The city of Buffalo, and Bills backers with Ontario sportsbooks, woke up in a state of depression Monday morning. The Bills’ maddening, gut-wrenching loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon was the cause.
The final score, 37-34, in overtime, wasn’t indicative of the way the Bills played. The Eagles were 9-1 going into the game, the Bills 6-5, a must-win scenario with their AFC playoff hopes fading.
Big Offensive Performance All For Naught
Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (29-51, 339 yards, 81 yards rushing, two TDs), and receivers Gabe Davis (six receptions, 105 yards, one TD) and Stefon Diggs (six receptions, 74 yards, one TD) had big games. But that was offset by 11 penalties (conspiracy theories about that refereeing crew were out in full force on social media, after 10 penalties in the first half) and questionable decision-making by head coach Sean McDermott, who also handles the defence. That D crumbled and the over wagers at Ontario sports betting apps had cashed well before overtime.
In the first possession of overtime, McDermott decided to kick a field goal on fourth down on the Eagles’ 22 in OT instead of letting the red-hot Allen go for the first down or TD to win the game. After that the Bills offense could only watch as the Eagles stormed back after the field goal to score a TD and win the game.
There was also James Cook’s drop on a perfect pass from Allen in the first quarter that was a surefire TD, and the misfire on Davis’ end zone route that would have won the game for the Bills in OT. Davis appeared to go the wrong way on another perfect Allen pass – or was that an Allen brain cramp? Special teams also had a blocked field goal and a missed field goal. That 3-point margin was about what major oddsmakers, including NorthStar Bets Ontario Sportsbook, had as the spread.
Calls For McDermott Firing Grow
The calls for McDermott’s firing are rising in decibel level. How could they not be? He is 1-6 in overtime games, including playoffs. Sunday, Buffalo was up by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter. The Bills outgained the Eagles by 177 yards in the first half, gained 505 total yards, went 13-for-22 in third down efficiency and held the ball for 40 minutes and 30 seconds, while the Eagles had 26:53 in time of possession. And the Bills still lost.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts finished strong (18-31, 200 yards, three TDs, one interception). But in the first half, either the heavy rain, windy weather or Bills defence held him and Philly back. That was a dominant first half performance by Buffalo. But in the end it was just another game they let slip away this season. McDermott’s defence can’t make a big stop when needed.
Buffalo Bills Super Bowl Odds
Oddsmakers this morning are pouring cold water on the Bills’ playoff chances. At BetMGM Ontario Sportsbook, the Bills have moved from 23.0 last week (decimal odds) to 36.0 to win the Super Bowl as of Monday morning. At that operator, 6.9% of bets (sixth most) and 9.6% of money (third most) was on the Bills to win the championship.
At Proline, 66% of money was on the Eagles to win on the moneyline, 72% of bettors took the Eagles on the point spread (Eagles -2.5), and 78% correctly picked the Over 48.5 total points. The game was looking like it was going under early on, with three consecutive punts to start the game in wet conditions. Proline players did well in the Anytime Touchdown Scorer market. Hurts, Allen, and Diggs all reached the end zone and were the top three most popular on that market. AJ Brown, Devonta Smith and Davis also reached the end zone; those were popular picks as well.
At FanDuel Ontario Sportsbook, according to the trading team, the Bills had a price as short as 22.0 recently to win the Super Bowl but that price has gotten longer – 38.0 as of Monday. A spokesperson there said that, because of Buffalo’s recent slide, the operator anticipates less interest on Bills Super Bowl futures as the team’s likelihood of making the playoffs decreases.
We’ll see how the injury report looks mid-week, and that includes tight end Dawson Knox. The Athletic is reporting that the Bills are “hopeful but not certain” that Knox will return for their next game. The Bills go into a bye week, then follow that up with a road game against the Super Bowl defending champs Kansas City Chiefs Dec. 10. How do you think the odds will look for that game?
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