NFL Divisional Betting Preview: Cincinnati Bengals At Buffalo Bills Odds

Written By Brett Gibbons on January 19, 2023
Bengals Bills odds

The Cincinnati Bengals (13-4) visit the Buffalo Bills (14-3) in a hotly anticipated matchup in NFL Divisional odds. The game kicks Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET on CBS from Highmark Stadium in Buffalo. Bengals vs. Bills odds favor the Bills by at home and the Bengals are lined on the moneyline. The over/under currently sits at points.

In this article we break down everything you need to know before betting the Bengals at Bills odds, props, and injuries. We’ll also look at team matchups, key metrics, and the best available odds.

Bengals vs. Bills Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under

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Bengals At Bills Player Props

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Bengals At Bills Betting News & Angles

Bills Vs. Bengals Weather

A temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit near kickoff, with 50% chance of snow showers and 5-10 mph winds, is the forecast for Highmark Stadium on Sunday (as of 11:12 AM on January 18).

Bills Vs. Bengals Injury Report

Buffalo Injuries

PlayerPos.InjuryStatusAvg. Snap Count
Isaiah McKenzieWRHamstringQuestionable38.9
Jordan PhillipsDTShoulderQuestionable29.1

Cincinnati Injuries

PlayerPos.InjuryStatusAvg. Snap Count
Jonah WilliamsOTKneeQuestionable73.4
Alex CappaOGAnkleQuestionable69.2
Jonah WilliamsOTKneeQuestionable32.0
Clark HarrisLSBicepsOut4.0
Ben BrownCBicepsOut

Bills Offense Vs. Bengals Defense

Bills OffenseStats (Rank)Bengals Defense
28.4 (2)Points/Gm20.1 (5)
0.4 (2)Points/Play0.3 (1)
397.6 (2)Yards/Gm335.7 (16)
258.1 (7)Pass Yards/Gm229.1 (23)
139.5 (7)Rush Yards/Gm106.6 (7)
6.1 (2)Yards/Play5.4 (15)
7.2 (6)Yards/Pass6.6 (15)
5.2 (2)Yards/Rush4.2 (6)
50.3% (1)3rd Down %39.6% (20)
60.3% (9)Red Zone %52% (9)
27 (30)Turnovers24 (11)
33 (8)Sacks30 (29)

Bengals Offense Vs. Bills Defense

Bengals OffenseStats (Rank)Bills Defense
26.1 (7)Points/Gm17.9 (2)
0.4 (2)Points/Play0.3 (1)
360.5 (8)Yards/Gm319.1 (6)
265 (5)Pass Yards/Gm214.6 (15)
95.5 (29)Rush Yards/Gm104.6 (5)
5.5 (11)Yards/Play5.1 (7)
7 (8)Yards/Pass6 (5)
3.8 (29)Yards/Rush4.3 (11)
46.1% (3)3rd Down %37.5% (7)
64.9% (5)Red Zone %44.9% (2)
18 (4)Turnovers27 (4)
44 (20)Sacks40 (14)

Why The Bills Can Cover The Spread

The AFC Wild Card game really turned into a worst-case for the Bills. After getting off to a hot start, the offense stagnated and inopportune turnovers made this a ballgame. The Bills let an inferior Dolphins team hang around, never really putting the game away until the final buzzer.

That said, that was just about a worst-case scenario.

Buffalo still out-gained Miami 5.9-3.3 on a per-play basis, held the Dolphins to just 4/16 converting on third down, and committed just two penalties. A game with similar stats to that for the Bills this season? A 41-7 beatdown of the Titans in Week 2. They out-gained the Titans 6.4-3.5 and held them to 4/12 converting third downs. The sole difference was the lack of turnovers in that game.

At their best, the Bills have the capability to beat anyone, including the Chiefs in Kansas City. There’s a reason the market ballooned this number to as high as -5.5 in some sports after it opened at -3.5. Josh Allen and the team’s offensive prowess is well-documented; their defensive capability has been, too. At home with a spot in a neutral-site AFC Championship Game– and subsequently a Super Bowl– on the line, don’t expect the same level of apathy we saw from Buffalo in the Wild Card round.

Why The Bengals Can Cover The Spread

Should the spread continue to balloon and hit +6 anywhere, expect some serious buyback on the Bengals. Cincinnati played their share of not-ideal football in the AFC Wild Card round, needing a miraculous 98-yard fumble touchdown by Sam Hubbard to close out a very hurt Ravens team. Perhaps that sits heavy on the minds of bettors this week.

The Bengals get into hot water when the ball is taken out of their hands. In the instance of each game against Baltimore, against New England, and Tennessee earlier this year, the Bengals were limited possessions and thus limited points.

That’s not the style of play for the Bills. Buffalo’s played in just three games since November that went under this game’s point total of 48, all of which came against divisional opponents. Getting into a fast-paced, downfield match like the Week 17 Monday Night Football game was shaping up to be, the Bengals not only have a shot to keep the game close, but to win it outright.

Reasons To Bet The Over

For all the reasons mentioned above: these two teams were fixing to get into a shootout on MNF not long ago. (Albeit, in beautiful conditions in Cincinnati; this game forecasts snow.) The Bills play at the seventh-quickest pace in the NFL (seconds per play, per Football Outsiders), while the Bengals are more methodical at 20th, and 31st when trailing by seven or more points. However, the Bengals’ efficiency moving the ball (fifth in dropback EPA and points per drive) affords them the luxury of slowing down.

However, it may be more beneficial to bet half totals rather than full game. Not only are the Bengals excellent with second-half defensive adjustments (they didn’t allow a second-half TD until Halloween), but should they fall behind in the second half, the game is going to slow down on both sides.

You can find first half overs at 23.5 at most books, albeit juiced. FanDuel Sportsbook offers O24 (+100). While your bet would push at, say 14-10, that’s a refunded bet rather than a loss and for the juice, I see that as a worthy bet.

Reasons To Bet The Under

A live under might be in play for this game. For the reasons mentioned above (Bengals’ second-half adjustments and pace of play when trailing), if the game gets off to a fiery start, betting under a live number at 54+ might be beneficial. However, taking under 48.5 pregame might be cause for stress and sweat.

The way these two teams began in Week 17, I have the upmost confidence you’ll see a live total over 48.5.

Bengals At Bills Props: Matchups To Watch For

Ja’Marr Chase Vs. Tre’Davious White: The Bills run markedly less man coverage than the league average. We saw partly why last week where Miami’s receivers found plenty of open space (albeit, dropped many passes) and, when players like White were in man, could have had a lot of success. If there’s one receiver you don’t want to run man coverage on, it’s Ja’Marr Chase.

Expect lots of zone this weekend. White plays some form of zone coverage on 61.1% of his snaps (per PFF) and man just 23% of snaps (fewest on the team). Against zone coverage, Chase sees his target share decline to 55.4%, which is behind Tee Higgins for the unit lead. Chase’s yards per reception also drop from 16.0 in man to 10.3 in zone. Some of that is scheme– his yards per route run drop from 3.56 to 1.54– but it’s also putting a cap on his deep shots with safety help.

White is clearly hindered coming off a major injury last season. Burners like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle clearly got the best of him last week. However, don’t be surprised to see a lower-than-average output from Chase, especially after his hot start against Buffalo in Week 17.

Bengals OL vs. Bills Front Seven: Last week, Matt Milano and Ed Oliver were serious problems for the Dolphins. Milano recorded a pair of sacks and two more TFLs while Oliver had a sack of his own, two hits on the QB, and another QB pressure. Against a Cincinnati offensive line in serious injury trouble, those two could have another field day.

La’El Collins was lost for the season weeks ago, Alex Kappa missed the AFC Wild Card game, and Jonah Williams was lost during the AFC Wild Card game; Kappa and Williams are questionable for this week. Jackson Carman played in place of Williams, where he was called for a penalty, allowed two pressures and a sack in just 16 snaps.

Further, offensive line communication declines when subs are in. Watch the injury report carefully, as Joe Burrow continues to break records for postseason sacks taken.

Final Thoughts

For a team that’s excellent defensively in the second half and plays methodically when trailing, it’s exciting to see a first half total that’s less than half of the full game. Barring overtime, that’s a bet on the second half to be higher-scoring than the first, which I don’t buy. That said, I’m betting the 1st Half Over 24 points at FanDuel (+100) in Bengals vs. Bills odds.

Secondly, I’m watching for this line to hit +6. I was excited to pull the trigger at +4.5, as I believe there’s a strong movement in reaction to last week’s results. The Bengals’ body of work shows that they’re severely inhibited by teams that limit their possessions and play keep away with a strong run game– like Baltimore, New England, and Tennessee– of which Buffalo doesn’t do.

While six isn’t a traditional key betting figure like +3 or +7, 8% of NFL games end in a six-point deficit, a rising number with the rising prominence of the two-point conversion. That’s the highest rate outside of square scoring numbers 3, 7, 10, 14, and 17.

Should any book offer a Bengals +6, be ready to bet because it’s going to move quickly.

Best of luck betting the Bengals vs. Bills odds in this game.

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Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons