Get ready for Week 9’s Sunday night showdown, Bills vs. Bengals, with the latest odds, prob bets, and analysis from our friends at FanDuel.
This article originally appeared at FanDuel Research.
The NFL continues to alternate between elite clashes and underwhelming matchups for Sunday Night Football (SNF). The league elected to not flex Week 10’s SNF between the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders; what a treat that will be…said no one ever. Plus, we got to watch the Los Angeles Chargers pummel the Chicago Bears last week (30-13).
Of course, these are two of the best teams in the AFC; the Bills have the fourth-shortest odds to win the conference (+750), and the Bengals have the fifth-shortest odds (+950), per FanDuel Sportsbook’s NFL conference odds.
Damar Hamlin, who suffered a devastating injury in last season’s regular-season matchup, makes his return to Cincinnati. Seeing Hamlin step on the Bengals’ field once again is sure to spark emotions.
The two teams also collided in last year’s playoffs, with Cincy rolling to a 27-10 win in the divisional round.
Buffalo ranks second in numberFire’s nERD-based power rankings, and the Bengals are red-hot with three consecutive victories.
This matchup has almost everything you could ask for in a primetime game. Let’s dig into the highly anticipated clash.
Bills vs. Bengals Betting Odds: Spread, Total, and Moneyline
- Spread: Bengals -1.5 (-115)
- Total: 50.5
- Moneyline: Bengals -130 | Bills +108
Bills vs. Bengals Week 9 Matchup Analysis
numberFire’s power rankings suggest that Cincinnati is still struggling as they rank 20th overall. However, this has looked like a different team over the last three games — especially in Week 8’s 31-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The defense has performed well in back-to-back games, holding the Niners and Seattle Seahawks to an average of only 15.0 points per game. The Bengals also forced five turnovers over the last two wins.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo turned in a masterful performance against the Niners by consistently deploying five-man fronts. After earning high praise this week, Anarumo will be looking to coordinate another strong defensive performance.
Of course, the Bills feature one of the league’s best offenses, ranking second in numberFire’s adjusted offense ratings. The unit has been extremely balanced with the third-best passing game and third-ranked rushing attack.
James Cook has been a key cog in the offense, averaging 4.8 yards per carry (11th) paired with the fifth-highest total in yards after contact (226). Slowing Cook could be a challenge for Cincy’s run defense, which has the sixth-worst mark in numberFire’s adjusted run defense ratings.
Josh Allen, who is +1000 to win the MVP award, is averaging 285.4 passing yards and 2.4 passing touchdowns over the last five games. He also comes off a monster showing with 324 passing yards, 41 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns in Week 8.
However, turnovers have remained a problem for Allen. He’s thrown at least one interception in four consecutive games. The Bengals could continue to generate turnovers on SNF.
Flipping to the other side of the ball, the Bills’ pass defense could be in trouble. Joe Burrow seems to be fully healthy after totaling 283 passing yards and 3 touchdowns with 0.23 expected points added per dropback (EPA/DB) against San Francisco.
Ja’Marr Chase continues to terrorize defenses as he’s averaging 124.0 receiving yards and 10.3 receptions per game over the last three games. He also tallied 28.4 receiving yards over expectation (RecYOE) in Week 8, showcasing his ability after the catch.
Buffalo ranks 11th in numberFire’s schedule-adjusted pass defense, but they have shown cracks in their armor over the last few games. For example, the New England Patriots’ Mac Jones had a mark of 0.26 EPA/DB in Week 7 against the Bills. The Pats have the third-worst adjusted passing offense on the season; not a good look, to say the least.
Cincinnati’s offensive line is also beginning to improve its play, holding the fourth-best mark in pressure rate allowed (24.0%). If the Bills fail to generate pressure, Burrow could shred their secondary to pieces.
This was part of the problem in Week 7’s loss against the Patriots; Buffalo had only one sack and four QB hits.
Ultimately, the ability of the Bengals’ defense to generate turnovers and Burrow’s potential advantage against the Bills secondary could lead to a win. With Buffalo going 0-4 against the spread (ATS) in the last four games, I’m backing Cincinnati to cover.
Bills vs. Bengals Prop Bets: NFL Week 9
Dalton Kincaid 50+ Receiving Yards (+162)
The Dalton Kincaid breakout is officially here after the rookie tight end recorded 65 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 8. Plus, he totaled 75 receiving yards in Week 7.
After back-to-back impressive performances, Kincaid has become a hot commodity, whether it be in fantasy or for NFL betting. On Thursday, Kincaid reaching at least 40.0 receiving yards was at +118. However, sharp bettors hopped on the line, and it is now priced at -108. As of Friday afternoon, he is +162 to reach 50.0 receiving yards. I’m completely fine with taking this line — especially considering his favorable matchup against the Bengals.
Cincinnati allows the fourth-most yards per game to tight ends (64.3 yards) and the fifth-most receptions (5.9). In Week 8, the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle totaled 149 receiving yards.
Of course, some will question Kincaid’s target share. Dawson Knox was placed on injured reserve ahead of Week 8’s game, opening up a larger workload for Kincaid. The rookie tight end has a 13.9% target share on the season. Over the last two games, his target share has spiked to 19.2%, including Week 7’s mark of 20.5%.
I’m on board the Kincaid hype train, and with the Bengals susceptible against tight ends, the rookie seems poised for another impressive showing.
Joe Mixon Over 62.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Stefon Diggs, and Ja’Marr Chase will make the headlines ahead of this matchup. As they should — they are a pair of elite QBs and wideouts.
However, the run game could take the forefront on Sunday night. The Bills are allowing 5.1 yards per carry (second-most) while the Bengals are surrendering 5.0 yards per carry (third-most). I’m targeting a prop for Joe Mixon, but James Cook is another favorable option with a rushing prop of 50.5 rushing yards.
Cincy averages only 21.1 rushing attempts per game (third-fewest), yet Mixon is still averaging 16 carries per game with a 74.2% snap share (seventh-highest among running backs).
Mixon has just 6.4 rushing yards over expectation (RYOE), but Buffalo is a favorable matchup as they’ve permitted the fourth-most 173.1 RYOE allowed.
After reaching 65 rushing yards in four of his last five games, Mixon can go over his projected total yet again.
— Riley Thomas
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