The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs meet at Arrowhead Stadium in the 2019 AFC Championship betting battle we’ve all been waiting for, and the weather could play a pivotal role. The total has dropped from the opener of 57 to 55, and a winter storm ‘arctic blast’ is scheduled to hit Kansas City throughout the weekend with a wintry mix of 1-3 inches of snow and added rain settling in the area. There could be some clearing Sunday, but it will be cold below 20 degrees. Check the weather on game day, as severe weather could hamper these two high-powered offenses.
2019 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, January 20th – Arrowhead Stadium– 6:40pm ET
Odds: Kansas City -3 (55)
The Chiefs averaged a league-best 35.3 points per game and 6.8 yards per play with MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and a talented trio of receivers. The running game has been fine since Damien Williams took over in December, and he may play another important role in the offense if the winds and snow storm are a factor Sunday.
Kansas City beat Indianapolis in the divisional round last week with a dominating performance in the snow, 31-13. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce combined for 15 catches and 180 receiving yards, and WR Sammy Watkins returned to play a key role. Williams rushed for 129 yards in a balanced attack. The Chiefs’ motion, multiple offensive sets, great play designs and precise execution are difficult to defend with QB Mahomes operating at an MVP level. The Chiefs may still be undervalued, as they have been the best and most consistent team this season.
The Chiefs have shown some improvement on defense despite sub-par stats, and are perhaps an underrated commodity in 2019 AFC Championship betting. Kansas City led the league in sacks this season (52) and had three last week against the Colts, who had allowed a league-low 18 sacks on the season. The Chiefs also allowed just 18 points per game at home this season versus 35 points per game on the road.
The Patriots also took advantage of the bye week, tough travel and scheduling against LA last week to build a 35-7 halftime lead while cruising to victory over the Chargers, 41-28. Quarterback Tom Brady does not have reliable downfield weapons at his disposal in the 2019 AFC Championship betting matchup, and New England will rely on their rushing attack, as well as their short passing game, to move the ball. Head coach Bill Belichick is a master technician at locating and attacking an opponent’s weakness, and the Chiefs allowed 152.0 rushing yards per game over their final three games before shutting down the Colts last week limiting Indianapolis to 87 rushing yards on 14 attempts. The Patriots will definitely run the ball more often, as the Chiefs’ defensive deficiencies included allowing 5.0 yards per rush this season.
Still, New England played the No. 31 strength of schedule this season and dominated the Chargers in a perfect spot last week. The Chiefs have been at home the past month with no travel, and they are positioned to have success against New England, who went 3-5 SU on the road losing to five non-playoff teams. Quarterback Tom Brady’s playoff career shows far less success on the road passing for 8 touchdowns with 8 interceptions.
These two teams played Oct. 14 in Foxboro and New England got a last-second field goal to win a shootout, 43-40. The Patriots had 500 yards offense including 173 rushing yards on 38 carries. The Chiefs had less than 24 minutes of possession and still managed 446 total yards and Pat Mahomes passed for 352 yards and four touchdowns.
If the weather was less severe, we could expect another shootout. But the potential weather concerns combined with less scoring in sub-20 temperatures must be considered and evaluated. The total may drop some more, so bet accordingly pending your over/under preference. Kansas City is the side to support as the Chiefs get redemption and a trip to the Super Bowl.
Games Notes: Patriots QB Tom Brady is 24-4 SU when the game time temperature is below 30 degrees. Most of those games were at home. The Patriots have averaged 24.3 points per game on the road in the playoffs with Brady; five points per game less than at home during his long career.
2019 AFC Championship Betting Free Pick – Kansas City Chiefs -3.0