Buffalo Bills Win Total Prediction
The Buffalo Bills recorded their fourth straight season with 10 wins or more in 2022. Buffalo finished the year 13-3 but lost at home in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 27-10.
Can the Bills finally get over the hump and make a Super Bowl run in 2023?
Buffalo Bills Over/Under Win Total Odds via BetMGM
Over 10.5 -140
Under 10.5 +115
2022 Season Recap
The 2022 Buffalo Bills had an emotional roller coaster of a season last year. Buffalo began the season by trouncing the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 31-10. Then Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during Buffalo’s January 2nd Week 17 game against Cincinnati. In the wild-card round of the playoffs, Buffalo got thoroughly outclassed by Joe Burrow and those same Bengals, as Cincinnati held the ball for nearly 8 more minutes than Buffalo as they cruised to the AFC championship game. Bills quarterback Josh Allen was spectacular all season as he finished 3rd in MVP voting while throwing for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdowns while adding 762 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns on the ground. Allen is 52-24 in the regular season as the starter and his presence will likely assure that Buffalo is competitive in 2023.
2023 Season Preview
Key Player Departures: LG Roger Saffold, LB Tremaine Edmunds, RB Devin Singletary, WR Isaiah McKenzie, RG Greg Van Roten, QB Case Keenum
Key Player Additions: S Taylor Rapp, EDGE Leonard Floyd, RG Connor McGovern, RT Brandon Shell, RB Latavius Murray, RB Damien Harris, QB Kyle Allen, WR Trent Sherfield, WR Deonte Harty, TE Dalton Kincaid (1st round pick), RG O’Cyrus Torrence (2nd round pick), WR Justin Shorter (5th round pick)
Buffalo made a conscious effort to beef up their offensive line this season. The Bills signed former Cowboys right guard Connor McGovern to a three-year $22.5 million deal and added Dolphins tackle Brandon Shell in free agency as well. In the second round, Buffalo drafted consensus All-America Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence to provide some depth on the interior of their offensive line. Buffalo seems to understand how important it is that Josh Allen stays healthy, and some of their main additions were aimed at protecting him. Buffalo also added a few veteran running backs in Latavius Murray and Damien Harris after Devin Singeltary left in free agency. Of the two, I like Harris the best, as he ran for 929 yards and 15 touchdowns in just 15 games for the Patriots in 2021. His presence should offer Buffalo’s offense a bit more balance. The biggest aerial weapon the Bills added was Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid. Kincaid was one of the best tight end prospects in the entire draft after he posted 890 receiving yards and 8 receiving touchdowns in 12 games for the Utes last season. Kincaid and incumbent Buffalo tight end Dalton Knox should form a formidably dangerous tight end duo for the Bills in 2023.
Buffalo’s defense was great last year as they ranked in the top seven in opponent yards per play and opponent points per play. The Bills re-signed key defensive players in LB Matt Milano, S Jordan Poyer, IDLs Jordan Phillips and Ed Oliver, and edge rusher Shaq Lawson. Not content to sit on their hands, Buffalo added a pair of former Rams in safety Taylor Rapp and edge rusher Leonard Floyd. The Bills’ only significant loss was linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, but they should have enough surrounding talent to effectively nullify his absence. The Bills were tied for fourth in the league in takeaways per game last season (1.6), and they should be one of the more technically sound units in the NFL in 2023.
Key Coaching Departures: Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, safeties coach Jim Salgado, wide receivers coach Chad Hall, assistant offensive line coach Ryan Wendell
Key Coaching Promotions/Additions: Head coach/defensive coordinator Sean McDermott (new role) Assistant head coach/defensive line coach Eric Washington (promotion), offensive assistant/offensive line coach Austin Gund (promotion), senior defensive assistant Al Holcomb, wide receivers coach Adam Henry, safeties coach Joe Danna
In a puzzling move, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will not be on Buffalo’s staff in 2023. It’s not clear if Frazier left of his own accord or was asked not to return. Frazier allegedly plans to return to coaching in 2023. Until then, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott will serve as the team’s defensive coordinator in addition to being the club’s head coach. McDermott was an NFL defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2009 to 2010 and the Carolina Panthers from 2011 to 2016. His fingerprints have been all over this Bills defense since he became the head coach in 2017, and he will have full control of the unit this season. I think that bodes well for Buffalo’s ability to get stops and create turnovers in 2023. The other significant change on defense was the replacement of former safeties coach Jim Salgado with new safeties coach Jim Danna. It seemed like an odd move, considering Buffalo has one of the better safety groups in the league, but perhaps the Bills’ playoff loss spurred McDermott to make the change. In any event, Joe Danna has 15 years of NFL coaching experience as he’s previously worked for the Falcons, Dolphins, Jets, Jaguars, and Texans.
On the offensive side of the ball, Buffalo loses wide receivers coach Chad Hall and assistant offensive line coach Ryan Wendell. Prominent Bills receivers like Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis were partial to Chad Hall, with Diggs even calling him one of the best position coaches he’s ever had. The problem was that the receivers seemed to stagnate as a group last season. Hall decided to leave to join the Jacksonville Jaguars as their wide receivers coach. Hall will be replaced by Adam Henry, who has spent 7 years as an NFL wide receivers coach. Bills assistant offensive line coach Ryan Wendell left to become the Rams offensive line coach under Sean McVay. In his stead, Buffalo promoted Austin Gund from offensive quality control coach to offensive assistant/assistant offensive line coach. He should provide a measure of continuity and help veteran Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer mold Buffalo’s line into the elite unit it will need to be if Buffalo is going to make a deep playoff run.
NFL Over/Under Prediction
For their non-divisional opponents, Buffalo plays two of the toughest divisions in the NFL in the AFC West and NFC East. In fact, according to Pro Football Network, the Bills have the 4th-toughest schedule in the NFL. But, here’s the thing: Buffalo is an elite team with an elite coach and quarterback combination in Sean McDermott and Josh Allen. Last season the Bills ranked fourth in yards per point margin (+2.5) and second in points per play margin (+0.124). Josh Allen finished third in NFL MVP voting last year and he’s in the top three at most sports books to win the award this season. Having him at the helm exponentially increases the Bills’ ceiling as a club in 2023.
In the last three regular seasons, the Bills have gone 13-3, 11-6, and 13-3. They had the Damar Hamlin game against Cincinnati canceled last season, so there’s a chance the Bills could have been 14-3 if they had won that game. There are winnable games all over Buffalo’s schedule both in the division and outside of it, and I think Josh Allen and company have an outstanding year, win the AFC East for the fourth year in a row, and make a real push for the #1 seed in the conference. I’m taking the over on the total 10.5 wins for the Bills in 2023.
NFL OVER/UNDER WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: BUFFALO BILLS OVER 10.5 WINS -140