Free Picks: Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills

AFC Championship Chiefs vs Bills
Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills, NFL, Arrowhead Stadium

The Kansas City Chiefs (15-2) are looking to reach the Super Bowl for a second consecutive year — after winning last year — while the Buffalo Bills (15-3) are looking to get back to the NFL’s mountaintop for the first time since 1993. These franchises were on a likely collision course to meet in the AFC championship game as the top two seeds in the conference.

All eyes on health of Chiefs’ Mahomes entering AFC title game vs. Bills

If you saw the play — where Kansas Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes crumpled on the ground, failed to get up on his own and looked completely starry-eyed — then you’re right to be concerned about his status for the upcoming biggest game of the season.

Mahomes left Kansas City’s divisional round game with a concussion and, as of the time this is being published on BetPicks, remains in concussion protocol. Perhaps that’s why the Chiefs are just 3-point favorites (+100 at Betway) on the latest NFL lines.

When making NFL predictions, you can’t possibly look at all factors involved in a game — there are too many players, plays and scenarios to do that. But it’s always worthwhile to hone in on a game’s presumed impact players, for which Mahomes tops the list.

Consider that Mahomes led the NFL this year in passing yards per game (316/game) and guided the Chiefs to the league’s No. 1 total offense. His ability to clear concussion protocol in time means everything in this matchup.

Plainly put, if you think Mahomes will clear concussion protocol — which, since 2015, has taken quarterbacks an average of seven days to do, according to The Athletic — you should absolutely take the Chiefs. I mean, +100 to cover three points? For the reigning Super Bowl champs? That’s a must.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Mahomes was “doing great” after Sunday’s win against the Browns. So there’s a bit of optimism there.

If Mahomes can’t go, the Bills are a very intriguing money line play (+125 at Betway). Buffalo totally stifled the Baltimore Ravens in a 17-3 win last week, and Josh Allen has led the Bills to a remarkable eight-game win streak (which includes three road wins).

Whatever you do, you’d be wise to move quickly. Mahomes’ status will firm up, one way or another, sometime this week. The odds are sure to move with that news — meaning the Chiefs will either take more points on the money line, or the Bills will become a less enticing underdog play.

For now, we’ll choose the optimistic route in regard to Mahomes and pick the Chiefs.

Stats

  • Kansas City is 2-8 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Chiefs’ past 10 games
  • Buffalo is 9-1 ATS in its past 10 games
  • The OVER has cashed in six of the Bills’ past 10 games

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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University). You can follow Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHorrobin

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