by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Heading to Vegas and as always looking at some future bets to have some fun with over the football season. The Bills over 7 wins is one that I will be betting. Here’s why:
Bills over 7 wins
This started at 6 ½ wins and now is up to seven as people started to bet the Bills. I still like it at 7, wish I could have gotten it at 6 ½ but I’ll still take it at seven.
Look at last year’s schedule and it was a nightmare looking back. The first nine games were brutal. There were six playoff teams that the Bills played in the first nine. Then there were two teams (Minnesota and Tennessee) that got eliminated on the last day of the regular season. The easy game was against Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. This was before Green Bay’s season turned south. The Bills had to make two upsets in Minnesota and home to Tennessee just to not start 0-9. In a way it was amazing that they went 6-10 last year with a rookie quarterback.
This year the schedule is much easier at the start. The Bills should get off to a much better start. The Jets on the road is a winnable game even though they will be the underdog. The Giants are all banged up and I feel they are one of the worst teams in football in week 2. The home opener against the Bengals should be a win. The Bengals lost their first round pick and may not have AJ Green for the game. The Dolphins are in total rebuilding mode. Both games against Miami should be wins. Washington at home should be a win. The Redskins have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Starting a rookie quarterback on the road against a good defense usually means a win as well. Denver later in the season at home should be a win. Who knows if Joe Flacco still is the QB at that time. He may have turned things over to Drew Lock at that time. Baltimore at home later in the season is a game that should be a wins as well. I like the Ravens later because you will have more of a book on the Ravens offense. I still feel Lamar Jackson is very limited in the passing game. I believe he’s more limited than Tyrod Taylor was with the Bills. Teams will have more of a book on him by this time.
That’s seven wins right there: Giants, Bengals, Dolphins x2, Redskins, Broncos and Ravens. That’s not making any upsets. Those are all games the Bills should be favored in. The Bills should at least split with the Jets. Both teams are on a similar level and it might be hard for either team to sweep the series this year. In Tennessee should be a very even game. Like last year both teams have a good defense and the Bills pulled out a tight low scoring victory. I see a similar game this year that is a toss-up. Any home game is winnable even against a good Eagles team. If this game was on the road I would put it in the loss column for sure but at home in front of a tough crowd, who knows.
Each year in the first two season under Sean McDermott the Bills have pulled big upsets on the road. In the first year the Bills beat the Falcons and Chiefs in games I didn’t think they had a chance. Last year they went into Minnesota and came away with a victory. So with this coaching staff you never know if that will continue this year. The road games that I would put in that category this year would be: New England, Cleveland, Dallas and Pittsburgh. At this point I would see those games as losses but we will see if this team can pull off big upsets again this year.
Quarterback and Run Defenses
Last year the Bills played some of the better quarterbacks in football. This is what made their good defensive numbers even more impressive to me. Having to face Brady, Rivers, Rodgers, Luck and Watson were tough tasks for any defense. This year you still have Brady but the only other QB’s I fear are Roethlisberger and Wentz. The average QBR is 20th from last year where the 2019 quarterbacks they play ranked. That’s a much easier slate with a good defense.
The Bills love to run the ball and they played the fourth toughest schedule last year in terms of run defenses. This year the average run defenses they face based on last year’s numbers is 21st. The Bills should be able to run the ball this year and take some pressure off of Josh Allen.
The combination of the easier schedule with not great quarterback or run defenses means in my eyes the Bills should be better this year. This doesn’t even take in account for the better roster. I believe it goes without say that the roster is better this year than last year.
Therefore if the Bills were able to win six game last year they should be able to win at least one more game this year for me to get the push and not lose money. I believe this is at least an eight or nine win teams so one of my bets in Vegas will be the Bills over seven wins.