The Buffalo Bills are 1.5-point underdogs as they prepare to face the Cincinnati Bengals on the road on Sunday Night Football this week.
For the latest point spreads, check FanDuel.
Notes for this week ...
- Bills are underdogs for the first time in 27 games.
- The last game Buffalo entered as an underdog was the game against the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium on December 26, 2021 (the Bills won that game 33-21).
- The Bills are taking a five-game win streak on Sunday Night Football into Cincinnati
Below is a list of expert picks for this week's game.
Storyline to watch: Cincinnati's defense is going up against one of the NFL's best quarterbacks. Buffalo's Josh Allen leads the league in Total QBR (77.1) and completion percentage (71.7%) and ranks third with 17 passing touchdowns entering Sunday's game. The Bengals are on a three-game winning streak, and their defense has improved. Since Week 5, they rank sixth in opposing Total QBR (40.4) and are first in turnovers forced per drive (22.9%). -- Ben Baby
Stat to know: Allen has been extremely difficult to bring down when pressured, posting the second-lowest sack rate in the league. The Bengals' defense will look to change that Sunday; Cincinnati ranks 12th in pressure rate this season.
Matchup X factor: Bengals CB Mike Hilton. With his deployment on slot pressures, the Bengals can manipulate the Bills' protection schemes to create open pass-rushing lanes for Hilton to disrupt the pocket. -- Bowen
What to know for fantasy: Running back Joe Mixon and the Bengals' running game are positioned to have success against a Bills defense that has allowed the eighth-most rushing yards and 12th-most fantasy points per game. -- Moody
Betting nugget: The Bills are 0-4 ATS in their past four games, tied for their longest ATS losing streak in the past 40 seasons. Their last five-game ATS losing streak was in 1976-77 (six straight).
Moody's pick: Bengals 33, Bills 30
Walder's pick: Bills 27, Bengals 23
FPI prediction: BUF, 66.9% (by an average of 5.9 points)
The Bengals have come back to life after the slow start due to Joe Burrow's calf injury early in the season, which really impacted the offense. Buffalo played looser against the Bucs last week and they have three extra days of rest. This will be a fun offensive game that will go right down to the wire. It's tight, but the Bengals will win it late.
Pick: Bengals 31, Bills 30
... Last week's win over the 49ers was easily [the Bengals] most complete game of the season. Burrow was dropping dimes, maneuvering in the pocket, and picking up first downs with his legs. He looked all the way back to me.
The Bills, meanwhile, have been up and down over the last month. I still believe their ceiling is high, but their defense is banged up, and playing with suspect corners against Ja'Marr Chase and Co. is less than ideal. Offensively, Josh Allen is still playing like Josh Allen, but he didn't practice Wednesday because of a shoulder injury.
I'm trying not to overreact to one game, but after the Bengals played last week, I really feel like they're about to go on a run.
The pick: Bengals (-1.5)
The Bengals are ready to put everyone on notice that they are back and ready to chase a championship.
Florio: Bengals, 28-24.
Simms: Bengals, 28-20.
The Buffalo Bills are my Super Bowl pick, so I'm OK being wrong here ... I just don't think I am. The Bengals are laying less than a field goal against a banged-up rival in the AFC just as Joe Burrow is getting completely healthy, Tee Higgins is coming back, the defense is really starting to mesh and everything is going right for Cincy? Buffalo added Rasul Douglas (DNP -- "just got here") but didn't beef up the offense, and even with Douglas added this defense has been ravaged by injury. Play two high, blitz aggressively, do whatever you want -- a mobile Joey Burrrrr is gonna be locked in and carve up this injury-riddled unit. He gets up big time for Buffalo and Kansas City, and he'll do it at home on Sunday night for sure.
Pick: Bengals -2
The emotions will be high on both sides as both teams return to the site of the scary and inspiring Damar Hamlin injury adversity from last season. The Bengals did get the better of Buffalo in the playoffs and was off to a good start in the home matchup last season. Joe Burrow is back playing at an elite level at the right time and the Bills' defense without Tre'Davious White and Matt Milano is ripe for the picking in the passing game. The Bengals' pass rush and ace coverage from corners does enough here to preserve the key AFC victory.
Pick: Bengals win 27-24 and cover the spread.
The Cincinnati Bengals have put their slow start behind them, and quarterback Joe Burrow looks healthy after he reaggravated a calf injury in Week 2. The Bengals will ride a three-game winning streak into a home matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Though we know the Bills can go on a scoring rampage at any moment, their offense hasn't looked quite as potent in recent weeks, averaging 20.8 points per game since Week 5. ...
ATS Consensus: Bengals -2
SU Consensus: Bengals
Score Prediction: Bengals 30, Bills 24
Two MVP-caliber quarterbacks with talented supporting casts make this one of the most high-interest matchups of the season. When these teams squared off last year both offenses came out hot, then the Damar Hamlin tragedy struck.
Hamlin is back in uniform for Buffalo, which makes this more than just a football game for many involved. At full strength, the Bills have a better defense than Cincinnati, but injuries have closed that talent gap. Buffalo is particularly thin at linebacker with Matt Milano sidelined.
Score Prediction: Bengals 27, Bills 24
Why Dan is taking the Bengals: There's been a bit of a role reversal between these two AFC contenders in the past month, with Cincinnati heating up after a rough start while injuries are clearly taking their toll on the Bills. No ailment stands out more than the shoulder issue that continues to hinder Josh Allen. I wouldn't put it past Allen to gut out a narrow win on the road when people are starting to doubt him, but the Bengals are playing too well for me to pick against them. It's hard to love a Buffalo defense down three Week 1 starters against Joe Burrow right now.