NFL Conference Championship Picks: Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Predictions

It's time for the big one, Ben Gretch breaks down the best bets for the Bills @ Chiefs in the AFC Championship game
Ben Gretch
Sat, January 23, 7:08 AM EST

Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs Picks & Predictions

Bet: Under 54.5 - Click HERE To Bet

Key Stat: When these teams met in Week 5, Kansas City ran 46 times for a season-high 245 rushing yards in a rainy game

Buffalo heads to Kansas City for what is shaping up to be a similarly rainy matchup to their Week 5 clash, a 26-17 Chiefs win. Temperatures in Kansas City are expected to be in the high thirties during the game, with rain expected later in the evening and overnight. Weather reports can always be tough to trust, but that there is likely to be rain Sunday morning and then more rain overnight after the game suggests missing the weather entirely is unlikely.

The last time these teams met we had a throwback game, one of the more peculiar outcomes of the 2020 season. Buffalo and Kansas City are both pass-happy teams who throw often on early downs, but in a game with rain picking up in the second half, the Chiefs dominated on the ground and held the Bills to an absurdly low 15 offensive plays after halftime and just 6 minutes and 33 seconds of a possible 30 minutes of second-half time of possession.

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Kansas City was willing to throw early, but it was clear the Bills couldn’t stop Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who broke off several first-half chunk runs, including gains of 31, 14, 12, 11, and 9 yards before halftime. So Kansas City opened the second half with five straight runs, and they went from there, running down the play clock and shortening the game like a power football team. They ultimately rushed 46 times for 245 yards on the ground, easily a season high as their only 200-yard rushing game of the season.

I don’t expect a direct repeat, but it did successfully limit the Bills’ offense. Buffalo’s 206 total offensive yards were a regular season low by more than 100, and they managed just 20 first downs and 17 points. The Bills have come a long way since that Week 6 game, and Edwards-Helaire is notably questionable with ankle and hip injuries. Darrel Williams did a pretty good job covering for him last week, though, gaining six yards per carry en route to 78 rushing yards on 13 attempts.

Buffalo’s run defense was much better down the stretch of the regular season, and they did a commendable job against the Ravens last week, although Lamar Jackson missed the entire fourth quarter with a concussion. To be clear, I don’t expect Kansas City to take a run-heavy approach. But while Patrick Mahomes appears good to go after a concussion suffered last week, his mobility might be limited a bit in this one from what is reportedly a turf toe injury he suffered earlier in last week’s win over Cleveland. Add in the weather and the massive success the Chiefs found on the ground against these Bills last time, and I do expect a few more runs than usual, which has me liking the under here given the huge 54.5 total.

I do think the Bills will find their successes, unlike the Week 6 matchup. After losing rookie running back Zack Moss in the first round of the playoffs, Buffalo went extremely pass-heavy against Baltimore last week. They’ve been one of the more aggressive early-down passing teams in the league all season, and Allen’s mobility provides them a dual threat even when they call a passing play. An expected high passing rate from Buffalo should mean plenty of play volume throughout this game.

I’m not worried about Mahomes and the Chiefs finding success through the air, either. The weather shouldn’t be so bad as to prevent passing entirely, and the high total does make some sense with the matchup. This should be an entertaining game, but if either passing offense struggles a bit with the weather, or either team is able to get some things done on the ground, the under will look very nice.

NFL Expert Picks

Things are really heating up in the NFL and this Sunday sees the two Conference Championship Games. First up the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers hosting Tom Brady's Buccaneers at Lambeau. Tom Brady is no stranger to cold weather and he'll need to count on that experience in order to win here as he hunts for a 7th ring. The second game of the day sees the Buffalo Bills on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes' injury status has been the big story all week, but perhaps it could be his toe injury which has the biggest impact.

Check out our NFL picks section to make sure you keep up to date with our free, expert NFL picks. 

Ben Gretch
@YardsPerGretch
Ben knows his football. A fantasy football expert who was most recently seen at CBS Sports, he'll be helping bettors find value ahead in the NFL with OddsChecker.
Sep 2021
Record
Wins
5
Losses
2
Push
0
ROI
37.03%
0Betslip

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