The 12-3 Buffalo Bills are currently +800 to win Super Bowl LV, and my bet has been placed. Yup, I’m betting on the Bills.
Josh Allen is leading an explosive Bills offense, winners of five in a row and eight of their last nine. The lone loss was the Hail Mary against the Cardinals – this team is as hot as anyone in the NFL right now.
I’m struck with 2017 Philadelphia Eagles vibes when I look at this team. Young quarterback making a big leap, new additions at WR making a difference, Andy Reid-disciple leading the team, an offense putting up points in a hurry, and a strong pass rushing unit.
That’s always a great recipe for success, and it’s why I love these Bills. I find +800 to be great value as the likely #2 seed in the AFC.
Yes, the Chiefs are still there. At 14-1, they’ve locked up the top seed in the playoffs and home field advantage. The Chiefs have won ten straight games, but you may be surprised to know that each of their last seven games has been decided by less than six points.
Now, that could be a scary thing – as they haven’t yet kept their foot on the gas for an entire game, or it could be a sign of a team that’s had all the right breaks, and is due for a regression.
This is a pro-Bills blog, not an anti-Chiefs one, so let’s dig deeper into this Buffalo team and why I think they can make a Super Bowl run.
Betting on the Bills: Josh Allen
It starts and ends with the quarterback, and Allen is playing as well as anyone. His stats are impressive, yes (4,320 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 69% completion rate, 418 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns).
It goes so much deeper than the box score with Allen, though. Have you watched a Bills game this year? The man maneuvers in and out of the pocket with ease, displaying arm strength, decisiveness and elite athleticism.
Allen has taken a massive leap in Year 3, with his biggest growth coming in completion percentage. Allen had the worst completion rate of all eligible quarterbacks the last two years, last year completing just over 58% of his passes. To take a jump to nearly 70% is the exact type of progression you hope to see and it’s why I feel so confident putting my money behind this passer and this offense.
Let’s talk about the rest of that offense. The benefit of having a quarterback on his rookie contract (see: 2019 Chiefs, 2018 Rams, 2017 Eagles) is the money you can disperse to other difference-makers on your roster.
Stefon Diggs was the star acquisition of the offseason. In his first year in Buffalo, the 27 year old has 120 receptions for 1,459 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Those reception and yardage numbers are both tops in the NFL, and Diggs’ presence is a huge reason for the Bills offensive success this year.
Elsewhere, Cole Beasley has remained a reliable option in the passing game, and rookie Gabriel Davis has flashed some nice speed in lieu of John Brown.
Pro Football Focus grades out the Bills as the sixth-strongest passing team and third-best receiving group in the league.
The running game is a bit more middling, but rookie Zack Moss and veteran Devin Singletary have shown to be a solid 1-2 punch, the depth you look for in your running back room before a playoff run.
The offensive line is a top-ten unit in both pass and run-blocking. Sparknotes: this is one of the league’s best offenses.
They average nearly 30 points per game and if you watch a Bills game, you just see a level of explosiveness matched only by the Chiefs and Packers.
An Able Defense
The Bills achilles-heel would be their rush defense, dead last in the NFL. There’s no denying that’s the biggest red-flag, so in the spirit of this blog, let’s not harp on it. If a Bills run is to be derailed, it would be if they draw a team like Cleveland or Tennessee who can run the ball down their throats and churn out clock.
An ideal draw would be the Dolphins as the 7th seed followed by Pittsburgh in the divisional round. Neither team is built around the run, mitigating this disaster area.
Let’s hone in on the positive aspects of this defense: their pass-rush and their coverage unit.
PFF grades Buffalo’s pass rush as the fourth-strongest in the NFL, led by defensive linemen Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison and Ed Oliver.
Hughes leads the team with 53 quarterback pressures (15th most), followed by Addison’s 39 and Oliver’s 35. In total, this defense has 37 sacks on the year, 13th best in the NFL.
It’s a deep unit, which contributes to such a high overall grade. I’m a sucker for a good pass rush. It can turn a game on its head.
The Bills secondary is ranked 14th in the NFL, led by Pro Bowl corner Tre’Davious White (3 interceptions).
Despite leading in most of their games, the Bills surrender just 222.8 passing yards per game, good for eighth best.
It’s not a world-beater, but this defense can get the job done and get the ball back to the offense – what more can we ask?
Sean McDermott, an Andy Reid disciple, has coached the Bills for the last four years, making the playoffs three times.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has understandably gotten much buzz as a potential head coaching candidate, as the author for this strong offense. A former offensive coach for New England, Daboll knows what it takes to win in the postseason.
Together, these coaches have created a winning culture in Buffalo, and I’m here for it.
Why I’m Betting the Bills to Win Super Bowl LV
I’m taking a flier on the Bills at +800 to win the Super Bowl. It’s a bet on Josh Allen to keep this offense humming. The Allen-Diggs combo has been lethal all year and this team has been exciting to watch on a weekly basis.
Let’s hope we get to watch four more games this postseason.
For all things NFL betting, make sure you’re following along on Twitter, @griffybets. Let me know if you’re joining me on this Super Bowl future!