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Why I like the Kansas City Chiefs ATS vs. the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship

We break down the best picks against the spread for each the AFC Championship in the 2021 NFL Playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes before the snap against the Cleveland Browns during the second half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in the AFC Championship game. These two teams were undoubtedly the best in the AFC this season, so we at least have the best matchup possible, especially now that Patrick Mahomes has been cleared to play.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Chiefs as 3.5-point favorites with a healthy over/under of 54.5.

ATS Pick: Chiefs

The last time these two teams met was in Week 6 when Kansas City won 26-17. It wasn’t a normal game for the Chiefs, as Mahomes had just 26 pass attempts and Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 26 rushing attempts on his way to a season-high 161 yards rushing.

The oddsmakers aren’t expecting the Chiefs to slow things down again, as the over/under is pushing 55 points. Also, the Bills offense is playing better than they did in Week 6 and likely won’t be slowed down as much as they were in that first meeting.

The Chiefs are amazingly 1-8 ATS in their last nine games while the Bills are 9-1 ATS in their last ten. Kansas City has been winning those games, but just aren’t beating the spread. We saw the Chiefs come out quick against the Browns despite starters resting for three weeks prior. That was good to see, as they have had trouble getting off to fast starts of late, leading to their poor play against the spread.

If Mahomes hadn’t been knocked out of that game, there’s a real chance they would have beaten the spread. Andy Reid had them ready to go and will once again this week. The fact that Mahomes didn’t miss any practices this week is also a good sign that they’ll be ready. They also will get Sammy Watkins and Clyde Edwards-Helaire back. Watkins was an integral part of their offense last year in the playoffs and Edwards-Helaire was great the first time these teams met.

Of course, the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen have the firepower to beat the Chiefs straight up, but the Chiefs are the champs and at home playing in front of over 16,000 people this Sunday. Reid will have them ready, and despite his amazing season, Allen has still had some turnover trouble with ten interceptions and six lost fumbles. This will be a game likely decided on a turnover and I prefer the Chiefs at home to play the cleaner game.

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