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AFC Playoff Picture: How Bills can claim one-seed in AFC by Sunday night

The Bills will be in first place Sunday night if this happens...

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills are currently in Wild Card position and fifth in the AFC heading into their Thursday night contest against the New England Patriots. By the end of the NFL weekend, they could be back on top with just a few very reasonable outcomes.

Buffalo Bills win Thursday night

The Bills need to beat the Patriots if they want to get to the top of the division and out of the Wild Card positioning. That would move the Bills to 9-3 on the season and give them a half-game lead in the AFC East. They would still be a half-game behind the 9-2 Kansas City Chiefs.

Miami Dolphins loss Sunday afternoon

Since Miami is on the West Coast, the game doesn’t start until 4:05 PM Eastern on Sunday, but the Dolphins need to lose to the San Francisco 49ers. Miami holds the tiebreaker at the moment due to their head-to-head victory, so Buffalo needs to pull ahead in the win-loss column, at least until they have a chance to even the records on the field. With Buffalo at 9-3 and Miami at 8-4, the Bills are into second place in the conference.

Kansas City Chiefs loss Sunday afternoon

The first-place Chiefs play in the late-afternoon national window at 4:25 PM Eastern against the Cincinnati Bengals. That AFC Championship Game rematch from earlier this year could have a lot at stake. If the Bengals beat the Chiefs again, Kansas City would fall to 9-3 to match Buffalo’s assumed 9-3 record in this scenario. The Bills beat the Chiefs earlier this season, so Buffalo would be in the driver’s seat in the conference as the new number-one seed.

How likely is all of this? Oddsmakers have the Bills and 49ers favored in their games, while Kansas City is a 1.5-point underdog. All together as a three-team parlay, DraftKings Sportsbook has this as a +380 bet. Not too shabby.

Back in the old days, we would need crazy scenarios to give the Bills a glimmer of hope at the playoffs, but this three-game parlay could actually work out for Buffalo this weekend.