Bengals vs Bills Divisional Round Picks and Predictions: Bengals Won't Go Away Easily

The books favor the Bills this weekend, but the Bengals have been a dangerous threat in the season's second half. See why our NFL picks don't have them giving up their AFC crown too easily.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Jan 22, 2023 • 12:00 ET • 4 min read

The Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills square off in the NFL Divisional Round on Sunday afternoon.

It's a rematch of the canceled Monday Night Football game from three weeks ago, but this time, we get a playoff showdown taking place at Highmark Stadium.

NFL betting lines opened with the Bills as 4-point home faves but that number has ticked up to -5.5 with the Over/Under sitting at 48.5. Here are my best free Bengals vs. Bills NFL picks and predictions for January 22. 

You'll also want to check out our Bengals vs. Bills prop picks and Divisional Round picks and predictions for more great NFL bets!

Bengals vs Bills best odds

Bengals vs Bills picks and predictions

While the Bills are still considered the slightly superior team by oddsmakers, that seems to be based on preseason expectations and early season results. During the second half of the regular season, the Bengals were actually the better squad in terms of analytics and didn't lose a single game. 

Buffalo's defense has regressed which is a bad sign against a Bengals aerial attack led by Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase. Since Week 9, the Bills are 18th in the league in defensive EPA/Play while ranking 22nd in Dropback EPA. Over that same span the Bengals are sixth in defensive EPA and 12th in dropback EPA. 

The Bengals also played a bit better than the Bills on offense during the second half of the season. They ranked fifth in the league in EPA/Play compared to eighth for the Bills and had the edge both in the passing and running game. 

Although their Week 17 matchup has been scratched from the history books, Burrow and the Cincy offense looked clinically efficient on the first drive and a half. Expect the Bengals to keep things competitive and cover this spread.

My best bet: Bengals +5.5 (-110 at bet365)

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Bengals vs Bills spread analysis

These are two of the hottest teams in the NFL. The Bengals have won nine straight games, going 7-1-1 ATS over that span, while the Bills have won eight in a row (4-4 ATS).  However, both sides can consider themselves lucky to be here after a wacky wild card round.

The Bengals needed a 98-yard fumble return to cause a momentum swing and edge the Ravens.  Meanwhile, the Bills were fortunate that Dolphins QB Tua Tagaviola was sidelined, forcing Miami to use rookie Skylar Thompson. Miami was able to keep things close against a sloppy Bills side despite Thompson completing just 18-45 passes for 220 yards and a pair of picks.

Cincinnati's biggest weakness has been its offensive line, but it showed improvement throughout the year with Burrow getting sacked 29 times in his first eight games but just 12 times in his final eight contests.

Unfortunately, right tackle La'el Collins suffered a season-ending injury in Week 16 while left tackle Jonah Wiliams and right guard Alex Cappa have been ruled out for Sunday. That could lead to a ton of pressure for Burrow against a solid Bills front.

The Bills have also gotten shaky play from their offensive line with guard Rodger Saffold and tackle Spencer Brown grading near the bottom of the league at their respective positions according to PFF.   

Another issue for Buffalo has been its tendency to turn the ball over and Buffalo's aggressiveness on offense is a big reason for that. Josh Allen is one of the best quarterbacks in the league but he threw 14 interceptions during the regular season and fumbled 13 times (losing eight).

He also had three fumbles and threw a pair of picks last week which is bad news against an opportunistic Cincy defense that ranks eighth in the league in takeaways per game (1.5). 

Bengals vs Bills Over/Under analysis

The total has ticked down to 48.5 from the opening number of 50. With cold temperatures and a high chance of precipitation, we could possibly get wet snow during the game. However, the latest weather reports suggest that accumulation won't happen until after the contest and that wind won't have a significant impact either. 

Both teams have explosive offenses that are heavily reliant on their superstar quarterbacks and dangerous wideouts. Burrow finished the regular season second in the league with 279.7 passing yards per game while Allen was sixth with 267.7 ypg. 

They should be able to move the ball through the air against defenses that have been vulnerable to the pass. The Bengals have a pair of solid safeties and a very good slot corner in Mike Hilton, but their boundary corners are weak.

The Bills haven't gotten great play from their corners either and despite Tre'Davious White's All-Pro credentials, he doesn't look anywhere near full strength after coming back from an ACL injury. Their depth at safety is also a problem after season-ending injuries to Micah Hyde and his replacement Damar Hamlin. 

Both teams have been better at defending the run and these sides have struggled to get their ground games going on a consistent basis. That said, Allen's ability to make things happen with his feet does open things up for the rest of Buffalo's offense. 

Bengals vs Bills same-game parlay

Over 79.5 Ja'Marr Chase receiving yards

Over 54.5 Gabe Davis receiving yards

1+ Josh Allen interceptions thrown

1+ Greg Rousseau sacks

The Bills are 29th in the league in pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers while the Bengals are 31st against No. 2 wide receivers. That should mean big performances from both Chase and Davis. Allen has thrown five interceptions in his last three games and he can be a bit too aggressive at times.

Cincinnati's offensive line struggled to protect Burrow when healthy and is now missing both starting tackles. Expect pressure from Rousseau, who led the Bills with eight sacks in 13 games and was 12th in the league among all edge rushers with a pass rush grade of 82.2.  

SGP odds: +950 at DraftKings

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Bengals vs Bills betting trend to know

The Bills are 1-5 ATS in their last six games versus a team with a winning record. Find more NFL betting trends for Bengals vs. Bills.

Bengals vs Bills game info

Location: Highmark Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Date: Sunday, January 22, 2023
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS
Opening odds: Bills -6, 50

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