NFL odds: Despite Patrick Mahomes' uncertain outlook, BetMGM opens Chiefs as favorites vs. Bills

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

There’s too much interest in the conference championship games for sportsbooks to wait to post a spread. Even when the health of the NFL’s best player is up in the air.

The Kansas City Chiefs opened as 3-point favorites in the AFC championship game against the Buffalo Bills at BetMGM. That line was released about 30 minutes after the Chiefs finished a divisional round win over the Cleveland Browns. That line did dip to Chiefs -2.5 shortly after it opened, but then was back to Chiefs -3 less than an hour later.

That line seems fair, but will Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes be available?

Patrick Mahomes is coming off an injury

Mahomes was injured in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. He got dragged down on a run and was evaluated for a concussion. He was unstable as he got up and had to be helped up by teammates. There was no surprise when the Chiefs ruled him out, though the team never explicitly said he was ruled out with a concussion.

Then Andy Reid made the outlook even more cloudy after the game.

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Needless to say, the line for next Sunday’s game changes in a big way if Mahomes isn’t cleared and Chad Henne has to start. There are only a few players in the NFL who can have a huge effect on the betting line, and Mahomes is clearly one of them.

The entire situation seems to be unpredictable. It’s unpredictable for bettors, too.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes kneels on the field after getting injured during the second half against the Browns. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes kneels on the field after getting injured during the second half against the Browns. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Bills vs. Chiefs is a good matchup

The Bills have been very good most of the season and took it to another level in the second half of the season. In their last 10 games, counting playoffs, they are 9-1. They have covered the spread eight times in that stretch, with all the wins coming by double digits.

The Chiefs haven’t been good against the spread, despite their 15-2 record counting Sunday’s win. Including Sunday’s 22-17 win over the Browns, the Chiefs haven’t covered a spread since Nov. 1. That’s surprising from a team as explosive on offense as Kansas City.

The Chiefs’ offense is clearly not the same if Mahomes doesn’t play though. Reid seemed optimistic, but his team and bettors will have to wait to find out for sure.

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