8 record and, weirdly, they’ve all lost their starting quarterbacks either before or during their games with Buffalo. The Bills could easily have been facing a varsity football team.
The Chiefs have had to deal with a higher level of competition, elite quarterbacking and some of the stoutest defenses in the league. Moreover, the losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers were narrow and those games could have gone either way. It’s safe to say that had those gone in favor of the Chiefs, talk of the upset potential for this game would be seriously diminished, not to mention Kansas City’s NFL odds would resonate with more favoritism.
Indeed, lookahead Las Vegas NFL odds opened with Kansas City -4½ before Week 4. So, if you’re getting the Chiefs at -3½, -3 or, even, lower (which might be the case come Sunday), then the Chiefs are a steal bet to win and cover. The fact remains that the Bills haven’t beaten any team of consequence and their record thus far may well be smoke and mirrors.
Betting on an upset is infinitely appealing, not least because the potential risk-to-reward ratio is attractive. Whether the Bills can pull off one of the biggest upsets in recent franchise history remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a bet that’s gaining in popularity. The Bills are priced at +130 to upset the Chiefs, meaning betting $100 will yield $130.
The Chiefs, however, don’t often lose at Arrowhead Stadium. Granted, they fell to the Chargers 30-24 two weeks ago, but that was a divisional rivalry game. Besides, that costly misstep likely has woken up the Chiefs. The Chiefs are priced at -150 to win at home. It’s not often the Chiefs are priced that low on the moneyline and that makes it a bet worth considering.
The total for this game is one of the highest in Week 5, and it’s trending up since opening on 56 points. Most sportsbooks are showing the total at 56½ points and the public is betting the over. If this trend continues, the total is likely to swell further.
Both teams have put up points in a hurry and are averaging 33.5 points, which is tied for the second-highest in the league. But again, how much stock should bettors put in these stats when there’s a significant gap in the opposition each side faced.
The Bills put up bucket loads of points against the Dolphins, WFT and Texans, but struggled to get any traction against the Steelers in Week 1. The Chiefs put up bucket loads of points against some of the best teams, including the Cleveland Browns, Ravens and Chargers.
As good as the Bills defense is, it hasn’t seen a quarterback of Mahomes’ caliber this season. They’ve faced Jacoby Brissett, Taylor Heinicke and Davis Mills. So, this is going to be an entirely different game for the Bills on both sides of the ball. Let’s see just how good this defense really is. For that matter, the offense too.