With the New England Patriots dynasty on an apparent downswing, is this the year the Buffalo Bills finally get back to the top of the AFC East? They last won the division in 1995 and have come in second or third the past six years. But with one of the best defenses in the NFL and an improving offense, Sean McDermott’s squad appears ready to fill the power void in a weak division and potentially make some noise in the playoffs.
Buffalo Bills Week 2 odds
The Bills jumped out to a big 21-0 lead and controlled most of the game at home against the Jets. They won and covered (-6.5) in a 27-17 win. Josh Allen was the leading rusher on 14 attempts for 57 yards and a score, but this Buffalo offense was pass-heavy in Week 1. Allen attempted 46 passes (33 completions– 71.7%), 312 yards, and 2 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see if they remain a pass-first offense given some of Allen’s inaccurate tendencies despite his immense arm talent.
The Bills go down to Miami in Week 2. Buffalo opened up as three-point favorites and have seen a lot of early money. The Dolphins defense held Cam Newton’s passing attack to 155 yards but were gashed 217 rushing yards. The Bills may go more run-heavy to attack Miami’s susceptible run defense. However, they will need more than the 41 combined yards on the ground backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss gained in Week 1.
The Bills defense will look to force Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick into mistakes after the journeyman threw three interceptions in Week 1. Buffalo’s defense was 4th in Pass Defense DVOA in Week 1 and forced Sam Darnold into a mediocre day with 215 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. If the Bills can force the Miami offense into a couple turnovers, they could cruise to a 2-0 start.
Bills futures odds
Bills Super Bowl odds
Josh Allen showed what he’s capable of against in Week 1– great and terrible things. However, it takes more than a victory over the Jets to move the needle on Buffalo’s Super Bowl odds. They’re the latest trendy pick to make a Titans-esque postseason run and are marked at +2400 to win the Super Bowl (up from +3500 they opened at) and +1100 to win the AFC. Check out the best Bills Super Bowl odds above.
AFC East odds
There is a close run for the AFC East favorite this year with the Patriots and Bills sitting as the favorites; the two have managed to flip-flop all offseason long. Oddsmakers favored the Bills’ 10-point win against the Jets over the Patriots’ 10-point win over the Dolphins in Week 1 and moved Buffalo to the top (+110), just barely over New England (+115). Expect these numbers to fluctuate week to week and the teams to jump back and forth throughout 2020.
Buffalo Bills 2020 schedule and betting odds
|1||Sunday, Sept. 13||1:00 ET||vs. NY Jets||Bills -6|
|2||Sunday, Sept. 20||1:00 ET||at Miami||Bills -3|
|3||Sunday, Sept. 27||1:00 ET||vs. LA Rams||Rams -2.5|
|4||Sunday, Oct. 4||4:25 ET||at Las Vegas||Bills -1|
|5||Sunday, Oct. 11||1:00 ET||at Tennessee||Bills -.5|
|6||Thursday, Oct. 15||8:20 ET||vs. Kansas City||Chiefs -4.5|
|7||Sunday, Oct. 25||1:00 ET||at NY Jets||Bills -3.5|
|8||Sunday, Nov. 1||1:00 ET||vs. New England||Bills -1.5|
|9||Sunday, Nov. 8||1:00 ET||vs. Seattle||Bills -1|
|10||Sunday, Nov. 15||4:05 ET||at Arizona||Bills -2.5|
|12||Sunday, Nov. 29||1:00 ET||vs. LA Chargers||N/A|
|13||Monday, Dec. 7||8:15 ET||at San Francisco||49ers -6|
|14||Sunday, Dec. 13||8:20 ET||vs. Pittsburgh||Bills -2.5|
|15||Sunday, Dec. 20||TBD||at Denver||Broncos -1|
|16||Monday, Dec. 28||8:15 ET||at New England||Patriots -2|
|17||Sunday, Jan. 3||1:00 ET||vs. Miami||N/A
How to bet on the Buffalo Bills
The Bills were considered longshots to win the AFC East last year with +950 odds on some sportsbooks. This year, DraftKings Sportsbook opened them at +160 odds, indicating their rapid improvement. A $10 futures bet on the Bills to win the division at those odds would cash $16 on top of the original investment if they win the AFC East.
If you want to bet on individual games, the Bills will be favored to win on the moneyline more often than not. The moneyline is a simplified way to bet on the winner of an NFL game with odds corresponding to who is expected to win. Buffalo was often an underdog last year and paid off with +255 odds on the moneyline by winning in Dallas on Thanksgiving. That means a $20 bet on the Bills to win on Thanksgiving paid out $51 (plus the original $20 wager).
You can also bet on the Bills using the point spread. A spread is a way to handicap teams that are expected to win by proposing they win by at least a certain amount of points, usually a key number like 3 or 7 points.
While they played at an average pace last year, the Bills struggled offensively and that led to only four of their games exceeding the point total. These totals, also known as over/under bets, are set by sportsbooks depending on the opponent, location, and weather, with most Bills sitting somewhere between 38 and 45 points. Tough defense and the inclement weather in Buffalo can often lead to low-scoring affairs.
The Bills are not a popular team to target with proposition bets. We mentioned their team futures, but there is a limited market on props for Josh Allen. Propositions are set according to how an individual player might perform in terms of statistics. We should see props released on Stefon Diggs, with a potential bet on the new WR going over/under 5.5 TD receptions after he recorded 23 TD receptions the past three seasons in Minnesota.
Parlays and teasers
If you want to pair bets on the Bills with other wagers, use a parlay or teaser. A parlay refers to stringing multiple bets together, usually from different games, on the moneyline, point spread, or total. If all of the bets listed are successful, the bettor receives a handsome payout corresponding to the combined odds of each bet. However, if any of them fail, there is no payout. A teaser is more conservative since it allows the bettor to move the point spread or point total favorably at the cost of diminished odds.
Bills 2019 recap
The Bills started hot last season with five wins in six games and covers in four of their first five games. They finished 6-1-2 against the spread (ATS) on the road and 9-6-2 ATS overall, including in the postseason. Their defense allowed the second-fewest PPG (16.5) and second fewest TDs per game (1.9) leading to 12 of their 16 regular season games going Under the point total.
Buffalo finished 10-6 to crush their projected win total (7) and make the playoffs. While their defense was elite and their offense flashed at times, second-year QB Josh Allen looked out of his element in the playoffs and basically cost them a chance to beat the Texans in the Wild Card round. Allen did improve from a 52% completion rate and 10:12 TD:INT ratio in 2018, but took 38 sacks and two very costly sacks to effectively end Buffalo’s season.
Bills 2020 offseason moves
Key trades: WR Stefon Diggs (from Vikings)
Key re-signings: OG Quinton Spain, WR Isaiah McKenzie, S Dean Marlowe
Key free-agent losses: DE Shaq Lawson (to Dolphins); DT Jordan Phillips (to Cardinals); CB Kevin Johnson (to Browns)
Key free-agent signings: LB Mario Addison (from Panthers); LB A.J. Klein (from Saints); CB Josh Norman (from Redskins), DT Vernon Butler (from Panthers); OT Daryl Williams (from Panthers)
Key draft picks: DE A.J. Epenesa (2nd road), RB Zack Moss (3rd round), WR Gabriel Davis (4th round), QB Jake Fromm (5th round)
Already dominant in pass defense, the Bills hope that making a splashy acquisition in Diggs will elevate them offensively in the pass-happy NFL. Josh Allen has been erratic in the intermediate passing game, but has escapability and a rocket arm that can convert deep shots to John Brown and now he has another elite route-runner capable of getting free down the field. Fromm is a potential threat to replace Allen eventually, but the rookie should grab a clipboard for his first couple NFL seasons.
Losing Shaq Lawson is tough, but the Bills have depth on the edge with potential key contributors in Addison and Klein. Josh Norman was buried and clearly disgruntled last year on the hapless Redskins, but he could form an elite tandem with Tre’Davious White to keep Buffalo near the top of the league in pass defense. Overall, Buffalo looks like one of the biggest winners this offseason.