The Buffalo Bills May Miss the Playoffs
The Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team actually based in the state of New York, despite the existence of two teams with New York in their names. The Bills have also been a favorite bet at New York brick and mortar sportsbooks as the most consistently good team in the area.
Since the first sportsbook opened its doors in the Empire State in 2019 (New York online sportsbooks first opened in 2022), the Bills have been in the playoffs every year. Each of the last three years they have won the AFC East, winning at least one playoff game in each of those years.
Since the “New York” teams based in New Jersey first began playing in the legal sports betting world (New Jersey online sportsbooks began operating in 2018), the New York Giants have made the playoffs once, and the New York Jets have not been in the postseason.
In the five full seasons of NFL football played since New Jersey began taking legal sports bets, the Giants and Jets have combined for nine losing seasons.
The Bills have been the winning team. They have been the great hope for a Super Bowl. They have been one of the top Super Bowl betting favorites over the last four years, beginning this year as the third betting favorite behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
But as football bettors who put their money on Buffalo back in the preseason know all too well, this season has taken a turn. Monday night, in embarrassing fashion, the Bills snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, dropping them to 5-5.
Finding Bad Ways to Lose
The Bills have been on the interesting losing end of games since the season began, dropping their Week 1 game at the Jets on an overtime punt return for a touchdown.
In Week 4, they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars by getting out-rushed, 196-27. Two weeks later, they lost to the New England Patriots, 29-25, allowing the Pats to score more than 17 points for the only time all season. And then Monday night, they lost because they had 12 men on the field for a final field goal attempt by the Denver Broncos.
Broncos kicker Will Lutz missed the kick, and the Bills were going to escape with a one-point win. But because of the penalty – “inexcusable,” in the words of Bills head coach Sean McDermott – Lutz got another chance, and he did not miss again.
The Bills have lost two straight, three of four, and four of six games since they had their best performance of the season in a 48-20 win over the Miami Dolphins. And if you are one of the many people betting on the NFL online, you know that they have also lost six straight games against the spread. That is their longest losing streak ATS since 1977.
Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey is Out
On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was fired after less than two years on the job. He took over in 2022, when then-offensive coordinator Brian Daboll took the head coaching job for the Giants. Taking over on an interim basis for the rest of this season is quarterback coach Joe Brady.
The Bills had expectations of winning the Super Bowl. Now, at BetUS.com, you can get +200 on them to just make the playoffs. Their odds to win the AFC are now +1400, which puts them behind the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns.
The fall from their perch at the top of the AFC East is hardly just the fault of designated fall guy Dorsey. McDermott took over the defense this season, which ranks 17th in yards allowed. Last year, they were sixth. Their third down defense ranks 23rd in the league after also ranking sixth in 2022.
Dorsey’s offense has taken a step back. But quarterback Josh Allen leads the NFL with 14 turnovers, injuries have taken out two of their best defensive players, and this team misses former defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
All of that together equals an unexpected and disappointing season in Buffalo that may be hard to salvage.