MetroBet previews the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Chiefs with the latest odds and betting advice.
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
Moneyline: Patriots +130, Chiefs -150
Betting Total: 55 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 6:40 p.m., CBS
An arctic Arrowhead Stadium will be the site for Sunday’s AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. Temperatures are expected to be in the teens or single digits, with the wind chill only serving to amplify the harsh conditions. Despite their 43-40 loss to New England back in Week 6, Kansas City is listed as the betting favorite. The total has dropped two points from the original mark of 57.
The most concrete trend heading into this matchup is the Patriots’ struggles on the road. For the first time since 2009, Tom Brady and company posted a losing road record (3-5 straight-up and against the spread) in the regular season. Their strengths at home turned into weakness in away games; New England’s league-leading plus-15.9 point differential at home contrasts starkly with their minus-2.4 point differential in away contests. The Pats’ didn’t travel all that well this year either, allowing an average of over three additional points per tilt compared to their overall number.
Meanwhile, in spite of all the criticism of the Chiefs’ defense this year, they’ve actually been better than average at Arrowhead Stadium. Their points per game allowed mark of 17.4 was the third-best in the NFL. Kansas City’s stoppers thoroughly dominated Andrew Luck and the Colts last Saturday, surrendering just one offensive touchdown in a 31-13 shellacking.
Given the extremely cold weather, points won’t be as easy to come by as they were when these clubs collided in Foxboro in Week 6. Therefore, capitalizing on prime scoring chances will be crucial. Patrick Mahomes’ offense was among the best in the NFL at turning red zone trips into touchdowns, finding the end zone 72 percent of the time (second). New England’s conversion percentage was just 60.9 (14th).
Kansas City’s offense seems better-equipped to handle the bitter conditions thanks to Tyreek Hill. Mahomes can find “The Cheetah” in the flat and let him use his legs to beat the defense. Julian Edelman looked like he was coated in butter as he tallied 151 yards on nine receptions against the Chargers, but L.A.’s defense was probably exhausted from a grueling schedule that saw them constantly traveling. Edelman also had the benefit of a week’s rest.
This seems like a very fair line for a Chiefs team that was thoroughly dominant at times at home this year. The Patriots have lost three straight road playoff games, and it looks like it will be four on Sunday night. Give the field goal with K.C., and consider betting the Under on this big number as well.
Prediction: Chiefs win, 27-21
The play: Chiefs -3 and Patriots vs. Chiefs Under 55 points Parlay (+264)