How Neutral Site Affects Bills vs. Chiefs Betting Odds in AFC Championship Game

How Neutral Site Affects Bills vs. Chiefs Betting Odds in AFC Championship Game article feature image

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  • With a neutral venue for a Bills vs. Chiefs AFC Championship Game on track to go down, how does no home field advantage affect betting odds for that heavyweight matchup?
  • The difference is roughly 6% to 18% in win percentage, depending on perspective.
  • Read further to glean how much that affects odds on the spread and moneyline in a matchup that looks destined to take place.

With the cancelation of Bills vs. Bengals — and the fantastic news updates regarding Damar Hamlin's condition — the NFL has taken next steps in assessing its playoff logistics.

Last Friday morning, it was reported that Hamlin had been taken off his breathing tube and had spoken with his teammates via FaceTime.

"Love you, boys," Hamlin said over the phone.

He has since been discharged from the hospital and is on the road toward a healthy recovery process.

With Bills vs. Bengals declared a "no contest," the Chiefs had an easy route to the No. 1 seed, beating the Raiders and their worst pass defense in the NFL. Ordinarily, that would have secured the No. 1 seed, a bye and home field advantage.

But because Buffalo would have been the No. 1 seed had it beat Cincinnati, the NFL offered concessions.

If the Chiefs and Bills match up in the AFC Championship Game, it will take place in Atlanta, ESPN reported Thursday.

This raises the question: How does this affect betting odds for a potential heavyweight matchup between the Bills and Chiefs? How much of a home field advantage is lost at a neutral site?

How A Neutral Site Affects Bills vs. Chiefs Betting Odds in AFC Championship Game

The Bills and Chiefs are on a collision course toward Atlanta, and only the Bengals can stop a third straight playoff matchup between the rivals.

Cincinnati can go into Buffalo during the divisional round and thwart all hopes for the first neutral venue conference championship game in NFL history.

But if all goes according to chalk, the Chiefs and Bills will matchup in Atlanta on Sunday, Jan. 29. The Chiefs need to take care of business at home against the Jaguars, Chargers or Ravens.

And the Bills need to beat the Dolphins — sans Tua — as the largest favorites ever in a Wild Card Round game. They would then need to beat Cincinnati or Jacksonville at home to qualify for the AFC Championship Game.

We assessed the fair value lines for that AFC Championship Game scenario — if the game were to be played in Buffalo, Kansas City or at a neutral venue — in order to juxtapose just how important home field advantage would be for that pivotal contest.

Fair Value Lines for Bills vs. Chiefs AFC Championship Game

Data courtesy of The Action Network's Travis Reed

Reed said that while our statistical models are probably higher on Buffalo and lower on Kansas City than the markets would be, the roughly 6% difference in win probability jibes with what'll occur in the markets.

The advanced metrics — and we as a company — are more bullish on the Bills than the broader market may be. That may bode well come gametime, when there could be some value on the Bills' moneyline relative to their fair market price.

The Bills' expected win percentage drops by 6% from home field (68%) to a neutral site (62%), and again from a neutral site to a date in Kansas City (56%).

For reference, a drop in win expectancy by 6% from +100 odds is to roughly +125. For +150, it's to +194.

You can play around with how win expectancy converts into betting odds via this link here.

In Atlanta, our metrics think Buffalo should be roughly -163 favorites. That translates to about a 3- or 3.5-point favorite on the spread.

In Buffalo, those -212 odds would indicate a fair value spread of about Bills -5.

And in Kansas City, the fair value for the Bills' spread would be roughly -1.5 and -125 on the moneyline.

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