Monday Night Football odds and best bets for Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals
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Monday night in Cincinnati, the AFC North-leading Bengals (11-4, 5-1 home, 12-3 ATS) host the Buffalo Bills (12-3, 6-2 away, 7-7 -1 ATS), who have already locked down the AFC East and can reclaim the conference’s number one seed from the Chiefs with a win. The Bengals would clinch their second straight division title with a win and remain in the hunt for the top seed in the AFC portion of the NFL playoffs.
The odds of the game are very tight. Buffalo is currently a 1.5 point favorite on the road in Monday’s NFL odds after opening at -1.
Bills vs. Bengals Odds
|Invoices||-1.5 (-110)||-122||49.5 (-114)|
|bengals||+1.5 (-110)||+104||49.5 (-106)|
The game total remains at 49.5, which is unchanged from the opening odds for week 17.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EST at Paycor Stadium. ESPN will air the show.
Two long winning streaks in play
Monday’s match will feature the AFC’s two longest winning streaks. Only the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers — winners of nine straight games — have a longer active streak than the Bengals (7) and Bills (6).
ATS trends haven’t been as favorable for Buffalo. Despite going 12-3, the Bills are just a .500 ATS team, going 7-7-1 on Monday. They are 3-6 CES in their last nine games.
The Bengals, meanwhile, have the league’s best ATS record at 12-3. Cincinnati covered the spread in its 11 wins, plus a 19-17 loss at Baltimore in Week 5 as a three-point underdog.
Both the Bills and the Bengals have taken in a lot of money
Both teams have heavily skewed under bets this season. Buffalo is 5-10 over/under while Cincinnati is 5-9-1 o/u. However, this trend was many more important at the start of the season than it has been lately.
In the first five weeks of the season, they combined to go 1-9 o/u. In their last 14 games combined, they’re tied 7-7 o/u. (Buffalo is 4-3 over; Cincinnati is 3-4.)
There is no recent history between the parties, at least none that is relevant. They last met in 2019 at Orchard Park when second-year pro Josh Allen led the Bills to a 21-17 win over a Bengals team led by Andy Dalton. (Joe Burrow was busy winning a national championship at LSU.)
Injury News and Notes
Cincinnati lost offensive tackle La’el Collins to a torn ACL in Week 16. Hakeem Adeniji, a 2020 Kansas sixth-round pick, will be his replacement. Many pundits have deemed Collins’ loss significant, but PFF player ratings disagree to some extent. Collins had a rating of 57.9, which was a modest 70th out of 81 qualified OTs. Adeniji’s rating is only slightly lower (52.8).
The Bengals could also be without team sack leader Sam Hubbard (6.5 sacks). The edge rusher is questionable with a calf injury.
On the Buffalo side, safety Jordan Poyer is questionable with a knee injury. His absence would be a blow, the Bills having already beaten Micah Hyde and Christian Benford in the secondary.
Prediction Bills vs Bengals
What the Bengals’ impressive winning streak doesn’t show is that Cincinnati has struggled to put together two halves of quality football over the past three weeks. They were shut out for the first 20+ minutes against the Browns in Week 14; they trailed Tampa Bay 17-3 at halftime in Week 15; and they nearly lost a 22-0 halftime lead to New England in Week 16, holding onto a 22-18 win thanks to a Patriots fumble at the 5-yard line in the final minute .
In short, there’s too much inconsistency in Cincinnati’s performance for me to bet them against arguably the best team in the NFL. But I’m also not comfortable betting against the Bengals at home. When this offense clicks, it’s borderline unstoppable.
Instead, my favorite play in this game is a player prop: Joe Burrow under 0.5 interceptions at odds of -108. Buffalo is in the top half of the league with 14 INTs on the year, and Burrow is averaging nearly one per game (13 picks in 15 games). But his home record over the past two seasons doesn’t favor any interceptions. Burrow didn’t throw an interception in five of nine home games last season, and he’s kept a clean stat line in four of six home games this season.
Buffalo’s defense has had at least one pick in its first four road games this year, but hasn’t had an interception in its last four. With the Bills high school smashed, I’m betting on that five-game streak on Monday night.
Best bet: Joe Burrow under 0.5 interceptions (-108)
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