Cleveland Browns vsKansas City Chiefs Prediction
The Kansas City Chiefs are a heavy favorite winning 78% of simulations over the Cleveland Browns. Patrick Mahomes is averaging 294 passing yards and 2.5 TDs per simulation and Clyde Edwards-Helaire is projected for 119 rushing yards and a 77% chance of having at least 1 rushing TD. In the 21% of simulations where Cleveland Browns wins, Baker Mayfield averages 2.49 TD passes vs 0.39 interceptions, while in losses he has a ratio of 1.83 TDs to 0.83 interceptions. Nick Chubb averages 84 rushing yards and 0.82 rushing TDs when Cleveland Browns wins and 54 yards and 0.38 TDs in losses. Kansas City Chiefs has a 44% chance of forcing more turnovers than they commit. Positive turnover margin helps them win 93% of the time.
Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
The Kansas City Chiefs officially begin the defense of their Super Bowl title in the Divisional Round of the playoffs when they take on the Cleveland Browns. Kickoff is set for 3:05 EST on Sunday, January 17, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Current betting odds list the Chiefs as 10-point home favorites with an over/under of 56 points. Keep reading to get a preview of both teams and learn about our Chiefs vs Browns prediction against the spread.
Kansas City Chiefs Preview
The Chiefs had won 10 straight games before deciding to take it easy and rest some key players in Week 17. Kansas City ended up losing that game 38-21 to finish 14-2 on the season. Between not taking Week 17 seriously and getting a bye last week, the Chiefs will begin their playoff journey as the most well-rested team in the NFL, as they strive to become the first team in over a decade to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
Week 17 aside, the Kansas City offense had a few hiccups late in the season. While it’s difficult to find too many faults with Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City rushing attack was up and down all season. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire provided a spark at times, although he also struggled at times and didn’t play late in the regular season because of an injury. Meanwhile, Le’Veon Bell provides another option, although he didn’t make much of an impact when given a chance. Keep in mind that the Chiefs only scored 17 points against Atlanta in Week 16 before playing several backups in Week 17. The Chiefs are banking that getting extra rest and getting to full health will be more important than having rhythm on continuity on offense.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City defense faces several question marks heading into the playoffs. To be fair, that was also the case last season. The Chiefs gave up at least 24 points in six of their final eight games after looking a lot more formidable during the early part of the season. Obviously, the Chiefs have done enough defensively to win 14 games this season, largely thanks to the efforts of Chris Jones and Frank Clark on the defensive line. However, there are some lingering concerns about how the Kansas City defense will fare against quality competition in the playoffs.
Cleveland Browns Preview
It was a long wait, but the Browns finally won a playoff game last week, doing so for the first time since 1994. Of course, beating the Steelers wasn’t as easy as one might assume it would be after taking a 28-0 lead. But between the fast start and the five takeaways, the Browns did enough to hang on for a 48-37 win. The for Cleveland is that the team can finally put its recent COVID trouble behind them because the Browns will need all hands on deck if they want to reach the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1989.
All season, the Cleveland offense has revolved around the rushing attack. That’s not about to change in the playoffs, as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will be the two most important catalysts for the Browns. The question is whether the Cleveland offensive line will be anywhere close to full health after multiple players left last week’s game against Pittsburgh due to injury. If the Cleveland offensive line can’t create holes for Chubb and Hunt the way they did last week, the pressure shifts to quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was sharp against the Steelers but wasn’t asked to carry the offense. That might not be the case against Kansas City.
Of course, the Browns can’t exactly lean on their defense. In between starting the game with a defensive score and forcing five touchdowns, the Cleveland defense gave up 37 points and over 500 yards of offense against the Steelers. In fairness, the game plan changes after leading 28-0. But the Browns have had trouble defending the pass all season, and losing Oliver Vernon late in the regular season doesn’t help. Keep in mind that despite playing the entire game with a lead, the Browns did record any sacks against Ben Roethlisberger last week despite 68 pass attempts.
Full Game Prediction
The Browns can’t expect to jump on the Chiefs with 28 straight points like they did to the Steelers last week. They’ll have to do their best to run the ball effectively to help put pressure on the Kansas City defense and keep Mahomes off the field. The Browns won’t feel good about their chances if Mayfield is drawn into a shootout with Mahomes, which is why the Chiefs are 10-point favorites in this game.
Don’t forget to sign up for a BetQL subscription so you can gain access to critical stats, projections, and betting trends for this matchup. You will also see our model’s official Browns vs Chiefs prediction against the spread.