6:40 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 92.3 | Spread: KC -3 (53.5)
What to watch for: The Chiefs' run game will be something to keep an eye on. Kansas City rushed for a season-high 245 yards against Buffalo in Week 6, when the Bills played their safeties deep on many snaps and were determined not to let Tyreek Hill and other receivers beat them deep. They will certainly change strategies this time, but at what cost, especially now that quarterback Patrick Mahomes has cleared the NFL's concussion protocol? The Chiefs got just one pass play of more than 22 yards against the Bills the last time around. Can the Bills effectively slow the Chiefs' running game while still limiting the number of big pass plays? -- Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Bills quarterback Josh Allen will surpass 350 passing yards and wide receiver Stefon Diggs will turn in his third straight game with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. And a little bolder, the Bills will not only win but also thoroughly outpace the Chiefs in their own backyard, punching Buffalo's first ticket to the Super Bowl since the 1993 season. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques
Stat to know: The Bills have dropped back to pass 73% of the time this postseason, and only one team has ever reached a conference title game passing more often -- the 2015 Patriots (83%), who lost in the AFC Championship Game that season. Buffalo won last week with just 32 rushing yards -- the fourth fewest ever in a playoff win, per the Elias Sports Bureau -- and Allen currently leads the team on the ground with 57 yards over two postseason games. The Bills averaged 64.0 rushing yards per game this season, fewer than all but one team to ever reach the Super Bowl; the 1999 Rams averaged 41.0.
Bowen's matchup key: Watch for the Chiefs' defense to show pressure and spin late to play Cover 2 "robber," with safety Tyrann Mathieu as the middle-hole defender. This allows the Chiefs to make Allen work post-snap with late movement, but it also allows Kansas City to play zone coverage with Mathieu lying in the weeds as a middle-of-the-field presence, in position to steal an in-breaker. Read more.
What's at stake: The Chiefs are aiming to become the first repeat Super Bowl champs since the 2003-04 Patriots, ending the longest stretch in NFL history without a repeat champion. They are the 12th defending Super Bowl champion to host a conference championship, and the prior 11 teams went 10-1 (only loss was by the 1990 49ers). The Bills, meanwhile, are trying to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since losing four straight across the 1990-93 seasons. They haven't won a title of any kind since the 1965 AFL Championship, and their 0-4 record in Super Bowls is tied with the Vikings for most appearances without a win.
Betting nugget: The Chiefs are 1-8 against the spread in their past nine games (8-1 outright), and they're 0-5 against the spread in their past five at home. Read more.
Louis-Jacques' pick: Bills 31, Chiefs 28
Teicher's pick: Chiefs 27, Bills 22
FPI prediction: KC, 58.3% (by an average of 2.7 points)
Home crowd: The Chiefs have kept their attendance numbers at or below 22% capacity at Arrowhead Stadium (76,416 total capacity) this season, with their biggest crowd coming last week against the Browns (16,730). Expect a similar number at the AFC Championship Game.
Matchup must-reads: Mahomes says he has cleared concussion protocol ... Bills can justify trading Mahomes pick by reaching Super Bowl ... For Chiefs' Reid, 'every down is a throwing down,' even on fourth-and-1 ... How serious is Davis' ankle injury? Biggest questions heading into the AFC title game ... Mahomes the premiere practioner of the free play