NFL
July 28, 2022
BY Lance Cartelli

NFL Odds: Bills-Rams Week 1 Prediction, Odds, Pick and More

The 2022 NFL season kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams playing host to Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, Sept. 8. 

Following a second straight disappointing end to their season at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills have their sights set on a Super Bowl championship this season while Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp and the Rams look to defend their crown. 

The Rams are currently one-point favorites over arguably the best team in the NFL. Will Los Angeles start their season by covering the spread in what’s essentially a pick ‘em, or will the Bills prove they are a championship-caliber contender?   

Here’s why each team has a real chance to cover the one-point spread in this Von Miller Revenge Game. 

Why the Bills Can Cover

Buffalo finished the 2021 campaign at 11-6, but, more importantly, the Bills were 10-7-2 against the spread. 

This is a new season, sure, but the Bills should have plenty of continuity and a chip on their shoulder following a heartbreaking overtime loss in the AFC playoffs last season. The Bills are returning 19 of 22 starters and loaded up on both sides of the ball this offseason. 

Josh Allen – DraftKings Sportsbooks’ NFL MVP favorite (+700) – will have some new weapons on offense, including rookie second-round pick James Cook, to help elevate an already explosive offense. 

On the other side of the ball, the Bills’ big-ticket free-agent acquisition, Miller, is taking his pass-rush prowess to Western New York after winning a Super Bowl with the Rams last year. He should help last year’s top-ranked defense, per DVOA, close out games so they won’t have another Chiefs debacle end their season. 

With the upgrades on offense and defense, the Bills should be able to pull out a victory – and cover the one-point spread – on the opening night of the regular season. 

If the Bills do emerge victorious, it’ll be a strong start to Allen’s MVP campaign, too. 

Why the Rams Can Cover 

Los Angeles might not have a major home-field advantage, especially against a Bills fan base that travels well, but the Rams are defending Super Bowl champions for a reason. 

The two-time Super Bowl winners lost some major contributors this offseason, such as Miller, Robert Woods and Andrew Whitworth, yet they still added lots of talent while re-signing their star players. And it’s not like L.A. didn’t replace some of their departures. They notably added Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner, while the door hasn’t quite closed on Odell Beckham yet. 

The Rams still have one of the best rosters in the NFC and Stafford should be better in his second season under coach Sean McVay. 

The Rams can cover, and win, their first game as defending champions by continuing their hot streak from the playoffs and keeping it simple by featuring Kupp in the passing game and letting Aaron Donald destroy the Bills' mediocre offensive line. 

Prediction

The NFL couldn’t have picked a better get to kick off the season with. This game should be an exciting clash of top-tier rosters and elite-level quarterbacks. The Bills’ addition of Miller and Allen’s improvement will lead the Bills to a narrow victory, and a cover of the one-point spread. 

Bills win and cover, 31-28. 

Photo: Getty Images