NFL Odds: 2018 AFC Wild Card: Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars
We have had 17 weeks of NFL action to get to this point, but there are many who will suggest that the real season begins now. By the time the Wild Card Weekend is over, the 12 teams entering the postseason will be reduced to 8 in the Divisional Round next week. Where some teams had a rather easy, straightforward path to the playoffs, there were a couple who were forced to do things the hard way. The toughest path was almost certainly taken by the Buffalo Bills, as they had to sit back and watch the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens, hoping that the Bengals could spring the upset, which they eventually did. It was definitely a bit of a backdoor entrance to the playoffs for the Buffalo Bills, but that little confidence boost they received by getting in may be enough to help them in what is going to be a very tough trip to Jacksonville on Sunday. The Jaguars are firm favorites for this one, as they are listed as a 9-point favorite in the latest NFL odds, with the point total set at 39 ½.
2018 AFC Wild Card Bills vs Jaguars Game Info & NFL Odds
When: Sunday, January 7 at 1:05 PM EST
Where: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville
Live Stream: CBSSports.com
NFL Odds: Jaguars -9
Why bet on the Buffalo Bills
While we can talk about the Buffalo Bills backing into the playoffs, the reality is that they also played a role in getting to this point. They needed to win their final game of the regular season against the Miami Dolphins, which they did, which just happened to be their 3rd win in their final 4 games. Perhaps the biggest surprise with this Bills team is that they were able to find a way to make it out of the regular season after scoring just 18 PPG on offense, while also giving up more points than they scored.
“Buffalo might be the underdog on Sunday, but that hasn’t mattered all season.”
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) January 3, 2018
Tyrod Taylor has been somewhat effective in the final month of the season, but this is still a team that is pretty far removed from being a playoff contender. Just getting into the postseason after so many years in the cold may end up being enough for this team and their fans. Buffalo was just 3-5 SU away from home this season and 3-4-1 ATS on the road,
Why bet on the Jacksonville Jaguars
There are a number of Jacksonville Jaguars fans who are not sold on the idea of Blake Bortles as a franchise QB, but the young man probably unfairly shoulders too much of the burden when this team loses. It is the defense that has propelled the Jags to the playoff this season, giving up less than 17 PPG. That said, the offense has not been as bad as some are suggesting, as they have averaged over 26 PPG through the regular season.
They are at their best when RB Leonard Fournette is playing, and while he has had some injury issues this season, he will be ready to go on Sunday afternoon. The Jags have been tough to knock off at home this season, going 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS. The OVER hit in 5 of their 8 home games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is one that already looked like a bit of a mismatch, but the fact that LeSean McCoy may not be able to go for the Bills makes things even worse. I like the Jaguars to win and cover, and I like the point total to go OVER.
Predicted Score: Buffalo Bills 14 Jacksonville Jaguars 27