Colts-Bills Betting Preview: Trends, Props, Pick For AFC Wild Card Game

Buffalo arguably is the NFL's hottest team

by

January 8, 2021

For the first time since 1995, the AFC East crown resides in Buffalo.

The Bills finished the regular season at 13-3, the franchise’s best mark since 1991. They effectively coasted to a division title and secured the AFC’s No. 2 seed in the process. Unfortunately for Josh Allen and Co., they won’t be able to enjoy a first-round bye due to the new postseason format.

That brings us to Saturday afternoon, when the Bills will host the Colts as part of Super Wild Card Weekend. Indianapolis was on the outside of the NFL playoff picture entering Week 17, but it earned a spot in the dance thanks in part to Buffalo dismantling the Miami Dolphins.

Here is our betting preview for the Colts-Bills postseason tilt. The line and total are per consensus data. The props are provided by DraftKings.

Indianapolis Colts at (-6.5) Buffalo Bills
Total: 51

BETTING TRENDS
The best cover team this season among the 14 playoff clubs wasn’t the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs nor the Green Bay Packers. It was the Bills, who enter the postseason sporting an impressive 11-5 against-the-spread record. That mark includes three covers — and three outright wins — over 2020 playoff teams.

The Colts were a much more inconsistent bet, riding an 8-8 ATS record into January. Indianapolis is on a bit of a cold streak, as it hasn’t covered since Week 14. Philip Rivers and Co. failed to cover against two of this season’s worst teams — the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars — over that stretch.

As for the total, bettors should feel comfortable siding with the Over in this early-afternoon contest. Both teams saw the Over cash in 10 of their 16 regular-season games and the Bills’ offense, particularly, is red hot.

PROPS
First-half line, total
Bills -3.5, 26.5

First touchdown scorer
Jonathan Taylor +750
Stefon Diggs +900
Josh Allen +900
T.Y. Hilton +1600

Passing yards
Josh Allen over/under 299.5 yards
Philip Rivers over/under 265.5 yards

Rushing yards
Jonathan Taylor over/under 92.5 yards
Zack Moss over/under 37.5 yards
Devin Singletary over/under 29.5 yards

Receiving yards
Stefon Diggs over/under 90.5 yards
T.Y. Hilton over/under 53.5 yards
Mitchael Pittman Jr. over/under 42.5 yards

PICK
Bills -6.5

To put it simply, we’re not sure if anyone can slow down the Bills right now.

Week 17 wasn’t exactly a must-win for Buffalo, but it evidently still was keen on notching the No. 2 seed. What did the Bills do? Boat race the desperate Dolphins — one of the league’s most defensively stout teams — by 30 (!) points. That’s how you maintain momentum entering the playoffs.

The Colts, meanwhile, haven’t really been playing inspired football of late. Sure, they took care of business last weekend against the lousy Jaguars. But they squandered a golden opportunity the week prior, blowing a large lead in Pittsburgh against a floundering Steelers team.

If you had to pick a knock against the Bills, it might be experience. Allen played pretty recklessly in Buffalo’s wild card loss to the Texans last season. But the third-year pro has considerably improved and his game has been polished. Don’t expect the 24-year-old to bring his team down with boneheaded mistakes.

Allen and Co. should be able to keep it rolling Saturday, and we don’t have faith in the Rivers-led Colts being able to keep pace.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images

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