2023 NFL Betting Preview: Buffalo Bills

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2023 NFL Betting Preview: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills had a trying conclusion to last season with Damar Hamlin going into cardiac arrest on the field in Week 17, but Hamlin is on the mend and looking to play in 2023 after his near-tragic event. The Bills lifted up their teammate and fanbase with a victory in the season finale to wrap up the AFC’s second seed after winning the AFC East title (-225 odds) for the third straight season. Buffalo ended the regular season on a seven-game outright winning streak to surpass its season win total of 11.5 with a 13-3 mark, matching the franchise’s best record from the 1990, 1991, and 2020 seasons. They reached the postseason for the fourth straight season under Sean McDermott and won their division by the league’s largest margin (4.5 games). The NFL’s preseason Super Bowl favorites failed to advance out of the Divisional Round in disappointing fashion for the second straight year, losing by three scores to the Cincinnati Bengals despite entering as six-point home favorites.

The Bills finished behind only the Kansas City Chiefs in scoring offense (28.4 PPG) and total offense (397.6 YPG), even with Josh Allen cooling off after Buffalo’s Week 7 bye. He topped 255+ passing yards just once in his final 10 regular season contests after posting 297+ yards in five of his first six games. Allen still threw for 35+ TD passes for the third straight year while running for 760+ yards for the second consecutive season. Stefon Diggs also posted 100+ catches, 1200+ receiving yards, and 8+ TD receptions for a third straight year since joining the Bills in 2020. Buffalo finished with the league’s best average scoring margin (+10.6) for the second straight season after finishing second in PPG allowed (17.9) and PPG (28.4). Von Miller lived up to the hype with eight sacks in his first season before an ACL injury cut his season short after 11 contests. The Bills have the second-most wins (37) over the last three seasons behind only the Chiefs (40), and they’ll try to get over the hump in 2023 to break their 30-year drought without a Super Bowl appearance.

2022 By the Numbers

  • Record (ATS): 13-3 (8-7-1)

  • Season Win Total: Over 11.5

  • One-Possession Record: 6-3 (1-0 postseason)

  • Postseason Record: 1-1 (0-2 ATS)

  • Division Odds: -225

  • Playoff Odds: -650

  • Over/Under Record: 6-10

  • PPG: 28.4 (2nd)

  • PPG Allowed: 17.9 (2nd)

  • Average Scoring Margin: +10.6 (1st)

  • Turnover Differential: 0 (15th)

2023 Schedule

WeekOpponentSpreadTime
1@ New York Jets-28:15 (Mon)
2Las Vegas Raiders-7.51
3@ Washington Commanders-4.51
4Miami Dolphins-3.51
5Jacksonville Jaguars (London)-3.59:30 a.m.
6New York Giants-78:20 (Sun)
7@ New England Patriots-2.51
8Tampa Bay Buccaneers-108:15 (Thurs)
9@ Cincinnati Bengals+18:20 (Sun)
10Denver Broncos-68:15 (Mon)
11New York Jets-3.54:25
12@ Philadelphia Eagles+1.54:25
13BYE
14@ Kansas City Chiefs+3.54:25
15Dallas Cowboys-44:25
16@ Los Angeles Chargers-18 (Sat)
17New England Patriots-5.51
18@ Miami Dolphins+1.5TBD

The Good

  • The Bills have the fourth-toughest schedule based on opponent win totals (per Sharp Football).

  • The Bills have 10 days off before they travel to Cincinnati in Week 9.

  • Buffalo plays Philadelphia in Week 12 after the Eagles play on Monday Night Football.

  • The Bills have a bye before they play the Chiefs in Week 14.

  • Softest Stretch: Weeks 2-3 (vs. LV, @Was)

The Bad

  • The Bills will travel the 14th-most miles (18,228) and they’ll cross 18 time zones (per Bookies.com).

  • The Bills are one of nine teams playing in the International Series. They’ll square off against the Jaguars in London in Week 5. Jacksonville will already be in the United Kingdom from Week 4 and the Bills lose a home date for the game.

  • The Bills are tied with the Chiefs, Chargers, and Cowboys for the most primetime games with six.

  • Buffalo plays on the road in four of its last six games.

  • Toughest Stretch: Weeks 14-16 (@KC, vs. Dal, @LAC)

Key Off-season Moves

AdditionsDraftDepartures
OG Connor McGovernTE Dalton KincaidLB Tremaine Edmunds
EDGE Leonard FloydOG O’Cyrus TorrenceRB Devin Singletary
RB Damien HarrisLB Dorian WilliamsWR Isaiah McKenzie
WR Deonte HartyWR Justin ShorterQB Case Keenum
RB Latavius MurrayS Jaquan Johnson
DT Poona FordWR Jamison Crowder
S Taylor Rapp
WR Trent Sherfield
QB Kyle Allen
OG David Edwards
CB Cameron Dantzler

Head Coach History

Sean McDermott: 7th season, 62-35 overall record (.639), 5-1 win total record

YearRecordWin Total ResultPoint of Elimination
2022 (Buf)13-3 (1st AFCE)Over 12Divisional
2021 (Buf)11-6 (1st AFCE)Under 11.5Divisional
2020 (Buf)13-3 (1st AFCE)Over 9AFC Championship
2019 (Buf)10-6 (2nd AFCE)Over 7Wild Card
2018 (Buf)6-10 (3rd AFCE)Over 5.5Regular Season
2017 (Buf)9-7 (2nd AFCE)Over 6.5Wild Card

2023 Season Odds

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Team FuturesOdds
Season Win Total (O/U)10.5 (-134/+110)
AFC East+130
Playoffs (Y/N)-245/+194
AFC Championship+450
Super Bowl+900

Season Prop Movement

Win Total: 10.5 (-140) in late March to 10.5 (-134)

Super Bowl: +850 in mid-February to +900

Reasons to Bet Over the Season Win Total

Sean McDermott’s teams have been money in the bank with a 5-1 win total record since the Bills went on an unlikely run to the postseason in his first season in 2017. McDermott’s team fell just a half-game short of their 11.5 win total in 2021, or else he’d have a perfect record heading into 2023. Josh Allen’s ascension has certainly played the most significant part in McDermott’s success as head coach. The duo has combined for double-digit victories in each of the last four seasons. Allen has yet to win an MVP award but he’s finished in the top three of voting in two of the last three seasons.

The Bills had one of the NFL’s best rosters last season and they’re mostly running it back with a few key additions. Leonard Floyd racked up 9+ sacks in his three seasons with the Rams, and he followed his old teammate Von Miller to western New York. Floyd and Miller will team with emerging EDGE defenders Gregory Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa to form one of the league’s best group of pass rushers. They attacked two of their weakest offensive spots by signing Connor McGovern and drafting O’Cyrus Torrence to bolster the interior of their offensive line. Buffalo also lured former Patriot Damien Harris to be its lead runner. Those additions should help them ice away more games with the run rather than constantly relying on Allen to make plays for all 60 minutes. The Bills have led in the fourth quarter quite a bit the last two seasons, finishing with the league’s best average scoring margin in 2021 and 2022. They’re favored in 13 games heading into this season, which is the fifth-most in the league. The Bills open the season as favorites in their first eight games and they’re 3.5-point favorites or better in 10 contests.

Reasons to Bet Under the Season Win Total

Allen turned just 27 years old in May but I’m slightly concerned we may have seen the best of him at least as the dominant dual-threat quarterback he demonstrated when he finished as the fantasy QB1 in 2020-21. As noted in the intro, his play cooled off significantly after Week 7 in his first season without offensive guru Brian Daboll. He also showed his first signs of wear and tear from his physical brand of QB play. Allen missed the reliable Cole Beasley in the middle of the field for most of 2022, and the Bills decided to run it back with mostly the same receiving corps from 2022. They drafted Dalton Kincaid in the first round to potentially be his new chain mover, but relying on contributions from first-year TEs has been hit and mostly miss. The Bills made moves to address the interior of their O-line but it’s still a weaker group as a whole, and the overall depth of this roster isn’t quite where it’s been in recent years.

Buffalo’s once impenetrable secondary showed some cracks last season with their now 32-year-old safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde struggling to stay on the field. Tre-Davious White also needs to return to his old form after a down season in his first year removed from ACL surgery. Buffalo has a hole at linebacker after Tremaine Edmunds departed for Chicago in free agency, which they’ll fill with 11-year veteran A.J. Klein. The Bills stagnated a bit while the Jets and Dolphins made moves to significantly improve the last two off-seasons. Buffalo will have its hands full staying at the top of the AFC East with the NFL’s fourth-toughest schedule based on win totals.

Notable Player Props

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Josh Allen: passing yards (4350.5), passing TDs (32.5), rushing yards (550.5), rushing TDs (6.5), MVP (+800), most passing yards (+1000)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — passing yards (4250), passing TDs (30), rushing yards (645), rushing TDs (8)

James Cook: rushing TDs (4.5), most rushing yards (+10000)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — rushing yards (715), rushing TDs (2.5)

Stefon Diggs: receiving yards (1125.5), OPOY (+3000), most receiving yards (+1800)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (1250)

Gabe Davis: receiving yards (775.5)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (835)

Dawson Knox: receiving yards (425.5)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (435)

Dalton Kincaid: OROY (+3500), most rookie receiving yards (+2000)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (565)

Best Bets and Leans

Best Bets

  • Dalton Kincaid (Buf) to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+5000, BetMGM). Risk .2 units to win 10 units. Placed May 3.

A tight end has never won the OROY in the 56-year existence of the award, but Kincaid isn’t your typical TE, and he enters a unique situation, as well. He’ll have to compete with Dawson Knox for snaps and targets, but the Bills have the plan to use them together, with Kincaid playing as the team’s slot receiver when two TEs are on the field. Knox ran a generous 31.5 routes per game in Buffalo’s pass-heavy attack, which means Kincaid’s role could be bigger than expected in Year 1. FanDuel has the Utah TE as the sixth favorite to lead rookies in receiving yards at +1200 odds despite his TE label. Kincaid will be aided by playing on the national stage quite a bit on one of the league’s best teams with Josh Allen at quarterback.

Leans

  • Buffalo Bills over 10.5 wins (-134, FanDuel)

The Jets and Dolphins made moves to come for Buffalo’s AFC East crown, which they’ve held for the last three seasons, but I’m not betting against Josh Allen and Sean McDermott until they show some real cracks. Buffalo will face one of the league’s most difficult schedules but it’s been unfazed in the regular season in recent years. The Bills own an average scoring margin of +11.0 over the last two years, and the Cowboys (+8.74), Chiefs (+7.2), and the 49ers (+6.9) are the only teams in their zip code. Buffalo’s championship window with its current defensive roster could be closing in the near future, but it should have one more season to compete with the Chiefs at the top of the AFC.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 64.3% clip last season and he owned the last undefeated team out of 3000 entries in Scott Fish Bowl 12.