The Buffalo Bills took a major step forward last season. For the first time since 1999, Buffalo won double-digit games to finish 10-6. The Bills also earned a playoff berth. Unfortunately, they blew a 16-0 third-quarter lead, losing to the Texas 22-19 in the wild-card round.
Buffalo is entering its fourth season under coach Sean McDermott, who has laid a solid foundation and gone 25-23 (.521) overall. The Bills have made the playoffs in two of his three seasons, although they still haven’t won a postseason game. Bills Mafia will look for another solid jump from 24-year-old quarterback Josh Allen this season. Despite his accuracy deficiencies, Allen showed noticeable improvement from his rookie season to Year 2, raising his QB rating from 67.9 to 85.3.
The Bills have been active this offseason. Their biggest splash was acquiring former Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs to pair with receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley. In free agency, Buffalo added to its already stout defense by signing cornerback Josh Norman, linebacker A.J. Klein and defensive linemen Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler. The Bills were without a first-round pick in the draft after trading for Diggs. They selected Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa in the second round.
With Tom Brady finally leaving the Patriots, the AFC East is wide open for the first time in nearly 20 years. The Bills smell blood in the water and look like a team on the rise. Is it finally Buffalo’s year to win the division?
The Bills’ 2020 win total is 8.5 across the market. Oddsmakers are juicing up the over, signaling a combination of smart money and house liability on a 9-7 or better campaign.
DraftKings is hanging over 8.5 at -130 (under +107). FanDuel is offering over 8.5 at -155 (under +130). After opening at 8.5 earlier this spring, Circa Sports has recently adjusted the Bills win total up to 9 with even -110 juice on both sides.
One negative for Buffalo this season: its schedule. The Bills’ 2020 opponents went a combined 134-121-1 (.525) last season, giving them the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL.
Here is the full Bills schedule:
Week 1: vs Jets
Week 2: at Dolphins
Week 3: vs Rams
Week 4: at Raiders
Week 5: at Titans
Week 6: vs Chiefs
Week 7: at Jets
Week 8: vs Patriots
Week 9: vs Seahawks
Week 10: at Cardinals
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: vs Chargers
Week 13: at 49ers
Week 14: vs Steelers
Week 15: at Broncos
Week 16: at Patriots
Week 17: vs Dolphins
Buffalo is expected to make the playoffs for the third time in four years. The Bills are -177 favorites to make the postseason at DraftKings and a +144 underdog to miss the playoffs.
Oddsmakers also like the Bills’ chances of dethroning the Patriots and winning the AFC East. Buffalo is a +130 favorite to win the division. New England is a close second at +140, followed by the Dolphins and Jets at +700.
The Bills are +1300 to win the AFC, tied with the Steelers for the 5th-best odds. The Chiefs are the favorite at +300, followed by the Ravens +325, Colts +1100 and Patriots +1200.
Buffalo has been to the Super Bowl four times but never won the big game. If you think this is the year the Bills finally do it, they are +2800 to hoist the Lombardi trophy.
In terms of player props, Allen’s over/under passing yards is 3,300.5 and passing touchdowns 21.5. Last season, Allen threw for 3,089 yards and 20 touchdowns. Allen is +5000 to win MVP.
Diggs’ over/under receiving yards is 975.5. Last season he hauled in 1,130 receiving yards with the Vikings. Brown’s over/under receiving yards is 800.5. Brown led Buffalo in receiving yards in 2019 with 1,060.
Devin Singletary’s over/under rushing yards is 825.5. Singletary led the Bills in rushing last season as a rookie with 775 yards.
Sean McDermott is +2000 to win Coach of the Year, trailing only Bill Belichick (+1000), Bruce Arians (+1400), Mike McCarthy (+1400) and Kyle Shanahan (+1600).
Josh Appelbaum writes about betting markets for VSiN.com.