clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 18 if you are a Buffalo Bills fan

Week 18 is here and the Buffalo Bills are in the hunt for the No. 1 seed. Who should Bills fans root for to help their chances?

A Buffalo Bills fan holds up a sign during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Sunday results update: The Bills took down the Patriots 35-23. Buffalo played this game inspired, taking back the opening kickoff for a 98-yard score. Nyheim Hines returned another kickoff for a touchdown, and quarterback Josh Allen threw three touchdowns in the win.


Results update: With Kansas City blowing out the Raiders on Saturday, Buffalo can obtain no higher than the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a victory over the Patriots on Sunday. In that scenario, a potential Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship Game will be held at a neutral site. The team could also still clinch the No. 2 seed with a Bengals loss/tie.


The Buffalo Bills head into Week 18 with a unique opportunity. They can still clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but even if they do not, they have an opportunity to force the AFC title game into a neutral site location. They don’t even need to win to do so!

The Bills host the Patriots at Highmark Stadium with kickoff set for 1 p.m. ET. Buffalo is a 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Patriots can clinch a wild card berth with a win, otherwise they’ll need some help. The Bills are already in the playoff field, and win or lose, they have a couple things to watch for in Week 18.

If you are a Bills fan, here are the two games you’ll be paying attention to as the team looks to improve their playoff seeding.

Chiefs vs. Raiders

The Chiefs currently have a half game lead on the Bills due to the cancellation of Bills-Bengals in Week 17. If the Chiefs win and the Bills lose, Kansas City claims the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage through the AFC Championship Game. If the Chiefs lose and the Bills win, Buffalo claims all of that.

It gets interesting if both teams win or both teams lose. If both teams win, a Bills-Chiefs AFC title game would take place on a neutral field. The same would hold if the Bills and Chiefs both lost and the Ravens beat the Bengals. If the Bills and Chiefs both lost and the Bengals won, a Bills-Chiefs or Bengals-Chiefs AFC title game would be on a neutral field.

The Bills are a 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Bengals vs. Ravens

If the Bills win on Sunday, this game will have no impact. If the Bills lose on Sunday, this game could have significant impact. If the Ravens beat the Bengals, Buffalo would be the No. 2 seed and Cincinnati the No. 3 seed. If the Bengals beat the Ravens, Buffalo’s seeding would go to a tiebreaker. Since their Week 17 game was canceled, there is no head-to-head tiebreaker. With a Bengals win and a Bills loss in Week 18, they would be tied in the conference record tiebreaker and the common games tiebreaker. It would move to strength of victory, which accounts for the win-loss record of the teams each team beat.

The Bengals are a 9.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.