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AFC Playoff Betting Picture: Buffalo Coming On Strong

The Baltimore Ravens became the first AFC team to clinch a playoff spot and now their focus is on winning the AFC North title and securing the top seed in the AFC playoffs. The New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Tennessee Titans have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans won despite being listed as underdogs by our NFL betting lines, helping their chances of reaching the playoffs.

There are nine AFC teams with winning records and only seven available playoff spots. Perhaps the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh and Cleveland-Houston games this week will provide some clarity.

AFC Playoff Betting Picture: Buffalo Coming On Strong
Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens | Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images/AFP

Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Miami are tied for the NFL lead with 9-5 records against the spread this season, while the New England Patriots have the worst ATS record at 3-10-1.

When looking at NFL futures odds, the Baltimore Ravens were fifth in our odds of winning the AFC championship when the season began. Baltimore (+215) now has the best AFC title odds followed by Kansas City (+285), Miami (+350) and Buffalo (+700).

Eye on the Prize?

The Baltimore Ravens have won four games in a row as they hold a two-game lead on Cleveland in the AFC North race. Baltimore is up by a game on Miami as the Ravens look to secure home-field advantage in the upcoming playoffs.

The Ravens have quite the challenging games in the next two weeks. On Monday night, they head west to meet the San Francisco 49ers, the team with the best NFL odds of winning the Super Bowl. That is followed by a Dec. 31 showdown with Miami. That game could have a major bearing on who earns the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC playoffs and the first-round bye.

The regular season comes to an end on Jan. 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team dangerously close to playing its way out of the playoff picture.

Coming into the season, our sportsbook listed Baltimore with +140 odds to miss the playoffs compared to their +550 odds to win the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Makes Quite the Statement

In the last three weeks, the Buffalo Bills went to Philadelphia and pushed the defending NFC champions into overtime before falling. That was followed by a win over reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City. You may not have heard, but there was a little bit of chatter about receiver Kadarius Toney being called for being offsides (which he was) on a play that would have given the Chiefs the lead late in the game.

Buffalo followed that game up by dismantling NFC title-contending Dallas 31-10 in a game that wasn’t that close.

Buffalo seems unlikely to catch the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East race but that is not a team that other AFC championship contenders want to see in the playoffs.

Buffalo is one of five teams in the AFC with an 8-6 record, so the Bills still have some work to do. These next two weeks are crucial as Buffalo faces the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots, two franchises who have seen better days.

The Bills do not want to go into the final day of the regular season having to win at Miami to secure a playoff spot, so taking care of business against the Chargers and Patriots will be of paramount importance.

Things Getting Interesting in AFC South Race

Three of the division leaders in the AFC have two-game leads, so it seems to be more of when than if they will wrap up division titles.

The lone exception is the AFC South. The Jacksonville Jaguars have lost three games in a row as the division race is tightening up.

Jacksonville is tied with the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans at 8-6. The Colts and Texans still have to play each other on the final day of the regular season.

The Jaguars won both games against Indianapolis and split the two matchups with Houston while the Colts won the first meeting this season versus Houston.

It is quite possible that all three games can qualify for the playoffs.

Jacksonville stays within the Sunshine State to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a showdown of division leaders. That is followed by a matchup against 2-12 Carolina and then the regular-season finale versus Tennessee.

The Colts meet 6-8 Atlanta and Las Vegas teams before the huge clash with the Texans.

Houston welcomes Cleveland to town in a huge AFC clash on Sunday before having another home game against the Tennessee Titans.

When looking at our NFL lines, Jacksonville’s odds of winning the AFC South went from -500 to -130 in the last week, followed by Indianapolis at +280 (moving from +800) and Houston at +320 after being at +650 a week ago.

Kansas City took a major step toward an eighth straight AFC West title by beating the New England Patriots. Denver was overwhelmed in a 42-17 loss at Detroit that left the Broncos two games out of first place.

Denver’s last three games come against teams with losing records, so that could bode well for the Broncos. The Chiefs went from being priced at -1600 to win another AFC West title to having -20000 odds to wrap up the AFC West crown. Denver’s AFC West title online betting odds moved from +800 to +2500.

Miami leads Buffalo by two games in the AFC East standings with Baltimore up by two games on Cleveland in the AFC North.

The Dolphins and Bills will meet in the regular-season finale. The Dolphins saw their AFC East winning odds go from -350 to -200 with Buffalo’s odds moving from +275 to +200.

The Ravens (-3000 in the AFC North odds) and the Browns (+1000) each won on the road in their two regular-season matchups.

Who’s on the Way Out?

The Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders, who have already fired their head coaches, could be the next AFC teams to be knocked out of the playoffs.

The schedule maker did not do any favors for the Chargers as their final three games come against the Bills, Denver Broncos, and Chiefs.

Although the 6-8 Raiders are a game ahead of the Chargers, they are also two games out of the final playoff spot.

The Chargers are the only team with a losing record this season who were a part of the AFC postseason field a season ago.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Which AFC teams are currently leading the Super Bowl rankings?


The Baltimore Ravens (+550), Kansas City Chiefs (+700) and the Miami Dolphins (+850) have the best odds of winning the Super Bowl among AFC teams.

Which team has the best odds of winning their division in the AFC?


The Kansas City Chiefs are priced at -20000 to win the AFC West title.

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