Chiefs vs. Bills: 3 best prop bets for AFC Divisional Round

01/21/2024
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Welcome to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs! Your Buffalo Bills are getting a rematch against the longtime rival Kansas City Chiefs, but this time at home in the snowy confines of Highmark Stadium. We are all putting a lot of faith into the raucous impact of the home crowd, and Bills Mafia will not disappoint. Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and a swarm of Swifties are buzzing around this game, but Orchard Park will be a true difference-maker in the playoffs, and this Chiefs’ team is not the offensive juggernaut of years past. Mahomes is still amazing, and Kelce will annoyingly slither into open spots, but an overall dearth of offensive weapons has been preventing them from being an unstoppable scoring machine.

Let’s be honest. The last three weeks of this article have not been an unstoppable money machine. At a bare minimum, hopefully, everybody has learned some more about football, but the point of this exercise is to try and bring home some extra cash, and that has failed recently. With the playoffs, the betting board expands a good deal, so we’re going to try a few new things for this space this week. We’re also going to do our first true hedge. We are still most definitively in the plus money on the season, but these last few weeks have been painful. We either get this turned around this week, or we’ll shut it down for the rest of the playoffs. This article will not have you throwing your money away.

First Things First

Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.

  1. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Don’t chase a bet.
  3. Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
  4. Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
  5. See Rule #1.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.

National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700

Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.

For a thorough breakdown, read Uber Hansen’s Game Matchups Preview.

Prediction: BUF 27 – KC 24

DVOA Matchup

Injury Reports

Be sure to check the inactives list prior to the game.

Weather

This is where the rubber meets the ice-covered road. Still. Again. It’s Buffalo for crying out loud, what did you expect? That said, the field surface was in impeccable condition for the Steelers’ game, and the crew has more time to prepare for this matchup. All reports indicate the Bills have gotten more fans to come help shovel out the stands too. Good on ya, Mafia!

Chiefs vs. Bills: 5 keys to victory in the AFC Divisional Round

From the National Weather Service:

Sunday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Southwest wind around 14 mph.

Recommendations

Dalton Kincaid: Catch a Pass in 1st BUF Drive

On DraftKings, under the 1st Drive tab, scroll down until you reach 1st Drive – Catch a Pass. For Dalton Kincaid to catch a pass on the Bills’ first drive of the game is +115.

Over the last six weeks, including the playoffs, Kansas City has given up the third most completions to TEs (35) and their surrendered completion percentage ranks 15th (70.0%). Over the same time frame, KC has allowed 0.19 EPA/Pass Play (17th) and a 52.0% Positive Play Rate (15th). Kincaid has been an early focus for the Bills for most of the second half of the season, and he has had a target on the first drive each of the last three weeks with receptions each of the last two. Over the last month, Kincaid is third on the team in first quarter targets with five, behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, who has been ruled out for the contest. The Chiefs have been the best defense in the league against WR1s by DVOA, and watch for the Bills to give Allen an early rhythm pass away from Diggs with a scripted completion to Kincaid.

Recommendation: Dalton Kincaid to Catch a Pass in 1st BUF Drive, Yes, +115 at DK, 0.5u

Both Teams to Score 1+ Rush TD

Under Game Props: TD Props is Both Teams to Score 1+ Rush TD.

Kansas City only has nine rushing TDs on the season, but, since Week 14, the Bills have allowed the sixth most rushing TDs and their TD% allowed on rushes is 31st at 5.5%.

The Chiefs’ run defense is the weaker side of their scheme.

SIS

Josh Allen is -115 as an Anytime TD Scorer, so the books see a 53.4% chance that Allen will cross the goalline, which is almost invariably a rush TD.

Something we have not discussed in this series is how to figure implied probability from odds. There is a separate formula for American odds depending on whether they are positive or negative, but both are relatively simple, and any bettor should know how to at least roughly convert the odds into more readily understood percentages.

This article from $markets details the formulas.

Isiah Pacheco’s +130 ATD implies a 43.5% chance of him scoring. Given the Bills’ issues with missed and broken tackles, the weather, Pacheco always running hard, and the potential absence of Terrel Bernard, his odds of an ATD seem more like 50-55%. I have also seen handicappers I respect recommending a Mahomes ATD longshot, and for this prop, it doesn’t matter who gets the rush TD.

Recommendation: Both Teams to Score 1+ Rush TD, +140 at DK, 0.5u.

Comeback

On DK, under Team Props, the last category is Comeback. This will be a hedge because a back-and-forth game seems most likely with two good, evenly-matched teams with fantastic QBs. Also, both lines offer plus money.

To bet on the Bills winning in a comeback is +175, so a $10 bet would earn $27.50. To bet on the Chiefs winning in a comeback is +230, so a $10 bet would return $33.00. Obviously, the overall return is lessened by the loss on the other team, but there is free money in either direction.

This only loses if there is NEVER a lead change. Is that the game you envision?

Recommendation: Place a 1u bet on each BUF to win in a comeback at +175 and KC to win in a comeback +230 at DK.

Conclusion

A few extra props. The longshots are nothing more than 0.1u.

Highest Scoring Half: Second Half -130

Either Team to Score 3 Unanswered times – No is +130. This bet is correlated to the Comeback bet. These teams are evenly matched. Out of the four main units, I’d rank them BUF O, KC D, KC O, BUF D, which puts the most evenly matched units on the field together. The only reason this is not a full recommendation is because of good old Rule #3: Don’t bet on what you don’t understand. It is unclear whether an extra point attempt counts as a Score. I’ve asked DK on Twitter for verification but haven’t gotten confirmation yet. I’m 95% certain XP do not count as scores, but I will not recommend it without certainty.

Both Teams to Score 20+ is +105 at DK.

Khalil Shakir most rushing and receiving yds, +2500 at DK. Kansas City ranks 25th in DVOA vs WR2s on the season. This is a longshot based on a tail-end potential game script, but there is a version of this game that runs wide open full throttle, and Shakir is uncoverable. You could also ladder his receiving yards up to 75-80.

Dawson Knox 1st TD, +2500 at DK. He has been the first TD in two different playoff games, and, honestly, his personal connection with Allen is a factor.

Here’s to winning money and playoff games!

You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!

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