Note: Odds in this article come the way of our partners at the FanDuel Sportsbook, where new users can pick the winner of either conference championship game this weekend and win $125 on a $5 max bet.
Bills at Chiefs. AFC Championship. No, we didn’t hit 88mph in the Delorean to take us back to 1993, the year is 2021 and the Bills Mafia is BACK. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, the two best quarterbacks in the AFC, will battle head to head this Sunday with a Super Bowl appearance as the reward to the winner. While there’s speculation about Mahomes’ health after leaving the divisional game against the Browns with a “concussion”, make NO MISTAKE, he will start this game and anyone who thinks otherwise is being quite foolish.
Week six gave us a possible preview of this matchup as the Chiefs went into Buffalo and beat the Bills 26-17 in a cold, rainy game that was played on a Monday Afternoon. Mahomes was very efficient completing 21 of 26 passes for 225 yards and 2 TDs. On the ground, Clyde Edwards-Helaire tore the Buffalo defense apart gaining 161 yards on 26 carries. Personally, I thought that Andy Reid called a pretty conservative gameplan, seemingly wanting to get out of Buffalo unscathed, and they did just that with help from a defense that shut Josh Allen down, holding him to only 122 yards thru the air on 27 attempts while limiting the Bills rushing attack to only 84 yards on 23 carries, in the worst performance of the season by the Buffalo offense.
Since the loss, Buffalo has reeled off 11 wins in 12 games, becoming the “hottest team in the AFC”, leading many people to doubt the #1 seed, the 14-2 Chiefs, because they “haven’t been covering games”. This is absolutely foolish, lets take a look at why; KC has only had a spread of 3 or less in 2 games this year (-2.5 at Saints, +3.5 at Baltimore), they won, and covered both of these games, beating the Saints by 3 and Baltimore by 14. In both of these games, they enjoyed large leads and the final score did not reflect the way the game actually went. In one other game, KC was a 3.5 point favorite, against Tampa Bay, they won the game by just 3, not covering, although that score is not indicative of how the game was played because the Chiefs jumped out to an early 17-0 first-quarter lead and took their foot off the gas. What I am trying to say is this team is much better than their ATS record (7-10). The Bills on the other hand have an ATS record of 12-6 on the season, very successful.
Sunday, the game will come down to the two best players on the field, Mahomes vs Allen, but what secondary pieces will make the most plays for them? Mahomes has an arsenal of playmakers with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and Clyde Edwards – Helaire, who will be coming back from injury this weekend. Josh Allen has Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary, and John Brown, not exactly the talent level of KC, but Buffalo is more than capable. I won’t bother getting into the defenses here, because great offense beats great defense every time, and the advantage that KC has is that no one has ever been able to stop Patrick Mahomes for a full game, no one. He is the best player in the NFL and if Buffalo makes the mistake of not blitzing him, not even once like they did in the first meeting, they will be playing catch up the entire game, and that could spell disaster for a team with limited playoff experience. This is the playoffs and experience wins, if you make mistakes it will cost you dearly.
Sunday will come down to who makes the least mistakes, and as we know, the defending Super Bowl LIV champions do not make many mistakes. This one has a chance and the ingredients to be one of the all-time great championship games, after all, the NFL is better when the Bills are back, so Buffalo fans, go break some tables and eat some wings, enjoy this Sunday, because win or lose, you never know when it’ll happen again!
Big-time players make big-time plays, so this weekend I’ll be betting on Stefon Diggs to go OVER his total of 93.5 yards receiving, available at FanDuel Sportsbook. Enjoy!