- The Buffalo Bills are currently 2.5-point favorites in their Divisional Round playoff game against Baltimore on Saturday (NBC, 8:15 PM EST)
- Snow is in the forecast and could play a significant role in the game and line movement
- Read below for information on the forecast and its impact
The Baltimore Ravens left Tennessee with an emotional victory in their AFC Wildcard game against the Titans. This week may bring another test of their resolve if snowy conditions await them on Saturday in Buffalo.
Lamar Jackson threw three touchdowns in 2019 when the Ravens won in Buffalo, 24-17. The high was 45-degrees on that day, but there was no precipitation — and both teams still only combined for 466 yards of total offense.
Baltimore returns as 2.5-point underdogs on Saturday, but Jackson is likely going to play in snow for the first time in his career.
Buffalo, New York Forecast for January 16
|Date/Time||Temperature||Chance of Precipitation||Wind Speed|
|January 17th, 2021 | 8:15 PM||33˚ F||34%||12 MPH|
What the Weatherman Says
Snow is currently expected to begin falling in the Buffalo area at around 11 AM. From there, the forecast projects a 33- to 34-percent chance of snowfall throughout the rest of the night. The total snowfall isn’t thought to be more than a tenth of an inch at any point, so this won’t be a blizzard by any means. However, the game is still three days away, so things could prove to be more or less severe than what is currently predicted.
Neither team has played in snow this season, and Jackson has remarked that the only time he’s seen snow was also the first time during his days at Louisville.
Buffalo vs Baltimore Odds
|Baltimore||+2.5 (-104)||+250||O 45.5 (-110)|
|Buffalo||-2.5 (-118)||-310||U 45.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 13th at FanDuel
What to Expect
For now, both teams should be expected to play pretty close to expectation in this one. Although it hasn’t snowed in Baltimore this winter, it’s not as though the area doesn’t have its share of cold weather.
.@stephenasmith gave "an unequivocal no" when asked about the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl chances 😳
"Getting through the Baltimore Ravens? I don't see that happening." pic.twitter.com/yFV94epfn6
— First Take (@FirstTake) January 11, 2021
Perhaps the biggest thing to consider at this point is the wind. Gusts of around 10 miles per hour aren’t uncommon in games at any point of the season, but with the snow, there is a bit more unpredictability with special teams.
Baltimore and Buffalo have two of the best kickers in the NFL this season. In frigid conditions last week, Buffalo’s Tyler Bass made two long-range field goals, including a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter to give the Bills a 27-16 lead over the Colts.
The Ravens’ Justin Tucker missed an attempt from 52 yards but hit one on the following drive from 51 to put Baltimore up 20-13 in the fourth against Tennessee. The wind in both games was never recorded as topping 10 mph, so both sides may not be so quick to pull the trigger from such distance in a tight game this week.
Baltimore leads the league this season in rushing attempts per game, and the colder it gets, the more likely the Ravens are to keep things on the ground. Meanwhile, Buffalo has been a bottom-third defense against the run over the last three weeks and could have trouble getting off the field in this one.
Potential Line Movement
If more is made about the potential for snow in this game in the days ahead of it, Buffalo will almost certainly find itself a much bigger favorite by kickoff.
Josh Allen has Experience playing in poor weather conditions. Great ball here while the snow is coming down pretty hard. Notice the timing on this throw, Allen is already releasing the football just as the receiver is coming out of his break.
Great Ball! pic.twitter.com/uJjCv3nnS0
— RAP Scouting (@RAPScouting) May 2, 2018
The public will no doubt lead its thinking with the synonymous relationship between cold weather and the Bills. Buffalo has been playing at a very high level and hasn’t finished under the closing point total since December 13 against Pittsburgh.
Buffalo defensive end Darryl Johnson is the only Bills player listed as not having practiced this week. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley have practiced on a limited basis. The biggest injury concern in this one is the availability of Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters, who brought down a game-ending interception in last week’s win over the Titans. Peters has not practiced this week due to a back injury.
Between the two teams, 55-percent of the cash has been played on Baltimore, but 54-percent of the tickets have been placed on Buffalo. Overwhelmingly, the over has been the most popular bet thus far and considering the weather isn’t looking overly threatening at the moment, there hasn’t been a great deal of hesitation on that bet.
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