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AFC Number 1 Seed Odds: Can Anyone Catch the Chiefs?

After earning their eighth straight win on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs have the inside track to the AFC’s top seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
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AFC Number 1 Seed Odds: Can Anyone Catch the Chiefs?

Remember back in September and early October when the sky was falling in Chiefs Kingdom? The two-time AFC Champions were on pace to be the worst defense in NFL history. Superstar QB Patrick Mahomes and the offense looked broken. Perhaps most shocking of all was that losses in four of the first seven games relegated Kansas City to the cellar in the AFC West Division. 

Fast-forward to the end of the 2021 calendar year and such worries are now a distant memory. The Chiefs rattled off their eighth consecutive victory in dominant fashion over on Sunday. Despite being without star tight end Travis Kelce due to virus protocols, Mahomes and the K.C. offense throttled the Pittsburgh Steelers to the tune of 36 points. 

The win improved what was once a 3-4 team to 11-4 on the season. The Chiefs clinched their sixth consecutive AFC West Division crown and remain alone atop the AFC Conference standings with just two weeks left in the regular season. Kansas City is also a clear NFL betting favorite in the odds to win the AFC.

AFC Winner Odds

TeamOdds to Win AFC
Kansas City Chiefs+180
Buffalo Bills+425
New England Patriots+650
Indianapolis Colts+800
Tennessee Titans+900
Cincinnati Bengals+1500
Baltimore Ravens+2800
Los Angeles Chargers+2800


Along with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, keep in mind that the top seed is now the only team that gets a first-round bye as a result of the expanded format. They may be alone in first right now, but Andy Reid’s team cannot afford to rest on their laurels and coast into the postseason just yet. The Chiefs’ win combined with other Week 16 results have left just two other teams still in the running for the number one seed in the AFC.

Breaking Down the Race and Scenarios for AFC’s No. 1 Seed

With a record of 10-5, the team with the best chance to dethrone Kansas City is the Tennessee Titans. Despite losing star running back Derrick Henry midway through the regular season, the Titans have still been very successful. Of course, Tennessee also beat the Chiefs head-to-head back in Week 7. As a result, the Titans would only need to make up one game and finish tied in the standings to earn the one seed.

The only other team that still has a mathematical shot to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs is the Buffalo Bills. That being said, it is a long shot at best. Like the Titans, the Bills beat the Chiefs head-to-head earlier in the year. However, Buffalo is two games back in the standings at 9-6 with just two to play. Thus, they would need to win out and hope the Chiefs lose out in order to finish in a tie. 

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The other wrinkle impacting the Bills in the AFC number one seed odds is that they lost a head-to-head matchup against the Titans earlier in the year. Therefore, Buffalo also needs Tennessee to lose out in order to sneak into a first-round bye. Should all three teams wind up tied in the final standings at 11-7, the No. 1 seed would go to the Titans by virtue of beating both of their competitors head-to-head.

With the above scenarios in mind, here is a look at the remaining games for all three teams:

Chiefs — @ CIN, @ DEN

Titans — vs MIA, @ HOU

Bills — vs ATL, vs NYJ

Based on records alone, one could argue that there is the potential for chaos atop the AFC before it’s all said and done. While the Chiefs arguably have the most difficult remaining schedule, the Bills certainly have the easiest. Then again, with the way Kansas City is humming right now, they could very well go into the playoffs on a 10-game winning streak. 

After all of those early-season frets, Chiefs Kingdom is indeed alive and well.


Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.


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