It has been a long time since Bills Mafia members could feel this good about their team. Despite ending last season with a tough loss in the AFC divisional round, the Buffalo Bills are on the upswing.
Behind Josh Allen's rocket arm, the Bills have emerged as one of the NFL's top teams. In this guide, we'll explain how to bet on the Bills so you're ready for the next time they take the field.
How to bet on the Bills
When you go to bet on the Bills, you'll see a wide variety of betting options presented. Several factors should influence your wager, including the opponent, location, recent trends and injuries.
We'll review the most common betting markets that are offered and share strategies for finding the best value when betting on the Bills.
A moneyline (ML) bet is a great way to wager on the Bills if you believe they'll win the game outright. A successful moneyline bet on Buffalo, or any team, only requires that team to win the game. Wins in regulation or overtime — and by any margin — are applicable.
Sportsbooks will either list the Bills as a favourite or underdog in each game. The odds reflect that favourite/underdog status: a minus (-) symbol indicates Buffalo as the favourite, while a plus (+) symbol indicates an underdog.
Given their recent track record, the Bills will often be favourites. Their moneyline odds would change dramatically in a home game against the New York Jets compared to, say, the New England Patriots. Against the Jets, we'd expect the Bills to be heavier home favourites.
On the road against a top-tier opponent, like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo will likely be the underdog. That was the case for its January 2022 playoff loss to Kansas City.
Here's how the odds would look in each matchup:
Patriots (+195) vs. Bills (-244)
Jets (+465) vs. Bills (-675)
Bills (+110) vs. Chiefs (-130)
The odds indicate your potential return, as well as the implied probability of each team's chance to win. Here's how the game odds would translate if you backed Buffalo each time.
As shown above, the Bills typically have a solid chance to win. But that doesn't mean they're always a strong play on the moneyline.
In the Jets example, you'd have to wager $675 on Buffalo just to win $100. While the Bills would be unlikely to lose straight up, given their 90% implied win probability, the reward may not be worth the risk for a bettor considering upsets happen all the time.
In the Patriots example, a bettor would have to wager $244 to win $100.
The Chiefs example shows what the odds were set at ahead of Buffalo's heartbreaking loss in last year's playoffs. Even though the Bills ultimately lost, they gave bettors strong moneyline value, with a $100 wager netting $110.
In instances like the Jets and Patriots games, where you want to back your favourite team and see a healthy return on your wager, betting the point spread is often the better option.
Point spread betting
Unlike moneyline wagers, in which you pick a straight-up winner, point spread bets involve margins of victory and defeat. If you pick an underdog, you'll cover if that team wins outright or loses within a specified total.
Let's go back to the Bills/Jets scenario from above. It makes more sense to pick Buffalo against the spread (ATS) rather than on the moneyline if you think the Bills will rout the Jets.
On the moneyline, the Bills are a -675 favourite in that example. On the point spread, however, Buffalo might be favoured to win by 12.5 points (-12.5). The increased difficulty of beating a team by 13 points instead of just one point alters the odds significantly.
Most spreads are accompanied by identical odds (-110) and look like this:
Jets +12.5 (-110)
Bills -12.5 (-110)
If you select the Bills, you'll need them to win by 13 points or more. But if you pick the Jets, they'll need to win outright or lose by fewer than 13 points for your bet to cash.
The risk of betting the Bills here is much greater than it would be on the moneyline, but the return on your investment also takes a massive leap.
A $100 wager on a -675 moneyline would yield just $14.91. A $100 wager on a -110 point spread, on the other hand, would yield $90.91. Against an inferior Jets team, we can see how the reward of a point spread wager would be worth the risk.
Depending on your confidence level in a point spread wager, betting on an alternative spread is also an option. In addition to the 12.5-point spread for the Bills/Jets game, sportsbooks will offer other lines on both sides of that number.
You can decide whether you want to lay more or fewer points with the Bills. The odds will expand or shrink accordingly.
When betting on football, there are key numbers such as three and seven that reflect common margins of victory. Therefore, if you want to avoid laying more than a touchdown or field goal, you can select alternative point spreads that let you do just that.
Prior to making your point spread or totals bet, check out how a team has fared historically. Many sites track ATS records and over/under totals. It doesn't hurt to see how a team performs against the number before placing a wager.
A totals bet involves betting on the total points in a game. This may involve wagering on the cumulative score for two teams or the score for one team individually.
Totals are referred to as the over/under (or O/U). It all means the same thing.
Continuing with the Bills/Jets example, let's say the total for this matchup is set at 43.5 points. Both over/under options typically see -110 odds, just like the point spread.
For this market, a winning bet on the over requires the teams to combine for at least 44 points. A winning bet on the under requires a combined score of 43 points or fewer.
Both teams' totals, meanwhile, will be set at lower marks than the game total. Buffalo's team total against the Jets could be set at 27.5. To cover the over, the Bills would need to score 28 points or more. On the other hand, Buffalo would need to score fewer than 28 points for the under to win.
You can bet on alternative totals, too.
How to bet on Bills props
Props provide another way to play, but this betting type doesn't involve picking the game's winner or loser.
The prop market includes items for teams (which team will score 10 points first?) and players (will Player X score a touchdown during the game?).
Bills player props will be our focus here. Touchdown scorers are common player props and there are several variations at a bettor's disposal.
The typical touchdown markets are for a player to score the first touchdown of a game, the last touchdown, or a touchdown anytime. Considering there's only one first touchdown of a football game and one last touchdown, the odds in those markets typically provide huge payouts.
For a player like Stefon Diggs, the Bills' star receiver, touchdown scorer odds may look like this:
First touchdown (+1000): A $100 bet would win $1,000.
Last touchdown (+1000): A $100 bet would win $1,000.
Anytime touchdown (+140): A $100 bet would win $140.
In addition to touchdowns, player yards are another prop option bettors can wager on.
Sticking with Diggs, you can wager on whether the wideout will go over or under his receiving yardage total for any contest. If Diggs's receiving total was set at 71.5 yards, a successful bet on the over would require Diggs to gain 72 yards or more. Any total below that amount would be a win for the under.
Additionally, you can wager on running back and quarterback props. For quarterback props, the common markets include passing yards, touchdowns, attempts, completions, longest completion and interceptions.
If the Bills host a team with a banged-up secondary, you may expect Allen to torch his opponent downfield. As a result, taking the over on the longest completion prop might be wise.
The odds on the over/under player totals may vary, featuring more juice on one of the options.
Parlays and specials
Some sportsbooks will also offer the option of betting on specials. A special may be built around one player or a number of outcomes that essentially make it a pre-built, same-game parlay.
An example of a commonly found special in football betting is a scorecast. A scorecast allows you to wager on which player will score a touchdown first in addition to wagering on the winning margin for a game.
Similarly, you can create an anytime scorecast in order to combine an anytime touchdown bet with the winning margin of the contest.
Suppose you bet on Dawson Knox to score a touchdown and the Bills to win by one-to-six points. For this anytime scorecast, the odds could be set at +900, which means a $100 wager would yield a $900 profit. If Knox failed to score a touchdown or the Bills didn't win within the specified margin, however, the bet wouldn't cash.