Weekly Breakdown & Picks for the Buffalo Bills NFL Season

Nikki Adams

Thursday, July 31, 2014 4:00 PM GMT

Buffalo Bills are the quintessential long shots of the AFC East, matched at whopping +1100 to win the division in NFL betting markets. What does that outlook mean for their regular season wins? Find out as we preview every game and deliver our NFL picks.

Bills Transitioning
Buffalo Bills began their transitional phase last season under new coach Doug Marrone. Into the second year of his mandate to rebuild the Bills, the expectations will only be greater. Improving on the 6-10 finish that thrust the Bills into the AFC East basement last season is going to be one of his main priorities, against which his tenure will certainly be measured. Offseason additions augur well towards that end: former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is now the defensive coordinator; Keith Rivers and Brandon Spikes were taken into the fold amongst others. All bold moves that have sparked some interest in their upcoming season amongst NFL bettors.

Some have gone so far as to suggest they are the team on the rise – every season a surprise package emerges, not unlike the Chiefs last year as they emerged from the ashes of their 2012 season. Such serious debate has prompted many to consider the Bills a sleeper NFL pick in sports betting circles.

Yet, odds makers remain unmoved, matching the Bills as the long shots of the AFC and chalking the line conservatively at 6.5. Will the Bills go Over or Under this mark. Let’s find out as we preview every game and serve up our NFL betting picks.

 

Game-by-Game Preview:

Week 1 @ Chicago
The Bills struggled on defense last season, not to mention on the road where they went 2-6-0. They’ve made some key improvements that augur well, particularly the run defense. But do they have all the answers for a Bears offense that could light up? That is, supposing it does light up. It’s quite possible Jay Cutler will have an unmemorable opener – there’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders to deliver, after all. That amongst other things makes this a close call. Chicago should win at home but the Bills could surprise here.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 2 vs. Miami
Last season, the Bills swept the series, edging the 23-21 victory in Miami (week 7) and then spanking the Dolphins 19-0 (week 16) in Buffalo. Ryan Tannehill is as unreliable a quarterback as they come. Bills should take this one handily.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 3 vs. San Diego
San Diego Chargers are one of several playoff contenders this season in the eyes of many NFL bettors, expecting them to improve on their solid 9-7 record in a tough AFC West division. This is going to be an interesting matchup for both teams, particularly in the quarterback position. Philip Rivers proved a revelation last season. Can he carry it into this season? Yes.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 4 @ Houston
Texans were abominable last season but they are expected to turn things around this season. Of course, everything hinges on the offense lighting up under potential quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, former Bills starter. Should be an interesting reunion for Fitzpatrick as he attempts to upstage EJ Manuel.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 5 @ Detroit
Not unlike the Bills, the Lions are proving a sleeper NFL pick in many circles to do some damage in the wide-open NFC North. By week 5, we should have an idea whether that’s a likely scenario. For the time being, as far as this matchup goes, the Lions do have the defensive edge to do some damage.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 6 vs. New England
New England Patriots offense is going to give the Bills defense a lot of headaches in this game. Granted the Bills have improved on that side of the ball in the offseason, which could see them keep this game close. Nevertheless, beating the Patriots would be quite the statement by EJ Manuel and we’re not sure he’s seasoned enough to rise to that challenge.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 7 vs. Minnesota
This game is a complete coin toss. Last season, the Vikings failed to win on the road. Obviously, if that trend holds true this season (somewhat unlikely), it’s a no-brainer. Bills can’t take anything for granted, even if odds makers are writing off the Vikings. An offense that boasts Adrian Peterson is always going to be dangerous. Dealing with that rushing offense might prove challenging.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 8 @ New York Jets
Last season, the Bills lost 27-20 in New York before levelling the series with a 37-14 win in Buffalo. Featured within this series is the budding rivalry between Geno Smith and EJ Manuel. We don’t know yet whether this growing quarterback rivalry will feature in week 8 as the Jets have added Michael Vick as an insurance policy, but we certainly hope so. The Jets also snapped up Eric Decker and Breno Giacomini, two of the tastiest free agency morsels floating in the market.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 9: Bye

 

Week 10 vs. Kansas City
The Bills welcome the Chiefs following a bye week. The Chiefs beat the Bills last season 23-13 in Buffalo, marking their ninth straight win in 2013 to start the season. Alex Smith was solid at quarterback and the Chiefs defense was one of the strongest in the league. This isn’t going to be a good matchup for the Bills if we see much of the same from the Chiefs this season.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 11 @ Miami
This is a great matchup for the Bills, or so it has been in recent seasons. Last season, the Bill swept the series. If they show up in similar fashion again, they could dominate this rivalry in 2014.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 12 vs. New York Jets
The Jets descend on the Bills, boasting some attractive offensive options that will challenge the Bills improved defense if they click together. Question is can the Bills offense rise to the occasion or will it be a tough ask altogether. Training camp reports have Jets working on turnovers and pointing to a blitz-happy defense.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 13 vs. Cleveland
The Cleveland Browns are in rebuild mode and if training camp reports are anything to go by Johnny “Football” Manziel is your quintessential rookie, nowhere near being ready. Too many question marks hang over the Browns to suggest they could stroll into Buffalo to take the win. The home team should win convincingly.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 14 @ Denver
The sum of Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning and the freezing weather in December equals a whitewash affair. Bills probably needn’t bother showing up.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 15 vs. Green Bay
Green Bay Packers loom large on the schedule, immediately after a trek to Denver no less. Aaron Rodgers and his high-octane offense should run circles around the Bills defense.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 16 @ Oakland
Finally, it’s a winnable road game for EJ Manuel and his Bills. Well, on paper it is. NFL bettors can’t take anything for granted of course, but Matt Schaub is after one of his worst seasons ever with the Texans. It remains to be seen what he’ll amount to this season as a Raider but early indications are conservative. Sometimes pure talent trumps experience.
NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 17 @ New England
Closing the season in New England against the Patriots, a side that will more likely than not be in the playoff picture and playing for seeding and the sort, isn’t ideal. This isn’t a game the Patriots will drop.
NFL Pick: Loss

 

NFL Betting Verdict
If the Bills are to go Over 6.5, they’ll have to have a very good start to the season. A better start than we’ve predicted otherwise it’s going to be impossible to get the required wins at the expense of Denver, Green Bay or New England (amongst several others) down the stretch. If the Bills get off to a slow start, then they’ll be challenged to go Over 6.5. The schedule is too tough. In fact, we’re predicting another sub-par season, leaning towards the under 6.5 at +130 on our NFL Picks. It’s true the Bills are a side with upside, but we’re not convinced EJ Manuel is seasoned enough to deliver.