For the first time since the NFL introduced an annual kickoff game to open the regular season, the Buffalo Bills will take part in the standalone Thursday night game.
Since 2004, the league has awarded the first game of the season to the reigning Super Bowl champion, traditionally scheduled for a Thursday in early September. The Los Angeles Rams will host the Bills on Sept. 8, when the Rams will unveil their Super Bowl LVI banner at SoFi Stadium.
Following the release of the NFL’s 2022 schedule for all 32 teams on Thursday night, the Bills remain the definitive favorite across multiple sportsbooks to win Super Bowl LVII. At Caesars Sportsbook, the Bills have odds of +700, just ahead of the Bucs and Chiefs, at +800 and +900, respectively. The Bills’ futures odds were unaffected by the schedule, a Caesars Sportsbook spokesman told NY Online Gambling.
But what will the Rams do when they host the Bills❔ pic.twitter.com/Kj106KQDCs
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) May 12, 2022
Reigning Super Bowl champions have fared extremely well in the marquee season openers, with only three teams coming up on the losing end since 2004. Caesars has installed the Rams as 1-point favorites over the Bills, who have been attracting lots of futures action.
“Many people are saying it’s a matter of when, not if, the Bills win a Super Bowl,” said Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading at Caesars Sportsbook. “This is a big year for them and certainly a big stage for them to open the season at the Super Bowl champions. They’ll have to prove it right off the bat.”
Hammering the Bills
Ahead of the schedule release, a rush of money from the public came in on the Bills, who fell to the Chiefs 42-36 in the playoffs. The Bills suffered a devastating overtime loss despite leading Kansas City by a field goal in the waning seconds of regulation. Following Josh Allen’s 19-yard touchdown to Gabriel Davis, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes marched his team 44 yards in 13 seconds for a game-tying field goal in regulation prior to the overtime win.
The Bills pulled off one of the top offseason signings by adding pass rusher Von Miller on a six-year, $120 million contract. Buffalo also filled several holes in the NFL Draft with the selection of Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam in Round 1 and Georgia running back James Cook in the second round.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Bills are taking more than twice as many bets to win Super Bowl LVII as any other team. That's based on total dollars wagered. https://t.co/ps1IBemSVe
— WETM-TV (@WETM18News) May 11, 2022
Caesars recently reported that by dollars wagered with it for next year’s Super Bowl, the Bills received about 14.4% of the handle, far more than the Bucs, who ranked second with 6.8%. The Bills garnered at least 10 times the handle of 11 NFL teams, including two playoff teams from last season in the Cardinals and the Eagles.
“I’d think it’s very rare that one team just totally dominates like the Bills are doing now,” Pullen said. “I just think the Bills have all the momentum in the public’s eyes.”
The Bills are also the Super Bowl favorites at other top sportsbooks: DraftKings (+600), FanDuel (+650), BetMGM (+650), BetRivers (+650), and PointsBet (+700). The Bills rank as the second choice at WynnBET with odds of +700, behind the Bucs (+600).
Jets dominate season-win total betting
The Bills also have odds at Caesars of -180 to repeat as AFC East champions, along with odds of +360 to win the conference. The Jets, meanwhile, are heavy underdogs to win the division at +2200. The Jets have won the AFC East only twice since Joe Namath left New York for the Los Angeles Rams in 1977, with the last occurring in 2002.
In terms of season-win betting, however, the public is bullish on the Jets. Caesars has set the total on the Jets at 5.5 wins, with considerable juice on the over at -160. The Jets are the most popular choice at Caesars both in terms of ticket volume and dollars wagered. As of Friday morning, the Jets had 43% more tickets on the over at Caesars than the next-closest team, according to the sportsbook.
The Jets are 150/1 to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook. Any takers? https://t.co/L0Z4BHunLh
— David Bearman ESPN (@DBearmanESPN) April 29, 2022
The Giants have odds of 100/1 at Caesars to win the Super Bowl, as well as 50/1 to capture the NFC Championship. Caesars has set the Giants’ season win total at 7 (over +105/under -125).
The Giants and Jets have both missed the playoffs in each of the last five years. Over that span, the two teams were both 22-59, tied with one another for the worst record in the NFL. The Jaguars were next in terms of futility, with a mark of 25-56.
Photo: Jamie Germano/USA TODAY