The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are set to square off under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football. It wasn’t until but an hour before New Year’s Eve last weekend that NFL fans knew when this pivotal AFC East showdown would take place. Considering the stakes involved, it’s easy to understand why Bills-Dolphins was chosen as the premiere, primetime matchup to usher out the 2023 NFL regular season, and welcome in one of professional sports’ most compelling playoff tournaments.
As of publishing, the Bills are three-point road favorites with DraftKings Sportsbook. The O/U 49.5 point total is currently the largest of all Week 18 matchups, while the moneyline sits at Bills -162, Dolphins +136. Bettors believe this game has the potential to be a shootout. That’s possible given the pleasant Miami weather, made even better due to the night game’s lack of oppressive heat and sunshine.
For the Bills, it’s fairly simple: Win and they’re in — as the AFC’s two seed, no less. Losing in Miami doesn’t completely wipe away their playoff chances, so long as things earlier in the day go the way they need. If the Bills lose and both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers lose, they will end up as the six seed. Should Buffalo lose and only one between Pittsburgh and Jacksonville loses, the Bills claim the seven seed. However, the Buffalo Bills could find themselves out of the playoffs entirely with a loss and victories by both the the Steelers and Jaguars. Holding out hope that the right team(s) lose, win, or even tie is no way to enter the postseason.
Bills-Dolphins is one of the NFL’s best classic rivalries. With so much to play for, expect a playoff atmosphere in Hard Rock Stadium. Can the Bills win their fifth game in a row, and claim their fourth-consecutive AFC East title? Will Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa give national audiences a battle for the ages, or will both defenses clamp down and put points at a premium?