On To KC: Buffalo Bills Backed Big While Walloping Patriots In NFL Playoffs Opener

Written By Dave Briggs on January 17, 2022 - Last Updated on January 18, 2022
Buffalo Bills were heavily bet; Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Ontario’s favourite NFL team, the Buffalo Bills, was heavily bet in its 47-17 smackdown of the New England Patriots.

Saturday’s AFC wildcard game in Orchard Park, NY, saw Buffalo record the first “perfect game” in NFL history. The Bills scored touchdowns on all seven possessions (not counting kneeling to end the game). Buffalo never punted, did not give up a turnover and didn’t even kick a field goal.

The walloping does not entirely erase a lopsided series between the two division rivals (New England has dominated 77-47 in the series, including one tie).

But, for one night, the result was particularly sweet to the Bills’ legion of Canadian fans.

FanDuel, Caesars lock up Bills partnerships

While Buffalo fans celebrated over the weekend and are now looking ahead to the Kansas City Chiefs, the betting industry also has its eyes on the Bills.

Before Saturday night’s kickoff, the Bills announced partnerships with FanDuel Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook.

FanDuel jumped on board on Jan. 6 with a “multi-year partnership” to be an official mobile sports betting partner of the Bills. Also, FanDuel will be the presenting sponsor of the Buffalo Bills-themed podcast. Bills by the Numbers, hosted by Steve Tasker and Chris Brown, discusses team updates and key fantasy matchups.

Caesars announced its deal with the Bills on Jan. 15 to also become an official sports betting partner. Its agreement provides naming rights to a new sportsbook-style premium club lounge at Highmark Stadium. Details on the new lounge in the northwest corner tower of the existing Business Class Club will be available before the 2022 Buffalo Bills season.

Also, the deals allow FanDuel and Caesars to use the official Bills logos. And, both betting companies will gain access to a range of media assets, including TV and radio spots and in-game signage at Highmark Stadium.

The partnerships came as New York officially launched sports betting on Jan. 8. But, it’s clear FanDuel and Caesars are also eying the opening of the sports betting market in Ontario. The Bills have a legion of fans in the province. Ontario will open its market to operators such as FanDuel, Caesars and many others sometime in 2022.

Betting on Buffalo Bills in Ontario

Ontario’s only legal sports betting option is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s Proline Plus Sportsbook. As we detailed last week, Proline often does not have as player-friendly odds as the other options coming to the province.

Tony Bitonti, the OLG’s director of external communications, told PlayOntario that the Buffalo game did not take the most action.

In fact, the Bills’ game ranked third of the five NFL wildcard games played on the weekend.

“While the pre-game wagering was comparable to the leading games, the in-play was down,” Bitonti said via email. “This was likely due to the nature of the game being so one-sided for the favoured team.”

Bitonti said the game became less attractive to bet as the result became less in doubt.

“The Bills were a very high-drawing team for us during the regular season, evidenced by their involvement in four of the top 15 grossing (Proline Plus) events since inception, as well as two of the top three. They’ve drawn above-average revenue in and out of primetime time slots.”

Bills heavily bet in the US

In the United States, the Bills/Patriots game received heavy action. The launch of sports betting in New York impacted some of the numbers. Though BetMGM didn’t launch in the state until Monday, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers and Caesars were live over the weekend.

  • DraftKings Sportsbook reported early-afternoon Saturday that the Bills had received 60% of the bets and 62% of the handle wagered against the spread (-4.5). Betting on moneyline (Buffalo -220, or 1.45 using the European system) showed the Bills taking 63% of the bets and 65% of the handle.
  • Later Saturday afternoon, PointsBet Sportsbook reported Buffalo had taken 56% of the bets and 47% of the handle wagered against the spread (-4). Betting on moneyline (Buffalo -200, or 1.50) showed the Bills taking 62% of the bets and 70% of the handle.
  • Around the same time, BetRivers Sportsbook showed Buffalo had taken 59% of the bets and 74% of the handle wagered against the spread (-4.5). Betting on moneyline (Buffalo -215, or 1.47) showed Buffalo taking 62% of the bets and 74% of the handle.
  • Saturday morning, BetMGM Sportsbook had taken 56% of the bets and 61% of the handle wagered against the spread (-4.5) on Buffalo. Betting on moneyline (Buffalo -200, or 1.50) showed the Bills taking 48% of the bets and 78% of the handle.

Meanwhile, FanDuel reported an American bettor has wagered $250,000 on the Bills to win the Super Bowl at +750, a potential payout of $2.125 million. That’s much more of a liability than the biggest Super Bowl payout for Saturday’s other winner: Just a $6,000 wager on the Cincinnati Bengals to win at +4000, a $246,000 payout.

For Buffalo’s next game at Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. (EST) Sunday, FanDuel’s early line Monday had the Chiefs favoured by 2.5, with Buffalo at +120 (2.20) and KC at -142 (1.70) in the moneyline.

Boosts Ontario bettors can expect

When major operators come to the Ontario market, bettors can expect some sweet deals based on recent offers in New York.

Here are two odds bosts from the weekend that operators used to attract action:

  • PointsBet offered +360 for anyone who bet a parlay on the Bills to win and quarterback Josh Allen to throw for 250 or more yards and at least two touchdowns.
  • BetRivers offered +200 for a bet on the Bills to win, boosted up from -200.

And as Bills fans in New York, Ontario and across the world know, those cashed easily.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dave Briggs

Before joining PlayOntario, Dave spent more than 25 years as a writer and editor, mainly covering horse racing in Canada. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Western University and was a 2018 inductee into the Communicators' Corner of the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Beyond a deep passion for family and music, Dave has a mostly-tragic, life-long love of Detroit sports teams. He lives in Port Stanley, Ontario with his wife and their beloved Vizsla named California.

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