Led by rising star Josh Allen under center, the Buffalo Bills captured the AFC East division title last season for the first time since 1995. Allen and the Bills not only made the playoffs, but they picked up a pair of wins — over Indianapolis and Baltimore — before falling to Kansas City in the AFC Championship game. Keep reading the Buffalo Bills Betting Preview.
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The Bills (-150) enter this season as the heavy Betting Odds Favorites to repeat as division champs with an over/under win total set at 10.5. The win total is second in the AFC only to the Chiefs (12) and the Bills’ odds to reach Super Bowl 56 at 10/1 is the third-shortest in the NFL only to the Chiefs (5/1) and defending champs Tampa Bay (6/1).
Buffalo may find out how great of a season it can have this season by the middle of October. The Bills return to Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 10 in a rematch of last season’s AFC title game. The Week 5 matchup will not be a must-win game but it should serve as a good barometer as to where the team stands.
The sledding will not get much easier the following week as the Bills remain on the road in Week 5 with a trip to Nashville against Tennessee in a second-straight primetime game (Monday).
Other key matchups in the season will be against the now Carson Wentz-led Indianapolis Colts in Week 10 and a Week 13 clash against old nemesis Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
The Week 10 matchup is at home while the tilt with Brady will be on the road.
No easy road
Although favored, Buffalo will not just be handed the AFC East division crown. Miami and New England will not be pushovers and the Jets should be improved as well. Both the Dolphins and Pats’ win total has an over/under at 9 while the Jets’ are at 6.
After last season’s run to the AFC title game and Allen beginning his fourth NFL season with the Bills, the 2021-22 season could be considered a Super Bowl or bust for the Bills.
Allen passed for a career-high 4,544 yards in his All-Pro season last year to go along with 37 touchdowns against only 10 picks. With No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs beginning his second season in Buffalo, expect Allen to once again take another leap forward in his progression towards MVP status.
Diggs racked up 1,535 yards receiving in his first season with Allen. Diggs also proved to be a reliable target as he hauled in 127 receptions including eight touchdowns.
Cole Beasley also returns as a top target for Allen as he finished second on the team last year in receptions (82) and yards (967) from the slot.
The Bills did take a hit with the departure of John Brown, but with the emergence of Gabriel Davis (35-599) and the addition of Emmanuel Sanders (61-726) from New Orleans Allen will still have plenty of options.
The teams’ top two backs also return in the form of Devin Singletary (156-687) and Zach Moss (112-481). Allen was third on the team with 421 rushing yards last season and led the Bills with eight scores from his feet.
More than offense
With all the firepower on offense, just how far Buffalo goes this season may very well hinge on the defense.
Buffalo did not make any headlines with moves on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason but extending linebacker Matt Milano could be an important signing. Milano ranked 11th among qualifying linebackers in coverage last season and provides a quality 1-2 tandem with Tremaine Edmunds.
Buffalo, who finished second to Green Bay in total offense, ranked 16th in total defense last season — a number it will need to improve on to take the next step this season.
After finishing 13-3 last season and an added game this season, Buffalo should have no problem reaching the 10.5 win total for the season.
Tests against Pittsburgh and Miami in the first week in addition to Kansas City, Tennessee, New Orleans, Tampa, Indianapolis and an angry Bill Belichick and the Patriots, a 14-3 mark may be a stretch. But Buffalo should be a lock for 12-plus wins this season and serious contenders to dethrone Kansas City in the AFC.