ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Saturday afternoon’s playoff game is going to be an exciting one for Bills fans everywhere. They seem primed for their first playoff win since 1995 and are poised for a deep postseason run.
The only way to make a Bills win even better? Profiting off of it.
I’ve been making money on the Bills all season long, going 12-6 in my weekly column. I’ll continue to write columns for each week in the playoffs, but this article will be all about the Bills.
So before you watch them take on the Colts at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday (seen only on News 8 here in Rochester) sit back, relax, and consider throwing down a few units on my picks.
Bills (-6.5) vs. Colts
There’s no way to overstate how well the Bills are playing right now. They’ve won their last eight against the spread. That’s almost unheard of. They went 11-5 ATS this season, tied for the best mark in the league.
You can’t say the same for the Colts. They’ve lost their last three games against the spread. If the Texans didn’t fumble away the ball at the goal line at the end of their Week 13 matchup, the Colts would 1-5 against the spread in their last six.
The only real cause for concern would be that Josh Allen implodes in the playoffs like he did last year against Houston. There’s a significant advantage in experience for the Colts with Philip Rivers commanding the huddle. But does it matter? Maybe.
Over the last five years, quarterbacks seeking their first playoff win against a quarterback with a playoff win are 10-12, both straight-up and against the spread. When facing a QB with at least five playoff wins, those winless quarterbacks are 5-6 in both those categories.
Winless playoff QB’s are actually faring quite well over the past three years, going 8-6 against the spread. What does this tell you? Have some caution, but don’t shy away from the Bills just based on Allen’s inexperience.
Over the past three weeks, the Bills have almost covered this number on their own. They’ve averaged just over 47 points per game. In their last eight games, they’ve averaged 37.8 points per game.
While the Colts’ defense is better than some that they’ve faced, especially in the last three weeks, it’s not that much better. We’ll get into that later.
Indy’s offense has also proven that they can put up points, too. They’ve scored at least 24 points in their last eight games, going 5-3 for overs during that span.
Want another juicy stat to convince you to take the over? The Colts are 5-0 going over in their last five games against teams with winning records. Plus, it’s just more fun to root for points.
Josh Allen over 298.5 passing yards
Remember coming into this season when Allen didn’t have a 300-yard passing game in his career? Now we’re betting on him to do it in the playoffs.
Allen has been on a tear all season long and he’s been getting stronger as the year has gone on. In his last seven games that he’s started and finished, he’s averaged just under 307 yards per game.
As we mentioned before, the Colts’ defense has faltered down the stretch. For the first 10 weeks of the season, the Colts allowed an average of 198.7 yards per game. From Week 11-16, that number exploded to 308 yards per game. Only one team in the league has been worse since Week 11.
The way to beat the Colts is through the air and that’s just what the Bills are good at. In their last seven games, the only quarterbacks to not hit 300 yards were Mike Glennon and Ryan Tannehill, who passed the ball 22 times in a blowout win. Trust Josh to get it done.
Stefon Diggs over 90.5 receiving yards
This has been one of the hottest props in the second half of the year. They can’t put this number high enough for me not to bet it.
Diggs has reached 92 receiving yards in seven of the last eight games he’s completed. Even against the Dolphins in just a half of action, he had seven catches for 72 yards.
The Colts have allowed the 11th most yards to opposing wide receivers this season and they’ll be without starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin who will miss the game with a concussion.
Obviously, keep an eye on Diggs’ status if anything comes out before kickoff, but I expect him to play and play well.
Jonathan Taylor under 77.5 rushing yards
We’re kind of going all-in with a sizeable Bills win in this one. So if you don’t want to take every single one of these props, I don’t blame you. A different game-flow will tank most of these.
But if the Bills are scoring points with the ease that I think they will, the Colts won’t have time to get their run game going.
Taylor has cleared this number in five of his last six games. But that one miss was against the Steelers when they had to abandon the run, only giving Taylor five carries in the second half. He’s played in four of the Colts’ losses this year and has averaged 45 yards in those games.
While the Bills’ run defense is probably the weakest part of their team, it’s been improving as guys like Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds have gotten healthier. They haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since Kenyan Drake in Week 10. They’ve shown they can lock down elite running backs like Derrick Henry, who only had 57 yards over 19 carries (3 yards per carry). They can do it again.
Longest touchdown- Under 39.5 yards
This is my favorite prop bet that I’ve been riding or dying with the Bills all season long. It’s burned me in the last four weeks, but they’re due to prove me right on Saturday.
As prolific as Buffalo’s offense has been this season, they rarely hit the big play. The first-team offense has only scored two touchdowns of over 40 yards this season. The Bills defense also has been good at keeping the big plays low this year, only allowing three this season. Those three were a Jamison Crowder long TD in Week 1, a TD by the Seahawks when the Bills were up 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Hail Murray.
The Colts have also kept the big plays to a minimum. The Colts have only scored five times over 40 yards all season and the defense has only given up two such touchdowns this season.
There’s always the chance for a defensive or special teams touchdown. The Bills have two of those this season. Colts games have featured six this season. But it’s the playoffs and both Allen and Rivers do a good job of protecting the football.
I know it’s not super fun to bet against big plays. But think about it this way— every time a team gets within the 40, you’re already good! It’s an easy bet to root for during a game.
Week 17 results: 2-3
2020 regular season: 50-51-4
Bills Bets: 12-6
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