Buffalo Bills (5-5 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS)
NFL Week 12
Date/Time: November 29th, 1:00 PM Et
Where: Arrowhead Stadium
TV: CBS (locally), DirectTV
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, jhsportsline.com
Point Spread: BUFF. -+6.5/ KC -6.5
A pair of 5-5 teams meets in this Week 12 early afternoon matchup. The Kansas City Chiefs have won four in a row after dropping five straight. In their current four-game run they have a 130-39 point edge along with a stellar 12-0 turnover advantage. Last week, the Chiefs defeated the Chargers in a cakewalk 33-3 as 3-point road chalk. The Chiefs outgained San Diego by 184 yards and have now won the stats in five straight games. Kansas City is an impressive 7-3 ITS (in the stats) this season. The Bills are coming off a loss to the Patriots on Monday Night Football but played well. The game was a lot closer than the first meeting as the Bills lost by 7 points which landed right on the number for a push. Buffalo was outgained by only 37 yards and sit 6-4 ITS this season.
This will be the Bills third straight road game after playing three of its toughest rivals in the Dolphins, Jets, and Patriots. They now must travel once again off a short week with one fewer day to prepare. That seems like a tall task but the Bills do match-up pretty well against the Chiefs. Kansas City is ranked 19th in yards per game and 6th in points per game, while the Bills are ranked 22nd in yards and 10th in points. Before the Chiefs current four-game winning streak, Kansas City’s offense was ranked 15th in points per game and 21st in yards per game.
The Chiefs are caught in the middle of a division sandwich, as they played the Chargers last week and will play the Raiders next Sunday. No team in the NFL is as good as they looked the week before and vice versa. If you handicap the NFL based on last week’s results you will not show a profit long term. With home field advantage in Kansas City worth about 2.5 points (down from 3.5 just 10 years ago), the odds-makers are telling us they believe the Chiefs would be a 4-point favorite on a neutral field. If this game was in Buffalo, the Chiefs would be favored by just one point. NFL teams playing its third straight road game have gone 2-1 ATS this season. I don’t think traveling from Buffalo to Kansas City is that long of a trip. I would guess less than two hours and don’t forget the players get to fly on first-class chartered flights.
Both of these teams have struggled on the offensive line according to Football Outsiders. The Bills have allowed 29 sacks in 10 games while the Chiefs have allowed a whopping 34 sacks in 10 games. Kansas City’s run blocking is ranked 7th while the Bills run blocking is ranked 23rd. Big advantage for the Chiefs in the running game but without Jamaal Charles it’s been tough. Kansas City is averaging 89 rushing yards in games that Charles doesn’t start. The Chiefs have 29 quarterback sacks while the Bills have just 15 through 10 games. If the Bills can’t put pressure on the Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense, they have no shot at the upset. Look for the Bills to use even more blitz packages than normal, as Alex Smith has struggled with a QBR of 23 when facing teams that blitz more than 50% of the snaps.
Last season, the Chiefs defeated the Bills 17-13 as 2-point road underdogs in Orchard Park. If you look inside the numbers you will see that the Bills outgained the Chiefs 364-278. Buffalo was up 13-3 in the fourth quarter before the Chiefs scored 14 unanswered points to steal a win. Charles ran for 98 yards on just 15 carries and scored one of the fourth quarter TD’s. The Bills’ defense held Alex Smith to just 177 passing yards on 17-of-29 completions. Kyle Orton was the QB for the Bills so Tyrod Taylor is an obvious upgrade with his running and throwing ability. He’s a bit “nicked” up but is expected to play. I would like the Bills even more if Taylor was at 100%
The Bills are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a SU loss. The Bills are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after playing on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last last seven meetings. The Under is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Buffalo Bills +6.5 & Over 41
Take the Bills plus the generous number as a light play. The Over is a contrarian play against the public, who are pounding the Under.
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