NFL Playoff Predictions 2023: Kansas City Chiefs Futures Odds and Picks
Kansas City Chiefs:
Odds to win Super Bowl: +340
Odds to win AFC: +170
The Kansas City Chiefs enter the postseason as the Super Bowl favorites with a +340 price tag attached to their potential win. The Chiefs finished off the season by winning 10 of their last 11 games, securing the crucial No. 1 seed in the AFC. The No 1 seed still comes with the first-round bye. However, if the Bills and Chiefs collide in the AFC Championship, it will be played at a neutral site rather than Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes had a MVP caliber season, and the Super Bowl favorites will feel confident they can reach the big game for the 3rd time in the last 4 years.
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Path to the Final:
The Chiefs will need to win just 2 games to reach the Super Bowl thanks to their 14-3 regular season record. They will get the lowest seed remaining in the divisional round, which will likely be either the Jaguars or Chargers, before facing what will likely be either the Bills or Bengals in the AFC Championship. The AFC remains very top heavy, with the Bengals, Bills and Chiefs being the only legitimate threats to win in most people's eyes. The fact that the Chiefs will only have to play one of either the Bills or Bengals is a huge advantage.
Regular Season Recap:
There was legitimate concern in Kansas City, after the Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill in the offseason. The receiving room in Kansas City was already thin, and losing a superstar such as Hill was always going to be a difficult challenge to overcome. However, the Chiefs didn’t miss a beat and cruised to a 7th straight AFC West crown. Mahomes was the star of the show, and his connection with Travis Kelce has never been stronger. Mahomes is a shoe-in for the MVP award, and Kelce posted career highs in receptions (110) and touchdowns (12). The connection carried them to wins, and the supporting cast stepped up in Hill’s absence. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling made catches when they had to, and they scored a league high 496 points (29.1 PPG) en route to another dominant season. On the defensive side of the ball, they were very good at stopping the run, allowing the 8th least rushing yards, but struggled with their passing defense, finishing dead last in passing yards and completions allowed. Mahomes was able to outscore any defensive issues and will need to be at his best in the postseason if he is to collect his second career Super Bowl ring.
The Chiefs have one goal in mind, get to Glendale, Arizona, and win the Super Bowl. Anything short of that will be seen as a failure in Kansas City. Locking up the No. 1 seed certainly helps, and the Chiefs have a relatively easy path to the final. Assuming they can knock off either of the young quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence or Justin Herbert in the second round, they will have just one blockbuster game before the biggest game of them all. Mahomes has proven he can win in the regular season, and more importantly, the playoffs, too. The arm angles Mahomes deploys is unmatched league wide and has the ability to turn what appear to be lost plays into big gains. The ‘never say die’ mentality in Kansas City has turned them into playoff staples, and a threat every season. This year is no different, but the defense may come back to bite them. Fortunately, despite the fact they own a middle of the pack defense, they have the ability to stop the run. A 32nd ranked passing defense coming up against the league’s best quarterbacks is not a recipe for success, but it keeps the ball in Mahomes’ hands. Teams will not be able to run out the clock on the Chiefs, and Mahomes will always get a chance for the last laugh. It will surprise no one if the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, including myself, but I don't expect them to get the job done. Being proficient on both sides of the ball is necessary against the best of the NFL, and the Chiefs passing defense will let them down somewhere along the way.
The Chiefs are in an interesting spot in the markets. The Buffalo Bills have been the Super Bowl favorites at the end of every week of the season, except the end of Week 18. In Week 7, their odds were as low as +275, while the Chiefs were at +750. The opportunity to make big money on the Chiefs is no longer available, but a +340 win would still fill the pockets. However, at this price, I can’t rationalize putting big money down on the Chiefs. Their final 2 games on the path to the Super Bowl will be difficult, and their poor passing defense may come back to bite them. It’s not that their passing defense is just bad, it’s atrocious. Their offense can usually out score their issues, but losses to both the Bills and Bengals should raise red flags. The one bet I do like on the Chiefs is a niche one. At +700 odds, you can grab the Bengals to beat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. Of course, the Bengals will have to go through the Bills to make the AFC Championship. However, if they do, this is a substantial payout. The Bengals beat the Chiefs 27-24 in Week 13 and will feel confident they can do it again. You won’t find odds of +700 for a very plausible event often, so take this while you still can.
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