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Chiefs vs. Bills Updated Odds, Schedule, Predictions For Divisional Round: Kansas City Favored In NFL Playoffs

Chiefs vs. Bills Updated Odds, Schedule, Predictions For Divisional Round: Kansas City Favored In NFL Playoffs article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Bills QB Josh Allen

  • The Chiefs are favored in the NFL Divisional Round against the Bills.
  • It will be a playoff rematch from last year, when Kansas City advanced en route to a Super Bowl appearance.
  • Check out the latest odds below as of Tuesday evening.

Chiefs vs. Bills Odds

Spread
Chiefs -2
Over/Under
54.5
Odds via DraftKings. Find more real-time NFL playoff odds here.

It’s official: The 2-seeded Chiefs will host the 3-seeded Bills in the Divisional Round of the 2022 NFL playoffs following Kansas City’s decisive win over Pittsburgh. Find one of our expert’s projected odds, another’s early spread pick, and a recap of each team’s seasons below.

Chiefs vs. Bills Schedule

Day
Sunday, Jan. 23
Time
6:30 p.m. ET


Chiefs vs. Bills Projections

Our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, reveals his initial projections for the spread and over/under based on his model.

These are subject to change before kickoff, though, so be sure to check out our NFL PRO Projections — i.e. real-time consensus projections based on models of six experts (including Sean).

  • Spread: Chiefs -2.5
  • Total: 53

Chiefs vs. Bills Predictions

Pick: Lean Chiefs -2.5 (to -3)

Brandon Anderson: Oh, baby — the AFC Championship Game comes a week early.

This is the title game we got last winter, and it’s the rematch we waited for all offseason. It’s the matchup Buffalo built its roster around, and it’s the fourth time these teams will play in two seasons. We took some lumps along the way, but these were the two best AFC teams all year. The winner will likely be favored in the AFC Championship Game, even if it’s in Tennessee.

So what can we learn about those past three meetings? Maybe not much.

The Bills lambasted the Chiefs 38-20 in Week 5, scoring 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, then all but ended it with a pick-six in the third. The Bills racked up 436 yards and won the turnover battle, 4-0. Josh Allen had a monster game at 0.62 Expected Points Added (EPA) per play while Patrick Mahomes was at -0.02.

But the Chiefs defense has been transformed since that early matchup, and a totally-remade offensive line was still gelling then. Mahomes had no time, and the Chiefs defense had no shot.

The late-season Chiefs are an entirely different team.

They swept the Bills last season. After going down 9-0 in the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs went on a 38-6 run to win with ease. Mahomes was at 0.57 EPA per play while Allen was the one below zero at -0.01. But this season’s Bills defense is nothing like the one that got destroyed last year. This season’s defense is the best in the league.

The Chiefs won 26-17 in the regular season game last year, a late kick icing it, and Mahomes was fantastic again. And actually, that was the most lopsided game of the three. Mahomes was awesome and the Chiefs doubled the Bills in yardage (466 to 206) and almost the same in time of possession (38 to 22). Allen didn’t do much , but he hadn’t turned from barely-NFL-starter to the perfect-playoff-game MVP candidate we saw this weekend.

Every game is different, and we dare not read too much into any of those past matchups. We shouldn’t read too much into this weekend’s blowout wins, either. The Steelers were DOA while the Bills have been one of the league’s highest variance team  –  when they’re good, they’re really good. Still, that Bills win earlier this season might be buying us a little Chiefs value on the line.

This feels like the most evenly-matched meeting yet. Allen has closed ground on Mahomes, and the Bills defense has been the best in the NFL while the Chiefs offense has taken its lumps.

Earlier this season, Buffalo was legitimately better than Kansas City. Now? I’m not so sure.

The defenses are trending in opposite directions. Buffalo smashed New England, but the Bills run defense ranks 16th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA over the last eight weeks and the overall defense has been more great than elite. And the Chiefs defense is night and day from that early matchup — they rank 10th in DVOA over the past eight weeks, top-11 against both the run and the pass, after an ugly 31st the first 10 weeks. The unit has also been much better at home.

Still, we’re gonna get some scoring. Both offenses are trending up.

The Chiefs have the league’s No. 1 passing DVOA over the last eight weeks after ranking just 15th the first 10 games. And suddenly, the Bills rank No. 1 in rushing DVOA over the same stretch after starting 25th the first 10 games, and that run game could be big as Buffalo tries to keep Mahomes on the sidelines.

Both of these teams will move the ball and score.

The midseason addition of Melvin Ingram changed the trajectory of this Chiefs defense. They’re legitimately good now and have a much better shot against Allen this time. This could also be a game where Buffalo really misses stud corner Tre’Davious White — it would have been his job to take away Tyreek Hill. The Bills pass defense has been best in the NFL against opposing WR2 and other receivers down the depth chart, but star WR1 and tight ends can give them problems. Hill and Travis Kelce will eat.

This should be a close, great game. And when it’s close, I inevitably come back to the quarterback and the coaching. And as awesome as Allen, Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll have been, I still give the edge to the Chiefs.

When you play king of the hill, the challenger still has to dethrone the king.

The Chiefs also have a serious special teams edge, both in the return game and at kicker. Don’t underestimate that in a close game.

The old adage says defense wins championships, but I don’t buy it. Elite offense beats elite defense in 2022. I trust the Chiefs to score on the Bills. But which Bills offense will show up? Will Allen be perfect like he was against the Patriots? Or will he make those two to three typical back-breaking mistakes? And is the Chiefs defense as good as it has looked? Will it hold up against a great offense?

I don’t know the answer to those questions. None of us do, and it’s why I won’t go too nuts on this game. But I make this line Chiefs -4, and that means we’re getting a little value on Kansas City, especially past a key number.

It’s still Pat Mahomes and Andy Reid, at home, with the season on the line. And that means I’m still backing the most talented quarterback on Earth.

When Mahomes is a three-point favorite or shorter (including an underdog), the Chiefs are 14-4-1 (78%) against the spread (ATS) lifetime, per our Action Labs data. They’ve won nine of the last 11  —  the two losses coming in the Super Bowl and that Bills game earlier this season.

Maybe I’m still putting too much trust in the past, but I know what the Chiefs are, and I know what Mahomes can do. If I’m going down with the ship, this is a ship worth riding all the way to the bottom.


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How Bills Reached 2022 NFL Playoffs

  • Wild Card Round: Beat Patriots, 47-17
  • Regular Season: 11-6

Avery Yang: This team might have some of the most confusing results out of any squad in the NFL, with losses to the Jaguars and Steelers to go along with a 41-15 drubbing by the Colts.

They are talked about like one of the best teams in the NFL, but have they really looked like one this season?

The advanced statistics have an answer, and it’s a resounding yes.

Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA says the Bills are the No. 3 team in the NFL. And while they’ve had some losses to bad teams, they’ve dominated decent and good teams, including the Patriots and Chiefs.

Dominating teams — not winning close games — is the best metric in deciding which teams are Super Bowl contenders and not Super Bowl pretenders.

All of the Bills’ wins this season have come by double digits. And in each of those wins, the Bills had complete or near-complete control of the game by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.

The market loves Buffalo, and I don’t blame them. Don’t be surprised if you see the Bills in Inglewood come mid-February.

How Chiefs Reached 2022 NFL Playoffs

  • Wild Card Round: Beat Steelers, 42-21
  • Regular Season: 12-5

Avery Yang: The Chiefs had some low lows this season, and there was a period in October when it felt they might even miss the playoffs.

But, they ripped off eight straight wins from November through December to lock down their sixth straight AFC West title.

Their defense — which caused them all sorts of strife early in the season — has looked much better, but is still their Achilles heel. It’s just the 24th-best unit in the NFL. If the Chiefs falter come playoffs, it’ll be because of their struggles on defense.

Kansas City is still the second favorite to win the Super Bowl purely on account of Patrick Mahomes, who you can’t count out during the playoffs — especially against the shaky AFC.

This team is more than capable of ripping off three straight wins to get to Inglewood for Super Bowl LVI. After fumbling a first-round bye with a loss to the Bengals last week, it looks like three straight wins is precisely what they’ll need to do.

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