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Buffalo Bills Betting Odds Preview

After failing to make the playoffs again last season the Bills have now been on the outside looking in come the postseason for 14 straight seasons. The last time the Bills did make the playoffs their first round draft pick Sammy Watkins was seven years old.

Playoffs or not, this will be an important season for the future of the franchise following the death of team owner Ralph Wilson in March. The team will go up for sale at season’s end, leaving their future in Buffalo in question.

Buffalo Bills Odds to Win AFC East: +900 at Bovada
Buffalo Bills Odds to Win Super Bowl: 100/1 at Bovada
Buffalo Bills Regular Season Win Total: 6.5 at Bovada
Buffalo Bills Betting Props: Sammy Watkins to Win Offensive ROY 9/2 at Bovada

On the field the Bills are hoping their latest rebuild is a quick one. Quarterback E.J. Manuel went through plenty of growing pains last season as a rookie, leading the Bills to a 6-10 record and the 19th ranked offense, averaging 338.1 yards per game. Buffalo is hoping Manuel will continue to blossom into their franchise QB this season and Watkins, who they traded up in the draft to get, can be a difference maker in the offense.

If Manuel or Watkins falters at least the running game should be strong behind thunder and lightning duo C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. The tandem combined to rush for just over 1800 yards last season while almost splitting the carries right down the middle. Spiller will likely see his carries increase if the 33-year-old Jackson begins to decline, and newly acquired Bryce Brown also provides another backfield option.

The Bills' main strength last season was their defense. Buffalo was second in the league in both sacks and interceptions last season and with their young, talented defensive line they should continue to terrorize QBs this season. Mario Williams racked up 13 sacks in his first season in Buffalo and made the Pro Bowl along with Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus.

While the D-line should remain strong the rest of the defense has some big holes to fill. Linebacker Kiko Alonso had a breakout season last year, leading the Bills with 159 tackles. He won’t register even one this season after being lost for the year due to an offseason knee injury. Buffalo is hoping the signing of veteran Brandon Spikes can take the sting out of the loss of Alonso.

Also missing this year will be Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd. He flew the coop and will be difficult to replace in the secondary. One other big change on defense is the guy running the show, as former Lions coach Jim Schwartz takes over as coordinator after Mitch Pettine left to take the head job in Cleveland.

AFC East Odds at Bovada as of August 5

New England Patriots -300
Miami Dolphins +650
New York Jets +650
Buffalo Bills +900

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The 2012 season brought more disappointment to Buffalo Bills fans and backers as the team missed the playoffs for the 14th straight year and failed to post a winning record for the eighth straight year. Will an influx of new talent on offense be enough to break the Bills out of their slump?

Odds to Win AFC East: +1600 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 6.5 at Bovada

Buffalo’s struggles within the AFC East continued last season as the Bills went just 2-4 against divisional opponents, dropping their record to 6-24 SU in AFC East play over their last five seasons.

While Buffalo’s offense was mediocre overall, the Bills did carve out an identity on offense with a strong year rushing the football. Buffalo’s 138.6 yards per game ranked sixth best in the league, led by C.J. Spiller’s breakout of 1244 yards on 207 carries. Ryan Fitzpatrick recorded his third straight 3000-yard season with 3400 yards, but his 16 interceptions and general lack of effectiveness made the Bills decide to go a different direction when they cut him in March.

The Bills have used the draft to build around their solid running game on offense, drafting E.J. Manuel in the first round to likely take over at starting quarterback and giving him a pair of talented wideouts in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. QB Kevin Kolb was also acquired via free agency to help Manuel’s progression.

While the young talent on offense building around C.J. Spiller is exciting, the lack of movement on defense is concerning. The Bills were once again terrible on that side of the ball in 2012, finishing 26th in the NFL in points allowed with 27.2 per game and 31st in run defense with 145.8 yards per game against.

All-in-all, it figures to be another long year for the Bills. Even if E.J. Manuel can follow in the footsteps of some of last year’s star rookie quarterbacks and gets the Bills rolling on offense, the defense doesn’t figure to take a big enough step forward for the Bills to compete for a playoff spot.

AFC East Odds at Bovada as of July 26
New England Patriots -400
Miami Dolphins +325
New York Jets +1600
Buffalo Bills +1600