Just like that, the NFL regular season is over and done with. But that isn’t everything, not for a lot of fans. With the end of the regular season brings the start of the postseason and the first up is the Wild Card round.
The road to the Super Bowl is officially underway. In just a few short weeks we’ll finally know who will be lifting the Vince Lombardi trophy on Sunday 12th February at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Today we’re going to be taking a look at one fixture in particular. The 13-3 Buffalo Bills take on the 9-8 Miami Dolphins at the Bills Stadium in New York.
The Bills have had a fantastic season so far and even before the season started they were favourites with many experts to go all the way this season even though that has slipped a little bit towards the end of the season, they’re still looking a very good bet to lift their first ever Super Bowl.
The Dolphins had some success over the Bills with a 21-19 win in game week 3, but the wheels kind of fell off towards the end of the season.
For the Miami Dolphins, however, their season has kind of been a mixed bag. Ending the season with a pretty poor record, but at least rounded it off with an 11-6 win over the New York Jets. It’s no secret however that the Dolphins are a long way away from the team that won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972-73.
While some of the younger fans won’t really remember those days, the old heads will be hoping that they can make a statement in their first playoff appearance since 2016.
So the question remains, how will this one go?
For Bills fans, they have been building up to this moment for a few seasons now and with the start of the 2023 playoffs, they will be looking to start off their playoff campaign right, hoping to dominate the Dolphins and show that they really do deserve to put their name on the trophy and cement themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time.
The Dolphins however aren’t exactly swimming free in the oceans of the NFL right now, they have a huge mountain to overcome in the Bills.
Honestly, this one really could be a one-sentence piece. “The Buffalo Bills win and move on to the next stage.”
But football isn’t always that simple is it?
It’s true that the Dolphins have had a poor run of things towards the back end of the season, but it’s worth remembering that while few teams managed to get a win over the Bills in the 22-23 season, the Dolphins were one of them as they took a 21-19 victory over the Bills in gameweek 3.
So they know they can do it, but it was made clear that their recipe for a win would need tweaking after they played the Bills again and lost 32-29.
The fact remains however the Buffalo Bills have had a pretty ruthless offence this season that is made to look even better by the fact they keep things pretty tight on defence.
There is one name a lot of fans would be hoping to see however is Eli Ankou, the 28-year-old hasn’t quite hit his full stride yet and since the Bills signed him he has kind of been plagued with injuries. But the potential is there and the fans would love to see him help the team take home the gold. Could this potentially be his last hurrah in a Bills jersey?
Now it’s time to look at what the experts think about this game. As we stated already before this season even started the Bills were favourites to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy on the final day and that remained a fact throughout the entirety of the season.
Even when the Philadelphia Eagles were flying high without a single loss at 8-0, 9 weeks into the season, the Bills still held the top spot as favourites. So as you would expect, it’s a little bit obvious that they’re favourites to win this one, right?
We looked across a bunch of different sportsbooks for the best odds on this one, since if you’re going to bet on the Super Bowl you may as well make the most of it and while the odds on this aren’t great you can get pretty solid odds on an upset.
For the most part, you’re looking at somewhere in the -750 region if you want to bet on the Bills, which would see a $5.66 return from a $5 stake, so it could be better to add this one into a multi-game parlay. If you think the Dolphins can cause an upset however, you’re in for a treat, the same $5 stake will see a return of $31.25 with odds of around +525.
Since we’ve already said about the Bills being favourites to win gold this season, it’s time to take a look at what the odds are on both of these teams to go all the way. While it was true the Bills held the top spot for the entirety of the season, they have been pipped to the post now with most sportsbooks, if you think the Bills are going all the way you can get +400 on them which returns $25 from $5.
The Dolphins, however, are +8000, returning $405 from $5. Wild. You’re probably asking yourself who took the top spot now, aren’t you? That honour goes to the Kansas City Chiefs who you can get at +340, returning $22 from a $5 stake.
They kind of snuck in there at the end but with a 14-3 record, only matched by the Eagles and ending the season on a 5-game win streak, it’s kind of no surprise really!
The Bills got their revenge on the Dolphins for their Game Week 3 loss as they scored a 32-29 win over them in Game Week 15. The Bills are looking really good going into the postseason!
That’s going to do it for this one, while it seems like just yesterday the NFL season kicked off with the Bills taking on the reigning champions the LA Rams, we’re now into the meat and potatoes of the season.
This is the real deal, the games that matter. Bills fans, and Dolphins fans, how are we feeling ahead of this one? I’m going to guess the Bills fans are feeling pretty relaxed about things, but will the pressure of betting on the Super Bowl before prove to be a little bit too much to handle for the guys?
While the Dolphins in their current state haven’t exactly been there they still have that air about them, the aura of being a big franchise, can the Bills really say the same thing?
It’s true however that the Bills have had a much better recent history when it comes to the playoffs, making it past the wild card game 2 seasons in a row only losing to the eventual winners, the Chiefs in the 2019 conference championship.
It does feel like the Bills have really been building up to something, I don’t think you could say the same for the Dolphins. Only one thing remains as fact, however. The playoffs are here and for neutral fans like me, there are a lot of exciting games to feast your eyes on.