NFL season start: Buffalo Bills VS Los Angeles Rams
The NFL is back. The 2022 season opener will be a humdinger as this year’s Super Bowl favorites Buffalo Bills, travel to defending champions LA Rams.
It was party time in SoCal after the Rams lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy last season. The road to repeat begins with a strict examination against a Buffalo team approaching the peak of its powers.
The Bills are riding high after back-to-back triumphs in AFC East. Some effective summer business boosts confidence, and the bookmaker’s rate Sean McDermott’s team as the favorite to win it all this season.
Who’s going to win?
Who’s going to win? The MD sports betting site’s odds promise to be a tight game, but signs show that the Bills might have the edge. The buzz from the pre-season camps suggests that Buffalo is in a good place, while there are question marks over the Rams’ roster.
It’s not just this game. The Bills are favorites to win the Super Bowl this year, and some astute summer business reinforces that perception. Perfect timing for some futures betting at the Super Bowl in Maryland. By contrast, the Rams look like a team that could struggle to regain the heights of last season.
One piece of business sums up the difference between the two camps. Von Miller, a vastly experienced linebacker, moved from LA to upstate New York in the summer. For the Rams, it’s a big blow. Miller brings the experience of two Super Bowl triumphs. Moreover, he’s a strong character in the locker room, and the Bills believe they have unearthed a natural leader.
It’s a move that hints at a power shift, which is why the Bills are fancied to edge the verdict on opening night.
And there’s more. LA’s Lombardi-winning quarterback Matthew Stafford reported an elbow problem, described as “irritating,” and that news was enough to swing the sports betting lines narrowly behind Buffalo for the September 8 showdown. After opening the books with the Rams as narrow home favorites, most operators now have the Bills as tight road favorites.
Sportsbooks in Maryland with some great odds for the game:
The Bills have faced the Rams 13 times, dating back to 1970. Indeed, you have to go back to 1983 to find the previous Rams’ victory over Buffalo on home turf. Overall, Buffalo has an 8-5-0 lead in the series. It also won the last two meetings between the teams, edging a 35-32 verdict at the Highmark Stadium in 2020 and enjoying a 30-19 win in California on its last visit in 2016.
Bills vs. Rams NFL roster review
Both teams changed at the end of last season. Here’s a look at what’s been happening.
For Buffalo, continuity is critical. With a strong roster, head coach McDermott already has the tools to challenge for the big prize. After a strong show in its division in recent seasons, McDermott has every reason to back his established players. So it’s no surprise that the organization kept its trades light, focussing on keeping the best of what it had.
The Rams, meanwhile, feel slightly weaker than the last term. Von Miller’s move to Buffalo could be a real game-changer, and there were other significant name departures. In addition, LA quarterback Matthew Stafford has reportedly had a niggling injury during the summer. Learn more about how to bet on the NFL at Maryland sportsbooks here.
New Faces on the two teams
Several new players on both teams are tipped to make a significant difference in the upcoming season.
Linebacker Von Miller is the big summer story. The 33-year-old arrives from Los Angeles and his presence in Bills’ uniform on opening night against his former colleagues only adds spice to a hotly-anticipated match-up. For Bills GM Brandon Beane, two-time Super Bowl winner Miller could be the missing piece of the jigsaw on and off the field.
Close to a return at cornerback, Tre’Davious White will add extra strength to the defense after his long injury. And summer signing Rodger Saffold looks to have shaken off the rib injury he sustained in a road accident before summer camp, promising extra power when the opposition has the ball.
Meanwhile, running back James Cook was a second-round NFL draft pick on offense. The hope is that he can add a new dimension as a catcher. At present, he lies third on the unofficial depth chart. This might suggest a limited role in the coming campaign, but number two back, Zack Moss, was underwhelming last season and could be under pressure from the speedy new arrival.
Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson
Two significant additions in LA this summer are Booby Wagner and Allen Robinson. Linebacker Wagner won a Super Bowl with Seattle in 2013 and went to 2014 final. Wide receiver Robinson produced impressive numbers early in his career at Jacksonville before moving to Chicago, where he continued to look good.
The most important task for the Bills this summer was to keep the bulk of its squad intact. The organization achieved this, with just three players of note leaving as free agents. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders remains unattached, guard Jon Feliciano goes to the Giants, and defensive back Levi Wallace joins the Steelers.
Apart from losing Miller, other big players departed the Rams. Some of this is part of the traditional Super Bowl hangover. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, aged 40, takes a well-earned retirement and bows out at the very top as the oldest offensive lineman to win a Super Bowl.
Elsewhere, cornerback Darious Williams goes to Jacksonville, his value boosted by the luster of his Lombardi ring. Guard Austin Corbett, who played every game of the 2021 season, joins Carolina. Sebastian Joseph-Day, a nose tackle who recovered from injury in time to play in the Super Bowl win over Cincinnati, is also on the move. He suits up for local rivals, the Chargers, this coming season.
At the same time, the Rams lost other big players, including Darius Williams, Andrew Whitworth, Austin Corbett, and Sebastian Joseph-Day. In addition, QB Matthew Stafford needs to be wrapped in cotton wool. Last season he played through several injuries. An elbow problem this summer only adds to whether he can stay healthy in 2022.
The quarterback match-up looks like a clash of generations.
In a long career that hit new heights in that 23-20 victory over the Bengals to win the Super Bowl, Matthew Stafford has done it all.
Since then, though, the 34-year-old has had an elbow niggle that has disrupted his pre-season. That might not be a problem because he had a franchise record of 4,886 passing yards last season while playing through various injuries. However, there is a sense that the former Detroit Lion’s fitness is increasingly fragile. Once Stafford blazed through a host of yardage milestones on his way to becoming the fastest player in NFL history to reach 45,000 passing yards. Today, he may no longer be the force he once was.
Against him, Bill’s quarterback Josh Allen is hotly-tipped to be this season’s MVP. Runner-up in the 2020 voting, his incredible stats make him an odds-on favorite for this year’s prize. Last season the 26-year-old was the first NFL player to throw more than 4,000 yards and rush more than 750. That versatility can lift him and the Bills to the very top.
If Allen wins that MVP award, it’s likely that his wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be the target for a good number of those yards. As recently as 2020, Diggs led the NFL in receiving yards. He had 1,535 yards that season, well clear of his closest rival. Last season he ranked eighth, with 1,221 yards.
When and where?
The first action of the 2022 NFL is on Thursday, September 8, at the LA Rams’ SoFi Stadium. The kick-off is at 8:20 pm (ET) and 5:20 pm (PT).
How can I watch Bills vs. Rams?
Tickets for the big game sold out long ago, but NBC, Peacock, and fubo TV are among the broadcasters that will carry the live action.
How can I bet on Bills vs. Rams?
Primetime match-ups like this are among the busiest markets in the business.
The 2022 season opener promises to be a tight affair, so we expect the money line to get plenty of action. Moneylines are often too one-sided to make for exciting bets, but in a game that either side could win, there are decent rewards for correctly calling it.
The spread stands at +2.5 for the Rams at the time of writing, reflecting the Bills’ slight superiority overall. With a close battle in prospect, that could be a tempting offer — even for Bills supporters happy to put value ahead of fandom.
Both teams have great offensive prowess, and the over/under market stands at 52 points in the game. That suggests a high-scoring encounter could be in the offing.
High-scoring games mean plenty of interest in props markets. It is too early to pick out individual players who might have an impact at this stage. However, if the points pile up, offensive players will likely bring in the wins for bettors in this game.
Conclusion to bet in Maryland
At this stage, the game looks too close to call. The big thing for bettors is to do the research. Even before the warm-up games get going, a lot of comment and analysis is pouring out of every team’s camp. Follow the news lines and stay across the latest info. This will help you pick the key facts that can help you call the game.
Important considerations include the fitness of key players. Will Stafford’s elbow give him trouble against the Bills? Does Saffold’s rib problem impact Buffalo’s preferred defense? The more you know about player fitness, the easier it is to answer these questions.
Finally, never forget that betting on football in Maryland is about enhancing the excitement of the big game. Don’t stake more than you can afford to lose, and don’t let your passion for your team steer you into an unwise, emotional call.