What: Miami Dolphins vs Kansas City Chiefs – NFL Wild Card Round
Where: Arrowhead Stadium
When: Saturday, January 13th, 8:00 PM EST
The NFL Playoffs begin this weekend and the Wild Card Round brings a tantalizing matchup between two of the AFC’s best as the Miami Dolphins visit the Kansas City Chiefs. The kick-off is scheduled for 8:00 PM EST at Arrowhead Stadium. Miami had a stranglehold on the AFC East title before going cold down the stretch, with the Buffalo Bills taking home the crown instead at the end of Week 18. As for KC, they finished with an 11-6 record but that wasn’t good enough to earn a bye into the Divisional Round due to the Baltimore Ravens’ superior 13-4 record. This should be a very entertaining clash between a pair of teams with lots of weapons. Continue reading for the Dolphins vs Chiefs picks.
The Chiefs are favored on Saturday at -220 moneyline odds for an implied win probability of 68.75%. The Dolphins come back at +190 and have a 34.48% chance of coming out victorious at Arrowhead. KC is also laying four points on the spread and the total is set at 44. The Chiefs have won four straight against Miami, including a 21-14 victory in Week 9 where they managed to shut down Tyreek Hill.
Tough End For Miami
The Dolphins began the 2023 season on absolute fire and looked like a potential AFC winner. But, things took a turn for the worst in the last month, going 2-3 in their last five games. Miami has also lost two straight heading into the playoffs, falling 56-19 to the Ravens in embarrassing fashion before the Bills beat them to claim the AFC East title by a score of 21-14. This isn’t exactly a team high on confidence right now and facing the Chiefs is a very tall task.
Tua Tagovailoa finished off the season poorly, throwing four picks across the last two contests. However, overall, his numbers were solid. Tua completed 69.3% of his passes for 4,624 yards and 29 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. It did help that Tagovailoa had two lethal weapons out wide though in Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Cheetah finished the year with 119 catches for 1,799 yards and 13 touchdowns. He probably would’ve surpassed the 2,000-yard mark if it wasn’t for an ankle injury that caused Hill to miss two games. He’s been a limited participant to begin the week, but he’s expected to suit up Saturday. The Dolphins definitely need him.
Miami ranked first in the NFL in total yards and passing yards while sitting second in points with 29.2 per game. Defensively, they weren’t great but not awful either. That said, the final two games were pretty rough. While the Chiefs’ attack isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders, Patrick Mahomes is always capable of brilliance. The Dolphins must bring their best on both sides of the ball, especially in the hostile Arrowhead environment.
Can Chiefs Offense Get Going?
Kansas City is an NFL powerhouse and is always seen as a Super Bowl contender. After all, they did just win it all last February. But, the 2023 campaign wasn’t that great by any means and that came down to the lack of consistency from the offense. Patrick Mahomes still surpassed the 4,000-yard mark with 27 TDs against 14 picks but outside of Travis Kelce, there wasn’t really a reliable weapon. The tight end finished with 93 grabs for 984 yards and five scores. Rookie Rashee Rice meanwhile reeled in 79 catches for 938 yards and seven touchdowns. After Kelce and Rice though, the production tails off a lot. And to be brutally honest, Kelce didn’t have a banner year to his standards.
The Chiefs ranked 11th in total yards and 15th in points while rushing for the 19th most yards per contest. To brighten things up, Andy Reid’s squad did win their final two games, beating the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Chargers. The reality is KC is still an experienced squad on both sides of the ball, even if their results in 23′ didn’t live up to expectations.
Another important factor to note. It is supposed to be very chilly at Arrowhead on Saturday, which the Chiefs are used to. The Dolphins on the other hand, not so much. The weather could very well play a factor here. Also, Miami had a mere one victory against a team with a winning record this season. Not exactly a statistic that bodes well for their chances in the Wild Card Round.
Dolphins vs Chiefs Picks
Miami is also missing some key defensive pieces right now and although the Chiefs aren’t exactly explosive offensively, I do expect them to win this one and move onto the Divisional Round. I’d take the moneyline.