There are few times I feel compelled to let my betting picks be known and this is one of them. I don’t (hope) think this will reach enough people to move the line and as an active contributor to the site, I think it’s my duty to write this blog. Ok, enough of the sappy stuff.
Each week I write a football column here called "Payne’s Perspective" that you can find under football columns. Besides being a catchy title, I discuss whatever comes to mind each week regarding football. Sometimes in the offseason this can be taxing as with any sport in the offseason there are some weeks that are very slow. The first legitimate odds on the over/under for season football team wins came out this week. As in, you can walk into a specified casino in Las Vegas or where gambling is legal and bet this. Of course, I only encourage people to do that and nothing illegal. Never bet any more than what you can afford and keep in mind this is only done for entertainment purposes. Over the next two weeks I’ll first discuss the AFC over/under for each team this week and then tackle the NFC next week. Until then…
The wager I like the most is nothing more than my hometown Bills, over seven wins (-110). First off, H/T to Mr. Dalton Del Don for his email leading me to:
As you can see, they have listed every team and their O/U total. Notice that they also have placed limits on the wagers for the short term that will become more lenient as time goes on (and they see how each team is bet). Again, I’ll be discussing this over the next two weeks in my football column my preference for each team but felt the need to explain the best pick here before the line moves.
Before I’m going to be called a homer, I was very much anti-Bills last season as I felt they did nothing in the offseason and could not see much upside for the team. I remember doing radio with Jeff Erickson and Dalton and being asked what I thought about the 5-2 start. My answer was something to the effect that I couldn’t believe they had that record and apparently I was very wrong about the team with my dismal preseason prediction. After they finished 6-10, it looks more like I was on the right track before the season began.
However, this season brings a ton of optimism. The Bills made a few savvy moves in the offseason and should be a lot healthier (think Fred Jackson, the O-line, WR, etc.). They signed the $100 million man in Mario Williams to bolster the pass rush as well as Mark Anderson (and his 10 sacks, 36 quarterback pressures). Pro-Bowler Kyle Williams should be healthy again and his presence will make up a solid front four with second year pro Marcell Dareus. I’d be shocked (provided they stay healthy) if this isn’t a top-3 defensive line in the league and they could rival the Giants for being the best.
The skilled position players – Fred Jackson, Steve Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick and to a lesser extent Scott Chandler all have been paid in the last year. There’s no reason to gripe about a contract; they’ve all been extended and should be happy.
Let’s talk about the offensive line. Chad Rinehart, Kraig Urbik, Cordy Glenn, Eric Wood (love him), Erik Pears, Andy Levitre are one of the more underrated lines in the league. This season they should have some depth and while Fred Jackson is very talented (and to a lesser extent Ryan Fitzpatrick), I’m sure they’ll tell you these guys play a big role in their success.
In the draft the Bills took Stephon Gilmore to become a shutdown corner. T.J. Graham has the speed to stretch the field and allow David Nelson to work in the slot. The Bills could still get production out of youngsters Donald Jones and Marcus Easley at wide receiver as well. If nothing else, Cordy Glenn fell to them and provides offensive line depth wherever he ends up playing. Dave Wannstedt is now the defensive coordinator (and has them switching to a 4-3) and he strikes me as the type who’s a better coordinator than head coach (think Norv Turner, Wade Phillips, etc.). Jairus Byrd and George Wilson are solid safeties and they now have a linebacker named Tank. Basically, the Bills have taken the Giants blueprint for beating the Patriots (get four after Brady, drop seven into coverage), realizing that’s the key to not only the division but to represent the AFC.
Is that too big of an expectation to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl? Yes, without a doubt. But right now you can get the Bills at 50:1 to win the big game which I think is outstanding value if you buy my idea that they can make the playoffs. Get a horse into a 12-horse race and who knows what happens.
Given everything I’ve stated, doesn’t it seem they’ve made enough improvement to be at least a 7-9 team? The idea here is that they’re even better than that. So let’s go back and look at last season to see if that tells us anything as well.
Their six wins were against Kansas City, Oakland, New England, Philadelphia, Washington and Denver. Out of those six games, Kansas City, Oakland, Washington and Denver should not be surprises. Obviously beating New England was a shock given the Patriots dominance in the recent past over them. Keep in mind though that in New England, Buffalo was up 21-0 until Steve Johnson…well the Pittsburgh game comes to mind as well so we’ll skip that. The Bills lost by three at Cincinnati and at the Giants; both games that could have gone the other way.
Onto this season, given what I’ve said is it possible the Bills lose four games again to the Dolphins and the Jets? I’d think the odds of winning at least three out of those four is much higher than going 0-for-4 there. They get Kansas City again as well as Jacksonville, St. Louis, Seattle, and Tennessee – all winnable games. Going to San Francisco and Arizona back-to-back weeks won’t be easy but I have to think they’ll be favored at Cleveland and at Indianapolis. I don’t see them being at least nine point dogs to New England both games either and taking at least one of those games shouldn’t be a surprise anymore after last season.
So tell me, am I off my rocker here or does this seem to be enough evidence that the worse case scenario here is the Bills finish 7-9 and they push on their over/under bet? The more likely scenario is they win the over on seven games and finish 8-8 or .500 or better? Yes or no, let me know what you think.