Steelers vs. Bills Wild-Card Sunday odds and predictions

The Buffalo Bills went into Week 18 with the possibility of being as high as the No. 2 seed or not being in the playoffs at all. The Pittsburgh Steelers went into Week 18 needing a win and some help to get into the postseason and got both. So, that’s our matchup for the first of three games on Sunday, as the Bills are a double-digit favorite with a total that has Old Man Winter’s fingerprints all over it at 36.5.

MORE: Check out our Wild-Card Round betting hub for all of this week’s best bets and content


Top NFL Resources:

How To Watch Steelers vs. Bills

Date: Sunday, January 14

Time: 1 pm ET

Channel: CBS

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills (-10, 36.5)

The Steelers head into Buffalo missing arguably their best player, as TJ Watt will miss the game with a knee injury. Pittsburgh may need to make a multi-week run to get him back and that seems like a tall task given the line for this one. Watt’s absence will really hurt against a Bills offense that finished the regular season ranked third in EPA/play on offense, trailing only the Cowboys and 49ers.

The Steelers finished the regular season 23rd in EPA/play, but it is worth noting that they were actually fourth in EPA/play in the three games started by Mason Rudolph. Most of that damage was done in the first two games for Rudolph, as he only threw for 152 yards in horrible weather conditions in Week 18, but he did complete 18 of 20 passes in the monsoon.

Despite some key injuries earlier in the season, the Bills buckled down and were a top-10 defense by EPA/play over the final three weeks, including a strong performance in Week 18 against a high-powered Dolphins crew. Unlike last season, the Steelers had Watt for the full year and finished a strong seventh in EPA/play. When he missed the first eight weeks of the season last year, the Steelers were 27th in EPA/play.

It isn’t all the same pieces and parts on the roster for Pittsburgh, but we all know that the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate is a game-changer and it should come as no surprise that the defense had a lot of bad moments in his absence. The question this week is whether or not the weather or what I like to call the “Superstar Subtraction Theory” wherein everybody does a little more to make up for a key loss will slow the Bills down.

As we get closer to kickoff, we’ll have to see if the weather forecast is as bad as the extended forecast would suggest with wind gusts in the 45 mph range. Precipitation isn’t expected to be a huge factor. I do think that the weather can condense this game and give Pittsburgh a chance to hang around.

Josh Allen is likely to use his legs more in a game of this magnitude and the Bills did have a top-five rushing offense this season, but with no threat of a vertical passing game in the wind, both defenses should be able to thrive, keeping points at a premium.

Pick: Steelers +10

Steelers vs. Bills prop bets

I would fully expect a lot of rushing Overs to hit in this game. At time of writing, Allen was lined at O/U 8.5 carries, with the Over at +100. I think he’ll have to run out of necessity here. I would also expect Najee Harris Over 14.5 carries, which is juiced to -150. It just won’t be an optimal day for passing the football. As much as both coaches will want to keep the defenses honest, the weather is going to strip a big part of the playbook.

Picks: Look for good prices on Rushing Overs (Yards, Attempts, etc.)

Head to our Pro Picks page to see how VSiN analysts are betting Steelers vs. Bills! 

More NFL

NFL Betting Splits

NFL Odds

NFL Team Power Ratings

All Angles: VSiN’s Football Betting Podcast