HomeFootball DirtPreviewing the 2024 AFC Wild Card Playoffs Betting: Spread and Odds Analysis

Previewing the 2024 AFC Wild Card Playoffs Betting: Spread and Odds Analysis

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It took until the final game of Week 18, but the AFC playoff field is finally set, which means the wild card round is too. The NFC field was already decided going into Sunday night, but nothing else was set in stone until the Buffalo Bills topped the Miami Dolphins to lock up the AFC East title and No. 2 seed. With that, they became the biggest favorites of the wild card round for a home tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers — and forced Miami into a first-round game against the defending champs. Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland at Houston are projected to be much closer than Steelers-Bills. Oh, and the Baltimore Ravens have the week off. Here’s a look at the lines for each 2024 AFC wild card game from BetMGM. AP Photo/Zach Bolinger If the Texans proved anything this year, it’s that they are not to be underestimated, even in a game against the NFL’s top defense. This team has defied all odds in even getting to the postseason, so winning a home game against a 1.5-point spread isn’t out of the question. They also have a Christmas Eve beatdown at the hands of the Browns fresh on the brain for motivation, though C.J. Stroud was out that game. That said, Joe Flacco’s return to the postseason is probably just as improbable, and he’s surely not ready for the ride to end just yet. He’ll need to cut down on the interceptions to make sure it doesn’t. He threw two in the first game against Houston. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports A game between the Dolphins and Chiefs with a total below 45 points just seems wrong — it was over 50 when these teams met in Week 9 — but it’s been that kind of season. The Dolphins are battling injuries that might have cost them a division title and absolutely makes it harder to predict just how prepared they’ll be for KC. And the Chiefs’ offense has just been bad. That second point, though, is why it’s surprising to see the Chiefs favored more than the standard three points for home-field advantage. Tough they won the first game by seven in Germany, KC hasn’t exactly been a team striking fear in opponents lately. Maybe a Week 18 break for some starters was just what the defending champs needed? Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports To be a double-digit underdog for a playoff game against a team that hadn’t clinched a playoff spot until the final week of the season has to be tough to swallow, but Pittsburgh should just consider itself lucky to be here. In true Mike Tomlin style, the Steelers gritted their way to a 10-7 record despite an eye test that said they shouldn’t be near a postseason game. Don’t expect Pittsburgh to fold now. If there’s one thing that gives the Steelers a chance it’s Buffalo’s propensity for beating itself. More specifically, Josh Allen, who turned the ball over three times even in Buffalo’s division-clinching win over Miami. Those are the type of things Buffalo can’t expect to get away with in the playoffs. Gannett may earn revenue from sports betting operators for audience referrals to betting services. Sports betting operators have no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. Terms apply, see operator site for Terms and Conditions. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, OH), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN). Must be 21 or older to gamble. Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with laws applicable where you reside.

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