It’s almost time for the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs to take the field, where fireworks are certain to be had throughout the evening as the divisional round of the 2023 NFL playoffs comes to a close.
The Chiefs are visiting Orchard Park, NY in January for the first time 30 years. The Bills earned the two seed and clinched home-field advantage through the divisional round, which finally brought the Chiefs to Western New York. The Chiefs are coming off of a 26-7 Super Wild Card Weekend win against the Dolphins, while the Bills are advanced by way of a 31-17 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This week’s Pregame Rumblings features special guest Pete Sweeney, Editor-in-Chief and lead Kansas City Chiefs writer for Arrowhead Pride. He is also the Chiefs analyst for KSHB41 & 610 AM Sports KC.
The odds at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Bills favored with a -2.5 spread. The over/under is set at 45.5 and the Moneyline is +124 KC and -148 BUF. The -2.5 spread indicates that Vegas only gives 2.5 points to the home team, rather than the traditional 3-point advantage, showcasing the close and competitive nature of this matchup. The over/under of 45.5 suggests that oddsmakers are expecting a relatively low-scoring game, while the Moneyline numbers indicate that the Bills are slight favorites to win the game.
In terms of injuries, the Chiefs will be without defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, wide receiver Skyy Moore, and offensive tackle Wanya Morris. Additionally, wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Justyn Ross are listed as questionable. The Bills will be without cornerback Christian Benford, wide receiver Gabe Davis, safety Taylor Rapp, and linebacker Baylon Spector. Cornerbacks Taron Johnson and Rasul Douglas, plus linebacker Terrell Bernard are listed as questionable. These injuries could have a significant impact on the game, particularly in the secondary for both teams.
Tonight’s game is the first playoff game between Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes at Highmark Stadium — and the first chance Bills Mafia have had to make life difficult on Mahomes. The Bills enter tonight’s game having won six in a row, and they’ve won seven out of their last eight games. The Bills have shown incredible resilience and maturation throughout the season under the leadership of head coach Sean McDermott and interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Despite a massive amount of injuries, the defense has made significant strides and become one of the league’s best.
The Chiefs have relied on their defense more than their offense this season, with Mahomes leading the team to victory despite the offense not reaching its usual high standards. The Chiefs have only scored over 30 points three times this season — a far cry from their usual offensive output.
The head-to-head matchup between Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes has been closely contested, with each quarterback winning three games against the other. However, Mahomes remains undefeated in the playoffs against Allen and the Bills, making this a crucial game for the Buffalo to break that streak and make a statement. The Bills will need to focus on getting their offense in rhythm and putting Allen in a position to make plays with his arm and legs, while also relying on their defense to maintain their high level of play and limit the Chiefs’ offensive opportunities.
Bills-Chiefs is should be a thriller, and it’s likely to be a closely contested game. This latest matchup has all the makings of a classic playoff moment, and could go down as one of the greatest games of all time if both teams show up ready to play.
Game prediction: 28-24, Bills over Chiefs
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