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Buffalo Bills among top ‘over’ bets for 2019 NFL season

Updated June 20, 2019 - 6:35 pm

The biggest mover in NFL season win totals has been the Buffalo Bills, who opened at 6 before the NFL draft and have climbed to 7.

Professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw and Westgate sportsbook manager Ed Salmons played Buffalo to go over 6½ wins this season.

“I’m from Buffalo, but normally I play the Bills under,” Whitelaw said. “I happen to like them over this year.

“They got the center (Mitch Morse) from Kansas City, who’s fantastic. They’ve got a good draft (class), and I like (quarterback Josh) Allen in his second year to do a lot better.”

The Bills went 6-10 last season — after going 9-7 and making the playoffs in 2017 — and finished second in the league in total defense and first in passing defense.

Buffalo had four of the top 100 picks in April’s draft, adding defensive tackle Ed Oliver with the ninth overall selection and offensive lineman Cody Ford at No. 38.

Besides Morse, the Bills added receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley, running back Frank Gore and right tackle Ty Nsekhe in free agency.

“Buffalo is a team that drafted extremely well, their defense really came on last year and I thought their quarterback played a lot better as the year went on,” Salmons said. ”There are a lot of things about Buffalo I like.”

Not sold on Browns

The Cleveland Browns have generated the most buzz this offseason after adding wideout Odell Beckham Jr. to a rising team that went 7-8-1 last season behind quarterback Baker Mayfield.

But Whitelaw said he thinks their 2019 win total is inflated. He played the Browns to finish under 9½ wins, and their total is now at 9. Cleveland has won 10 games only once in the past 24 seasons.

“I really like Cleveland’s team, but now you’re asking them to win 10 games,” Whitelaw said. “They won seven games last year and certainly improved. But I’m just not sold on this team winning 10 games. It’s a lot to ask.”

Salmons said a respected player at the Westgate wants to play the Browns under but is waiting for the right number. Whitelaw also advises waiting if you like Cleveland to go under.

“Because the public is probably going to bet them over,” he said. “If it went back to 9½, I would play under again.”


Whitelaw also played the Washington Redskins under 6½ wins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers under 6½ wins.

“I can’t remember the last time Tampa Bay won seven games,” he said. “Their division is very tough with Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans. That’s six very tough games, and you’re asking them to win seven games. I definitely like Tampa Bay under.”

Whitelaw also likes the Redskins under, mostly because of their tough division led by the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. And he’s not totally discounting the New York Giants, whom he said might benefit a bit from the trade of Beckham, who could be a locker room distraction.

“Sometimes when you get rid of that distraction, even a talented distraction, it can aid a team to get better,” Whitelaw said. “The Redskins also are trying to go with a rookie quarterback (Dwayne Haskins), and quarterbacks typically don’t do that well in their rookie year.”

Salmons also played four teams to go under: the Chicago Bears, who have moved from 9½ to 9; the Cowboys, 9½ to 9; the Detroit Lions, 7 to 6½; and the Tennessee Titans, 8½ to 8.

The Bears went 12-4 last season after going 5-11 in 2017.

“Whenever a team goes from five wins to 12 wins, they always will go back,” Salmons said. “And look at the division. Minnesota and Green Bay have to be better than last year. The Bears schedule is really difficult.

“I went through Detroit’s schedule, and I don’t see how they can win eight games. There are no easy games in that division.”

As a popular public team, Salmons said Dallas always has an inflated number, making the under a value play.

“I don’t think they’re as good as their (10-6) record was last year,” he said. “They had a lot of lucky wins in there.”

Likewise, Salmons said the Titans weren’t anywhere near as good as last season’s 9-7 record.

“There are no easy games in that division,” he said. “The Colts look like the class of that division, and Jacksonville has to be better than they were last year.”

The Jaguars went 5-11 last season after going 10-6 in 2017.

“That’s the exact reason I bet the Bears under,” Salmons said. “Everything went right the year before and last year everything went wrong.”

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Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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