Buffalo Bills 2023 Season Preview & Win Total Prediction

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Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks on during the first quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 24, 2022. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

NFL Pick: 2023 Buffalo Bills Over 10½ Wins (-145) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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2023 Buffalo Bills Over 10½ Wins (-145)
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The Buffalo Bills spent most of the 2022 season as the favorite to win the Super Bowl, but once again, it was not their year in the end. An emotional season led to a depressing finish in a 27-10 loss to the Bengals at home in the divisional round. It was the first time in 26 games that the Bills lost a game by more than 6 points. 

Still favored to win the AFC East, the Bills should face stiffer competition in the division now that Aaron Rodgers has joined the New York Jets, and Miami will look for more consistency in head coach Mike McDaniel’s 2nd season after pushing the Bills in a wild-card game with his 3rd-string rookie quarterback last year.

Maybe the Buffalo bandwagon is emptying out, but this team still has an over/under of 10.5 wins at many of the top-rated offshore sportsbooks. Only the Chiefs, Bengals, and Eagles rank higher at 11.5 wins each. 

Head coach Sean McDermott has gone over his preseason win total in 5-of-6 seasons. Are the Bills a good bet to go over 10.5 wins for the 4th year in a row? Let’s look at one of the top contenders in the AFC.

The Changes That Matter 

For Buffalo, it is hard to improve on a team that finished No. 2 in points scored and No. 2 in points allowed. In making the playoffs for the 4th year in a row, we know this team is not a fluke. This is an elite team with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. It comes down to finishing and being on the right side of those outcomes with teams like Kansas City and Cincinnati.  

Incredibly, the Bills ranked so well on defense last year despite losing safety Micah Hyde after 2 games, only getting 6 games from No. 1 corner Tre’Davious White, and losing Hall of Fame pass rusher Von Miller on Thanksgiving to a torn ACL. The Bills should be able to start 2023 with Hyde, Miller, and White on the field, and hopefully, they stay on the field for every game possible this time.

Stacked Defense 

Leslie Frazier is out at defensive coordinator, but McDermott is going to wear another hat and take over that role, which is something he has done before. He is a defensive coach to begin with, so this move should be fine for the team. 

The Bills are deeper at safety to the point where Damar Hamlin (2023 NFL Comeback Player favorite) may not even need to play for them on that side of the ball. He could help on special teams. 

A Better Supporting Cast

On offense, the Bills could be looking at a better supporting cast for Allen, especially at running back and tight end. Devin Singletary never really fit the bill of lead back, and he is gone now. James Cook, brother of Dalvin, looked explosive at times as a rookie, and he could upgrade the run game. He will get help from Damien Harris, the former Patriot who had some big games against Buffalo in the past. They also have veteran Latavius Murray so it is a full running back room. 

Will the Bills choose to use their backs more? That remains to be seen, but the players are in place. They also used their 1st-round pick on tight end Dalton Kincaid, who many considered the best receiving tight end in the draft. This is an interesting pick that should pay off down the road, but it is hard to expect a lot out of a rookie tight end. Only Mike Ditka and Kyle Pitts have ever hit 1,000 yards receiving as a rookie. 

The Bills do not need Kincaid to do that this year with Dawson Knox still there, but they should maybe try to configure a 2-tight end offense that could utilize both players since the wide receivers after Stefon Diggs are still not that impressive. Gabe Davis needs to learn more routes and be more consistent. The team lost slot receivers like Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie, though they picked up Trent Sherfield from Miami.

2023 Schedule Analysis and Pick 

Super Bowl aspirations are a different story, but predicting a team’s win total largely comes down to analyzing the schedule. The Bills will face one of the more challenging division schedules in the league, and they will also play the AFC West and NFC East. 

Here are some notable Buffalo schedule facts to consider: 

  • Buffalo goes on the road against the Jets in Week 1, so Aaron Rodgers may not be clicking on all cylinders yet with his new team, giving the Bills an edge in a key divisional road game with the rematch to come in Week 11
  • The Bills host multiple playoff teams from last year, including Dallas, Jacksonville, and the Giants, and only Dallas won at least 10 games last year. 
  • Buffalo will play in Miami in Week 18 in January instead of a September game in ridiculous heat. 
  • Josh Allen is 6-1 against the Patriots since 2020. 
  • Allen is 5-1 against the Jets since 2020. 
  • The Bills get a much-needed bye week in Week 13 in between their road trips to last year’s Super Bowl teams (Chiefs and Eagles). 

It is daunting that the Bills have all road games with the Chiefs, Bengals, and Eagles – their 3 toughest opponents and the top Super Bowl LVIII contenders. But even if they lose those games and only go 3-3 in the division, that is still enough for 11-6, hitting the over. 

Over or Under?

Buffalo is also unlikely to go 0-3 in those big games. The Bills have won in Kansas City the last two regular seasons, and they were 13 seconds away in a playoff game from making it a 3-game winning streak. Also, the Eagles are 0-7 with Jalen Hurts when he faces a top quarterback on a good team, which is exactly what Buffalo still is with Allen. 

The Jets or Dolphins may end up elevating and taking the AFC East from Buffalo, but this is still one of the best teams in the NFL. Trust the Bills to go over 10.5 wins again for your NFL picks.

NFL Pick: 2023 Buffalo Bills Over 10½ Wins (-145) at BetOnline

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2023 Buffalo Bills Over 10½ Wins (-145)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.

2022 Recap: Bills Lose the Plot in Challenging Season 

Buffalo’s flat performance at home in the snow in the playoffs really takes away from a fantastic season that could have been even better. Remember, the Bills lost 3 games by a combined 8 points, and they were some of the most excruciating losses by any team in the 2022 season. 

Buffalo lost the first meeting with Miami in the heat despite outgaining the Dolphins by 285 yards and only being minus-1 in the turnover department. Final drives were poorly managed against the Dolphins and Jets, but nothing was worse than the Minnesota loss where Josh Allen fumbled a snap with the game essentially over, and the Vikings recovered it for the most shocking touchdown in the NFL since the Miracle at the Meadowlands play in 1978. 

The Bills went on to lose that game in overtime after Allen threw another interception, and that game all but ended his MVP candidacy after he was the preseason favorite and holding steady halfway through the season. 

Trials and Tribulations

But the Bills would go through so many trials and tribulations in 2022. Nothing was more upsetting than safety Damar Hamlin’s heart stopping on the field against the Bengals in Week 17. Fortunately, the paramedics did a fantastic job and Hamlin will return to action this season. But that had a big impact on the team, and you could see it take its toll on the team after having to get it up emotionally week after week in the biggest games of the season. 

The Bills were sloppy in a wild-card win over Miami, fortunate to be facing rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson instead of Tua Tagovailoa, who was out with another concussion. In the divisional round against the Bengals, the Bills looked flat right away and never put up much of a fight in the 27-10 loss. 

Less of a Contender?

You can hear Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes say on the Quarterback series on Netflix that Buffalo is less of a contender than the Bengals. He may be right, but the AFC has an interesting 3-team dynamic with the Bills, Chiefs, and Bengals.  

The Bills were again able to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City with Allen outdueling Mahomes as perhaps only he could do right now. But in their first full test against the Bengals, they failed that miserably. The Chiefs have trouble with both teams, but they have won their share of big ones over both since 2020. 

The Bills expect to remain a major player in the AFC this year, but they are no doubt flying under the radar more instead of 2022 when they were the NFL’s outright favorite to win it all.