Bills are Super Bowl favorites but without Allen, others, underdogs to open preseason

Buffalo Bills quarterbacks Josh Allen, left,  Matt Barkley (11) and Case Keenum (18) throw during practice at the team's training camp in Pittsford. on Aug. 4,. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Buffalo Bills quarterbacks Josh Allen, left, Matt Barkley (11) and Case Keenum (18) throw during practice at the team's training camp in Pittsford. on Aug. 4,. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

The Buffalo Bills are favored to win the Super Bowl this season, and if their journey is to end lifting the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona, or some time before that, we know that it begins Saturday afternoon in Orchard Park.

That’s where the Bills will play host to their first preseason game, this one against the Indianapolis Colts. If the teams met in the regular season, the Bills would almost certainly be favored, especially at home. But in the preseason, with Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and other stars sitting out, the Colts are slim 1.5-point favorites.

Let’s dig into the odds a bit more.

Colts at Bills, 4 p.m. Saturday

TV: WXXA, NFL Network, WIVB, WROC

THE LINE (from Caesars Sportsbook): Colts -1.5 (-110); Bills +1.5 (-110)

MONEY LINE: Colts -130; Bills +110

OVER/UNDER: 36

ANALYSIS: The Bills have already said that Allen, who played in just one of three preseason games a year ago, won’t see action in this one. The same likely goes for several other veteran starters, including Diggs.

Instead, Bills fans will get their first look at new backup quarterback Case Keenum. Third-stringer Matt Barkley also figures to see plenty of action.

On the other hand, the Colts plan to at least let starting quarterback Matt Ryan and other starters have a series or two together, feeling it’s important for a new QB to get some rhythm in a real game situation with his fellow starters.

That’s likely the reason for the Colts’ status as favorites, but bettors beware: The trends favor Buffalo in this one. The Bills have won eight straight preseason games, covering the spread in all eight, including an amazing six as an underdog and two last year without Allen.

Sean McDermott is 10-5 overall in the preseason. Buffalo’s last loss in the preseason came in 2018 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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