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 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
Buffalo Bills futures odds
Super Bowl odds
The Bills opened with +3500 odds to win the Super Bowl and were down to +2800 at DK Sportsbook after free agency and the NFL Draft. The acquisition of Diggs seems to have drawn the public towards Buffalo as a potential contender and there’s a chance Buffalo joins the ranks of the AFC elite if Allen can take a significant step forward in his third year. If Buffalo manages to win it all, a $10 bet on them to win the Super Bowl would cash $280 at +2800 odds.
AFC Championship odds
After the NFL Draft, the Bills (+1300 at DK) were right behind the rival Patriots (+900) in terms of odds to win the AFC this year. They’re still well behind the defending AFC champion Chiefs (+275) and Ravens (+325) since their offense is quite unproven. Still, taking the Bills at these odds is an interesting prospect if you believe they could win the AFC East and potentially earn a first-round bye.
AFC East odds
There is a close run for the AFC East favorite this year with the Patriots (+100) sitting at even money and the Bills (+160) right behind them at DraftKings Sportsbook after the NFL Draft. For our money, Buffalo should be favored since the Bills have far superior personnel and younger studs ready to take the crown from the established dynasty. Buffalo underperformed at home last year and is historically a very tough team to beat at frozen New Era Stadium.
Buffalo Bills win total
As of May 3, the Bills had a generous win total set at 8.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook. However, the odds are tough at -160, meaning that a $10 bet on the Bills to win at least nine games would only cash $16.25. At DraftKings Sportsbook, you could get -110 odds on the Bills to win 9 games, but if they win exactly 9 games it would be a “push” and you would get your investment back.
Bills player props
There aren’t many prop bets up for Bills players on most books but there is a proposition on Buffalo making the playoffs with -177 odds at DK Sportsbook. This is worth consideration despite the modest payout, since the Bills should vie for a Wild Card spot once again even if they fail to win the AFC East.
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 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.