Buffalo Bills make playoffs 18 years after ‘Music City Miracle’

Updated December 31, 2017 - 9:54 pm

The last time the Bills were in the playoffs, they lost to the Titans on the “Music City Miracle,” a desperation lateral that actually worked and helped propel Tennessee to Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000.

Buffalo ended the longest playoff drought in American major pro sports Sunday in miraculous fashion. The Bills clinched their postseason trip when the Bengals stunned the Ravens, 31-27, on Andy Dalton’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds left.

The Titans also secured a playoff spot with a 15-10 win over the Jaguars, who opened as 7-point favorites over Buffalo at Station Casinos in their Jan. 7 wild-card game.

“That doesn’t sound like a game people will be clamoring to watch,” Caesars Palace sports book director Frank Kunovic said in the final understatement of 2017.

McCoy impacts line

The Bills might be without leading rusher LeSean McCoy, who left Sunday’s 22-16 win over Miami with an ankle injury.

“If he’s healthy, you’ll see this game closer to 6, maybe even lower than that,” Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said. “He’s by far their best offensive player.”

Chiefs-Titans

The Chiefs opened as 7½-point favorites over Tennessee in Saturday’s other wildly entertaining AFC wild-card game.

“I haven’t been impressed with Tennessee down the stretch,” Esposito said. “Kansas City has played a little better down the stretch and they are at home. There might not be a lot of points in that game.”

The total is 45½ for the Titans-Chiefs and 40 for Bills-Jaguars.

NFC matchups

The NFC features more appealing matchups. The Rams are 5-point favorites (total 50) over the Falcons on Saturday and the Saints are 6-point favorites (total 49) over the Panthers on Jan. 7.

“The Rams-Atlanta game is probably the best game out of the bunch,” Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello said. “They don’t look that appealing to me but they are playoff games.”

Los Angeles rested its starters in Sunday’s 34-13 loss to the 49ers, who opened as 6½-point underdogs and closed as 6½-point favorites in one of the best games of the day for bettors.

The Falcons beat the Panthers 22-10 for the chance to defend their NFC title.

“This Rams team has been on such a roll. You have to throw out (Sunday’s) game,” Esposito said. “I think you’re going to see this Rams number go up.”

Favorites finish strong

The Saints lost 31-24 at Tampa Bay in one of five outright upsets Sunday, though favorites finished 9-6-1 ATS.

New Orleans swept the season series from NFC South foe Carolina, winning 34-13 on the road Sept. 24 and 31-21 at home Dec. 3. But Avello and Esposito each consider the Panthers a live underdog.

“It’s tough to beat a team in your own division three times,” Esposito said. “They’re going to probably back New Orleans but there is value with Carolina if it creeps up any higher.”

Odds point to Patriots-Vikings Super Bowl

In the preseason, Esposito touted the Vikings as a serious candidate to reach Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. Now the Vikings are the 4-1 second choice to win the NFL title behind the Patriots, who are 2-1 favorites. The Steelers are 9-2 and the Saints are 5-1.

“The Super Bowl is going to go through Pittsburgh and New England in the AFC, but the waters are a little more muddied in the NFC,” Esposito said. “You can make a case for five of six teams and the one I left out played in the Super Bowl last year.

“Clearly, the Vikings are the favorite in the NFC. They have a real shot with the way they play defense and the way they’re running the ball right now. The Saints and Vikings mirror each other the way they play right now.”

Grannys Boy a millionaire

Grannys Boy won $1.3 million as winner of the Westgate SuperContest, finishing 58-22-5 (72.5 percent) to top a record field of 2,748. Prizes are paid to the top 50 finishers, including ties, with second place worth more than $530,000, third $265,000, fourth $189,000 and fifth $170,000.

Stag party

Stag Capital won the $470,000 winner-take-all SuperContest Gold by a half-point over Midwest Square. Stag Capital (51-32-2) clinched the title on his final play on Tampa Bay, a 7-point underdog.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 13
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 12
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down the NFL Week 10 slate.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down college football week 11 match ups.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 10
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 6 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 5 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Canelo vs. GGG
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over the lines and their picks for Canelo vs. GGG 2.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week two of the NFL.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like