Bills vs. Steelers Prediction: Best Bets for NFL Wild Card, Jan. 15

min read
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass during an NFL divisional round playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orchard Park, NY.
(Matt Durisko/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Jan 15, 2024, 1:22 PM
  • The Buffalo Bills are 10-point favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Pittsburgh likely without star linebacker T.J. Watt.
  • Historically, betting value lies with the total based on weather trends.

Ahead of Sunday’s AFC wild card matchup in Buffalo, I’m here to offer a Bills vs. Steelers prediction. 

The Steelers captured a playoff spot on the final day thanks to a loss by the Jacksonville Jaguars and a win by Pittsburgh over Baltimore. 

Now they’ll face the AFC East winners Buffalo, who clinched the division in primetime on Sunday by beating the Dolphins. 

Here’s a look at NFL betting lines for Sunday’s game, along with my bets for the contest. 

Bills vs. Steelers Betting Odds

  • Buffalo Bills Moneyline: -500
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Moneyline: +380
  • Game Spread: Buffalo Bills -10
  • Game Total: 35.5 Points

Bills vs. Steelers Betting Predictions

Total Under 35.5 Points (-110) | Total Under 30.5 Points (+165)

Disclosure: I bet the first market on Sunday night when it sat at 39.5 points. 

My gut says it hasn’t moved far enough, but four points is a lot of overnight movement. 

If the game stays under the total, I expect it’ll do so by quite a margin. As a result, pick whichever market with which you’re comfortable. 

The reason for the downward movement? Horrific weather is expected Sunday in Buffalo. 

The current forecast calls for 30 mph winds, so explosive plays likely come at a premium. 

The wind speed triggers a historically profitable betting system in the playoffs. Dating back to 2003-04, outdoor playoff games with minimum 10 mph winds are 65.2% to the under. 

When winds are 15 mph or higher, the under is 5-2-2 over that same span. 

Truthfully, this bet comes down to what the Bills offense can do against a Steelers defense likely without T.J. Watt. 

I don’t trust either Mason Rudolph or Kenny Pickett in bad weather making their first playoff start in bad weather. 

Plus, Buffalo is allowing only 14.8 points and 1.5 touchdowns per game at home. Since their bye week, their defense surrendered only one touchdown per game and 24 total points. 

At the same time, the Bills do most of their damage through the air, sitting third in pass offense DVOA, per ftnfantasy.com. 

With the bad weather, I expect Buffalo won’t rack up many points against a Steelers defense seventh in defensive DVOA. 

Finally, there’s some historical precedent to the under given the referee for this game! Lead official Carl Cheffers is 11-2 to the under for postseason games in his career, including 8-0 when the game is outside.

As a result, bank on points to come at a premium Sunday in Western New York.

Najee Harris Under 1.5 Receptions (+105) 

Harris is coming off a five-reception performance against the Ravens, but he’s largely stayed out of the Steelers passing game this season. 

In 17 games, Harris notched one or fewer receptions in nine. Of those nine games, he recorded zero receptions five times. 

Shrink the sample down to eight road games for Harris, and bettors will find he’s stayed under this number in six contests. 

Even if the Steelers are forced to dump off the ball on Sunday – high winds are expected, likely limiting downfield throws – bettors should expect them to do it with Jaylen Warren. 

Warren has 74 targets and 61 receptions this season, compared to 38 targets and 29 receptions for Harris. 

Add in the Bills rank sixth in pass defense DVOA against running backs, and I’ll take the plus money here with Harris.

NFL Betting Odds at BetMGM

BetMGM is the premier destination for NFL betting odds throughout the season.

Whether you’re a new bettor checking out weekly spreads, a casual fan tracking live NFL betting odds, or a longtime football building moneyline parlays, and more there’s something for everyone at the best online sportsbook.

If you’re new to the online sportsbook, register today with a sportsbook welcome bonus. And check out sportsbook promos each time you log in.

betmgm-nco-jamie-foxx
About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.