Promising Bills’ Season Once Again Ends In Heartbreak At Arrowhead Stadium

Written By Mike Mazzeo on January 24, 2022
NFL Playoffs Buffalo Bills

There are all these tips you try to follow as a sports bettor:

You’re not betting teams, you’re betting numbers.
If you treat it like a business, it’ll pay you like a business.
It’s extremely important to get closing line value.

And, absolutely the biggest tip of all: If there are 13 seconds left in a playoff game and Patrick Mahomes is getting the ball down three, pound the Chiefs’ live line.

In the end, it was Kansas City 42, Buffalo 36 in overtime. In the end, the Bills could’ve squib-kicked. They could’ve gotten the stop. Could’ve called heads. They didn’t.

So it’s more heartbreak for Bills Mafia — OT rules be damned. Wide Right. Music City Miracle. Sunday Night. No one passes pain down from generation to generation quite like the Buffalo Bills.

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2021 NFL season recap: Unfinished business for Bills — again

Buffalo was a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl in the preseason at +1300. And that remained the case heading into the playoffs, with many investing in the Bills at +750.

After walloping New England in the wild-card round, Buffalo went into Arrowhead as a 2.5-point underdog against Kansas City. The line, though, shifted to +1 by kickoff. Win, and the Bills would host the Bengals at Highmark Stadium with a chance to head to Los Angeles for the Super Bowl. They couldn’t.

QB Josh Allen (329 yards, 4 TD, all of them to WR Gabriel Davis) went toe-to-toe with Mahomes (378 yards, 3 TD), finishing the postseason with nine touchdowns against no interceptions.

Allen, 26, proved himself worthy of every cent of his $258 million contract Buffalo awarded him (yes, the Giants and Jets both wish they hadn’t passed on him in the 2018 NFL draft) with his poise facing late-game adversity. It feels wrong that he never got the ball back after connecting for his fourth TD to Davis with 13 seconds left.

Ultimately, Buffalo’s top-ranked defense couldn’t handle Mahomes. And a promising Bills’ season ended at Arrowhead Stadium for the second consecutive year. So much for all those futures tickets.

Core still gives Buffalo long-term hope

To get over the hump, Buffalo might just need homefield advantage throughout the postseason.

At the very least, the Bills would like to have back their 26-point loss to Indianapolis and a 9-6 shocker to Jacksonville.

Still, Buffalo has a competent coach in Sean McDermott, GM in Brandon Beane and QB in Allen. There are going to be front-office, coaching staff and personnel changes. It happens when you’ve built a strong organization. Other teams want your talent. But that’s a foundation that makes most teams envious.

It’s very reasonable that online sportsbooks in New York will see the Bills once again become a trendy Super Bowl betting pick for the 2022 campaign.

Now, if Buffalo could only just manage to avoid Patrick Mahomes for once. Hey, if the Red Sox and Cubs can break their respective curses, the Bills can catch a break, too.

Some day.

Photo by AP / Joshua Bessex
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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