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Breaking down NFL weather for Bills vs. Dolphins in Week 15 and how much snow is expected

The weather report always has the potential to impact fantasy football and sports betting. Here, we’ll take a look at the weather projected for Buffalo, NY.

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills

Saturday 2:45 P.M. update: Just over five hours from kickoff and crews are hard at work to clear up what appears to be an ice rink at Highmark Stadium.

Saturday 8:20 A.M. update: The first photos are coming in from Highmark Stadium with snowfall and it’s safe to say we’ll see plenty of photos over the next 12 hours until kickoff. We’ll get plenty of, “whoah, look how much snow there is,” and it’s entirely reasonable for that. Orchard Park, home of the Bills, is currently projected to get 4-8 inches of snow at Accuweather, but this comes on top of previous snow the night before that could get this up closer to 10-15 inches in total. Buffalo News is reporting the latest forecasts project snowfall rates as high as 2 inches per hour possible.

Suffice to say, it’s going to take a whole lot of snowplowing to get things ready Saturday evening.

Friday update: We’re now getting more accurate wind numbers and they aren’t great. Sustained winds should be 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. If it wasn’t going to snow, the wind would be worrisome, but not enough to really kill offenses. Unfortunately, the snow will be coming down hard during the game, making for poor visibility at the very least. Snow totals for all day and night for Saturday are estimated at 9 to 17 inches and there doesn’t appear to be any breaks from “heavy snow” during the game.

Thursday update: The National Weather Service has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for the Orchard Park, NY area. They are now forecasting 15-22 inches of snow overall, but that is for Friday night until Monday afternoon. We’ll hopefully get a more focused forecast for game-time.


Welcome to Week 15 of the NFL season! Today we’ll take a look at the weather for this Saturday’s game pitting the Bills vs. the Dolphins. It’s going to be cold and snowy, but not cold and snowy enough to move the game to Detroit like they had to in Week 11 when they played the Browns.

Weather needs to be extreme to truly impact games, but when deciding between two players who you like equally in fantasy football, it might be a helpful tie breaker. What we really don’t want to see is 20 mph or higher wind speeds. Rain can cause problems, but unless it is a combination of high winds and rain, we usually don’t want to downgrade our fantasy football players too much. When it comes to betting, that impact comes primarily on the point total more than the spread or winners and losers.

Helpful weather resources include National Weather Service and Dark Sky, among others.

Weather for Bills vs. Dolphins in Week 15

Forecast

There will be snow. Lake-effect snow to be more accurate, which means it could come down very hard at times. Just how hard and how well it sticks to the field will probably be the key to how the weather will impact the game.

The good news is that the field should be cleared to start the game and wind speeds look like they’ll be tame compared to the snow amounts, with sustained winds around 10-12 mph. The temperature won’t be outrageous either, as it should be around 30 degrees at game-time.

We’ll want to get a better handle on the weather as we get closer to Saturday, but I don’t think they snow is going away at this point. They won’t be measuring the snow in feet at least, as accumulations appear to be under a foot, but for the game, the field and how it’s been maintained is more important.

Fantasy/betting implications

Without a heated field, we can expect the snow to start sticking once the game starts and with a real possibility of that snow coming down hard, tit could impair vision and the field could become tough to navigate. But overall, the lack of extreme wind is a big plus for the offenses and we might not need to downgrade their skill position players too much.