The NFL may have saved the best for last this weekend as the Buffalo Bills head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs Sunday night. The game kicks off at 6:30 PM EST with the Chiefs favored by 2 and a total of 54.
We’ve looked at some simple predictive metrics for the other 3 games this weekend and will do the same here, starting with our model.
Buffalo 54.5 23 Kansas City -2.0 25 full game data Buffalo 54.5 31 Kansas City -2.0 27 last 4 games data Buffalo 54.5 24 Kansas City -2.0 27 last 7 games data
As you can see, the model has this game close. There’s not a significant enough edge to make a call either way according to the model but it certainly suggests the Bills are a “live dog”.
Here are the yards per point and yards per play numbers.
|OFFYPP||DEFYPP||per play||YPP DIF|
Looking at the chart above, we see the Bills with a slight edge in the yards per point numbers on offense and the Chiefs with the slight edge on defense. It comes out to a 0.2 edge for the Chiefs. Throw in the home field advantage and that stat says the betting line is right on the money.
However, take a look at the yards per play differential. The Bills +1.2 and the Chefs +0.2 represents the largest gap of all games this weekend. +1.2 for the Bills is the best differential number of all playoff teams.
Yards Per Play Line – Bills -6.6
The yards per play differential is a stat used by most football handicappers. Remember, last weekend every team that had an edge with this stat won and covered.
There’s a quick equation that can be done to make a line using the yards per play differential. Doing so, we come up with a line of the Bills -6.6 on a neutral field. That’s significant.
Lastly, we always like to take a look at stats like yards per point going back 6 or 7 games. Teams change over the course of the year. Sometimes what happened in September isn’t nearly as relevant as what happened more recently.
Looking at these two teams yards per point numbers over the last 7 games clearly favors the Chiefs.
The first number is the offensive ypp and the 2nd is the defensive. The Chiefs were tops in the NFL over the last 7 weeks of the season.
This game is all about Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. What can you say about Mahomes that hasn’t already been said. The kid has made the playoffs every year he has been a starter and has played in two Super Bowls, winning one.
Josh Allen has also made the playoffs every year he’s been a starter, losing in the Wild Card round, in OT in 2019 and losing in the conference championship game to these Chiefs in 2020.
You don’t win playoff games in the NFL without a stud QB. Both are proven winners though without a doubt Allen has more to prove.
So often, historically in the NFL, we see a progression by teams/players over a 3 or 4 year period. They make the playoffs one year. The next year they go deeper into the playoffs but come up short. They make their way to the conference championship but lose. Then, they come back once again and kick the door down.
Mahomes took that path. He lost the conference championship game to the Patriots in 2018 and came back to win the Super Bowl in 2019. Now, Josh Allen has a chance to follow that very same path and he gets a shot at beating the team that sent him packing a year ago.
This should be a great game. The Bills are every bit as good as the Chiefs. We think that in this game, on this particular day, the Bills are going to come away with the win and it’s going to be Josh Allen, with his arm and legs, that makes the difference.