Bills vs Bengals Preview & Free Pick [January 2nd 2023]

Buffalo (12-3) at Cincinnati (11-4)
When: Monday, January 2nd 2023
Where: Paycor Stadium,
Cincinnati, OH
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Buffalo -1.5/49

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The final and probably best Monday Night Football game of the year takes place tonight with a Week 17 battle between two of the hottest teams in the league. The Buffalo Bills will look to claim the AFC’s top seed when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals from Paycor Stadium. All the Bills have to do is when on Monday and next week to get the No. 1 seed. They have already won the AFC East crown. The Bengals can clinch the AFC North with a win on Monday, thanks to the Baltimore Ravens losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night. Cincinnati still has a shot at the AFC’s top seed since they have already beat Kansas City, who is currently the No. 2 seed. Only the top seed gets a first-round bye and these two teams could easily meet in the playoffs. They last played Week 3 of the 2019 season in Buffalo, and the Bills won 21-17. The underdog is 7-2 against the spread in the past nine meetings.

The Bills are coming off an impressive 35-13 win at the Chicago Bears on Christmas Eve for their sixth straight victory. Buffalo has exceeded 30 points three times during its winning streak and ran for a season-best 254 yards against the Bears. Cincinnati has won seven straight after a gutsy 22-18 win at the New England Patriots last weekend. The Bengals held a 22-0 halftime lead before holding on. They have also topped 30 points three times during the streak. This game will feature two of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Joe Burrow and Josh Allen. Burrow is second in the NFL in passing yardage (4,260) and touchdown passes (34), while Allen sits sixth with 4,029 yards and third with 32 scoring strikes. The Bills are slight 1-point favorites with a total of 49.5.


Buffalo is still the betting favorite to win Super Bowl 57 and showed why last week with the win over Chicago. Allen wasn’t at his best 172 yards, two TDs and two picks, but the Bills ran all over the Bears. Devin Singletary rumbled for 106 yards, while James Cook ran for 99 yards. Allen recorded his 25th career game with at least one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown, surpassing Fran Tarkenton (24 games) for the fourth-most in NFL history. Allen has also surpassed Dan Marino for most combined touchdowns by a player in his first five seasons. He has 135 passing and 38 rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018. Buffalo is fourth in the NFL with 28.0 points per game and second with 17.2 points allowed per game. Wideout Stefon Diggs (illness), safety Jordan Poyer (knee) and running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) sat out Thursday’s practice.

The Bengals clinched at least a wild-card spot with the win over New England last week. The Patriots had first and goal at the Cincinnati 5 late in the game, but running back Rhamondre Stevenson lost a fumble and the Bengals recovered. Joe Burrow threw for 375 yards and three scores but also had two interceptions. Wideout Trenton Irwin had two touchdown catches, while Tee Higgins had eight catches for 128 yards and a TD. Joe Mixon rushed 16 times for 65 yards and caught seven passes for 43 yards. Right tackle La’el Collins suffered a torn ACL and MCL and is done for the season. Cincinnati is 5-1 at home this season with the only loss coming in Week 1 against the Steelers. The Bengals are sixth in the NFL with 26.1 points per game and ninth with 20.4 points surrendered per contest.

These teams are pretty equal and both are playing at a high level right now. It’s a little disrespectful to the Bengals that they are an underdog at home. The Bills are 1-4 ATS in their last five against teams with a winning record, while the Bengals are on a 16-5 ATS run against winning teams.

Week 17 NFL Staff Selections

Pick: Bengals +1