2022 NFL season: 4 Bills prop bets to get you started

08/06/2022
DB+

When online sports betting became legal in New York early in 2022, Bills Mafia was part of the frenzy. The attraction of sports betting has not slowed. Add the energy of the Buffalo Bills being championship favorites, and you’ve got Bills fans looking for ways to make free money.

Season-long prop bets can be a fun way to bet on your team’s success beyond just win totals and the inevitable championship. Now, season-long props tie up your money, but if your bankroll can float it, there are profits out there. Betting just on your favorite team is a quick way to lose, but it’s more fun to cheer your boys on. Here are 4 Bills-specific prop bets that will hopefully cash in.

First Things First

Before we get started, here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.

  1. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Don’t chase a bet.
  3. Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
  4. Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
  5. See Rule #1.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.

National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700

Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.

Stefon Diggs Receptions

  • Bet MGM – 99.5, over -115, under -115
  • DraftKings – 99.5, o -115, u -115

Diggs has averaged 165 targets/season in his two years with Josh Allen, but his catch percentage has fluctuated from a career-high in 2020 (75.6%) to an all-but-rookie-year low in 2021 (62.8%). Despite the pass catcher changes for the Bills this offseason, Diggs remains the WR1, the alpha, THE dawg, the straw that…whatever, you get the point. Ken Dorsey and Josh Allen both know the importance Digg holds in the offense, and we should not expect Diggs’ target number to drop significantly. With 165 targets and a return to his career norm catch percentage (68.4%), a reasonable expectation for Diggs is 112 catches.

Recommendation: Over

Josh Allen Rushing Yards

  • Bet MGM – 524.5, o -115, u -115
  • DraftKings – 550.5, o -115, u -115

After his rookie year, Allen’s rushing totals dropped by 121 yards in 2019 and another 89 yards below that in 2020, for a still respectable total of 421 yards. For 2021, Allen’s rushing yards line was 480.5, and, given his huge new contract, many** thought the Bills would try to reduce potential injury to the franchise QB by having him rush less and bet the under. What happened? Of course, Allen’s rushing attempts went up 19.6% to a career-high 122 rushes, and he easily set a career-high in rushing yards, increasing by a ridiculous 81% over his 2021 total.

There is a large degree of variance in this year’s rushing total line. This suggests the sportsbooks are as befuddled about Allen’s rushing as anybody else, and when the books are this far apart, there’s an opportunity somewhere. Devin Singletary’s end-of-the-season performance, a potential return to form for Zach Moss, and the additions of Rodger Saffold and OJ Howard offer the promise of an improved running game. It should still be foremost amongst the Bills’ staff to reduce the potential injury risk for Allen. The quarterback was the most important component of the Bills’ run game last year, and his rushing threat in the low red zone should continue to be part of Buffalo’s arsenal, but the designed runs should decrease. Allen’s scrambling is too important, unpredictable, and part of his natural play instincts to ever remove from his game. That said, the Bills’ championship hopes are over if Case Keenum is forced into prolonged action because Allen got injured.

Recommendation: Find the highest total you can, and take the under. (Even if Greg Vorse’s MVP Projections disagree)

**Many? Yeah. It’s me. I’m many.

Dawson Knox Receiving Yards

  • Bet MGM – 449.5, o -150, u -105
  • DraftKings – 550.5, o +100, u -130

Another wide disparity in the lines just between these two books. The MGM line seems too low. In 2021, Knox had 49 receptions for 587 yards. The Bills brought in OJ Howard at TE, but his career performance doesn’t suggest he’ll threaten Knox’s status as TE1 or as a pass catcher. The development of Isaiah McKenzie and adding Jamison Crowder and James Cook could lead you to believe the short passing game is moving away from Knox. This line of thinking denies the connection between Allen and Knox, and Knox’s own development.

Knox has put in a tremendous amount of work to refine his route running, blocking, and hands, and the statistics he put up last year are indicative of that effort. So much of the narrative surrounding Knox involves his drops. It was a concern in his first season, but his drop percentage has decreased from 20.1% to 9.1% in 2020 and 5.6% in 2021 (Pro Football Reference). Unfortunately, narratives are often sticky, and Knox may have this reputation with fans, but he’s worked too hard for that storyline to go unchallenged.

Recommendation: Find the over at MGM before they change it.

Gabriel Davis Receptions

  • Bet MGM – 60.5, o -115, u -115
  • Draftkings – 60.5, o -115, u -115

Here’s where the hype meets the money. Bills Mafia is blowing up over Davis’ potential. Scoring four TDs in the last game they saw played will do that. Is the hype train real, or will it go off the rails?

Davis has had two remarkably similar seasons in terms of basic stats. He has had 61 targets for 35 catches in each of his two seasons, and his yardage totals were 549 and 599. His total pass snaps had a big jump (363 to 509) but his positional percentages were very close year over year: (All stats from PFF)

Pass Snaps 2020    2021
Slot % 33.1 32.4
Wide % 65.6 67.2

One number that did change significantly, though, was his target per route run.

    2020     2021
Route Snaps 338 463
Targets 61 61
Route Snaps/Target 5.54 7.59

This difference is primarily a function of seeing increased snaps in a potent, diverse offense with multiple playmakers. It’s noteworthy though because an increased snap percentage is a big part of the belief in the hype.

To go from 35 receptions to 61+ is a big move, but Davis’ ability, importance, and role should get him there.

Recommendation: The Davis hype train is moving too fast, but the over is still the play.

Conclusion

Be smart with your betting, but let’s have some fun too. These Bills’ props will hopefully bring in a little more dough for beer, folding tables, and our tab at the butchers. Let’s go get some free money.

You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!

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