By: Jay Patel and Logan Sella
Spread: Buffalo Bills (-2)
Money Line: BAL (+125) | BUF (-145)
Kick-Off: 7:15 CT
The AFC boasts some of the best young QBs in the league. On Saturday, two of those emerging stars will compete on the big stage. Two 2018 first round draft picks in Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson face off in the divisional round of the playoffs. Both teams are coming off close victories in the Wild Card and this one will no doubt be a good one. Let’s dive into our best bets for this AFC clash.
Jay’s Best Bet
Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, J.K. Dobbins are some of many offensive studs that will be playing for a chance at AFC Championship game. Both these offenses can light it up. The Ravens average 29.3 PPG and the Bills average 31.3 PPG. Now, both defenses have proven to be effective, but the Ravens D is better. That still doesn’t make an impact on my bet of the over on 50 points hitting in this matchup. Between Lamar’s running and Allen’s throwing, we could be in for a high scoring game.
The Bills D allowed 472 yards to the Colts, and the Ravens run game is just as powerful, if not, more. They’ll need to make stops, but at the end of the day, Josh Allen and the offense will need to put points on the board. This will be one the most interesting divisional games because these two teams matchup so well. Get the popcorn ready for this one.
Jay’s NFL Picks Record: 12-7
Logan’s Best Bet
It seems like Buffalo has become the darling of the league at the end of this season; the Josh Allen hype is through the roof, with some claiming he is on-par with Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. I’m not buying it, and although he played well last week, he was a lucky bounce away from fumbling away the game against the Colts last Saturday.
I’m on Baltimore here, though. They are hitting their stride at the right time, winning their last 6 in a row, and covering in their last 7. Schematically, they are the kind of team that can present the Bills with problems; they are the number-one team in the NFL in yards per rush attempt, going against a Buffalo defense that is 25th in the same category.
Lamar Jackson is coming in hot as well; after winning the biggest game of his career last week, he will look to improve on his sterling 4-1 record against the spread as a road underdog.
His coach, John Harbaugh, has been one of the best bets in football come playoff time: they have covered 8 of their last 10 in the playoffs, and 10 of their last 13 road playoff games under Harbaugh, including their last 5 as road underdogs.
The Ravens, to me, are a bit of a sleeping giant, lurking while Buffalo and KC get all of the shine in the AFC. I still don’t totally trust Allen and the Bills in crunch time: in their last two playoff games they blew two double-digit leads, barely hanging on against a lame duck quarterback in Philip Rivers last week. Ravens +2.5 is the bet for me.