The Bills are 2.5 point favorites this week according to Caesars Sportsbook as the team prepares to head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.
Here's a list of game predictions from NFL analysts.
This is the game of the week, and maybe the year. Both teams have high-flying offenses. The shootout between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen will be a treat to watch. Will either be stopped? I doubt it. Let's hope this is a classic like their playoff game last January, which was won by the Chiefs in overtime. The final 13 seconds cost the Bills a chance to get to the Super Bowl. This time, they win it late.
Pick: Bills 37, Chiefs 31
A wise man once told me to always take Patrick Mahomes as a home underdog out of principle until he proves he's not Michael Jordan. I am that wise man. The Bills are more balanced overall, with a stronger pass rush and defense. I just can't abide that Mahomes in Arrowhead is anyone's underdog, especially when the game has slowed down for him this much.
Prediction: Chiefs 30, Bills 27
There are very few matchups on the NFL regular season schedule that come with the possibility of: This could be the best game we see all year. Last year's playoff game between these two teams was one of the greatest games of all time (that's not hyperbole!). Now we get a 4-1 Bills team that leads the NFL with a +91 point differential against a 4-1 Chiefs team whose only loss was a game it gave away against the Colts.
Whenever the Bills offense has struggled in the past couple of years, it's felt like O-line issues have been the reason. We know that Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is going to be aggressive. The Chiefs aren't going to stop the Bills consistently (Buffalo's offense is fourth in EPA per drive), so the focus instead will be on producing enough negative plays (sacks, turnovers) to stay competitive.
On the other side of the ball, Buffalo's pass rush could give Kansas City a lot of problems. The Bills are blitzing at the lowest rate in the NFL. They have the formula to beat Mahomes: produce pressure with four and drop seven into coverage. Still, that's easier said than done. The Chiefs are first in the NFL in EPA per drive.
These two quarterbacks are tied for the NFL lead in EPA per play. According to TruMedia's database, this is the first time that Mahomes has ever been an underdog at home. He's been an underdog just eight times total in his career as a starter. The Chiefs are 7-0-1 against the spread in those games. In a coin-flip game, I'll take the points with Kansas City.
The pick: Chiefs (+2.5)
Key stats: This is a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in the NFL (Chiefs are first with 31.8 PPG, Bills are second with 30.4 PPG). But the Bills are tied for first in scoring defense (allowing just 12.2 PPG) and second in total defense (allowing 260.4 total YPG).
Prediction: Can I predict electricity? Can I forecast greatness? This should be an epic game. And if I'm wrong and overhype it, then you can send me your hate notes on Twitter. But I think that we see the Bills' defense play better than last time. I think we see insane fourth-quarter scoring.
Prediction: Bills 37, Chiefs 35
... It's still hard to fade the Bills. Their best level is far better than anyone else in the NFL. It might be the best we've seen in a few years. Buffalo has already blasted the Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers. In the Titans and Steelers games, it seemed like they could have scored 70 if they really wanted to run it up. Every time you bet against the Bills this season, it'll be a nervous ride.
However, as history has shown, if you blindly take the Chiefs and Mahomes anytime they're getting points you've done very well. Let's go with the Chiefs +3. What a game it should be.
Pick: Chiefs +3
The week's marquee matchup is a rematch of last year's A.F.C. divisional playoff thriller, in which Kansas City managed to force overtime with a final drive with only 13 seconds on the clock and win in overtime. The Bills are favored to win this week, making this Patrick Mahomes's first career game as a home underdog.
Last week, Buffalo beat up on the Steelers in a lopsided game in which Josh Allen passed for 424 yards, while Kansas City came back from a three score deficit to trump Las Vegas — two very different performances but both confidence builders. This game will have major consequences for home-field advantage in the playoffs and could very well be a preview of the A.F.C. championship game.
Pick: Kansas City +3
The Bills built their defense with a deep pass rush to stop Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. They also like to play zone to contain big plays downfield. That won't be as effective with their secondary injuries. Mahomes' newfound patience behind a strong offensive line will be important as will be Andy Reid's willingness to stick with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and other backs running more. Buffalo is rocking with Josh Allen rolling, but it will be more one-dimensional with its usual downfield shots being contained.
Pick: Chiefs win 31-27