The Bills snapped a 17-year playoff drought last season, losing 10-3 to the Jaguars in the AFC Wild-Card round. A host of lackluster offensive changes and five of their first seven games on the road makes repeating the postseason run far-fetched.
Below you will find the Bills’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 9-7 (-3.6 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 9-6-1 (-1.5 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: 2.0
2017 Win Total: 6.5 (+130)
2018 Win Total 5Dimes (pre-schedule): 6.5 (-120)
2018 Strength of Schedule: 18th, opponents were 127-129 (.496)Three Games to Back ATS
Bears, Week 9; Jets, Week 14; Dolphins, Week 17
The Bills’ defense was up and down for much of 2017, perfecting new head coach Sean McDermott’s complex schemes. The most consistent area was in the pass rush — getting to the quarterback, forcing errant throws and generating turnovers. Buffalo nabbed an interception on 3.02 percent of opponent throws, the eighth highest rate in the NFL.
When up against a team that tossed more than 0.5 picks per game the prior year, the Bills went 9-3-1 ATS. At New Era Field, with the home crowd cheering on, they went 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS. Buffalo forced 2.1 turnovers per game in this spot. The Bears (0.8), Jets (0.8) and Dolphins (1.3) all trigger the INT ratio for the upcoming campaign, and have either inexperienced or troubled quarterback play. Consider the points with Bills here.
Three Games to Fade ATS
Patriots, Week 8; Jaguars, Week 12; Lions, Week 15
The Bills underwent major changes on offense in the offseason. Gone is quarterback Tyrod Taylor, starting left tackle Cordy Glenn, center Eric Wood and left guard Richie Icognito. The front office signed former Bengals backup QB AJ McCarron as the everyday signal caller -- at least until a 2018 draft pick is ready. For an offense that ranked 27th in the league in 2017 with 17.9 points per game, these changes offer little hope for increased scoring.
This will be problematic against opponents that can put up points with ease. Including the playoffs, Buffalo went 9-8 SU and 10-6-1 ATS in 2017. The record against teams that posted 25.5 points or more per game the previous season: 2-4 SU and ATS. Opponents scored 30.8 points per game. Buffalo couldn’t keep up, losing by 20 or more in each defeat (Saints, Chargers, and Patriots twice). Look for similar possible blowouts hosting the Jags (25.9), Lions (25.6), and Pats (28.9) this year.
Trap Game Potential
@Colts, Week 7
The fifth road game of the Bills’ season falls in Week 7 at Indianapolis. Assuming Buffalo’s offense scores less than 20.0 points per game, the Colts are 11-3 SU hosting opponents averaging less since 2012. Their mean margin of victory equals 7.9 points. This includes a 2-1 SU and ATS record last season.