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Bengals vs Bills Spread, Predictions: AFC Player Props, Best Bets, More

Bengals vs Bills Spread, Predictions: AFC Player Props, Best Bets, More article feature image
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Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen.

Bengals vs Bills Odds

Bengals Odds +5.5 (-104)
Bills Odds -5.5 (-118)
Moneyline +215 / -260
Over/Under 48.5 (-115 / -105)
Time Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via FanDuel.

We start the Sunday slate of NFL Divisional Round action with a juggernaut matchup that has us finding plenty of Bengals vs. Bills picks.

Two of the AFC’s elite are playing for a spot in the AFC Championship Game. Cincinnati is looking to get back to Kansas City, while Buffalo wants to get the game to Atlanta.

Check out each of our writers’ favorite Bengals vs. Bills pick below.


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Bengals vs Bills Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Bills -5.5
Bengals +6
Devin Singletary Rushing Yards
Samaje Perine Receiving Yards
Samaje Perine Rushing Yards
Josh Allen Rushing Yards

Case for the Bills

Pick
Bills -5.5
Best Book
Time
3 p.m. ET

Simon Hunter: I talked to a handful of pros the past few days and was repeatedly told the same message: Throw out all the trends, throw out the models. When no one believes in Joe Burrow and his back is against the wall, you back him.

Here is what they’ve been missing: Nearly 70% of the tickets thus far are on Burrow’s Bengals!

Admittedly, the Bills’ rush defense has not performed well recently, and neither has Josh Allen since returning from his elbow injury. He was tied for third in the league with 14 interceptions this year.

Yet I still trust the Bills to cover 5.5 points. The Bengals are without three starters on the offensive line, and there is not a defensive-minded coach I trust more to exploit this mismatch than Bills head coach Sean McDermott.

Case for the Bengals

Pick
Bengals +6
Best Book
Time
3 p.m. ET

John LanFranca: In the Divisional Round over the last 20 years, road teams with a 70% winning percentage or greater in the regular season have covered the spread at a 65.6% rate.

Furthermore, the Bengals have thrived as underdogs since drafting Joe Burrow. The LSU product is 12-3 (80%) against the spread when his team is catching 3+ points as an underdog.

The NFL is a game of matchups, and simply put, the Bengals have the weapons to exploit the lack of consistency in the Bills secondary.

The more reliable offense is led by the quarterback who took his team to a Super Bowl one season ago. Burrow has only eight turnover worthy plays since the end of September. The Bengals’ close call with a divisional rival, combined with the overstated impact of the injuries up front have inflated this line tremendously.

I am picking Cincinnati to upset Buffalo and advance to an AFC Championship rematch with the Chiefs. I’m thrilled to grab the points with the Bengals.

Pick: Bengals +5.5 | Bet to +4.5

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Bengals vs. Bills Player Props

Our betting analysts have two picks for each team, with one player hogging the picks on the Bengals side.

Pick
Devin Singletary Under 37.5 Rushing Yards
Best Book
Time
3 p.m. ET

Chris Raybon: Singletary appears to be losing his grip on the early down lead back role to James Cook, who saw 12 carries to Singletary’s 10 last week (and nine carries to Singletary’s seven the week before).

Singletary is still getting his snaps, but they’re coming in the passing game, where he is trusted over the rookie.

It’s not as if there is a whole lot of rushing volume to go around with Buffalo, either. Excluding kneel-downs, Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has dialed up a designed run 34.4% of the time this season, seventh-fewest.

Over the past two weeks, with higher stakes and Josh Allen seemingly over a nagging midseason elbow injury, that rate has dropped to 33.3%. It’s worth noting Allen hogs nearly 20% of those designed carries.

There are also efficiency concerns for the Bills’ ground game in this spot.

The Bengals’ run defense has been elite with defensive tackle D.J. Reader on the field, allowing 3.7 yards per carry to running backs in the 11 games he’s played compared to 4.2 in the seven he’s missed. Of the 18 running backs listed with a yardage prop against the Bengals with Reader active, only six have gone over.

Pick: Devin Singletary Under 37.5 Rushing Yards


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Pick
Samaje Perine Over 12.5 Receiving Yards
Best Book
Time
3 p.m. ET

Sean Koerner: This is a great buy-low spot on Perine after he failed to record a catch last week despite running a route on 51% of Joe Burrow’s dropbacks.

There are three main reasons why I think we should invest in Perine:

1) Perine has seen a significant increase in usage in the second half of the season. In Weeks 1-9, he averaged a 25% routes run rate. In Weeks 11-Wild Card Round (games Mixon was healthy), he’s averaged a 43% routes run rate.

2) Perine typically sees an increase in receiving work in trailing game scripts. He’s averaged 23 receiving yards per game in the four Bengals losses and has averaged 11 receiving yards in their 10 wins (when Mixon was active as well). The Bengals are in the midst of a nine-game win streak but are 5.5-point underdogs. We should expect Perine to see a boost as a result.

3) With Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams ruled out, the Bengals’ offensive line could be a significant issue. It could prevent the Bengals from effectively running the ball, but will also likely result in Burrow facing more pressure than usual.

Perine’s target share goes from 6.6% when Burrow has a clean pocket to 16.3% when Burrow faces pressure. That +9.7% increase in target share when Burrow is under pressure is by far the highest of any Bengals pass-catcher.

Granted, a lot of that is due to Perine typically being on the field when Burrow’s more likely to face pressure, but that is precisely my point as this is a game where Perine could see maximum usage.

I’m projecting Perine closer to 15.5 receiving yards and love his upside in this market.

Pick: Samaje Perine Over 12.5 Receiving Yards

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Pick
Samaje Perine Over 13.5 Rushing Yards
Best Book
Time
3 p.m. ET

Tony Sartori: For those who like to take Joe Mixon props, you know firsthand how frustrating the presence of Samaje Perine is.

Almost always out there on third-downs because of his superior pass-blocking ability, Perine continues to find himself on the field much more often than he did in the beginning of the season.

In Cincinnati’s first playoff game against the Ravens, Perine lined up for 53% of the Bengals’ offensive snaps, compared to Mixon’s 45%. While Perine is typically out there to pass block, Cincinnati sometimes likes to catch opponents off-guard by handing him the ball.

Though Perine mainly shined when Mixon was sidelined, he has still recorded at least 18 rushing yards in five of the last seven games with Mixon healthy. This number is simply set too low, partly because he is the backup and only recorded three rushing yards last week.

With that in mind, 14 rushing yards for a running back who played over half of the Bengals’ offensive snaps last week is absolutely worth a shot.

Pick: Samaje Perine Over 13.5 Rushing Yards



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Pick
Josh Allen Over 46.5 Rushing Yards
Best Book
Time
3 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: My favorite bet of the game, and maybe the weekend, is back to the well on Old Faithful. It’s the same bet I made last game before it was cancelled — Josh Allen rushing overs in a big Bills game.

It’s very clear watching these past couple years that Buffalo saves Allen’s legs and hits for the games that matter most.

That’s why I’m not thrown by his four carries for 20 yards last week. That was against a third-string quarterback and a game in which Buffalo was heavily favored. But generally speaking, the Bills dial up more Allen designed runs and scrambles against playoff opponents.

The numbers over the past two years speak for themselves:

  • 22 games vs. non-playoff teams: 6.4 rushes for 39.5 yards per game
  • 14 games vs. playoff opponents: 9.1 rushes for 57.3 yards per game

That’s almost a 50% increase in output when Allen faces a playoff opponent. He’s run for 44+ yards in 10 of those 14 games (71%) against playoff teams and gone for 59+ in over half of them. He run for 70+ five times this year, all in big games, and he’s run for 54+ in five of seven playoff games (71%).

This line should be in the mid-50s. I grabbed over 40.5 early in the week on the app, and I still like it at 46.5 or the best number in the 40s you can find.

I’m betting alternate overs too: 60+ at +280 is double the price it should be, and I’ll nibble on 75+ at +600 at bet365.

I loved this bet for that Monday night game because Cincinnati ranks bottom five against designed quarterback runs. We only got one Buffalo drive, but Allen ran twice for 14 yards and was well on his way to an easy over.

Pick: Josh Allen Over 47.5 Rushing Yards



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