Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
- The Buffalo Bills saw their Super Bowl LV odds shorten slightly to +550 after beating the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 in Saturday’s Wild Card game
- Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns and was the team’s leading rusher, running for 54 yards and another score
- See below for information and analysis on whether or not the Bills are a good bet to win it all
The No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills continued their march to Tampa thanks to a 27-24 Wild Card game victory over the Indianapolis Colts Saturday. Quarterback Josh Allen was fantastic, throwing for 324 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while gaining 54 yards on the ground and another score as the franchise earned its first playoff victory since a 37-22 win over the Miami Dolphins Dec. 30, 1995 in the Wild Card round — snapping a six-game postseason losing streak.
With the win, Sean McDermott’s team’s Super Bowl odds shortened slightly to +550. Josh Allen and Col entered Wild Card weekend with +600 odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy Feb. 7 — and those odds improved following the the franchise’s first playoff win in a quarter-century.
Did the Bills show enough moxie against the Colts to think they can knock off the Chiefs — or anyone else from the AFC — to get to Raymond James Stadium in early February? We handicap their chances and offer betting advice.
2021 Super Bowl Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+220|
|Green Bay Packers||+470|
|New Orleans Saints||+750|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1000|
|Los Angeles Rams||+2900|
|Washington Football Team||+9000|
Odds taken Jan. 9 on FanDuel
Next up are possible matchups against the Steelers, Titans, or Ravens next weekend (the opponent will be determined by the end of play Sunday night). The one thing the Bills know for sure: they’ll host a Divisional Playoff game in Western New York for the first time since a Jan. 15, 1994 29-23 win over the Raiders.
We said it last week: Buffalo may be the hottest team in the NFL right now. Saturday’s win was the Bills’ seventh in a row. The win streak would be 11 if not for Arizona’s miraculous victory in Week 10 on a Hail Mary.
Buffalo showed resiliency it had missed in the previous two Wild Card defeats under McDermott. Likely NFL MVP runner-up Allen showed leadership in helping the team overcome a late second quarter 10-7 deficit, scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run right before halftime. That momentum carried over into the second half as the Bills hung on to taste postseason victory for the first time in over 25 years.
WOW that throw. It’s so amazing how Josh Allen has progressed and improved.
Stefon Diggs could’ve been doing jumping jacks in the end zone with no one within 50 yards of him, and it was 50/50 whether or not Wyoming Cowboy Josh Allen hits him. #INDvsBUF
— Pete Fiutak (@PeteFiutak) January 9, 2021
Allen’s hookup with Stefon Diggs early in the fourth quarter — Diggs’ third career postseason touchdown catch — gave Buffalo a two-touchdown lead at the time. The two enjoyed an historically strong connection in 2020. If Allen and Diggs can keep it going against their next playoff opponent, this team is a legit threat to KC.
All Three Facets
Indy responded quickly to the Diggs touchdown with a Philip Rivers-Zach Pascal TD hookup less than three minutes later. But ever the riverboat gambler, Colts head coach (and former Bills playoff hero) Frank Reich went for a 2-point conversion following the score.
#Bills picked an excellent time to stop a 2pt conversion after being less than good at that for the last couple of years.
— Bruce Nolan (@BruceExclusive) January 9, 2021
The stop proved to be another momentum shift as Buffalo was able to convert a 54-yard field goal by rookie kicker Tyler Bass on the ensuing drive to go up two scores.
Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s unit struggled against the tight end Saturday — but made big stops when it needed to, including knocking down Rivers’ desperation heave as time expired. And if the Bills keep getting clutch kicks from Bass, the rookie from Georgia Southern, they’ll be competitive whichever team they play moving forward.
Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. But seeing members of the Bills Mafia inside Bills Stadium for the first time this season was a nice sight. This is one of the most loyal fan bases in the NFL — and having the chance for at least a handful to witness a Buffalo playoff victory in-person was a nice storyline. And with the victory, they’ll get to do it again next weekend.
This is the ideal Bills Mafia figure pic.twitter.com/xKpYLGsNcu
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 9, 2021
If Buffalo and Kansas City were to meet in the AFC Championship Game, there would be a nod to history. The Bills knocked off Joe Montana and Co. 30-13 on the way to the franchise’s last Super Bowl appearance a week after that divisional win over the Raiders.
The Chiefs beat the Bills 26-17 in Week 6., with Patrick Mahomes putting up an efficient 225 yards on 21-of-26 passing and a pair of touchdowns. Conversely, Allen did not play well, going only 14-of-27 passing for 127 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Allen has been marvelous since that loss and would give the Bills a great chance to win in in a possible rematch.
Is it all enough to wager on Buffalo to win it all at +600? The Bills’ grit, effort in all three facets and plain ol’ karma have me believing.
Blair Johnson is a veteran journalist and seasoned sports content creator. He has been writing and producing content as long as he can remember, with such familiar names as CNN, NFL Media and Yahoo. Blair currently lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.