AFC East champions Buffalo Bills (12-3) head to Cincinnati to tangle with the AFC North-leading Bengals (11-4) in the biggest game on this week’s NFL schedule. Both teams desperately need a victory Monday night to solidify their places among the top teams in the NFL standings.
The Bills and Bengals are meeting for the first time since 2019. The Bills lead the all-time series 17-13. However, the Cincinnati Bengals have won the last two games in Cincinnati, where they hold an 8-7 edge.
This article will look at the Bills vs Bengals Prediction.
Bills vs. Bengals Game Info and Analysis
- Date and Time: January 2, 8:20 p.m.
- Location: Cincinnati
- Venue: Paycor Stadium
- How to watch: ESPN
Bills Performance Recap and Analysis
Buffalo (12-3) enters the week 17 contest atop the NFL standings in the AFC playoff race due to their head-to-head victory over the Kansas City Chiefs (12-3). A victory over the Bengals moves the Bills a step closer to capturing the top seed in the conference and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Bills are playing their best football of the season. The Bills have won six straight and improved to 6-2 on the road with their 35-13 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. With last week’s victory, the Bills clinched their third straight AFC East crown.
Buffalo has one of the most efficient offenses in the league, per NFL team stats. The Bills average 28 points a game (4th) and rank second in the NFL in yards. They are first in 3rd down percentage, second in scoring rate and second in yards per drive. Turnovers have been the Bills’ most prominent issue.
Josh Allen has carried the Bills’ offense throughout the season. While his decision-making sometimes cost the Bills’points, he has played more intelligently during the team’s winning streak.
Running backs Devin Singletary and James Cook have been key to the Bills running attack lately and have been solid in the passing game all season long, according to NFL player stats. However, Stefon Diggs is Allen’s go-to guy. Diggs, coming off his worst game of the season against the Bears, remains one the top receivers in the league. Dawson Knox, Isaiah McKenzie, and Gabe Davis also have had moments of brilliance.
While Buffalo’s offense generally gets all the accolades, the Bills’ defense has been the glue for the team. Their ball-hawking defense seemingly always comes up with big plays when needed. The Bills rank second in scoring, seventh in total defense, and fourth in takeaways.
Buffalo listed nine players on its latest NFL injury report. Diggs (illness) didn’t practice on Thursday, but there is not a lot of concern that he won’t play on Monday. Safety Jordan Poyer (knee), who also didn’t participate in Thursday’s practice, linebacker Matt Milano (limited, knee), and tight end Dawson Knox (limited, hip) are the others to keep an eye on.
On a positive note, center Mitch Morse returned to the practice field after missing last week’s game against the Bears due to a concussion.
Betting Trends to Know
The Bills improved to 7-7-1 against the spread after covering against the Bears. They are 4-3-1 ATS on the road.
The total has gone Over in the last two Bills’ contests, although the Under is 10-5 overall. The Under also has hit in six of their eight road contests.
Bengals Performance Recap and Analysis
Like Buffalo, Cincinnati is playing its best football down the stretch. The Bengals have won seven straight games, defeating the New England Patriots 22-18 on Sunday.
Cincinnati sits in first place in the AFC North with an 11-4 record and a one-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals clinch the division title by winning out or with a win over the Bills and a loss by the Ravens to the Steelers. The Bengals and Ravens square off in the final week of the NFL schedule.
After struggling early in the season, the Bengals’ offense has come on strong during the winning streak. According to the NFL team stats, the Bengals rank sixth in scoring (26.1 PPG), seventh in yards, and have the fifth-best passing game.
Joe Burrow leads the way offensively and is an MVP candidate due to his NFL player stats. Burrow has plenty of quality weapons at his disposal, with Joe Mixon, Ja’Mar Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. Tight end Hayden Hurst, who has 48 receptions, is slated to play after missing the previous three weeks.
Defensively, Cincinnati has been strong all season long. The Bengals are ninth in scoring and 13th in defense. They do a good job creating turnovers but are suspect against the pass.
Cincinnati had two players on its NFL injury report with designations. Starting right tackle La’el Collins tore his ACL in Sunday’s victory over the Patriots and is out for the remainder of the year. Defensive end Sam Hubbard sat out last week’s game due to a calf injury and was limited in Thursday’s practice.
Betting Trends to Know
The Bengals are 12-3 against the spread, having covered in seven straight home contests. They are 5-1 ATS at Paycor.
The total went Under in the Bengals’last game versus the Patriots and 9 of 15 overall. The Under has also hit in four of their six contests at home.
Bills vs. Bengals Odds
NFL odds have the Bills as -1.5-point favorites. The Over/Under is at 49.5 points. The moneyline has the Bills at -120, while the Bengals are at +100.
After reviewing the stats and analysis, it is time to make Bills vs Bengals Predictions and expert NFL picks.
Bills vs. Bengals Betting Picks
This contest should be one of the most competitive of the 16 NFL matchups this week, as there is playoff seeding on the line. Both teams are playing extremely well.
In this Bills vs Bengals Prediction, go with Buffalo. The Bills have played in a number of tough games, and they have yet to put up a clunker yet. Plus, the Bills have the better defense, and Allen generally rises to the occasion. They should be able to get after Burrow and force him into mistakes.
Take the Over here. These are two of the top offensive teams with talented quarterbacks who are playing extremely well.
The Bills are the sixth-highest-scoring road team in the league. They have been even better in the last three games away from Buffalo, putting up 29 points a contest.
Similarly, the Bengals have been very good offensively at Paycor. They are averaging 30.2 points at home, which is 1.2 points higher than their season average.
Five of the Bills’ last seven games have totaled at least 50 points. Meanwhile, three of the Bengals’ last four home contests have gone over 50 points.
Since the bookmakers essentially have this contest as a pick ’em go, and with the Bills projected to win. Go with Buffalo to cover in this Bills vs. Bengals Prediction.
Bills vs. Bengals Score Prediction
Buffalo Bills 28, Cincinnati Bengals 25
NFLPick: Buffalo Bills -1.5