In what could easily be a preview of the AFC Championship Game, the Week 5 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs has no shortage of storylines or predictions floating around as people make their picks in one of the most anticipated games of the season. With the NFL betting world a buzz, let’s dive into this matchup and see what might be the best bet to make on Sunday Night Football.
Sunday Night Football Pick and Prediction | Week 5
We have all been looking forward to this game since the schedule was released in May. Two of the best teams, led by two of the best QBs in the NFL, would be massive favorites against nearly any other team.
The last time these two met, the Lamar Hunt Trophy was on the line. The Chiefs held home-field advantage and knocked off the Bills 38-24. But it was the QBs who stole the show. Patrick Mahomes went 29-of-38 for 325 yards and 3 TDs. Meanwhile, Josh Allen countered with 28-of-48 for 287 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. Additionally, he was Buffalo’s leading rusher with 88 yards on 7 carries.
Despite having the better record this season (3-1), the Bills find themselves as the road dogs (+2.5) in this matchup with the 2-2 Chiefs.
The Bills look dominant on all fronts
The Bills came out the gates in 2021 about as lethargic as it gets, losing to the Steelers at home 23-16. That loss looks worse and worse as the games go by as Pittsburgh continues to plummet. But since then, the Bills have turned a corner and never looked back.
They have won three straight by a combined score of 118-21, pitching shutouts to the Dolphins (35-0) in Week 2 and the Texans in Week 4 (40-0). I know it is easy to point to the level of competition and brush those games aside, but these are professional athletes. It is a heck of a feat to shut out someone in the NFL, let alone do it in two out of three games.
The Bills currently sit No. 3 in points scored (134) and are No. 7 in yards per game (404). Defensively, they are unsurprisingly No. 1 in points (44) and yards (867) allowed. They have the most takeaways (11), have conceded just 48 first downs, and own the lowest scoring rate allowed in the NFL (14.9%). Even more impressively, they have surrendered just 4 touchdowns all season.
But they haven’t faced a team like the Chiefs.
Did the Chiefs right the ship last week?
The Chiefs opened the season going through a gauntlet of the best the AFC had to offer. As a result, they came out 1-2 with a win over the Browns (33-29) and losses to the Ravens (36-35) and Chargers (30-24).
In those games, Mahomes was doing, well, Mahomes-type things. He completed 70% of his passes for 940 yards and 9 touchdowns. But what was absent was any impact from Tyreek Hill, one of the best WRs in all the NFL. After a blowup game in Week 1 (11 catches for 197 yards and 1 TD), Hill recorded just 70 yards on 8 receptions in KC’s losses.
The Ravens and Chargers made it a point to throw as many defenders as possible at Hill, forcing Mahomes and the Chiefs to beat them using someone else.
In Week 4, the Eagles didn’t stand a chance at making it a three-peat as the Mahomes-to-Hill connection was on full display. Hill recorded 11 receptions for 186 yards and 3 touchdowns on 12 targets.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is turning it on
Another critical component of the Chiefs’ return to dominance has been the addition of the running game. 2020 No. 32 overall pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire seems to have found his footing.
In Weeks 3 and 4, Edwards-Helaire has rushed 31 times for 202 yards, marking the first back-to-back 100-yard games of his career. He has also added 2 touchdowns via the air over those two games.
After getting completely overhauled following a blowout in the Super Bowl, Kansas City’s offensive line appears to be gelling. After being sacked twice in the season opener, Mahomes has gone down just three times since. Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, and Lucas Niang will need to be on their A-game as the Bills sit No. 2 in the NFL in pressure rate (34.3%) despite ranking only 20th in blitz rate (23.1%).
Can Kansas City’s defense hold on against Buffalo?
This is the key to the game, as it doesn’t matter if the Chiefs put up 35 if they give up 42. The Chiefs are allowing QBs to average 307 yards per game in the air (t-5th most) and are last in rushing yards allowed at 44.3 per game. Even in their win last week, they allowed Jalen Hurts to throw for 387 yards while adding 47 on the ground.
Plus, unlike the Eagles, the Bills have a roster full of pass catchers from Stefon Diggs to Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Gabriel Davis, and even TE Dawson Knox, who has 4 TDs on the season.
Sunday Night Football prediction and pick
Currently, the Bills are coming into Arrowhead Stadium with the Chiefs favored by 2.5 points and a total of 56 points. In their last six road games, the Bills are 5-1 ATS, and the over has hit in four of the last five games.
I would feel much better about this if you got it at +3, but I honestly believe the Bills will come into KC and win outright. So, I am taking the Bills +2.5 on Sunday night. I am also going to take the over in this game as both teams should rack up points early and often in one of the best games of the 2021 season.