The 2022 NFL season kicks off this week with a high-powered matchup between a pair of potential Super Bowl contenders. The Rams will be looking to defend their title after taking home the Lombardi trophy with a win over the Bengals in last year’s big game. A change at quarterback did the trick as Matthew Stafford led LA to the Promised Land.
In Buffalo, they’re doing it with a few well-known commodities. Josh Allen returns under center as he hopes to get the Bills back to the playoffs in 2022. The team came moments away from advancing to the AFC Championship but fell just short to the Chiefs. Still, the squad enters this year with big hopes, holding the top odds to win the Super Bowl at +600.
Which of these teams can get the season started with a win?
Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams
Date and Time: Thursday, September 8, 2022, at 8:20 PM EST
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
TV Coverage: NBC
BetMaker previews the matchup and gives a prediction for Week 1.
Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams NFL Picks
The Bills are fresh off an 11-win season in which they won their second straight AFC East title. They’ve notched double-digit wins in each of the last three campaigns, and there should be little stopping them from repeating the feat once again in 2022.
Josh Allen returns after throwing for just over 4,400 yards. He will enter the year as a potential MVP candidate, currently sitting above Tom Brady at +700 in the sportsbooks. He’ll have a plethora of weapons around him.
Running back Devin Singletary is back, as are wideouts Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis. Buffalo’s offense should be productive once again.
On defense, the Bills will look to repeat the performance from last season, where they ranked first in the NFL in points allowed (17 pts/gm). If they can replicate that dominance on the field in 2022, there will be nothing keeping them from making that Super Bowl push.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, had the storybook ending to last season. Everything the Rams did, worked. Matthew Stafford led the team to a title in his first year under center. The Rams were able to get that Super Bowl victory while playing in front of the home crowd at SoFi Stadium.
Last year’s 12-win campaign helped LA reach their second Super Bowl in four seasons, as well as win their first Lombardi Trophy in more than two decades. Many of the contributors from that team return. Stafford is back at quarterback, Cam Akers returns to the backfield, and Cooper Kupp is back at wideout after leading the NFL in catches, yards, and touchdowns.
On defense, Aaron Donald will lead a stout Rams unit that racked up 50 sacks a season ago. Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, and Von Miller will make this one of the more feared pass-rushing groups in the league once again.
NFL Week 1 Betting Odds
Find all updated odds at BetRivers sportsbook.
Buffalo Bills: -2.5
Los Angeles Rams: +2.5
Over/Under: 52.5 points
The Bills enter as the road favorite, coming in with a -2.5 advantage. Despite playing at home, in a venue where they landed a Super Bowl title their last time on the field, Los Angeles is the underdog. The over/under has been set at 52.5 points, which seems about right given the defensive production on each unit.
Buffalo was 10-7-2 against the spread last season, while Los Angeles went 10-11 according to TeamRankings.com. As for the over/under, both teams finished right about .500 last season, with LA posting a 10-10-1 mark and Buffalo going over in 10 games and under in nine.
Buffalo should enter this matchup very healthy, reporting no serious injuries on the initial Injury Report.
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles wide receiver Van Jefferson is questionable for the matchup following an off-season knee procedure. Head coach Sean McVay says the pass catcher is “making good progress” as he works to get back to the field. Jefferson could be a game-time decision.
Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams Free Pick
This appears to be an evenly matched battle on paper. Buffalo enters with higher preseason praise, but it’s Los Angeles that was holding the trophy at season’s end in 2021. The NFL opener could very well be a Super Bowl preview.
Buffalo was just 5-4 on the road last year, while Los Angeles was 8-3 in SoFi Stadium. Both offenses should be highly productive, but we’ll bank on that dominant Rams’ defensive front to be more disruptive and make Josh Allen uncomfortable.
We’re backing the Rams to cover the 2.5-point spread.
Los Angeles Rams +2.5