- The Buffalo Bills’ average win total has increased this offseason from 6.5 to 6.8
- Why is that number going up, and should you back the Bill now?
- The Bills drastically made over their offensive line during the offseason to make life easier (and safer) for Josh Allen
It’s very hard to make a splashy offseason move if you’re in Buffalo (mostly because the water is frozen 12 months of the year). Yet despite not making any eye-catching additions to their rosters, the average NFL win total for the 2019 Bills has increased slightly this offseason from 6.5 to 6.8.
Buffalo Bills 2019 Win Totals
|Buffalo Bills Regular Season Win Total||Odds at BetOnline|
|Over 7 wins||-125|
|Under 7 wins||+105|
*Odds taken 06/10/19
Is there a reason the Over for the Bills is such an attractive play? Or you should you capitalize on a site that is still offering a win total at 6.5? Let’s explore.
The Over Relies on the Offense
Give Buffalo credit. They’ve done the work to make life better for Josh Allen in his second year. Following a 2018 season that had Allen running for his (franchise record-setting) life, the Bills said goodbye to four of five starters on the offensive line. With only Dion Dawkins left from last year, Allen should, well, he should at least not have less time to throw than last season.
Under pressure on 43.4% of his dropbacks in 2018, Josh Allen only completed 28.3% of his pressured passes, a league low. The Bills made a concerted effort this offseason to improve their offensive line for their young signal-caller. pic.twitter.com/cwgTUMv3ct
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 1, 2019
What will determine whether the Bills are worthy of an over or under bet this year will be what Allen does with (theoretically) more time to throw in year two.
Inaccurate was a polite way of describing Allen’s passing in 2018. He ranked dead-last out of 33 qualified players in completion percentage. Additions like Cole Beasley and Tyler Kroft will only help the offense if Allen can complete short and intermediate passes with consistency.
Josh Allen’s accuracy still a bit of a problem pic.twitter.com/gSP1L4mktS
— Sarcastic Prick (@Richie59FIFTY) December 23, 2018
How Much More Can the Defense Do?
Last year’s 6-10 Bills squad was powered by a defense that ranked second in defensive DVOA. There’s little room for improvement to be made on that side of the ball for Sean McDermott’s team, despite welcoming Ed Oliver into the fold. The biggest benefit for them would be if their offense would stop turning the ball over as the Bills D had the worst average starting field position in the league in 2018.
On the 19 touchdowns allowed by the Bills defense, the opponents' average drive start has been at their own 38.4-yard line. Defense makes you earn your points, but their anemic offense has made life very hard on them.
— Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff) October 26, 2018
Betting the Bills to be successful next year means investing in Allen’s stock and hoping the second-year QB can make a jump this year like so many other young signal callers before him.
So are Bettors Backing the Allen Hype?
Likely, the reason there’s so much optimism in Buffalo is a lack of enthusiasm in their opponents. The Bills are forecast to have the fifth-easiest schedule is the league and that’s with two head-to-head matchups with New England dragging that average down.
Hey 2019 opponents…
Sup? 😏 pic.twitter.com/JPpU3Wu4FH
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) April 18, 2019
A lot of those games look winnable, even if the offense can’t make huge strides from last season.
At this point, I would happily take the over at anywhere offering 6.5. But as someone who isn’t all that confident in Josh Allen, taking the over 7 is less enticing. Expecting a .500 or better team is still a pretty big deal in Western New York: the Bills have only finished there three times in the last 14 years.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.