The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting the Buffalo Bills this Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs and Bills have great young quarterbacks who will help their teams reach the playoffs for many years to come. However, one of the quarterback’s health is in question heading into Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes needed help coming off the field last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Mahomes took a tough tackle to the ground in the third quarter and began to stumble when he tried to get up. Early reports assumed that Mahomes suffered a concussion, but the Chiefs came out on Monday saying that he suffered a pinched nerve on Sunday but is still in concussion protocol.
On top of the foot injury Mahomes is playing through, his status for this Sunday’s game vs. the Bills is questionable. Shortly after the games on Sunday, sportsbooks opened Kansas City as a 2.5-point favorite over Buffalo, assuming Mahomes is healthy to play.
On Wednesday, the Chiefs listed Mahomes as full participation at practice but did change it to limited participation since he is going through concussion protocol. Mahomes was then listed as limited participation on Thursday. There are a lot of betting implications are on the status of Mahomes.
Depending on which way the status of Mahomes concussion protocol will go, it will dictate how oddsmakers adjust the line for the AFC Championship Game.
Adjusting the Line
As of writing, the Chiefs are 3-point favorites over the Bills for Sunday’s championship game. The number would be considered soft with Mahomes’ uncertainty of playing. Speculators would probably put Mahomes as more likely of playing than not, but the MVP quarterback still needs to clear concussion protocol.
DraftKings sportsbook director John Avello commented about where to expect line movement to go based on Mahomes injury status heading into Sunday. “It is a tough number. I think Mahomes is going to play, and I think it’s going up to six. If you want to make a bet and speculate, you can lay the three knowing that will go a little higher if he does play,” said Avello.
Other oddsmakers have come this week stating that if Mahomes is unable to play, then the line could flip to Bills -3 or even get up to -7. The consensus line is Chiefs -3, but if bettors want to speculate on Mahomes’ status, they could get serious value betting either side.
How to Play Chiefs/Bills Spread
Betting the spread of the Chiefs and Bills game comes down to which side a bettor likes and the opinion of if Mahomes plays or not. If you like the Chiefs and think Mahomes will play, then taking the Chiefs at -3 is the bet to make before it jumps up to -4 or higher.
However, if you like the Bills and think Mahomes will play, then the best time to back Buffalo will be Sunday evening, right before kickoff. Avello said the Chiefs could get as high as -6 depending on Mahomes status for the week, so the value is coming.
If you like the Bills and don’t think Mahomes will play, then getting Bills +3 and taking Bills moneyline should happen as soon as possible. Buffalo will become the no-doubt favorite in this game, and the line could get as high as Buffalo -6 with no Mahomes on the other side.
Right now, Kansas City is making it look like Mahomes will go on Sunday, but the quarterback needs to clear concussion protocol before it’s official.