What are the latest odds for Sunday's playoff games featuring Jaguars-Bills and Saints-Panthers?
Before this season, many NFL bettors would probably be surprised to see the Buffalo Bills (9-7) and Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) squaring off in the playoffs, with one of them guaranteed of advancing for the first time in at least a decade.
The Jaguars last earned a postseason victory in 2007 while the Bills have not won a playoff game since 1995. Jacksonville is listed as a consensus 8.5-point home favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for this Sunday's Wild Card game, with Buffalo back in the state of Florida for the second straight week after defeating the Miami Dolphins 22-16 last Sunday.
The Bills are returning to the postseason for the first time since 1999—when they lost 22-16 to the Tennessee Titans on the "Music City Miracle" play. They are hoping to have running back LeSean McCoy available, as he has been nursing an ankle injury that limited him against the Dolphins when he totaled just 10 yards on 11 carries.
The Jaguars have one of the best defenses in the league, but their real strength is in the secondary. They have held opponents to an NFL-low 169.9 yards per game through the air while surrendering an average of 116.3 on the ground.
Jacksonville has failed to cover the number in four of its last five Wild Card appearances, and the visiting team is 5-1 against the spread in the past six meetings with Buffalo, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Those two trends obviously favor the Bills, who will be trying to snap an eight-game losing streak both straight up and ATS in January road games.
Later on Sunday, an NFC South Wild Card matchup will take place at the Superdome in New Orleans when the Saints (11-5) host the Carolina Panthers (11-5) for the second time in six weeks as seven-point betting favorites. New Orleans swept two regular-season meetings with Carolina, winning each by double digits to easily cover the spread both times.
The Panthers are also 0-5-1 ATS in the past six meetings with the Saints, who are riding a five-game home winning streak in the playoffs. On a positive note, Carolina has gone 7-3 ATS in its previous 10 road games, but two of the failed covers have occurred in the team's last two away from home versus New Orleans and the Atlanta Falcons.