The Buffalo Bills will be motivated by much more than payback when they visit the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the 2021 AFC Championship Game. The No. 2 seed Bills are trying to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since they made four consecutive appearances on the NFL's grandest stage from 1990 to 1993. To get there, they'll have to dethrone reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City, which posted a 26-17 victory in Buffalo in Week 6.
Kickoff is set for 6:40 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Kansas City as a three-point favorite, while the over-under is 54.5 in the latest Chiefs vs. Bills odds. Before making any Bills vs. Chiefs picks, make sure you see what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. In the 2019 season, he went 58-39 on against-the-spread NFL picks, giving his followers a profit of more than $1,500. He also heads into this weekend on a 22-10-2 run with his NFL selections for SportsLine members.
What's more, Hartstein has his finger on the Chiefs' pulse, posting an eye-popping 16-2 record on NFL against-the-spread picks involving Kansas City. That includes nailing Cleveland +10 in last week's AFC Divisional Playoffs. Anyone who has consistently followed him is way up.
- Bills vs. Chiefs spread: Kansas City -3
- Bills vs. Chiefs over-under: 54.5
- Bills vs. Chiefs money line: Buffalo +155, Kansas City -175
- BUF: WR Stefon Diggs has at least six receptions in a record-tying 15 straight games
- KC: Chiefs are 0-8-1 against the spread in their last nine games
Why the Chiefs can cover
Kansas City's defense takes a back seat to its high-powered offense, but it features three Pro Bowlers in safety Tyrann Mathieu and linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark. Jones topped the unit with 7.5 sacks and has 32 over the past three seasons. Clark was second on the team with six sacks during the regular season and has one sack in five of his last six postseason games.
Mathieu earned Associated Press All-Pro first-team honors after leading all NFL safeties with six interceptions. He also picked off a pass and recorded a game-high seven tackles in the 22-17 divisional-round victory over the Cleveland Browns. Rookie cornerback L'Jarius Sneed has made quite an impact despite missing seven games, recording a sack in his last three contests.
Why the Bills can cover
Since the loss to Kansas City, the Bills are 9-1 against the spread and have covered four consecutive games as an underdog. That bodes well given the recent struggles in that area for the Chiefs, who have failed to cover their last five home games and have not won by more than six points in their last eight victories. Quarterback Josh Allen is 14-6-2 against the spread on the road in his career.
Buffalo was held to season-lows in total yards (206) and passing (122) in Week 6, but has averaged 32.4 points during its current 11-1 run. Allen has accounted for 50 total touchdowns this season and has a bevy of weapons in the passing game, led by wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who topped the NFL with 127 catches and 1,535 yards in the regular season.
John Brown was hobbled and blanked in the first matchup against the Chiefs but had eight receptions in the divisional-round win over Baltimore.
How to make Chiefs vs. Bills picks
Hartstein has analyzed this matchup, and while he's leaning over on the total, he has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing it here.
So who wins Bills vs. Chiefs in the NFL Playoffs 2021? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Bills vs. Chiefs spread you need to jump on Sunday, all from the expert who's 16-2 on picks involving Kansas City, and find out.