Buffalo Bills preseason betting preview
According to current (7/10) NFL regular season win totals betting odds at BetOnline, the Buffalo Bills number is 7.0. Going under 7.0 would be at money line odds of -125 and the over is +105.
The Bills went 6-10 a season ago and that was an accomplishment when bearing in mind their limited offensive talent, and a rookie quarterback that started 11 games. On an encouraging note, Buffalo went 5-6 with first year signal caller Josh Allen as their starter. I expect Allen to take a considerable leap forward in his 2nd year. Especially when allowing for the significant offensive upgrades added by General Manager Brandon Beane during this past offseason.
Last season Buffalo possessed arguably the least effective group of wide receivers in football. They made significant offseason improvements in that regard through free agency. Beane signed prior Dallas Cowboy slot receiver Cole Beasley, who remains one the league’s best in that capacity, and a proven deep threat in John Brown. Furthermore, he inked former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Croft to a 4-year deal, and drafted a possible 3rd round sleeper at that position in Dawson Knox out of 'Ole Miss.
Beane also addressed the offensive line and it should result in no less than four new starters. I look for that unit to be substantially better compared to the substandard one they fielded last season. Buffalo was able to land former Kansas City center Mitch Morse and made him the league’s highest paid player at that position. They also grabbed ex Tennessee Titan starting guard Quinton Spain. Both Spain and Morse allowed only one sack each for the entire 2018-2019 NFL regular season. Buffalo also acquired a potential gem in tackle Cody Ford out of Oklahoma in the 2nd round of this past NFL Draft. Many NFL Draft gurus had Ford going mid to late 1st round.
Currently, veteran running back LeSean McCoy is listed atop the depth chart despite coming off a career worst season. The Bills running back room also added ageless veteran Frank Gore, past Jacksonville Jaguars 1st round pick T.J. Yeldon, and 2019 third round pick Devin Singletary out of Florida Atlantic.
Buffalo ranked #2 in total defense (294.1 ypg) a season ago, and that includes #1 against the pass (179.2 ypg). Barring significant injuries, they’ll be as good or better during this upcoming NFL regular season campaign.
Buffalo’s secondary remains intact which comprises of the elite safety tandem of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Not to mention, a genuine shutdown corner in Tre’Davious White. They also added quality cornerback depth with the offseason signings of former 1st round pick of the Houston Texans Kevin Johnson, and 2017-2018 Bills starter E.J. Gaines, who returns from a brief stint in Cleveland.
The linebacker unit has a pair of young future stars in Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmonds. The Bills 2019 first round draft choice defensive tackle Ed Oliver was a steal at #9 overall, and they resigned defensive end Jerry Hughes, who is one of the more underrated NFL players at his position.
My personal power numbers indicate that this season’s Buffalo Bills schedule ranks in the top quarter of least difficult. They’ll face such non-division opponents at home consisting of the Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, and Cincinnati Bengals. All three teams posted losing records a year ago. They’ll also be playing Baltimore at New Era Field, and they’ll be out to avenge last season’s opening game 47-3 humiliating loss.
Buffalo will open the 2019 season with two road games against the Jets and Giants. Those teams combined to go a dismal 9-23 last year. The Bills should also have no excuse when traveling to Miami on 11/17 to take on what’s projected to be a less than stellar Dolphins team.
I look for Buffalo to enter the month of December as a legitimate wild card playoff contender. For that forecast to make any sense, the Buffalo Bills would be an astute calculated risk to win at least 8 games. As a matter of fact, I’m predicting a 9-7 record when it’s all said and done.
Pick: Buffalo Bills over 7.0 (-125)
Ross Benjamin is a top sports analyst and one of the sports industry's most respected handicappers. Follow him on Twitter: @RossBenjamin1 or visit his website at RBWins.com