The playoffs are here, and the first of six games taking place this weekend is a good one. The No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills will host the No. 7 seed Indianapolis Colts early Saturday, the winner advancing to the AFC Divisional round and the loser going home.
Here is a closer look into each of these teams, along with betting trends and a free pick. Buffalo has opened up as a 6.5-point favorite in this matchup.
The 11-5 Colts finished in a tie with the Titans atop the AFC South. However, tiebreakers pushed Tennessee to the No. 4 seed and the Colts to the final Wild Card spot. This is the second time in three years Indy has made the NFL postseason.
The offense will be led by quarterback Philip Rivers, who threw for over 4,100 yards in his first season with the Colts, and rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, who ran for more than 1,100 yards. As a team, they averaged 386 yards per game, 16th in the NFL, but rank inside the top-10 with 28.2 points per game.
On the defensive side, Indy is inside the top-10 with 22.6 points allowed and 348 yards allowed per game. They also have the second-best run defense in football, have 40 sacks as a team, and have the second-best turnover differential in the league.
The 13-3 Bills won the AFC East for the first time since 1995 but have now made the playoffs for the third time in four years. There have been few teams hotter than Buffalo going into the postseason, as they have won their last six contests and nine of their last 10 overall.
Their success is largely-attributed to quarterback Josh Allen, who is in the MVP mix after throwing for over 4,500 yards with 45 total touchdowns. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs also led the league with over 1,500 receiving yards. As a whole, the Bills are second in the NFL with 31.3 points per game and fourth with 407 yards per game.
On the other side, Buffalo allows 23.4 points per game, 16th in the league. They are also 13th, with 366 yards allowed and 233 passing yards allowed per game. As a team, the Bills managed to get 38 sacks to go along with a solid 15 interceptions, as they sit third in the league with 26 takeaways.
This season, the 11-5 Colts went 8-8 ATS but managed to go 5-3 ATS on the road. Although the Colts have won four of their last five, they have covered in just two of their previous six contests and have also covered twice in their last six games against the Bills. They are also just 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games against the AFC East.
Meanwhile, the 13-3 Bills managed to go 11-5 ATS, including a 6-2 ATS record at home. But impressively, the Bills have covered in each of their last eight games, as well as in their previous five conference games. However, they've won just four of their last 16 games played in January, which includes this past Sunday.
The Colts are a solid, well-rounded team that came this close to winning their division. However, this game looks to be fairly lop-sided.
The Bills are playing at an elite level and have the better quarterback in Allen, who will put up points against nearly anyone. I just can't see Indianapolis being able to stop Buffalo for four quarters, especially with the game outdoors in cold Orchard Park, N.Y.
Give me the Bills to win, cover, and advance to the next round.
Betting Pick: Buffalo Bills (-6.5).