Bills vs. Chiefs Odds & Picks: Your Guide To Betting the Monday Night Football Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen
Bills vs. Chiefs Odds
The Chiefs and Bills each lost their first game of the season last week. Which team is the better bet to bounce back?
Kansas City Chiefs
Unlike the Bills, the Chiefs enter Monday’s contest with an extra day to prepare, which has historically been a major edge for head coach Andy Reid:
The Chiefs will be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and guard Kelechi Osemele (knee), but their second-ranked offense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA should still have the edge over a Buffalo defense that has sunken to 27th in DVOA after bleeding 42 points to the Titans.
Wide receivers Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle provide enough depth to fill Watkins’ shoes, while Osemele had’t been playing much better than replacement Mike Remmers, ranking 48th among guards in Pro Football Focus grade, while Remmers ranks 55th.
There are a few reasons Buffalo’s defense could be in trouble in this matchup:
- The Bills rank 28th in DVOA vs. No. 1 wide receivers.
- The Bills rank 20th in DVOA vs. tight ends.
- The Bills blitz at the third-highest rate in the league (40.6%, according to Pro Football Reference).
Anytime you struggle against No. 1 receivers and tight ends, you’re going to have issues facing the Chiefs’ elite pass-catching duo of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, but the biggest worry is that the Bills exacerbate their deficiencies by blitzing at a high rate, which simply does not work against Mahomes.
Instead, it’s been the defenses that sit back in coverage that have fared best against Mahomes and Kansas City’s offense: The Chargers blitzed Mahomes on three out of 54 dropbacks in Week 2 while holding the Chiefs to 23 total points, while the Patriots blitzed on only three of 35 dropbacks in Week 4 while holding the Chiefs to 26 points, with 7 coming by way of the defense.
If the Chiefs can jump out to a lead, Buffalo’s 24th-ranked run defense could struggle to contain Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who will likely be highly motivated after the team just signed veteran Le’Veon Bell, who was released from the Jets last week.
This is a measuring stick game for Buffalo, as a much-improved Josh Allen and the league’s No. 4 passing offense in terms of DVOA matches up against the No. 2 pass-DVOA defense.
Steve Spagnuolo’s defense entered Week 5 ranked top-10 in DVOA vs. No. 1, No. 2 and non-primary wide receivers, allowing just 9.6 receptions per game to the position as a whole — second-fewest in the NFL — which could pose problems for a Buffalo offense that has leaned on wide receivers for 74.6% of its receptions and is without starting tight end Dawson Knox (calf). The Bills will likely involve running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss more in the passing game, as KC ranks 28th in DVOA on targets to backs.
Especially with the Chiefs playing top-two pass defense, the key for opposing offenses is to milk their run game as much as possible against Kansas City’s notoriously porous run defense, which ranks 28th in DVOA this season. The return of Moss (toe) will help in this regard, but it’s still concerning that a team with Josh Allen’s rushing prowess at quarterback ranks dead last in rushing DVOA on offense.
Buffalo’s offensive line is paving the way for only 3.93 Adjusted Line Yards per rush, 25th in the league, and its backs are averaging 3.97 yards per carry, which ranks 23rd.
Primarily due to a lethal play-action game that has produced 6 TDs and a 134.1 passer rating on 69 attempts, Buffalo has been the league’s best under-center offense, averaging 6.8 yards per play. That mark is in danger of falling, however, as the Chiefs rank fourth in under-center yards per play allowed at 4.3.
The Chiefs laid an egg on defense last week against the Raiders, but match up well with the Bills and have extra time to prepare, which has always been an advantage for Reid.
Reid has also been a smart bet when he takes his team on the road…
…and in primetime…
…and as a favorite with Mahomes as his QB.
The only thing the Bills have going for them in this spot his home field, which historically has not been an edge against Reid’s Chiefs. Both of these teams are in need of a bounce-back game, but the odds are that the Bills will have to wait another week (the Jets are up in Week 7!). I like KC up to -5.
In regard to the total, it looks spot on, which explains why the bets and money are split exactly 50/50 as of this writing.
PICK: Chiefs -5