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Bengals vs Bills Odds, Pick | Expert Monday Night Football Prediction

Bengals vs Bills Odds, Pick | Expert Monday Night Football Prediction article feature image
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Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen.

  • Chris Raybon has picked a side for Bengals vs Bills on Monday Night Football.
  • Both teams need a win in their chase for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff.
  • Chris Raybon breaks down the matchup and makes his Bengals vs Bills pick below.

Monday Night Football finishes Week 17 with a bang — and us making a Bills vs. Bengals pick in an exciting matchup.

While we’ve gotten multiple iterations of Joe Burrow vs. Patrick Mahomes and Mahomes vs. Josh Allen since the start of last season, we’ve never gotten to witness Burrow and Allen square off — until now.

Including the postseason, the Bengals are 20-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last 23 games. Can Burrow and company keep it going against one of the best teams in the NFL?

Let’s check the Bills vs. Bengals odds and make a pick.

Bengals vs Bills Odds

Monday, Jan. 2
8:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Bengals Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-110
50.5
-115o / -105u
+118
Bills Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-110
50.5
-115o / -105u
-138
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Bengals vs. Bills Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bengals and Bengals match up statistically:

Bengals vs. Bills DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 3 14
Pass DVOA 3 14
Rush DVOA 11 14
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 5 4
Pass DVOA 8 7
Rush DVOA 5 3

What makes the Bengals’ run this season even more impressive is that they’ve faced a slew of top-12 DVOA defenses, with Buffalo’s fourth-ranked unit representing their seventh such opponent.

There’s been a slight but noticeable drop-off in the effectiveness of the Bengals offense in these spots, averaging 23.3 points per game compared to 27.9 against defenses ranked outside the top 12. The dip has been a bit more pronounced when the Bengals face a top-five defense, as they put up just 17 points against the Cowboys (No. 2) in Week 2 and 22 points against the Patriots (No. 3) last week.

The Bills field the seventh-best pass defense by DVOA and generate pressure at the 11th-highest rate (23.1%) despite blitzing at the 10th-lowest rate (19.4%). The ability to be effective without blitzing is key against the Bengals offense, as per Pro Football Focus (PFF), Burrow is tied for second in touchdown passes (11), fourth in PFF grade (81.1), and seventh in passer rating (110.8) against the blitz among 39 qualified passers.


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The Bengals offensive line is their main vulnerability on offense. They just lost right tackle La’El Collins for the year due to a torn ACL. While he was not playing well (57.9 PFF grade, 70th of 81 qualified tackles), his replacement Hakeem Adenijii has been even worse (52.8 PFF grade). Guard Alex Cappa is Cincinnati’s only lineman who has graded out as above average this season.

The Bills allow the fifth-lowest rate of explosive passes (10.9%), so Burrow will likely rely on the quick game to distribute the ball to his plethora of skill-position weapons. The Bills rank top-12 in DVOA versus every position but No. 1 wide receivers, but that is misleading because they just got top cornerback Tre’Davious White back a few weeks ago. White has allowed just a 52.0% completion rate and 6.6 yards per target since returning in Week 12.

While the Bengals have faced a number of teams with top defenses, the Bills are the only one of those squads that also boasts a top-five offense. The Bengals defense is generally well-schemed, but may struggle to get off the field on third downs against an elite Bills offense. Buffalo ranks first on offense with a 49.7% third-down conversion rate while Cincinnati ranks 19th in third-down defense (39.8%).

While at first glance it seems like the Bengals had success against a similar type of offense in the Chiefs in a 27-24 win, that’s a bit misleading. Not only did the Bengals allow 8.3 yards per attempt to Mahomes and 5.5 yards per carry to the Chiefs running game, but they also allowed the Chiefs to go 6-11 on third down and 2-2 on fourth down. The Bengals benefitted from a missed field goal and a fumble at the worst possible time from Travis Kelce in that game.

Betting Picks

The Bengals have been incredible against the spread, but I think this is the right time to fade them. While their win against the Chiefs was impressive, the difference between the Chiefs and Bills is the Bills pair their top-four offense with a top-four defense while the Chiefs are outside the top 20 on defense. With a short spread like this, one extra stop could make all the difference.

According to our Action Labs data, teams that are 80% or better against the spread have gone just 100-131-3 (43%) ATS since 2017.

Note: I would only bet this to Bills -2, and the line has moved across the board to Bills -2.5 as of 6:45 p.m. ET. I’d still bet Bills -2 as an alt line, or you can wait to see if the line moves in our favor.

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