The Buffalo Bills are on bye in Week 13 and get to rest up before making a push toward the AFC playoffs. When they head into Week 14, they will be 6-6 and in second place in the AFC East. They are coming off a three-point loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and have gone 1-3 over their last four. As of December 1, they have +400 at DraftKings Sportsbook to make the playoffs. Should you take the bet?
Buffalo gets a much-needed breather in Week 13. Running the gauntlet in a three-game stretch against the Eagles, Chiefs, and Cowboys is no easy feat. Ahead of their respective Week 13 matchups, they have a combined 26-7 record.
Despite how good the Chiefs have been, the Bills have won two of the last three matchups against them, with the lone loss coming in overtime in the 2022 playoffs. The teams have split the last four games in KC, two games apiece.
The Bills have won back-to-back games against the Cowboys, but these teams have only played once every four years. Dallas will be on the road, but many are throwing Dak Prescott’s name in the MVP conversation this season to go along with one of the better defenses in the league.
Buffalo will have to go west for a battle between young franchise quarterbacks. This will only be the second matchup between Josh Allen and Justin Herbert. The Bills picked up the 27-17 win in November of 2020. Of the games remaining, the Chargers have the second-worst record at 4-7 going into their Week 13 game against the New England Patriots.
Speaking of New England, they are 2-9 ahead of the matchup against Los Angeles. The Patriots picked up the 29-25 victory in Week 7, but it was their first win against the Bills since December 2021.
The Bills have had the Dolphins’ number recently. They have won three in a row and 10 of their last 11 matchups. Miami does have a better defense than they typically do, and their offense is playing well. The key thing for this game could be that it takes place in Week 18, and if the Dolphins are already locked into their playoff spot, they could choose to rest key starters.
Final record prediction: 10-7. They really need a big win in these next two games, and I think they are able to beat the Chiefs coming off their bye week. I think Buffalo loses to Dallas but ends the season winning three in a row, partially due to Miami resting players while locked into a top-four playoff spot.
AFC Playoff Standings heading into Week 13
- Baltimore Ravens
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Miami Dolphins
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- Houston Texans
- Denver Broncos
- Buffalo Bills
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Los Angeles Chargers
The Dolphins made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in 2022 with a 9-8 record and winning the tiebreaker over the Steelers due to head-to-head winning percentage. Buffalo doesn’t control its own destiny and needs some help to get back up to the No. 7 seed. They’ve made the playoffs in four consecutive years and in five of the last six seasons.
After playing around with ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine, Buffalo needs help from Denver and Houston. Even if the Bills win the games I predicted, I also picked the Broncos and Texans to move up into the top seven, with the Browns and Colts falling out. Denver and Houston would each need to pick up an extra loss for Buffalo to jump them by the end of Week 18.
Buffalo’s ability to make the playoffs, barring a meltdown from the Steelers, Browns, Colts, Texans, and Broncos could very well hinge on whether or not Miami is locked into its playoff spot by Week 18. The next three weeks will largely see the line ebb and flow depending on what happens with the Chiefs/Eagles this week and if Buffalo can pull an upset win. The Bills also need to handle business in games they should win and have some luck from other teams. Still, I think they benefit from the late bye week, and it is enough to jumpstart this team to a playoff berth. I’m not saying you should put your mortgage payment on this bet, but it is worth at least a small bet with the odds where they are.