NFL Playoff Predictions 2023: Buffalo Bills Futures Odds and Picks
Odds to win Super Bowl: +400
Odds to win the AFC: +180
Odds to make the Divisional Round: -650
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The Buffalo Bills enter the postseason with the second-best Super Bowl odds at +400. After being the favorites for the entire season, the Bills have seen their odds tick downwards since the +275 high of Week 7. They locked up the #2 seed in the AFC, ensuring their first two playoff games will be at home, before the AFC Championship game at home or at a neutral site. Buffalo finished with a 13-3 record and have a date with the Dolphins waiting for them on Sunday. Josh Allen was having an MVP caliber season before an elbow injury in Week 6, and he still managed to finish 7th in the league in passing yards. The Bills will be looking to get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the early 90’s, where they lost 4 straight Super Bowl appearances.
Path to the Super Bowl:
The Bills were put into a unique situation in the aftermath of Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest in Week 17. They rightfully canceled the game against the Bengals, causing the Bills and Bengals to play one game less than the rest of the league. These circumstances ensure the Bills will not have to travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Chiefs if they are to collide in the AFC Championship Game. Their first game will be against the Dolphins, who will likely be without Tua Tagovailoa. After that, the Bills will have a tough test, likely against the Bengals. In the AFC Championship they will likely face off against the Chiefs before taking on the NFC Champs in the Super Bowl. An understandably tough schedule for the No. 2 seed.
Regular Season Recap:
The Bills got off to a hot start, winning 6 of their first 7 games, propelling Josh Allen to the top of the MVP charts, and the Bills to the top of the AFC. After back-to-back losses in Week 9 and 10, the Bills rattled off 7 straight wins to finish off the season. The 7 straight wins is certainly impressive, but it has to be said it was against only 1 playoff team (The Dolphins), and there were many hiccups along the way as Allen continued to battle a nagging elbow injury. There is no doubt who is the WR1 in Buffalo, as Stefon Diggs finished 5th in the league with 1,429 receiving yards, almost double the Bills next best receiver, Gabe Davis. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bills brought in Von Miller to add to their defensive line and finished with the 2nd best defense in the league. Owning a top 4 defense and offense is an easy recipe for success, and both units will need to be at their best if they are to finally bring home glory to Buffalo. A 13-3 season is nothing to be ashamed of in Buffalo, but the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Hamlin have left a bitter end to a stellar season. It remains to be seen how the Bills will react when the going gets tough, and there will certainly be some rough moments along the way to the Super Bowl.
The Bills will be eager to end their long and unfortunate Super Bowl drought. Losing 4 straight Super Bowls from 1990-93 was a tough pill for Bills fans to swallow, but 30 years later they have a chance at redemption. The Bills have been the Super Bowl favorites for a majority of the season and now have the chance to prove they deserved that title. On the offensive side of the ball, the Bills have been able to move the ball out of Allen’s hands and use his legs when necessary. His 762 rushing yards was good for 3rd in the league among quarterbacks, making him a tough guard on every snap. Their traditional rushing attack is middle of the pack, but the versatility of their offense keeps them ahead of the sticks. On the defensive side of the ball, there are no real holes in their defense. They rank top 5 in points against, turnovers, rushing yards, touchdowns, and 1st downs. Dominance on both sides of the ball is a rare feat in the modern NFL, and the Bills will be looking to make the most of it in the playoffs.
The first-round matchup against Miami should be a relatively easy task for a dominant Bills side. Their 2nd ranked defense will be able to smother a Tagovailoa-less Dolphins side and should set up a tantalizing matchup against last season’s AFC champions, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals and Bills were slated to play in Week 17, but the game was canceled in the first quarter in light of Hamlin’s injury. The Bills have a tough route to the Super Bowl, as getting through what will likely be the Bengals, Chiefs, and the NFC Champion will be no easy task.
The Bills have been atop the NFL markets for months, and now is no different. Super Bowl odds of +400 don’t leave a lot of money to be made, but there is still a solid payout available if you have faith in the Bills. Unfortunately for Buffalo, I don’t expect them to get the job done. Having to go through the Bengals, Chiefs, and the NFC Champions en route to the Super Bowl is a very difficult path, and they will falter along the way. Odds of +400 for the team with a tough path is not something I’ll be getting behind. Instead, I’ll be betting on the Bills to lose in the Divisional Round at +250 odds. In all likelihood, the Bills will play the Bengals, which will create an excellent hedging opportunity, with lots of value on riding it out. The Bengals have won 8 straight games heading into the postseason, have proven they can win when the lights are brightest, and looked to have the better of the Bills in Week 17 before the stoppage. This Bills team won’t win the Super Bowl, and I expect them to not even make it to Glendale, so fade them accordingly.
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