The top seed in the AFC is on the line when the Buffalo Bills visit the Cincinnati Bengals at 8:15 p.m. ET Monday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Bills (12-3) have the inside track and will clinch the top seed and a bye in the first round by winning out. The Bengals (11-4) will win the tiebreaker with a victory over Buffalo. The Bengals will need the Kansas City Chiefs (12-3) to lose one of their last two games (vs. Denver Sunday and at Las Vegas in Week 18) in order for Cincinnati to be the AFC’s top seed. Either the Bills or Bengals hold the tiebreaker over Kansas City, should they have the same record.
The Bills are favored by one point with an over/under of 49.5 points. The Bills are -115 on the moneyline, while the Bengals are -105 on the moneyline.
Each team enters with significant winning streaks, as the Bills have won six straight and the Bengals have won seven straight.
Buffalo Bills Overview
The Bills have been elite on both ends of the field. Particularly their offense has been among the best in the NFL.
They rank fourth in scoring 28.0 points per game and second in total offense at 402.3 yards per game. They are seventh in both passing (259.5 yards per game) and rushing (142.8 yards per game). However, their 24 turnovers are 30th.
Defensively, the Bills are second at holding teams to 17.5 points per game and seventh in allowing 317.7 yards of offense per game. They are fourth against the run, allowing 104.4 yards per game, and 15th against the pass, allowing 213.3 yards per game. Their 21 takeaways is ninth.
Somewhat troubling is that both quarterback Josh Allen and star wide receiver Stephon Diggs are on the injury report. However, each are listed as probable and should be good to go when Monday rolls around.
Defensively, the Bills are tied for sixth with 14 interceptions and have 39.0 sacks in their 15 games.
The Bills are 7-7-1 against the spread and 5-10 on over/unders this season. They are 6-2 in away games straight up. They have been favored in every game they have played, including a 3-2-1 record when favored by 6.5 points or less.
Cincinnati Bengals Overview
Cincinnati has been better on one side of the ball than the other and, go figure, are pretty one-dimensional on offense, given Joe Burrow is their quarterback.
The Bengals are sixth offensively in scoring 26.1 points per game and seventh in gaining 367.4 yards of offense per game. They are 26th in rushing (98.2 yards per game) and fifth in passing (269.2 yards per game). Their 17 giveaways is eighth.
Defensively, the Bengals are ninth in allowing 20.4 points per game and 14th in allowing 332.3 yards of offense per game. They are seventh against the rush (allowing 106.4 yards per game) and 21st against the pass (allowing 225.9 yards per game). Their 20 takeaways is 10th.
The Bengals, who were great at getting pressure on their Super Bowl run, are the fourth-worst team with 26.0 sacks. However, they are tied for 10th with nine fumble recoveries.
The Bengals are 12-3 against the spread and 5-9-1 on over/unders this season. They are 5-1 straight up at home. They have been underdogs twice this season and are 2-0 when underdogs of 6.5 points or less. When favored by 6.5 points or less, they are 9-1 against the spread, so the Bengals are comfortable in close games.
These two teams last played in 2019; a 21-17 Bills win in Buffalo. The underdog is 7-2 against the spread in the last nine meetings, and the over is 7-3 in the last ten meetings. But remember how often the personnel changes in the NFL and that Burrow wasn’t a part of this series at all.
Public betting data shows 60% of bets are on the Bengals to cover +1, and another 66% are on over 49.5 points.
It’s hard to say which way this game will go. The Bengals just lost offensive tackle La’el Collins, while the Bills may get three secondary players back, including safety Jordan Poyer.