Buffalo Bills (12-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (11-4)
Game Info: Sunday, January 2, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. EST (Paycor Stadium)
Betting Odds: Bills (-1) / Over/Under (49.5)
Pick: Bengals (+1)
As the regular season begins to come to a close, we are gifted with one of the best matchups of the year so far when the Buffalo Bills head into The Queen City to take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, with both teams jockeying for seeding in the AFC.
Buffalo storms into this one on a 6 game win streak, although the majority of those wins have come against non-playoff teams, so they will be tested heavily in this one. On top of this, they boast an abysmal 2-6 record ATS in their last 8 games played. But, throwing all of that out the window and looking at their roster, it doesn't take a genius to see that they have top 5 talent all over the field, led by star quarterback, Josh Allen. Although he has thrown a few too many interceptions this year than the Bills staff would like, he still has 32 touchdown passes thrown and 7 rushing. His favorite target, Stefon Diggs, has 101 receptions on the season, adding in over 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Having said this, they wouldn't be where they are this year without their outstanding defensive output. They rank 2nd in scoring defense, only letting up just over 17 PPG. With Pro Bowl cornerback Tre'Davious White recently returning from injury, they are beginning to get healthy at the right time as we near the Playoffs. Can they secure an immense win on the road to keep up with Chiefs in the race for the #1 seed in the AFC to secure the ever-important bye week for the Playoffs?
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Cincinnati arrives on MNF even hotter than the Bills team on the other side of the ball as they come in winning 9 out of their last 10 games. Even though this is the case, they seem to still be flying under the radar in the AFC as the Chiefs and Bills steal all of the attention there. They are led by by MVP candidate, Joe Burrow, who has carried this team all season on the offensive side of the ball. Partnering with him, he is finally getting all of his targets back at wide receiver as Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Ja'Marr Chase are all healthy going into this clash. They will look to drive the ball down the field on a consistent basis to stay in this one as their rushing offense has been below average all year. On the defensive side, their d-end duo in Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson who are most likely both going to go in this one, will try and keep Josh Allen off balance all night in order to set Burrow up in good field position. Can Burrow and Co. make a statement at home in primetime to jump Buffalo in the standings in the AFC?
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Bengals are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games played
- The underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 games played in this series
- The under is 7-1 in the last 8 road games that the Bills have played in
Looking at how high the total is set in this game, we can expect a high scoring battle with both quarterbacks taking blows at each other back and forth. The ball should be in the air all night long as both teams throw out there a below-par rush offense and an elite pass attack; so who is going to make more plays, Burrow or Allen? I see this one coming down to a few plays, in which I think Burrow stays more composed than Allen at home and secures one of the biggest wins of his short-lived career so far. Allen will find it hard to get in a consistent groove in spurts of the game and will inevitably continue his turnover troubles which will attribute to the Bills demise on MNF.
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