Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills AFC Divisional Pick & Analysis
The Bills and Bengals were supposed to meet for a big game a few weeks ago in Cincinnati, but a near-tragedy caused a cancellation. Now the teams meet for even bigger stakes in an AFC divisional-round playoff bout Sunday afternoon in Buffalo. The Bengals won a wild-card game last week to extend their winning streak to nine; the Bills own an eight-game winning streak of their own.
Buffalo's favored by more than a field goal but less than a touchdown. How are we playing this game with our free NFL playoffs betting pick?
NFL Playoffs Betting Lines
The NFL playoff betting odds opened Buffalo at -4 for Sunday, with an over/under of right around 49.5. Early betting action then bumped the Bills to -5.5 and dipped that total to 48.5.
According to Sagarin's NFL ratings at USAToday.com, Buffalo should only be favored by three points for this match-up.
Bengals-Bills NFL Playoffs Betting Preview
Cincinnati reached this AFC divisional round by beating Baltimore in a wild-card game last weekend 24-17. But it wasn't easy. The Bengals scored the first nine points of the game but trailed 10-9 at the half. Cincinnati then went up 17-10 but gave up a Ravens touchdown, then allowed Baltimore to drive to the 1-yard line. Destiny then, perhaps, took a hand when LB Logan Wilson knocked a ball loose, into the hands of DE Sam Hubbard, who then galloped 98 yards for what turned out to be a game-winning touchdown.
However, the Bengals came up short ATS at -7.5, and that's what's really important.
Cincinnati got out-gained by the Ravens 364-234, out-rushed 155-51, and lost time of possession by a 32:28 split. But the Bengals won the turnover battle 2-1, creating a +10 points differential.
Two weeks ago, in the regular-season finale, Cincinnati only managed 257 yards of total offense but beat Baltimore 27-16. In fact, the Bengals have been out-gained and out-rushed three of their last four times out.
On the season, Cincinnati out-gained nine of its 16 opponents but only out-rushed six of its 16 foes. Sometimes the Bengals don't even try to run the ball.
Buffalo reached this AFC divisional round by outlasting Miami in a wild-card game last weekend 34-31. The Bills scored the first 17 points but only led 20-17 at the half. Buffalo then fell behind to the Dolphins 24-20 early in the third quarter but scored twice in three minutes to re-take the lead. They let Miami get back within a field goal early in the fourth but held on from there.
However, the Bills came up way short ATS at -14, even with the Dolphins down to their third-string rookie quarterback.
Buffalo out-gained Miami 423-231, out-rushed the Dolphins 107-42 and won the time of possession by a 32:28 split. But three Bills turnovers led directly to 17 Miami points, which kept that game close.
During the regular season, Buffalo out-gained 12 of its 16 opponents and out-rushed 11 of 16 foes.
These two teams last met for a full game three seasons ago, a 21-17 Bills victory. Buffalo's Josh Allen quarterbacked against Andy Dalton for Cincinnati that day.
When these teams met three weeks ago, the Bengals led 7-3 late in the first quarter and were driving for more when the injury to Buffalo DB Hamlin took place. Following a lengthy delay, the game was postponed and later canceled.
On the injury front, Cincinnati will be without three starting offensive linemen, while the Bills are a bit banged up on defense.
These two teams played eight common opponents this season; the Dolphins, Titans, Chiefs, Steelers, Ravens, Jets, Patriots, and Browns. The Bengals played those foes to 8-3 SU, 8-2-1 ATS, the Bills to 9-2 SU, 6-4-1 ATS.
NFL Betting Trends
- The Bengals would have played 15-1 ATS at +5.5 all season.
- The Bills would have played 9-7 ATS at -5.5 all season.
- Including last week's Wild Card victory, the Bengals are now 5-2 SU, 4-2-1 ATS this season against teams that made the playoffs.
- With last week's win, the Bills are now 4-2 SU, 1-4-1 ATS vs. playoff qualifiers.
- Over the last five divisional rounds of the playoffs, teams coming off wild-card byes are 13-5 SU, 11-7 ATS.
- Over the last five divisional rounds, home teams are 14-6 SU and 12-8 ATS.
- Over the last five divisional rounds, favorites are 15-5 SU and 13-7 ATS.
- The Unders played 9-6 in Bengals games this season, which averaged 46 total points. Last week's game against Baltimore middled the total, which opened at 43 but went off at 40.
- The Unders played 10-7 in Bills games this season, which averaged 46 points. Last week's game against Miami played was over a total of 44.
- The Unders came in at 57 percent in the NFL this season, but the Overs played 4-2 last week.
AFC Divisional Round Spread Pick 1/22/23
Cincinnati got outplayed by Baltimore last week, and now they're down three starting O-linemen. Buffalo, meanwhile, is rightly favored for this game, but it's turning the ball over too much, nine times over its last three games! Ultimately, though, we've got a ton of faith in Bengals QB Burrow and that super set of receivers, while counterpart Allen, a monster, can be a bit flighty. And the Cincinnati defense has held five of its last seven foes under 20 points. This should be a close one, so we're betting on the Bengals plus the points