With the first round bye, the Kansas City Chiefs are the lone team off this week in the AFC. As a result, they will get to host the worst or lowest remaining AFC seed in the Divisional Round. That means we will see the Chiefs play either the Tennessee Titans, the Baltimore Ravens, the Cleveland Browns or the Indianapolis Colts.
Throughout the entirety of the NFL season, fans enjoy the opportunity of cashing in on bets. It gives something like a bonus for people to root for, especially if their favorite team is not routinely competitive. While oddsmakers in Vegas may not always win, it is always rather intriguing to see what they are thinking come playoff time. Recent trends or hot streaks are possibly more glorified, as we will see later on in this article. Elsewhere, changes can come swiftly, especially in a season revolving around COVID like this year.
What are the odds suggesting in regards to the Kansas City Chiefs next opponent? We will look at the four possible teams chances. In addition, we will visit the most recent meetings between the Chiefs and their possible matchup. Here is what Vegas is saying.
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A Toss Up And Two No Contests?
According to FiveThirtyEight, the most competitive AFC game on Wild Card weekend is expected to be the Baltimore Ravens at the Tennessee Titans. Amazingly, the Ravens are given a 57% chance to make the Divisional Round. That speaks volumes to how they are viewed currently. They are playing the best they have all season long. Currently owning a five game winning streak that is following a previous three game losing streak, Baltimore is the team that possibly no one wants to face of all the wild card teams across the entire NFL. The Titans are still given a 43% chance to make the Divisional Round according to FiveThirtyEight. But of course, having to face the Ravens this weekend is the most challenging matchup to begin your postseason.
On the other hand, the Browns and Colts seem to be larger underdogs than most believe they appear. FiveThirtyEight give Cleveland a 38% chance to make the Divisional Round, while Indianapolis only has a mere 25% chance. That speaks volumes for both of those road teams. For one, both teams won 11 games during the regular season. Both Cleveland and Indianapolis also went 5-3 on the road this year. To see the large discrepancy for these two playoff teams chances is rather compelling, even considering their Wild Card weekend opponents.
Covid Complicates Cleveland
Unfortunate news struck in the Cleveland Browns facility on Tuesday. It was announced that head coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive guard Joel Bitonio, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard tested positive for COVID-19.
This creates an altered path to how the Browns will have to prepare for the Steelers game on Sunday. All individuals from that group of five will miss the game. Everyone’s role is vital to the team. Obviously, nobody may be more important than Stefanski. After years of failing to find the right leader at head coach, it was him who finally ended Cleveland’s playoff drought after 18 long years. His offense helped improve Baker Mayfield‘s fortunes this season at quarterback. Moreover, the offense’s powerful nature allows their skill players to dominate as best as they can according to their traits.
This is also difficult news for Bitonio, who is the longest tenured player on the team. The Nevada product was selected in the second round, 35th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. Along with recent additions like JC Tretter, Jack Conklin, Wyatt Teller and Jedrick Wills Jr, Bitonio was enjoying a career best season on the Browns commanding offensive line. Due to the recent COVID-19 news surrounding the team, the betting line has moved significantly. As of Tuesday on BetOnline, the Browns are six point underdogs against Pittsburgh. They were originally four point underdogs beforehand.
Odds Like Ravens, Bills
As far as the other two betting lines go, the Colts are similar underdogs to the Browns, where the Ravens are slight favorites. BetOnline lists Indianapolis as six and a half point underdogs on the road against the Buffalo Bills. We talked about the Ravens recent hot stretch earlier. They are currently three point road favorites against the Titans. It is also important to note that Tennessee won a back and forth overtime thriller against the Ravens in Baltimore earlier this season 30-24. Vegas may also believe that Baltimore should of won that previous matchup. They may be better equipped to get the job done this time.
Let’s take a quick look and see how the Chiefs have fared in their latest matchups against these possible opponents. Despite the hype of the Ravens entering games against Kansas City, the Chiefs have continued to be Baltimore’s kryptonite. Earlier this year, KC bested them 34-20 on Monday Night Football in Week 3. Patrick Mahomes also holds a 3-0 head to head advantage against Lamar Jackson.
If the Chiefs face the Titans, you have to look back to last year’s AFC Championship Game for the most recent meeting. As we well know, Kansas City was able to bring the Lamar Hunt Trophy back home in their own stadium. The final score was 35-24.
It has been much longer since the Chiefs have faced the Cleveland Browns. You have to go back to Mahomes first year as the starter and Mayfield’s rookie season. Kansas City got the road win in the battle of Big 12 quarterbacks 37-21.
Finally, the most recent meeting between the Chiefs and Colts was in the 2019 regular season. Indianapolis handed Kansas City their first loss of the season last year, in a 19-13 frustrating showing on Sunday Night Football.
The odds believe that we will see a fourth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Where will Vegas hit or miss on Wild Card weekend? Stay tuned to the NFL for who the Chiefs may face.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs articles during the rest of the week. For more great sports and NFL content, keep things locked on to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.