NFL: AFC Championship Game Betting Preview & Tips


NFL nut Kyle Robins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) oversees Sunday night's action AFC Championship game.

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs | Sunday 24th January 2020, 23:40 | Sky Sports

I’m eternality grateful I no longer have to plan this entire piece around Chad Henne lining up at quarterback for the Chiefs this weekend, as Patrick Mahomes has officially cleared concussion protocol and will start Sunday evening.

The defending Super Bowl champs welcome Josh Allen and this Bills in what, if all things go as predicted, should be one hell of a matchup. They bolster two of the more explosive offensives in the league, and can, at times, put up points at will.

Buffalo averaged just short of 32 points per game during the regular season (2nd), whilst averaging 396 total yards per game (2nd), ranking them as the second-best offense in the league. Unfortunately for them, the number 1 ranked offense will be on the other side of the ball this Sunday.

The Chiefs rank 1st in total yards per game (416), 1st in passing yards per game (316), and a rather surprisingly 6th in points per game (29.6). But with all factors totalled together, they’re still the most electrifying offense in the league. Something that will surprise almost no one, is that neither of these teams rank at all high in the rushing departments.

Kansas rank 16th with 112 rushing yards per game, whilst the Bills rank 20th (107 yards per game). Both teams also run a passing play on 61% of their offensive plays, and also, again unsurprising to no one, neither team had a 1,000 rusher on the season.

For the Bills, more so than the Chiefs, this trend has seemingly increased even more so into the post season. Through their two games against Indianapolis and Baltimore, starting running back Devin Singletary has mustered just 46 yards off 10 carries.

Josh Allen has accrued most of the rushing work since the Bills lost Zack Moss to injury, having 8 more carries than Singletary through those 2 games. Even in a game they won as comfortably as they did against the Ravens, Singletary totalled only 7 carries for 25 yards. To say he lacks the belief of the coaching staff would be somewhat of an understatement.

Now in a matchup against the Chiefs, it’s fair to say the Bills might genuinely be close to 80% pass calling plays on offense, if not higher. With Singletarys line as high as it currently is, I can’t bank on anything more sure than the under with this one. He’s set at 41.5 rushing yards with Paddy Power, a line he’s topped just once since week 13, and whilst yes, the Chiefs run defense isn’t the best in the league, Buffalo just leans far too heavily on Allen and not enough on Singletary for me to not take this one. Take the 5/6.

Given the current projections and outlooks for this matchup, as I mentioned, it should be on the higher scoring side of things. Buffalo put up 30+ points on 6 of their 8 road games during the regular season, whilst the Chiefs have somewhat flatlined in in recent home performances, putting up no more than 22 points in 3 straight games, I fully expect them to be all guns blazing in this one, up against a Bills defense that has been impressive in recent weeks.

Given the line for this game has opened up at -3 with Vegas in favour of the Chiefs, it’s certainly expected to be as close a game as you would expect from an AFC Championship, but I honestly struggle to confidently pick a favourite either way.

Of course, as defending Super Bowl champions, with homefield advantage I have to give the sight edge to the Chiefs, but the Bills are one of few teams who have the potential to go into Arrowhead and leave bound for the Superbowl in Tampa.

One stat to behold, is that prior to holding out against the Browns last weekend, Kansas City didn’t play a single home game against a team with a winning record on the season, and there only loss came at the hands of the 8-8 Las Vegas Raiders. The playoffs however are a completely different story. There are a few who felt as if the Chiefs were almost coasting through the regular season, on route to a 14-2 record and the top seed in the AFC.

So, when you offer me a pick-em for this game, I’ll certainly struggle to bet against Mahomes in Arrowhead. Now with Sky bets Total match points and Handicap market, they’ve lowered the spread that little bit further.

So, with it down to 1.5, which is as close to scratch as you can get (outside of 0.5), and the total of over 50.5, I’m leaning in favour of the Chiefs on this one. Buffalo has gone over 50+ points in 6 of their 8 road games so far, and this one could certainly shoot above that again. Take the 11/8 with SkyBet for over 50.5 match points and Kansas City -1.5.

My third and final play for this game comes, as usual, in the flavour of a Sky bet RequestABet, so as I’ll cut straight to the point. The bet consists of Mahomes and Allen 600+ Combined Pass Yds and 5+ Combined TDs. Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs and Travis Kelce 40+ Rec Yds Each and 2+ TDs Combined.

As I’ve already stressed enough, this game should see plenty of offense and points on both sides of the ball. Both quarterbacks can sling it, and have plenty of weapons capable of breaking a big play or two. Mahomes has 39 touchdown passes along with 3 rushing to this point of the season, whilst Allen has totalled 40 through the air and 9 on the ground.

That’s 101 touchdowns between them so far this year. To think they can’t combine for 5 in this matchup doesn’t warrant thinking about in my book.

Outside of the two quarterbacks, the three biggest weapons are undoubtedly Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs. Three pro bowl pass catches who can seemingly get separation and yardage at will, have accumulated 39 touchdowns between them to date this season.

With Diggs and Kelce also finishing 1and 2 in receiving yards, whilst all three went below 40 yards on just one occasion each, through 18 games so far this year.  It would take a brave man to bet against any of these three not being involved in a big way come Sunday evening.

Take that Request-a-Bet and all the fun that goes with it at 5/1 with Sky Bet.

Best Bets

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs – Devin Singletary under 41.5 rushing yards (5/6 PaddyPower)

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City Chiefs -1.5 and Over 50.5 Total Match Points (11/8 Sky Bet)

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs – Mahomes and Allen 600+ Combined Pass Yds and 5+ Combined TDs, Hill/Diggs/Kelce 40+ Rec Yds Each and 2+ TDs Combined (11/2 Sky Bet)

About Author

I think like most 17-year-olds, especially with my group of mates at the time, we spent most Saturday mornings outside the bookies waiting for the older lot to put our 50p, 20-fold accas on. Most of my early betting experience comes from football, but that soon developed into the NFL and in more recent years NBA, as their markets expanded. Betting on the both the NBA and NFL, for me, are much more statistical-based. I find it easier to determine some markets with these leagues than I do with football. Especially in the NBA. I’ve been a Tottenham season ticket folder since I can remember, and I’m sure my dad would have kicked me out the house had I not been. With NFL, since the 2004 Superbowl loss to the Patriots, I’ve been a Carolina Panthers fan, as well as following the Orlando Magic in the NBA.

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