Buffalo Bills (9-7 SU, 9-6-1 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS)
NFL Playoffs WILDCARD ROUND
Date/Time: Sunday, January 7th, 2018 1:00 PM ET
Where: EverBank Field Jacksonville, FL
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BUF +8 / JAX -8
Over/Under Total: 39.5
They call it The Second Season and that is an appropriate superlative to describe the NFL Playoffs. One of the AFC Wildcard match-ups will undoubtedly be the feel-good story of the year as both participants are not typically found in post-season scenarios. The #6 seed Buffalo Bills will travel to the Sunshine State to square off with the #3 seed AFC South Champions the Jacksonville Jaguars. The affair will be aired for national audiences on CBS with a kick-off time of 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 7th. The two teams met just last year in 2016 in Buffalo where the Bills would edge out the Jaguars a by a score of 28-21. Overall, the Bills have won three of the last four meetings with the Jaguars dating back to 2012. The two teams frequently ran into each other as they were both finishing in the lower halves of their division standings and by virtue of scheduling policy were likely to cross paths as a result.
For the first time since 1998, the Buffalo Bills will be playing in a post-season game. The drought was the longest in the NFL and one that Bills fans have been waiting for a long time to see to come to an end. The Bills playoff drought seem poised to continue after a controversial start of quarterback Nate Peterman resulted in Buffalo dropping a game it seemingly it could not afford to lose in the City of Angels. The Bills were routed by the Chargers and that seemed to be the fatal mistake that would seal the Bills fate. However, crazy things happened. Baltimore would lose to Cincinnati in a home shocker and Tennessee would get a win against a Jacksonville team likely taking a week off in preparation of this contest. This opened the door for Buffalo to come in to the playoffs and they took full advantage when they defeated Miami 22-16 on New Years Eve.
The team affectionately known as Sacksonville has also taken the AFC by storm in the 2017 season. Jacksonville for many years had been known as one of the dregs of the NFL matched by a seemingly vacant fan base that could take or leave them. There were discussions to move the Jags to London, England on a permanent basis as they seem to draw more with the British in the International Series than they do in their own state. However, that may change after what we have seen Jacksonville achieve this season. Very simply, the Jaguars defense is the best in the NFL. The Jaguars had the opportunity to finish the season with the only unit in NFL history to lead the league in sacks, total defense, and scoring defense. Sadly, the Jags were unable to do so but they did finish first in sacks and second in both scoring defense and total defense. Sonot too shabby.
Out of the gate, the market has taken a liking to the Jaguars. This is evidenced in line movements upwards of two points. Presently 79% of the cash and 72% of the ticket action is on Sacksonville in this market to complement this notion. In Over/Under markets, the figure has hovered around 39.5. 61% of the cash is on the Over whilst 54% of the ticket action is on the Under. From consensus perspectives, 62% like the Bills in this market whilst 90% of the public fancy the Under in polls.
There is a belief that when a market moves a point or more in the direction of the team you are betting that the value is lost. If you were a Jacksonville taker, this essentially means that the play is parked at a red light and cultivates a situation where the Bills now bode the value. Given the manner in which Buffalo plays football with a run-heavy approach there is a good chance that you will see less of Jacksonvilles offense on the field and a lot more of the vaunted Jaguars defense. Jacksonvilles defense ranks 21st against the run but Buffalo is the best in the league in rushing the football. The match-up will certainly give the Bills a key advantage to exploit in hopes of keeping their playoff run alive another week. While Jacksonville is the better team, there is no reason to believe that Buffalo cannot come in under this number.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: BUFFALO +8. - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 50% bonus up to $250 at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted betting sites: BOVADA