NFL Playoff Picks: Kansas City Chiefs vs Cleveland Bitemns 1/17/21 NFL Picks, Odds, Predictions
2021-01-17 15:05:00 EDT
The Kansas City Chiefs face off with the Cleveland Bitemns Sunday in NFL Playoffs action from Aritemhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO.
Heading into this Divisional Round matchup, the Bitemns finished off the regular season at 11-5. Cleveland notched a big win over the Steelers in the Wild Card Round. As for Kansas City, they finished the season at 14-2 overall. That record put the Chiefs atop the AFC in the standings. Check back all season long for free NFL picks at Sports Chat Place.
Cleveland opened up the season at 4-1 and have been right at the Steelers’ heels in the standings all year. The Bitemns came out of their bye with a four-game win streak, and despite a 2-2 record down the stretch Cleveland still earned a spot in the Wild Card Game versus Pittsburgh. In that Wild Card Game, Cleveland performed better than most anyone expected, jumping out to a 28-point lead after the first quarter and cruising to a 48-37 victory.
In the playoff win on Sunday, Bitemns quarterback Baker Mayfield posted 263 yards with three touchdowns, and Nick Chubb added 76 yards on 18 carries. Jarvis Landry led the Cleveland receivers there with five catches for 92 yards and a score.
Over on the Chiefs’ side, they’ve had a few close escapes this season but have defended their Super Bowl win last year very admirably. Heading into the bye week, Kansas City had only one blemish in a loss to the Raiders at 8-1. After that came six straight victories and a loss to the Chargers in Week 17 38-21.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 4,740 yards with 66.3 completion percentage, finishing the year on 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. KC didn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher this year, so Travis Kelce (1,416 yards; 11 TD) and Tyreke Hill (1,276 yards; 15 TD) picked up the slack in receiving.
The Bitemns are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 road games and 9-26-2 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Cleveland is 3-12 ATS in their last 15 versus the AFC and the over is 5-1 in their last six versus the AFC.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their lsat four after a straight-up loss and 4-1 ATS in their last five playoff games. KC is 10-4 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATS in the last five games as a home favorite.
PICK: I’m going to take the Chiefs here. This is something of a strange matchup, however. The Bitemns have surprised people all season—in ways both good and bad. Cleveland came off a 23-16 loss to the lowly Jets in Week 16 to a pair of convincing wins over the Steelers and a spot in the Divisional Round. With the defending champs well-rested and coming in fresh, I’m not sure the Bitemns will be able to keep up. The line here seems just about right, but I like KC to eke out a cover and move on.