GAME PREDICTIONS

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Game Predictions | Bills vs. Bengals | Monday Night Football

Dawson Knox catch and run. Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals, September 22, 2019 at New Era Field. Photo by Bill Wippert
Dawson Knox catch and run. Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals, September 22, 2019 at New Era Field. Photo by Bill Wippert

The Bills are 1.0 point favorites this week according to Caesars Sportsbook as the team prepares to face the Cincinnati Bengals on the road for Monday Night Football.

The Bills can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a win and a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Denver Broncos).

Here's a list of game predictions from NFL analysts.

No disrespect to the Power Rankings, but I believe the top three teams in the NFL are in the AFC. One of them -- the loser of this game -- will likely have to win on the road against the other two just to make the Super Bowl. That makes this game potentially huge, especially if the Bills want to avoid a rematch in Cincinnati in the Divisional Round.

It's a concern for Cincinnati that Buffalo is the better running team here, but the Bengals have just the receivers and indefatigable quarterback needed to hurt the Bills where they are weakest: cornerback. Ultimately, I trust Buffalo's defense, especially its pass rush, a bit more to pull off the win.

Prediction: Bills 28, Bengals 26

MDS's take: What should be a highly entertaining Monday night game will end with the Bills maintaining their position atop the AFC.

MDS's pick: Bills 31, Bengals 28.

Florio's take: The road to the Super Bowl once again goes through Kansas City, thanks to the team that has beaten the Chiefs three times in the 2022 calendar year.

Florio's pick: Bengals 30, Bills 27.

The Bengals lost right tackle La'el Collins to a torn ACL last week and will now turn to Hakeem Adeniji, who was a big part of the team's struggles up front last season. It's gone a little under the radar, but the Bengals have had the good fortune of starting the same five offensive linemen for every game this season. Now, with the playoffs two weeks away, they face some adversity up front.

It wasn't the prettiest win for the Bills last week, but they took care of business in the second half against the Bears and now lead the NFL with a plus-157 point differential. Buffalo's run game has really improved, and while the team's Super Bowl fortunes still rest mostly on Josh Allen, the Bills have shown they can win in different ways.

These are two legit Super Bowl contenders that I've been high on all season long. I worry about the Bills' ability to cover Cincinnati's wide receivers, but the Bengals could have a hard time protecting Joe Burrow. It's a coin-flip game that I can't wait to watch, but give me the Bills in what hopefully turns out to be a classic.

The pick: Bills (-1.5)

What to watch for: It doesn't get much bigger than this. Two of the AFC's teams are squaring off on Week 17 on Monday Night Football. The Bills are looking to keep pace with Kansas City for the AFC's No. 1 playoff seed. With a win, Cincinnati will keep its hopes of being the top seed alive and also hold the three-way tiebreaker over the Bills and K.C. -- Ben Baby

Bold prediction: The two quarterbacks and passing offenses in this matchup will get significant attention, but it is the team with more success on the ground that will determine the winner. The Bengals have rushed for less than 100 yards in each of the last two games, and the Bills' defense has been up and down against the run. The Bills' offense is coming off the team's best rushing performance in the last six years (254 yards). Controlling the ball will be important in this game, and running the ball effectively would go a long way in taking the ball out of the opposing quarterback's hands. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Betting nugget: Cincinnati is 12-1 ATS in its past 13 games and a league-best 12-3 ATS this season.

Moody's pick: Bills 31, Bengals 28

Walder's pick: Bills 35, Bengals 17

This is the game of the week with two of the best teams in the NFL set to face off. The Bills are playing consecutive road games, but they get an extra day of rest, which helps. Both teams can score on offense, which means this could be a shootout. I'll go with Josh Allen to get the best of it against Joe Burrow.

Pick: Bills 34, Bengals 31

The total of 49.5 points is the biggest of the week, based on these two teams' scoring capabilities: The Bills have a +157 scoring differential and the Bengals keep outperforming the market's expectations, going 12-3 against the spread this season (26-10 against it since last season). With Buffalo fighting to fend off Kansas City for the A.F.C.'s top seed, and Cincinnati trying to stave off Baltimore in the A.F.C. North, this should be a competitive, fun game between two of the best teams in the N.F.L. We're trusting the home underdogs to cover one more time.

Pick: Bengals +1.5

This is a mega-Monday Night Football matchup with all sorts of implications, and it could be foreshadowing for the AFC Divisional playoffs. The Bengals have won seven straight games, and they covered the spread all seven times in that stretch. Buffalo has lost two road games by a combined total of five points this season. This matchup will not disappoint, but we're going to stick with the home team – and the over.

Pick: Bengals 31, Bills 28

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