We preview the 2015 Buffalo Bills. Will this team go over or under the posted future odds total of 8.5 wins? Read this extremely intriguing piece in order to find out.
2015 Buffalo Bills Betting Preview
My area of focus in this article will be on the Buffalo Bills season win total future odds for the upcoming 2015 season. Buffalo’s over and under win total is currently posted at 8.5 across the board for all the major sportsbooks. I’ve also listed some other future odds pertaining to the Buffalo Bills below, and those will be a discussion for another day.
Buffalo Bills Futures Odds
+520 to win the AFC East at 5Dimes
+1776 to win the AFC championship at Bookmaker
+4175 to win the Super Bowl at Bookmaker
Five of the sixteen regular season games on Buffalo’s 2015 schedule will come versus opponents that qualified for the playoffs a season ago, and that includes two encounters versus the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. It must be noted, that four of those five games versus last season’s playoff participants will be played at home.
The first two games of the 2015 campaign certainly will be major tests. They open the season versus the Indianapolis Colts and then comes New England in week two. By the way, those two teams played in the AFC Championship Game a year ago. The positive part of those unenviable tasks is that both of those contests will be played at home, and New England star quarterback Tom Brady will be serving his four game deflategate suspension during that time. Although I wouldn’t deem their schedule to be easy by any stretch, it’s certainly conducive to a possible huge year with all things being considered.
The consensus opinion from national media sources widely agree, the quarterback situation in Buffalo isn’t only a major weakness, but possibly can spoil what may otherwise be potentially a special season. Currently it’s a three horse race heading into training camp between 2013 first round draft choice E.J. Manuel, veteran Matt Cassel, and former Baltimore Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor. It’s easy to see why none of those choices will create any type of buzz locally let alone nationally. Manuel has all of 14 career starts under his belt, and has been less than impressive in those opportunities. The most consistent thing about Matt Cassel’s NFL career has been his inconsistency. Then there’s the unknown commodity in Tyrod Taylor who has spent the first four years of his NFL tenure backing up Joe Flacco. Despite that lack of experience, Taylor has been highly coveted by Rex Ryan for awhile now. Whoever emerges as the opening day starter won’t be expected to shoulder a heavy load, and protecting the football will be imperative in order to maintain the job.
Free Agency and Trades Bolster the Offense
General manager Doug Whaley was extremely aggressive during the offseason in terms of upgrading the talent level on offense. He was able to secure star running back LeSean McCoy in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, and sent linebacker Kiko Alonso to Philadelphia. He had missed the entire 2014 season due to a knee injury. He also acquired veteran quarterback Matt Cassel via a trade with Minnesota. At the very least, Cassel will provide an insurance policy if he fails to earn the starter’s job
Buffalo certainly made some huge splashes in free agency. They signed highly volatile but extremely talented receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin to a one year deal. They also gained the services of controversial offensive guard Richie Incognito who’s been out of football since being suspended by the NFL in 2013. Incognito comes with a lot of baggage, but if he returns to his Pro Bowl form that he displayed with Miami in 2012, the one year veteran minimum deal could amount to being an absolute steal. They also acquired one of the best blocking fullbacks in football Jerome Felton, and outbid Miami for tight end Charley Clay. Both of whom fit perfectly into new offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme.
Defense Wins Championships
The highly talented Buffalo Bills defensive unit will be operating under their third defensive coordinator in three seasons. However, that would seem to be of little concern. They ranked fourth in total defense a season ago, were first in sacks with 53, and allowed a paltry 18.1 points per game. They also did a very good job of getting the ball back to their offense by creating 30 turnovers which ranked 3rd best in the NFL.
The defensive line has sent three players to the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons. Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus, and Mario Williams all earned trips to Hawaii in 2015, following all of them receiving identical honors in 2014. Then there’s Jerry Hughes who doesn’t get as much notoriety, but has recorded ten sacks in each of the past two seasons. The Bills made sure Hughes didn’t reach the free agent market by signing him to a lucrative deal in March. This group is unequivocally the best in the NFL from my standpoint, especially considering the quality depth they possess with backup players that could be starters on other NFL rosters.
The Bills will use two inside linebackers in Rex Ryan’s vaunted defensive scheme. That position appears to be in very capable hands with second year pro Preston Brown and 25 year old Nigel Bradham. Brown led the teams in tackles as a rookie, and Bradham has been a starter since game 5 of his first season when he was taken in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft. They also possess a real sleeper in Ty Powell who can step in at any time with no significant drop off whatsoever.
The secondary should be solid with an up and coming star in Stephon Gilmore along with veteran Leodis Mcklelvin at cornerback. They also added depth at the position by drafting Florida State product Ronald Darby in the 2nd round of this past NFL draft. Safety may be a bit of a concern after losing last season’s starter Da’Norris Searcy to free agency. However, if veteran Corey Graham is able to make a seamless transition from corner to safety as anticipated, and with incumbent Aaron Williams returning, safety can possibly end up being a position of strength.
Dan Carpenter has been absolute money since becoming Buffalo’s placekicker at the start of the 2013 season. The Bills special teams graded out as 2nd best in the NFL a year ago. With newly acquired Percy Harvin returning punts and kickoffs, the sky is the limit for these units. Buffalo also resigned special team standout Marcus Easley who is a top notch performer in kick coverage. Kickoff specialist Jordan Gay provides an additional weapon who has limited opponent’s opportunities for returns due to his high touchback ratio. Punter Colton Schmidt (42.9 avg.) was solid in 2014, and was reported to have an excellent offseason mini-camp.
There’s a ton of excitement regarding the 2015 season for Buffalo Bills fans and rightfully so. They’ve already sold the most season tickets in franchise history, eclipsing the three years following Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990’s. That accomplishment is even more impressive considering this franchise hasn’t made the playoffs for 15 years, and it lends a high degree of credence for the expectation level in 2015. I like the Bills to win more than 8.5 games for one of my NFL picks. bet365 provides me with the best price in that regard at over 8.5 wins (-110).