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Sports betting may have contributed to big expectations for Bills

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons preview the 2022 NFL Kickoff Game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams, and discuss why the road team is favored over the defending Super Bowl champions.

The Bills haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1993. Last year, they didn’t even make it to the AFC Championship, losing in soul-extinguishing fashion to the Chiefs after taking the lead with 13 seconds to play. Buffalo is breaking in a new offensive coordinator in Ken Dorsey, now that Brian Daboll is the head coach of the Giants.

And yet somehow the Bills continue to be the trendy pick to win the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.

Myles Simmons and I discussed the dynamic on Thursday’s PFT Live. And here’s a wrinkle on which we stumbled. Sports betting may have fueled this specific beast.

Not long after the confetti fell at SoFi, the Bills became installed as the favorites to win the next Super Bowl. While that’s been a fairly common reality when it comes to the coverage of the NFL, the unprecedented chatter and attention given to such potential wagers throughout sports media fuels and cements perceptions.

Hell, the Bills are favored to win tonight, by 2.5 points. Even though Sean McVay has never lost in Week One. Hell, the Rams have never even been below .500 in five years under McVay.

They’re hanging a banner tonight. Since 2004, the defending Super Bowl champion is 14-2 when opening at home on the first Thursday night of the season. (In 2013, the Ravens lost on the road. In 2019, the NFL scheduled the Packers and Bears for the first game, in honor of the league’s 100th season.)

Also, it will be very hot under the glorified car port that is the incomplete roof over SoFi Stadium. The Bills are traveling across the country for the game. And the fact that the Rams are one of 10 home underdogs this weekend will give them an extra little kick, when it’s time to get the players appropriately fired up.

It’s surprising the number hasn’t moved. Maybe it will as kickoff approaches, and as more people realize that the Rams getting 2.5 points is a pretty good deal.