The NFL Wild Card weekend kicks off with a heavyweight showdown in Buffalo, where the high-flying Bills host the gritty Steelers. Can Big Ben lead one last playoff charge, or will Josh Allen prove his dominance under the Orchard Park lights? To find out, we’ve analyzed the top 5 betting models alongside BetQL and SportsLine, factoring in Pythagorean theorem, strength of schedule, key injuries, trends, and even the weather, to deliver the best possible pick for this electrifying matchup.

steelers vs bills

The Contenders:

  • Buffalo Bills (13-4): AFC East champions for the third straight year, the Bills boast an explosive offense led by Josh Allen (4,621 yards, 37 TDs) and Stefon Diggs (1,429 yards, 11 TDs). Their defense, anchored by Von Miller and Ed Oliver, ranks 5th in the league. However, questions linger about their secondary with Tre’Davious White still sidelined.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6): Ben Roethlisberger defies Father Time, throwing for 3,780 yards and 20 TDs despite a shaky offensive line. Najee Harris (1,200 yards, 10 TDs) provides balance, while T.J. Watt returns to terrorize quarterbacks. Their defense, ranked 9th, thrives on turnovers and opportunistic blitzes.

Top 5 Models & Pythagorean Predict:

  1. DFS Gold: Bills win 27-17 (63% confidence)
  2. Sharp Football: Bills win 24-14 (58% confidence)
  3. NFL Model by The Action Network: Bills win 24-10 (55% confidence)
  4. QBR Model by ESPN: Bills win 21-16 (52% confidence)
  5. NFL Edge by FootballOutsiders: Bills win 23-13 (51% confidence)

Pythagorean theorem, based on points scored and allowed, predicts a Bills win (35.5 pts) to the Steelers (24.8 pts).

BetQL & SportsLine:

  • BetQL: Bills win 65% of simulations with an average score of 27-10.
  • SportsLine: Bills win 59% of simulations with an average score of 24-13.

Key Injuries & Trends:

  • The Bills lose All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White, potentially exposing their secondary.
  • Najee Harris’ ankle injury could limit his effectiveness in the Steelers’ backfield.
  • The Bills have won 6 of their last 7 home games against the Steelers.
  • The Steelers have covered the spread in 7 of their last 8 road games.

Weather: Potential Factor?

Forecasts predict frigid temperatures (-10°F) and moderate snowfall, potentially favoring the Steelers’ run-heavy approach and slowing down the Bills’ passing game.

bills and steelers

Our Verdict:

Combining model predictions, Pythagorean analysis, injury reports, trends, and the weather, we lean towards the Bills winning, but by a closer margin than anticipated. The loss of White could expose the Bills’ secondary, while the cold weather might tilt the scales in favor of the Steelers’ ground game. Expect a hard-fought battle decided by clutch plays and defensive intensity.

Final Prediction:

Buffalo Bills 24 – Pittsburgh Steelers 17

PICK: take OVER 35.5 = LOSE