Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Matchup Preview 1/24/21: Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Conference Championship Sunday is finally here, and we have a pretty chalky group for the final four. Green Bay will welcome Tampa, who both ranked top four in team DVOA this season. The Chiefs will welcome Buffalo, who ranked in the top six in team DVOA this season, with the Bills 4th and Chiefs 6th. All four of these teams ranked top-five in points per game this season and bring stellar quarterback play to the table. Focusing in on the Chiefs-Bills, this is certainly a battle of the two best teams in the league, and I am glad we will have the showdown we deserve. Buffalo had a convincing win over Baltimore where the defense took over and made up for a challenging game for the Bills offense. As for Kansas City, they were in control for most of the game but struggled to put away drives.
An injury to Patrick Mahomes will be a hot topic this week, but the failure to close out drives nearly led to Cleveland coming back. The Mahomes injury was to the neck/head area as it was not easy for viewers to watch. He is in concussion protocol and is listed as questionable. Chad Henne served as the Chiefs backup and played well down the Browns game’s stretch, making some big plays, especially on the final drive. Odds are out already for this game, and the Chiefs are three-point favorites. This is a pretty good indicator that they believe Mahomes will be back for this week. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, January 24th, 2021
Time: 6:40pm ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Live Stream
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Buffalo Bills: Zack Moss (O), Darryl Johnson (Q)
Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes (Q), Rashad Fenton (Q), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Q), Willie Gay (Q), Sammy Watkins (Q), Bashaud Breeland (Q)
Buffalo Bills Analysis
The Bills have been rewarded by the offseason move to bring in Stefon Diggs and the further progression of Josh Allen. The top-notch coaching staff and the front office have this team on the cusp of a Super Bowl appearance. With Zack Moss out last week, we saw the Bills go very pass-heavy, even more so than they have all year long. Devin Singletary and TJ Yeldon combined for nine carries. It would be interesting to see if the Bills attack a little more with the run this week as the Chiefs defense allows 4.5 yards per carry and 122 yards per game. Kansas City ranked 31st in DVOA against the run this past season. Now I wouldn’t want to see them go full-on rush attack as the pass offense, ranked third in DVOA, and the Bills ground game isn’t exactly a monster threat. They averaged just 107 yards per game, coming with some help from Allen each week. Instead, they threw for eight yards per carry and 288 yards per game. Allen had 37 passing touchdowns and over 4,500 yards through the air.
This has been the best Bills offense in decades, and Allen is leading the way. Despite some tougher matchups, Diggs continues to be the alpha in this offense. He had a 127-1535-8 line this season and had 166 targets. Cole Beasley was next with 867 yards, but the 107 targets in the regular season haven’t exactly transpired in the postseason. Instead, we have seen Gabriel Davis and John Brown make big plays. This is a perfect receiving core, and it will be a tougher test for what has been a good Chiefs pass defense. Dawson Knox could also be a sneaky problem for the Chiefs defense this week.
Buffalo Bills Depth Chart
Kansas City Chiefs Analysis
Kansas City’s defense had an easier task this past week with the Browns passing game somewhat limited by Baker Mayfield and a receiving core that isn’t exactly ranking high amongst other groups. This week the Chiefs secondary will have their work cut out against the Bills receiving core and gunslinger Josh Allen. The Bills struggled to move the ball against them earlier this season, but this is a different game. Allen is in cruise control, and we have seen the Chiefs defense struggle at times. If the Chiefs don’t put away drives like they did last week, which was odd given they were moving the ball with ease, but they will have a real game on their hands. Now the Chiefs offense, we know what we are getting. Patrick Mahomes was dominating before his injury, but that will be the big question mark this week. Lines indicate him playing, and everything has been positive news from sources, but that doesn’t surprise me as a star player will be pushed back to play. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have been a menace as usual, and they are a brutal matchup for the Bills secondary. Buffalo has struggled against tight ends this season, and Kelce burned them for two touchdowns last time out. The Bills secondary is strong, and the safety play with Jordan Poyer leading the way will have his hands full with Hill stretching the field. They are going to need to get a strong performance out of them to shut this group down.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable this week and has missed the last few games. Le’Veon Bell was hardly a factor as he really shouldn’t be one. He has been average at best but has not been consistent since arriving in KC. Darrel Williams was the one who got most of the touches and was excellent with 78 yards on 13 carries. He also saw four targets in the passing game and caught all of them. If CEH is out again, we should continue to see Williams be more of a threat despite Bell being listed as the number two guy at the running back position.
Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart
Betting Corner: Chiefs -3.0
Spread: KC -3.0
Moneyline: BUF +135 / KC -155
As always, injuries play a role in lines coming out, and we can get a good read on if a key player is playing. The Chiefs being favored without Mahomes would be an odd way to go for oddsmakers, but we should expect him back this week. Despite Kansas City winning 15 games overall this season, they have covered only six of them. The Bills have won 15 games as well and have covered 12. The over was far more favorable for the Bills at 12-5-1 as the Chiefs games played a bit lower scoring than most expected as the over hit eight times this season. Buffalo is on a real roll covering in nine of their last ten games, and are slight underdogs here. I like the more aggressive team here, and that has been the Bills. Kansas City has been playing odd over the second half of the season, and we saw some of those calls last week continue. While they got aggressive on the final few drives, it was still odd to see. Buffalo should be able to cover in this one as a close game is predicted. While defenses have tightened up a bit in the playoffs, there is too much firepower for the over not to hit.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
I will continue with the assumption that Patrick Mahomes is playing, which bodes well for the fantasy slate this week. It is two games, and it leaves you pretty thin in large field contests and even cash games. Quarterback is interesting on this slate because three of these guys were tops in fantasy points per game this season, and Tom Brady was not far off. Both the Chiefs and Bills have similar defenses with strong secondary players but can struggle against the run. The Bills were 14th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season, and the Chiefs were 20th. In the prior meeting this season, the Bills allowed 225 yards and two scores to Mahomes a close and lower scoring game. Allen struggled to throw for 122 yards but did have 42 yards on the ground, and the rushing potential is always an edge. A lot has changed since then, and Allen has been one of the best fantasy players, and there are excellent stacking options. I have zero interest in the run game as the Bills are clearly going to air it out. I also like the slight discount from Mahomes to help give you some extra cash.
Both the Bills and Chiefs struggled against tight ends this season, but one tight end is different from the other. Travis Kelce is one of the premium options on the slate, but of course, there are also a few others with Diggs, Adams, and Hill. The Bills allowed the 8th most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Kelce was a problem for the Bills in the prior meeting, as he scored two touchdowns and had over 60 yards. Dawson Knox, on the other side, is a cheap option to consider. You can go the two-TE route in lineup building as the Chiefs have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to tight ends. Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill are the true WR1s on this team and are strong plays despite the tough matchup on paper. John Brown and Gabriel Davis are still very cheap, which helps the lineup building process, and we saw Brown emerge last week after a disappointing game against Indy. Mecole Hardman is always a home run threat for KC, and he had four targets last week, going for 58 yards. He is a boom or bust option but a smart play in a WR3 spot on this slate type.