NFL Picks: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills

Steve Merril -

Friday, November 1, 2013 3:47 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 3:47 PM UTC

Kansas City has been the biggest surprise team in the NFL this season. The Chiefs are a perfect 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS; they won just 2 games a season ago. Let's look at the betting lines.

Buffalo comes into this game with a 3-5 SU record and a solid 5-3 ATS mark. The Bills are 2-2 SU at home but a perfect 4-0 ATS in those games; their two losses came by just 2 points and 3 points in overtime.

The current pointspread on this game has Kansas City a 3-point road favorite at the majority of sportsbooks. The total has been bet down sharply from an opener of 42.5 to 40.5 and 40 at different shops.

Kansas City has looked impressive in the win/loss column, but a deeper investigation reveals some major flaws being masked by their wins. The Chiefs are the phoniest 8-0 team in recent NFL memory. Kansas City has played a woeful schedule as their opponents are a collective 20-41 SU on the season; none of their eight opponents have a record better than .500 this year.

The Chiefs’ offense has been awful as they are averaging only 4.9 yards per play (#25 in the NFL) and they convert just 37.7% of their third downs. They are scoring just 24 points per game against defenses that allow 25.4 points per game.

It’s important to note that those weak numbers have come against bad teams. If Kansas City was a dominating team like their win/loss record suggests, they would have a much better statistical profile on offense because of the weak competition they’ve played. The Chiefs are not as invincible as they seem.

Kansas City’s defense has played well, but again, keep in mind their level of competition. And while they are not playing an elite Buffalo team this week, the Chiefs don’t have any business laying points on the road, especially into a strong home team.

The Chiefs have only out-yarded four of their eight opponents this season, and they are way overvalued simply because of their unbeaten record. The Chiefs will be playing on the road for the first time since October 6th and they also have their bye on deck so this is a terrible scheduling and situational spot for Kansas City.

Buffalo lost starting QB E.J. Manuel to a knee injury back in Week 5. The Bills have been playing with Thaddeus Lewis under center for the last three games, and the team has played well in two of the three games. Their loss last week in New Orleans was expected, but we can expect a strong bounce back effort in this game.

The Bills have been able to move the chains consistently this season thanks in part to their strong running game. Buffalo runs the ball on 46.8% of their plays which ranks #5 in the league. The Bills average 33.1 rushes per game and they average 133.9 yards per game on 4.0 yards per rush.

Kansas City is allowing 4.7 yards per rush which ranks them #28 in that category. The Bills will find a lot of success on the ground which will allow QB Lewis to hit some big passing plays downfield.

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Buffalo’s defense is getting a major class relief this week as they are going from the potent Saints’ offense to the weak Chiefs’ offense. The Bills’ defense has plenty of talent to contain the pedestrian Kansas City offense, especially since weather could play a factor with high winds forecasted for this game.

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Kansas City is not in a good scheduling spot, especially since they may have an eye towards their off week. Buffalo returns home off back-to-back road games and they are 3-1 SU when playing off a loss this season; their lone loss came by just 3 points. For our NFL picks, we’ll take the Bills plus the points in this game on Sunday afternoon.

Free NFL Picks: Play the Bills +

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