The NFL Divisional Round slate of games concludes Sunday at 6:30 pm when the No. 3 seeded Kansas City Chiefs (12-6) travel to Buffalo to face the No. 2 seeded Bills (12-6) at Highmark Stadium.
Kansas City earned their playoff berth via winning the AFC West during the regular season. Then, the Chiefs survived sub-zero temperatures at home to outlast the Miami Dolphins 26-7 Saturday evening.
The Bills needed a late-season surge to win the AFC East crown, needing a final-night victory over those same Dolphins two weeks ago to steal the conference’s second seed. In Monday’s opening game, Buffalo survived the weather and a motivated Pittsburgh squad to earn a 31-17 victory over the Steelers during the Wild Card round.
This is the second time the Chiefs and the Bills have faced off this season. In early December, Buffalo survived a last-minute comeback attempt to overcome the Chiefs 20-17. Can Buffalo repeat that success this weekend? We’ll reveal which players to watch for this weekend as well as our best bet when these two teams play Sunday evening.
Buffalo’s offense relies on QB Josh Allen. The Bills’ signal caller completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,306 yards, 29 TDs and 18 INTs this season. On the ground, Allen ran 111 times for 524 yards and a career-best 15 TDs in 2023. His dual-threat nature makes Buffalo a hard team for NFL defenses to slow down.
His ability to run also makes Allen a hard QB to pinpoint passing yards for most games. Against Kansas City earlier this season, he threw for 233 passing yards – just barely covering the mark needed for a successful player prop bet against the Chiefs – while netting 32 rushing yards on 10 carries in that December contest.
In the NFL playoffs, Allen passed for 203 yards in his first outing while rushing for another 74 yards – including a 52-yard dash – to help his team advance to the Divisional Round contest. Expect Allen to use his feet more against the Chiefs in this game as Kansas City will try to keep Buffalo’s aerial attack contained Sunday evening.
While Allen is known for his running prowess, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is deceptively good as a runner. During the regular season, Mahomes scurried for 389 yards on 75 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per rush.
In two of his team’s last three games, Mahommes has rushed for over 40 yards. That includes two 10+ yard runs against the Dolphins during the Wild Card matchup. Before that, however, the Chiefs’ signal caller had eclipsed 27 yards only once in eight outings for Kansas City.
Expect Mahomes to feel pressure from the Bills’ front line, but don’t expect the Chiefs’ QB to account for more than 27.5 rushing yards in this outing. Buffalo played a spy defense against Kansas City to avoid Mahomes beating them on the ground in their first outing and likely will employ a similar defensive scheme this week, too.
Next to TE Travis Kelce, Kansas City rookie WR Rashee Rice is the Chiefs’ top target through the air. In his debut season, Rice caught 79 of 102 targets for 938 yards and seven scores, stats that rank either second or first on the team.
Last week against Miami, Rice caught eight of 12 targets for 130 yards and Mahomes’ only passing TD to lead Kansas City in all categories. With his budding rapport with Mahomes growing stronger, expect Rice to eclipse 70.5 receiving yards – a figure he also passed in the first meeting between these two teams – to successfully cover this player prop bet.
Live Odds for Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Picking a winner between two legit Super Bowl contenders really can be a coinflip, especially when the two teams already produced a three-point game earlier this season. Kansas City was a last-minute drive away from tying the ballgame or winning in regulation, and the Chiefs could easily find themselves in that position again this week.
The best bet in this contest is the over/under total points wager, specifically taking the under 46 points oddsmakers have gifted bettors. While either team could potentially have a bad game and produce a blowout, don’t expect the other team to score many – if any – points should the game get out of hand.
Instead, predicting these two teams will produce another low-scoring contest is a safer bet this weekend. This is definitely true given how bitterly cold temperatures will be when this game kicks off Sunday evening.
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