Two teams remain in the AFC, the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, but after Sunday only one will be left standing (6.40pm ET; TV: Live on CBS). Which will be heading to the 2021 Super Bowl 55 on February 7? Read our Bills vs Chiefs predictions and preview, with betting picks, to find out.
While the NFL playoffs are also full of excitement, when it comes to the championship games, that excitement hits a new level. Such is the case this weekend as the best of the NFC and best of the AFC will compete for the right to represent their conference in Super Bowl LV. Earlier this week, USA Betting previewed the NFC Championship, which pits two future Hall of Fame and Super Bowl winning quarterbacks head-to-head for the first time in the playoffs.
Josh Allen vs Patrick Mahomes
When it comes to the AFC side of things, fans will be witnessing perhaps two future all-time greats. While Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady represent the past, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen represent the future. The NFC Championship will feature two gunslingers with a combined and astonishing 37 years of NFL experience. The AFC Championship will feature a little lower than that, 30 years lower to be exact. Of the remaining two quarterbacks in that conference, Mahomes is the tenured vet, with a whopping four seasons under his belt. Allen is in just his third.
So what, if anything should this all mean? Well, one thing that had been inferred last week was that there is a changing of the guard in the AFC. The youth movement is taking over and slowly, these guys are all getting their due. Of the four quarterbacks left playing this weekend, Allen is the only one yet to win a Super Bowl ring. He is the only one to have never played in a Super Bowl let along a conference championship. As we’ve seen the past few weeks, with Allen continuing to hit new first-time benchmarks, he has been slow to start. Perhaps it is the gravity of the moment but whatever the case, Allen has pulled it together and done just enough, coupled with a much-improved Bills’ defense, to help lead his team to the AFC Championship for the first time in 25 years.
Starting slow against the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns is a lot different than doing so against the defending champion Chiefs. Kansas City lost just two games this year for good reason. Opposing Allen is one of the greatest quarterbacks currently playing the game in Mahomes, who had to leave last week’s game with a concussion. Late on Friday, the fourth-year pro reported he had cleared the protocol and would be ready to go. This is as big for the Chiefs as it would have been for the Bills had Mahomes not been able to play.
Mahomes brings a dimension to the Chiefs offense that no one else can, and frankly he does things for them that no other QB in the league is capable of. As good as Allen is becoming, he is far from at the level Mahomes has shown over the last two years in particular. If Allen and the Bills do get off to another slow start, they may be in trouble as Mahomes and KC’s top-level offense is going to be putting points on the board all night long.
The Chiefs seem poised to win the title back-to-back, doing so for the first time since the New England Patriots a decade or so ago. While the Packers or Bucs will give them a challenge, many think that it is Buffalo that is the only team really standing in the way of Kansas City achieving that rare feat. The Bills absolutely have the personnel to pull it off but it won’t be easy. Especially while playing one of the league’s best, in front of one of the only NFL venues to have had full crowds for much of the year, Arrowhead Stadium. Now, that said, Buffalo may have a better chance to win in Missouri than had they played in New York as over the last two years, the Chiefs have lost just six games but five of those were at home.
Andy Reid vs Sean McDermott
It’s not often that the head coaches of both teams are considered X-factors, but such will be the case on Sunday as Bills’ head coach takes on his former mentor in Chiefs’ head coach, Andy Reid. While with the Philadelphia Eagles, McDermott spent over a decade learning under Reid and being part of what is widely considered the greatest coaching tree in football history. In fact, it was the Eagles who gave McDermott his first NFL coaching experience as he ascended through the ranks on the defensive side of the ball. McDermott became the Eagles defensive coordinator in 2009 but by 2011, his name landed on the head coaching short list. He began his head coaching career with the Carolina Panthers.
On Sunday, Reid’s tree will be on display for the second time in as many weeks as McDermott will be taking on a former colleague yet again. Last week, he defeated his counterpart on the special teams side of the ball, John Harbaugh, who spent seven years in that position with the Eagles. Facing a colleague however is different than facing a mentor.
Reid may have taught McDermott everything he knows, but did he teach him everything Reid knows? It’s the classic student becoming the teacher narrative and on Sunday, McDermott will have a chance to put all of his football knowledge, that acquired under Reid and beyond, to the test. He will do it against one of the best minds in the business.
Our Preview’s Bills vs Chiefs Predictions & Betting Picks Opinion
The Bills and Chiefs are so evenly matched and their skillsets very much mirror the other. The Chiefs have Mahomes and Tyreek Hill. The Bills have Allen and Stefon Diggs, who spent all of 2020 showing that he is one of the best wide outs in the game. He has been a difference-maker in Buffalo but will he be able to make enough of a difference on Sunday to negate what Mahomes can do with Hill and Travis Kelce, the NFL’s best tight end? Everything is on the line but you can bet that both teams will play the best football they have all year.
The matchups seem about split as this game should come down to the wire. The most important USA sportsbooks have the Chiefs as mere three-point favorites, so if you questioned the Bills’ chances, that should tell you all you need to know.
When these teams met earlier this year, Kansas City won but the matchup wasn’t a blow out by any means. It’s our expert pick that much of what happened in week six will stay true to this AFC Championship game. So these are our Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs predictions:
- Take the Chiefs and the points but expect a close game that could well come down to which team has the ball when the clock runs out. Bet KCC -3pts @ best odds of -115 with Bookmaker. It is -119 with BetOnline, -120 with Bovada and -125 with Intertops for the same spread.
- As for the total, as good as Buffalo’s defense may be, Mahomes can make any defense look pedestrian when he has the ball. Look for the over 54.5 total points @ -110 with Bovada, BetOnline or Intertops. Neither team has been lighting up the scoreboard this postseason but, make no mistake, that switch can be turned on just like that.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.