NFL Win Totals Bet: Buffalo Bills
With Tom Brady out of the division, the Buffalo Bills are primed to win their first division title since 1995. Buffalo managed a 10-6 record last season and made the playoffs for the second time in three seasons, led by third-year QB Josh Allen at the helm.
Heading into the fall, odds makers have put the Bills at an over/under win total of 9. So today we’ll look at their offseason in review, as well as their upcoming schedule, and see if the over or under is the right play.
The Bills went into the offseason looking for a true number one wide receiver for Allen. They think they got that in Stefon Diggs, whom they acquired from the Vikings for four draft picks, including this year’s first round selection. Diggs becomes the biggest threat on Buffalo’s improved offense. Among other big additions, the Bills signed edge rusher Mario Addison away from the Panthers on a three-year deal, as well as DT Vernon Butler, another former Panther. The team also took a one-year flyer on former All-Pro CB Josh Norman.
Buffalo’s biggest loss came along the defensive line, when EDGE Shaq Lawson left for the division-rival Dolphins on a three-year deal. They also saw DT Jordan Phillips leave for the Cardinals and CB Kevin Johnson depart for the Browns. Other veterans of the defense including OLB Lorenzo Alexander and DT Corey Liuget are also unlikely to return.
With no first round pick after the acquisition of Diggs, Buffalo addressed pass-rushers with their first pick. The team selected Iowa EDGE A.J. Epenesa in the second round, who will improve an already-strong defense. The Bills went with mostly offense for the rest of the draft, adding a new running back in Utah’s Zack Moss, a pair of wide receivers in UCF’s Gabriel Davis and Oregon State’s Isaiah Hodgins, and Georgia QB Jake Fromm.
Like the rest of the teams in the AFC East, the Bills will have matchups against the AFC West and NFC West. As a result of facing those teams, which include the conference champion Chiefs and 49ers, Buffalo has the fifth-toughest strength schedule in football, with opponents combining for a .525 win percentage. However, that percentage is the lowest in the division, with the other three teams in the AFC East facing the three toughest schedules.
One positive that the Bills face this season is that many of their toughest opponents will be traveling to Buffalo. This season, they are hosting the Chiefs, Seahawks, Rams, Chargers, and Steelers, as well as their division rivals. Road games at San Francisco and Denver will be tough, but the schedule plays into the Bills’ favor. The Steelers and Titans are the two at-large opponents Buffalo is facing this year, with the Tennessee game happening on the road in early October.
Looking at Buffalo’s projected starters, they do not have many glaring weaknesses. The defense is strong, especially the defensive line, and the offense not boasts a number of play-makers. The biggest questions will likely like with their offensive line and more importantly the development of Allen, who will need to further improve for the Bills to become the new class of the division.
Based on their offseason and draft, as well as New England taking step back, the Bills seem poised to be in the driver’s seat in the AFC East. Plus, a favorable schedule with most of their tough games at home also help their win total significantly. So I’m feeling confident in the Bills ending up OVER 9 wins this season.
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