1. AFC Championship: Buffalo at Kansas City
SPREAD: Kansas City -3
ATS PICK: Kansas City
– Bet on this, BetMGM latest line
In a go-with-your-first-answer sort of way, I really do like Buffalo to possibly pull off the upset or even do the near impossible and cover the +3 and lose.
But here’s the weird thing as of this writing – the line hasn’t moved.
1) The betting public always believed Patrick Mahomes was going to play, and the line went from -2.5 to open to 3 and stayed there, and/or 2) Mahomes doesn’t matter to the investors as much as it might appear and the money is coming in on Buffalo to keep the line where it is.
Either way, even if you like Buffalo – and again, I sort of do – the value on getting Kansas City -3 at home with Mahomes cleared to play is terrific. Put it this way – would you have blinked if the line went up to -4 or more after the news broke?
This should be a wee bit more of a defensive battle than everyone thinks, and despite the reputation, Kansas City isn’t blowing off anyone’s doors lately. It’s winning, but it hasn’t won a game by more than six points since Week 8 against the Jets.
And then came the first half against the Browns.
The Kansas City team that was waiting all throughout the second half of the year for the playoffs to begin played like it was let out of its cage. The offense marched down the field with ease and everything was fine with a 19-3 lead before Mahomes got hurt.
From every indication, No. 15 isn’t just past the concussion protocol, he’s totally fine. He practiced for most of the week, the bum toe shouldn’t be enough to screw him up, and Kansas City should be close to full go.
Buffalo is amazing – and I’m still unprofessionally going Bills just as a pure fan whose family is from there – but the original call was made based on Mahomes being iffy.
If you think Kansas City is going to win the AFC Championship at home, assume it’s going to be by three or more.