Buffalo Bills 2019 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet – Under 7 Wins (+105)
Worst Bet – To Win the AFC (+3300)
The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs in 2017, and that was no small miracle. It was a big one. If people in the football world thought a playoff berth was an aberration as opposed to the rule for Buffalo, last season confirmed such a notion. Led by rookie quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills stumbled to a 6-10 record and fell to third place in the AFC East—better than only Oakland, the Jets, and Jacksonville in the conference. In 12 games, Allen completed just 52.8 percent of his passes and threw more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (10). He was also sacked 28 times and lost three fumbles. As a result, the team finished third-to-last in the NFL in total offense (second-to-last in passing but an impressive ninth in rushing).
A decent running game is not the only good news for Buffalo heading into the 2019 campaign. The defense placed second overall in the NFL this past year, including No. 1 against the pass by a country mile at 179 yards allowed per game. And the defense is only getting better, as the Bills’ 6-10 record garnered them the ninth pick in the draft. They used it to select Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who should contribute right away as long as he is 100 percent (he seems to be on track even though injuries plagued his final season in college). Aside from the addition of Oliver, the first-team defense remains largely the same and familiarity will likely breed superior performance.
Bills Win Total: O/U 7 Wins
Oddsmakers aren’t dumb; their lines make sense and the Bills’ total of seven wins is certainly no exception. In 12 of the past 13 seasons, they have been within a range of six to nine victories (four in 2010 is the only exception). They have been in the same range in 15 of the past 17 seasons. In other words, this is a large sample size; you know what this franchise is going to bring to the total year in and year out.
As good as the defense is, the offense is unreliable at best. Although Buffalo ran for 1,984 yards as a team in 2018, 631 of those came courtesy of Allen. The running backs did not do much, as LeSean McCoy led the way at that position with just 514 yards on a dreadful 3.2 yards-per-carry average. It is simply hard to see this offense—and this team in general—sustaining enough success down the stretch to reach .500. And a tough closing schedule does not help (vs. Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New England in four of the last five weeks). This may be a push, but the Bills won’t do any better than that. They managed only six wins in 2018 and they haven’t improved by two or more.
Odds to Make the Playoffs: Yes +375, No -550
The last time Buffalo was better than mediocre was 1999. In other words, this franchise appears to be suffering from a Music City Miracle curse ever since. Even its playoff campaign of 2017 featured nothing more than a 9-7 record followed by an unceremonious 10-3 loss at Jacksonville.
Allen can be expected to improve in year two, but neither his offensive line nor the Bills’ running game appear good enough to provide him with the necessary support that he needs to really take off. They will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs with New England a massive favorite in the East and teams such as Pittsburgh and the Chargers likely bidding for wild-card spots. Neither choice here is especially enticing, and neither is downright awful. ‘No’ is the better option of the two, but smarter plays on the Bills can be found.
Odds to Win the AFC East: +700
No matter that Rob Gronkowski no longer plays for New England. Nobody in their right mind can expect anything other than another division title for the Patriots. They have won it 10 times in a row and in 15 of the past 16 years (Miami got the job done in 2008, and only because Tom Brady was injured). Even if the Pats somehow faltered, it’s not like Buffalo would be a lock to be better than even the Dolphins or Jets. Miami is almost always at least respectable and New York is on the way up—albeit if not in need of another year, or more, of rebuilding. Don’t pick the Bills; don’t pick anyone other than the Patriots; don’t make this any more complicated than it is.
Odds to Win the AFC Championship: +3300
Everyone knows the saying that defense wins championships. That is not always the case, especially with the Patriots, but it is the case every now and then. And if there is one thing Buffalo can do, it’s play defense. A defensive line featuring Oliver, Star Lotulelei, and Jerry Hughes is especially formidable.
If the Bills win the division or simply make the playoffs, then clearly something is in the water. If they can go that far, then they can go a little farther (cue Andy Dufresne voice in The Shawshank Redemption). Thus, picking Buffalo to win the whole conference at +3300 is much better value than making the playoffs at +375 or taking the AFC East crown at +700. Is an AFC title going to happen? Almost certainly not. Is it worth taking a longshot flier on? Sure.
Odds to Win the Super Bowl: +6600
The Buffalo Bills playing in a Super Bowl? What could possibly go wrong?!?! They are 0-4 all time on the biggest stage in sports, losing it back-to-back-to-back-to-back from 1990 through 1993. Obviously, none of this current group was around, but still…. And this young group would be unlikely to end that trend against a presumably more experienced and downright more talented NFC team. Even at +6600, this is way too big of a risk to make it worth your while.