Bills vs. Bengals prediction and odds for Week 17 (Trust Vegas’ analysis)

Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) /

After several weeks of laughers and brutal quarterback play on Monday Night Football, the Week 17 NFL schedule concludes with one of the best matchups of the season under the lights at Paul Brown Stadium. The Cincinnati Bengals host the Buffalo Bills as Joe Burrow and Josh Allen meet for the first time in a head-to-head showdown.

It’s a critically important game for both teams, despite already clinching playoff spots. A win for Buffalo keeps them in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the AFC, while the Bengals can possibly distance themselves from the Ravens in the AFC North with a home victory and a Baltimore loss.

Cincinnati has been the best covering team in the NFL this season, and has been successful the lone time it has been listed as a home dog this year. The underdog has gone 7-2 against the spread (ATS) over the last nine matchups, so will the trend continue next Monday evening?

Here are the latest odds, plus a Bills vs. Bengals best bet for the matchup:

Bills vs. Bengals Odds, Spread and Total

Bills vs. Bengals Betting Trends

  • For all the talk about both teams’ explosive offenses, trends suggest this may be more of a defensive battle for Buffalo. Via Covers, the under is 5-0 in the Bills’ previous five games after a win ATS, 7-1 in their last eight games on the road, and 6-1 in their last seven after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game.
  • Cincinnati owns the best record ATS in 2022 at 12-3-0, and the best ATS record in the NFL overall at 26-10-0 since the start of the 2021 season; covering 72.2% of its games.

Bills vs. Bengals Prediction and Pick

Both teams come into Monday red-hot; with Cincinnati winners of seven consecutive games, and Buffalo victors in six straight.

While it might surprise some bettors to see the Bengals as slight dogs at home, I get Vegas’ rationale for picking Buffalo as slight favorites, and consequently, I’ll back them in this spot.

Buffalo is tied with Kansas City for the best road record in the AFC at 6-2-0, and is +157 in net points this season compared to Cincinnati at +85; nearly doubling their number despite being the third-best team in the conference.

The Bills are simply a better team top to bottom statistically than Cincinnati; outranking the Bengals offensively in both points/play (2 to 9) and yards/play (3 to 12), while also dominating the two teams in yards/rush (1 to 28). Defensively, the Bills have the edge as well, although the numbers are closer. Buffalo is second in the NFL in opponent points/play (Bengals are 11th), and No. 9 in opponent yards/play (Bengals are 15th).

Where Cincinnati has the edge is in covering the spread: 12-3-0 ATS this season compared to Buffalo’s 7-7-1 record. But the Bills actually own a better ATS +/- of +3.2, compared to Cincinnati’s +2.2.

All things considered, I’ll take the Bills at a fair moneyline number, even on the road vs. the top covering team in the NFL.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.