Buffalo Bills start season as Super Bowl favorite, Buccaneers next – ESPN

Buffalo Bills start season as Super Bowl favorite, Buccaneers next - ESPN

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

The Bills are listed at +600 at 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 just as important is where they play,” SuperBook managing director and oddsmaker John Murray told ESPN. “The philosophy is that the AFC West teams will beat each other and that will allow the Bills to be in a favorable position to have the AFC Championship Game through Buffalo.”

Caesars Sportsbook vice president of business Craig Mucklow told ESPN: “With the rebuilding of the AFC East, the Bills are an almost certain lock for the playoffs and the clear front-runner for a home court in January, which will make them difficult for any visiting team. “

Following the Bills, the AFC West accounts for the next three teams in the conference with the shortest Super Bowl odds: the Kansas City Chiefs (11-1), Los Angeles Chargers (14-1) and Denver Broncos (16-1 ). Along with the Las Vegas Raiders (30-1), all four AFC West teams rank among the top seven for most Super Bowl bets, by ticket volume, at Caesars. No other division has even three teams in the top 15.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, at +750, are the second overall Super Bowl favorite, followed by the Rams (11-1) and Green Bay Packers (12-1) in the NFC. A big reason for this is the high volume of bets they drew Tom Bradythe short retirement of 40-1 and their overall popularity at the betting window.

“They’re a team that takes money all year,” DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello told ESPN, sharing that he’d rate Tampa Bay at 10-1 odds in a vacuum, if not for the heavy action it’s received throughout the offseason.

The Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles also received notable attention. This week, the Eagles (+130) surpassed the Dallas Cowboys (+135) as the NFC East favorite at most sportsbooks. Mucklow attributed it to “very sharp money” at the weekend, although Avello noted that the Eagles support came from both “sophisticated and unsophisticated” punters.

“The big surprise so far is the love we’ve seen for the Raiders nationally and not just in Las Vegas,” Mucklow said. “They are our biggest liability going into the season, and their 4-0 pre-season has given the betting public even more reason to bet on the silver and black.”

The Raiders made significant changes that offseason, hiring coach Josh McDaniels and overhauling the front office. On the field, Vegas added a five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Giving Adams and two-time All-Pro defensive end Chandler Jonesamong others.

“Anytime a team makes a splash in any sport, it’s going to attract a lot of attention. The Raiders added some sexist names, and people want to talk about it,” Murray said. “But the problem is that the AFC West looks like the best division ever. I know it sounds like hyperbole, 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 over the past 22 years are the 2001 New England Patriots (60-1) and 2007 New York Giants (30-1).

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