The Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) play host to the Buffalo Bills (6-6) on Sunday (12/10/23) at 4:25 p.m. EST in Week 14 of the 2023 NFL season. Betting odds favor the Chiefs at -1.5 against the spread, while the over/under is set at 48.5 total points.
This article provides Bills vs. Chiefs analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction & Best Bet
The Chiefs and (especially) the Bills may not be the AFC powerhouses they have been in recent seasons, but this game still should be one of the best games of the week and possibly of the season, as many previous iterations of this matchup have been.
Buffalo has won its last two regular-season matchups against Kansas City, while the Chiefs have won the last two games between these teams in the playoffs. Each of the last four matchups going back to the 2021 AFC Championship game have been played at Arrowhead Stadium, so the Bills have shown an ability to win at Arrowhead (though not this year’s version of the Bills, obviously).
For some additional historical context, the Chiefs are coming off a disappointing upset loss against the Packers last week, and they have won their last 10 games in a row following a loss dating back to Week 4 of 2021 (technically 11 if you count their Week 1 win last season after losing in the AFCCG the previous year). The last time they lost back-to-back games was weeks 2 and 3 of 2021.
Both teams have been on a bit of a slide lately. The Bills have lost three of their last four, while the Chiefs have lost three of their last five. Buffalo is also 1-7-1 against the spread in their last nine games. The Bills will be a bit more desperate for the win as they are currently on the outside looking in at the AFC playoff picture, and with matchups against the Cowboys and Dolphins still remaining on their schedule, they will face extremely long odds to make the playoffs if they lose this game.
Statistically these teams are very evenly matched. Both teams are top 6 in DVOA (Chiefs third, Bills sixth) and net EPA (Chiefs fifth, Bills sixth). The Bills’ offense has been better this season as the Chiefs’ offense has struggled at times, but the Chiefs’ defense has been the strength of their team while the Bills’ defense has struggled after suffering injuries to two of their best players (Matt Milano and Tre’Davious White).
It’s difficult to pick a side in such a tight matchup, so we initially focused on the total for our best bet recommendation. We lean toward the under despite the two elite QBs and explosive offenses, because the Chiefs’ defense has been elite all season and the Bills still have plenty of defensive talent. However, the Chiefs’ defense has struggled in their last two games while the Bills’ offense has been resurgent in their first two games under new OC Joe Brady. We could just as easily see this becoming a shootout, and three of the last four games between these teams have seen 58 or more total points scored.
Instead, we’re just going to trust the Chiefs’ track record of bouncing back from losses. We also like the potential impact that the return of LB Nick Bolton should have on their defense. The Bills have been too inconsistent this season to trust them in this spot, so we’re laying the -1.5 and taking the Chiefs.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction & Best Bet: Chiefs win 24-20 | Best Bet: Chiefs -1.5 (-110)
Bills vs. Chiefs Betting Odds
The spread in this game is trending towards a pick’em as the Chiefs are currently favored at -1.5 after an opening line of -2.5. The line has briefly reached the key number of -3 at some sportsbooks, so the move to -1.5 is relatively significant.
The over/under is trending up after opening at 47.5 and is now at 48.5 across the market. It is the second-highest total on the week 14 slate.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Chiefs winning 25-23.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Key Injuries
The Chiefs have several starters on the injury report that are worth monitoring, including their top two running backs Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon, LB Drue Tranquill, S Bryan Cook, and LT Donovan Smith. On the plus side, star LB Nick Bolton is trending towards returning from the IR this week.
The Bills are in pretty good shape health-wise with every starter (excluding players already on IR) expected to be available for this game.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Bills vs. Chiefs below.
Buffalo ills’ pass catchers vs. Kansas City Chiefs’ secondary
For the Bills to win this game, their offense likely needs to carry them as the defense is banged up and has struggled this season. The Chiefs’ defense has been the strength of their team this season, but in recent weeks they have struggled against the pass, particularly on deep balls.
Over their last four games, the Chiefs have allowed the 10th-highest yards per attempt and the seventh-highest adjusted completion percentage on deep passes (20+ air yards). They are 17th in EPA per dropback over that span and 22nd in overall defensive EPA, a steep decline from their season-long marks of fourth and 10th, respectively.
This could mean a big game for the Bills’ No. 2 WR Gabe Davis, as Stefon Diggs will draw a difficult matchup against the Chiefs’ top CB L’Jarius Sneed. Davis will be primarily matched up with either Jaylen Watson or Joshua Williams, who are both allowing at least a 60% catch rate and a passer rating of 117.0 or higher this season. Davis is the Bills’ primary deep threat, leading the team with a 31.8% air-yard share and ranking 13th in the league in targets on deep passes.
If Josh Allen can find success creating explosive passing plays, that will be the Bills’ best path to victory.
Kansas City Chiefs’ pass catchers vs. Buffalo Bills’ secondary
We’re focused on both passing games in this game as the matchup of these two elite QBs will likely decide the outcome of this game. Patrick Mahomes is having a down season by his standards, with career lows in passer rating (95.1), yards per game (260.6), yards per attempt (7.0), yards per completion (10.4), touchdown rate (5.0% of pass attempts), and interception rate (2.3%). (Those numbers ignore his 1 start in his rookie season.)
This could be a good opportunity for Mahomes to get back on track, as the Bills’ defense is just 22nd in DVOA and 21st in success rate against the pass. The Bills are 12th in EPA against the pass, but just 19th over their last 4 games. They are also allowing the sixth-most passing touchdowns, the 11th-highest passer rating and the fourth-highest adjusted completion percentage over the last five weeks.
Part of the issue for Mahomes has been his unreliable pass catchers. Outside of Travis Kelce, who is also having a down year by his standards, the Chiefs’ only consistent receiving target has been rookie Rashee Rice. The Chiefs will need someone outside of Kelce and Rice to step up for Mahomes in this game.