Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills
Line: Kansas City -3
Where: Arrowhead Stadium
When: Sunday, 10/10 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Buffalo has been waiting for its rematch against Kansas City ever since the AFC Championship game.
The Chiefs erased an early deficit in a 38-24 win as 3-point home favorites. They are listed as field-goal favorites for this game at most shops after the early betting action, which pushed the line down from the opener of -3.5. The total has risen from 53.5 to 57, as of Friday night.
Buffalo jumped out to a 9-0 lead after the first quarter in the AFC title game, but Patrick Mahomes and co. responded by scoring 24 of the next 27 points. The Chiefs wound up losing to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl and are off to a slow start this season, going 2-2 through their first four games.
They opened the year with a 33-29 win over Cleveland before losing to the Ravens and Chargers in back-to-back games. Kansas City bounced back in Week 4, taking care of business in a 42-30 decision at Philadelphia. However, the Chiefs are still just 2-12-1 against-the-spread in their last 15 games—they are 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games.
Mahomes leads an offense that ranks second in the NFL, averaging 427.5 yards per game. He has completed 72.3 percent of his passes and has thrown 14 touchdowns, but he has also tossed four interceptions through four weeks. Speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill has been his top target, catching 30 passes for 453 yards and four scores.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire paces the rushing attack with 58 carries for 291 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per attempt. Mahomes has added 15 carries for 92 yards.
Defense has been the issue for Kansas City to open the season. The Chiefs have allowed at least 29 points in all four of their games, which has led to the ‘over’ cashing at a 3-1 clip. Defensive end Frank Clark is listed as ‘probable’ for Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.
Things are not going to get any easier for the struggling defense, as the Bills are currently No. 7 in yards per game (404.0). Buffalo dropped its season opener against Pittsburgh, but it has responded with three straight wins. The Bills were dominant in all three of those outings, beating Miami, Washington and Houston by a combined score of 118-21. They shut out the Texans in a 40-0 final last week in what could have been considered a look-ahead spot.
Quarterback Josh Allen has completed 63.1 percent of his attempts for 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been one of the best wideouts in the league, catching 26 passes for 305 yards. Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley have both been reliable targets for Allen as well.
Running back Devin Singletary has rushed for 259 yards on 49 carries, averaging 5.3 yards per touch. Allen and backup running back Zack Moss are both averaging at least 4.2 yards per carry.
The real story for the Bills has been their defense, which tops the NFL in yards allowed per game (216.8). They have the top pass defense and are fourth best against the run.
Buffalo has covered the spread at a 12-3 clip in its last 15 games, but it is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against Kansas City. The Bills have gone ‘under’ in 10 of their last 14 trips at Arrowhead Stadium.
The pick: Buffalo +3
This line is sitting at the same number that the AFC Championship game closed at. Buffalo has been the much more impressive and consistent team through the first four weeks of the season, while betting on Kansas City has been about as profitable as setting your money on fire over the past year. The Chiefs remain overvalued in the betting market and their defense is going to face its toughest task of the season on Sunday night. Buffalo enters this game with revenge on its mind. I expect a workmanlike attitude from Allen and the Bills, who have been outstanding on defense. They have won their last two games by a combined score of 75-0, which is unheard of in the NFL.