Bills start as title favorite for first time since ’90s

The Buffalo Bills enter the NFL season as the outright betting favorite for the first time since 1991, as the franchise continues to chase its first Super Bowl title.

The Bills are listed at +600 in the Caesars sportsbook ahead of their season opener Thursday night against the defending champion Los Angeles Rams.

“We really think the Bills are the highest-power-rated team, but equally important is where they play,” John Murray, Superbook’s executive director and oddsmaker, told ESPN. “The philosophy is that AFC West teams will beat each other and that will allow the Bills to be in a favorable position to run the AFC Championship game through Buffalo.”

Craig Muklow, vice president of Kaiser Sportsbook Trading, told ESPN: “With the AFC East rebuilt, the Bills are almost a certain lock for the playoffs and a clear front-runner for home turf in January, which makes them tough for any tour.” Will make the team.”

Following the Bills, AFC West accounts for the next three teams in the conference with the lowest Super Bowl odds: the Kansas City Chiefs (11–1), the Los Angeles Chargers (14–1) and the Denver Broncos (16–1). All four AFC West teams, along with the Las Vegas Raiders (30-1), are in the top seven for most Super Bowl bets in terms of ticket volume at the Caesars. There are also three teams from no other division in the top 15.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at +750, are the second overall Super Bowl favorite, followed by the Rams (11-1) and the Green Bay Packers (12-1) in the NFC. A large part of this is due to the high volume of bets placed by Tom Brady during his brief retirement at 40-1 odds and his overall popularity over the betting window.

“They’re a team that takes money all year,” Johnny Avello, director of DraftKings Sportsbook, told ESPN, sharing that it would rate Tampa Bay at 10-1 odds in a vacuum if it were to be heavily actioned. Didn’t get all offseasons.

The Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles have also garnered notable attention. This week, the Eagles (+130) surpassed the Dallas Cowboys (+135) as the NFC East favorite in most sportsbooks. Mukallo attributed this to “very fast money” over the weekend, although Avello said the Eagles’ support came from both “sophisticated and unsophisticated” bookmakers.

“The biggest surprise by far is the love we’ve seen for the Raiders nationally, and not just in Las Vegas,” Muklow said. “They are our biggest giveaways of the season, and their 4-0 preseason gave bets all the more reason to bet on silver and black.”

The Raiders made significant changes this offseason, hiring coach Josh McDaniel and overhauling the front office. On the field, Vegas added five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams and two-time All-Pro defensive end Chandler Jones.

“Whenever a team makes a splash in a game, it takes a lot of handling. The Raiders added some sexy names, and people want to talk themselves into it,” Murray said. “But the problem is that AFC West looks like the best division ever. I know it sounds exaggerated, but I don’t think it is.”

The Cincinnati Bengals entered last season as 125-1 long shots and reached the Super Bowl. The longest odds of a Super Bowl champion in the past 22 years are the 2001 New England Patriots (60-1) and the 2007 New York Giants (30-1), and the odds don’t expect another run like in Cincinnati.

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