One of the strongest images of last season, which I used to lead off the Buffalo Bills' team preview, was a distraught Stefon Diggs on the field at Arrowhead Stadium after the AFC championship game, watching the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate.
Revenge isn't always a great betting angle in the NFL. The season is too long and there's too much to worry about without thinking about which team beat you whenever. But losing an AFC title game? That'll do it.
The Bills were a great team over the second half of last season, and they came up just short of a Super Bowl appearance. Week 1 this season brought a tough loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Bills have been rolling since then. They look like a Super Bowl contender. But that came against a soft schedule.
If the Bills are a legit threat to win a championship, they will win on Sunday night at the Kansas City Chiefs. They're 3-point underdogs at BetMGM, but I think they'll be up to the task and win straight up.
The Chiefs are obviously very, very good. However, we've been over their issues against the spread. Even with an ATS win last week, they're 2-12-1 against the spread since Nov. 1 of last year. They have been overvalued in the market. The defense has been bad this season. It's a good Chiefs team but it's possible they're not as great as the past few years due to the defense, and to a lesser extent their narrow usage tree on offense (after Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, it falls off fast). The Bills defense has been playing great, and how they handle Kelce and Hill will determine who wins on Sunday night.
This is the Bills' chance to make a statement. Not to mention that if they win, they'd be 4-1 with the tiebreaker over the 2-3 Chiefs in the AFC. That would be huge. I trust this is the Bills' time. They remember how their last season ended.
Here are the against the spread picks for Week 5, with lines from BetMGM:
Jets (+3) over Falcons
We're sorry for this matchup, London. At least we get that extra early NFL game. I don't think the Falcons are good (and it really makes me angry the Giants didn't beat them in Week 3) and I think if the Jets face a team that can't rush the quarterback, Zach Wilson will be fine.
Packers (-3) over Bengals
There are a few lines that make you wonder what you're missing. I don't know why the Packers are only -3 here. The Bengals probably won't have Joe Mixon, they won't have home-field advantage because nobody really does anymore, and the Packers have looked like an elite team since halftime of Week 2. Just don't get it.
Lions (+9) over Vikings
I don't love this pick because the Lions' offensive line is beat up. But before last week they were competitive in losses, and I'm not sure I'm ready to trust the Vikings laying more than a touchdown.
Steelers (-1) over Broncos
It's hard to pick this game not knowing if it will be Teddy Bridgewater (concussion) or Drew Lock at quarterback for the Broncos. Bridgewater would at least give Denver a chance. I'll go Steelers here with the uncertainty. Keep an eye on the injury report though.
Dolphins (+10) over Buccaneers
I can't say I love taking the Dolphins, but they are a well-coached team and the Bucs haven't blown the doors off anyone yet. The Bucs still have some serious injury issues as well.
Washington (+1.5) over Saints
I don't have any idea what to make of the Saints. I don't know exactly what to make of Washington either, really. Maybe their defense get well here against a Saints offense that lacks playmakers.
Panthers (-3.5) over Eagles
You can't confidently pick the Eagles here. They have looked bad since a Week 1 win over a Falcons team that is showing how awful it is. The Panthers have been pretty good and this was a pretty easy pick.
Titans (-4) over Jaguars
Look, if Urban Meyer isn't totally committed, how can the Jaguars players be? You really have to worry about the Jaguars giving up on Meyer and laying some real eggs. They were playing terribly even before Meyer sunk to new lows and lost any bit of credibility he had in the locker room.
Texans (+9.5) over Patriots
Another underdog that isn't comfortable to take. But the Patriots like to play low-scoring games. There could be a little bit of a letdown after an emotional Brady Bowl last week. The Texans were competitive before last week when the Bills steamrolled them. This is a pick just because we pick every single game in this spot, good luck if you're betting actual money on it.
Bears (+5.5) over Raiders
Now that we know the Bears will start Justin Fields, I feel pretty good about this pick. Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor took over play-calling duties after Matt Nagy's debacle at Cleveland, and he did things to help Fields. Go figure. The Raiders are still a good team, but this line seems a little too high.
Chargers (-2.5) over Browns
I am surprised the Chargers line has gone up, but they did look great on Monday. They looked like a team that can beat the Chiefs in the AFC West. We'll see how they handle prosperity.
Giants (+7) over Cowboys
I've gone back and forth on this game. But I also know that no team wins every game against the spread, and the Cowboys are 4-0 ATS this season. That might be a bad reason to pick a side, but the Giants also are coming off a good performance against the Saints. Maybe they can keep this close.
49ers (+5.5) over Cardinals
I believe Trey Lance will start, and that will change the 49ers offense. The Cardinals looked great last week and it seems they're legit, but we also know that it's usually smart to bet against the buzzy team of the week.
Colts (+6.5) over Ravens
This seems like the Colts' chance to become relevant this season. While 1-3 isn't a great start, they're a game behind a flawed Titans team in the AFC South. The Colts did look good last week. I think we get their best effort on Monday night and they at least keep it close.
Last week: 11-5
Season to date: 35-29