AFC Championship Odds: Chiefs field goal favorites over Allen’s Bills

Featured in this article:

  • Patrick Mahomes starts week in concussion protocol after leaving divisional playoff game early.
  • The Bills lost to the Chiefs during the regular season, 26-17.
  • Kansas City is 0-8-1 ATS in their last nine games.

On a day where Josh Allen and the Bills offense were somewhat muted, Buffalo’s defense stepped up. Prior to Lamar Jackson getting knocked out of the game due to a concussion, the Bills held Baltimore’s franchise quarterback to 162 yards passing, 34 yards rushing and one critical interception en route to a 17-3 divisional playoff win and against the spread cover.

Chiefs fans continue to hold their collective breath as they await word as to whether or not their franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes will clear concussion protocol in time for the AFC Championship. Mahomes was dazed and confused after getting tackled by Cleveland’s Mack Wilson and headed to the locker room mid-way through the third quarter. Veteran back-up Chad Henne came up big in relief and helped stave off a late Browns comeback to earn the 22-17 victory, but fail to cover the +10. Kansas City is now 0-8-1 against the spread in their last nine games.

AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs Game Info
Date: January 24, 2020, 6:40 p.m. ET
Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
TV Coverage: CBS
Opening Odds: Chiefs -5 | O/U 53
How to Bet: Best Online Sportsbook Reviews

Line Movement

Kansas City opened as 5-point home favorites, but that has since peeled back to Chiefs -3 at most online sportsbooks we track as we wait on Mahomes’ injury update(s). The Bills moneyline opened at +130 and remains in that range as of Monday morning, while the point total opened at 53.5 before a tick up to 54, which could be an indication that bookmakers believe Mahomes will play and/or the Chiefs defense can be gashed by an Allen-led offense.

Kansas City beat the Bills, 26-17, during the regular season. The Chiefs dominated time of possession 38-22 as rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 161 yards in the win and cover. Josh Allen was held to just 122 passing yards in the loss.

Since that game, Buffalo is 11-1 with an average margin of victory of 14.3 points. The Chiefs have failed to cover the spread in NINE straight games.

Bills News and Notes

Five things to know:

  • Buffalo has all but abandoned their running game as of late. As a team, the Bills only attempted 16 running plays against the Ravens in the divisional round and that’s with a mobile quarterback who finished with 102 carries during the regular season. Buffalo’s averaging just 68.7 rush yards per game over their past three, and 40 yards per game fewer than their 2020 per game average.
    • The reason this matters is that despite having to go to the air to rally back, the Browns backfield averaged 5.1 yards per rush against the Chiefs last Sunday. Kansas City ranks 19th against the rush as they allow nearly 120 ground yards per game.
  • Josh Allen’s QB rating jumped from 85.3 to 107.2 year-over-year thanks, in part, to his completion percentage improving nearly 11%. If not for Aaron Rodgers, he would be a lock to win 2020 NFL MVP honors.
  • The Bills lead the NFL in third-down conversions during the regular season as they converted nearly 50% of them. The Chiefs defense ranks 17th on third downs. Cleveland converted 6-of-13 third downs and all three fourth downs against Kansas City last Sunday.
  • Buffalo has covered in nine of their past 10 games.
  • The Bills are 5-1-1 ATS in their last six games with Allen at quarterback when road dogs of three-or-fewer points.

Chiefs News and Notes

Five things to know:

    • Patrick Mahomes remains in concussion protocol, but Andy Reid said after the Chiefs win Sunday that “he’s (Mahomes) is doing great.”
      • “He got hit in the back of the head and kinda knocked the wind out of him and everything else with it,” Reid said. “He’s doing great right now which is a real positive as we looked at this. Passed all the deals that he needed to pass so we’ll see where it goes from here.”
      • Based on that quote, one would assume Mahomes suits up against the Bills.
    • Both the Chiefs and Bills head into the AFC Championship game winners of 15 games this season and postseason. However, Buffalo is 12-6 against the spread, while Kansas City boasts the seventh-worst ATS record at 7-10.
    • Kansas City’s last eight wins have been by an average margin of just 3.87 points. Their average scoring margin was +9.7 last season.
    • The Chiefs rank dead last in red zone defense as they’ve allowed opposing offenses to score more than 76% of the time.
    • We’ll have to wait and see if rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is active against the Bills. He suffered a painful high-ankle sprain and hip injury in the Chiefs win over the Saints. Darrel Williams – and not Le’Veon Bell – led the Chiefs rush attack against the Browns. Williams averaged 6.0 yards per carry against Cleveland’s ninth-ranked rush defense ahead of facing Buffalo’s 20th-ranked rush “D,” which allows nearly 125 ground yards per game.

Game Pick: Chiefs -3

We’re going to assume Mahomes clears concussion protocol, is active and starts for the Chiefs this Sunday. For Andy Reid and this Kansas City roster, they’ve been here before, while Josh Allen and his supporting cast are getting their first taste of what it means to be a Super Bowl contender. As evident by the slim point spread, this will be an extremely entertaining game, but with Mahomes behind center, those quick strike scores come in bunches and why I think Kansas City can win and cover over the feel-good story of the Bills 2020 season.

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