NFL Playoff Picks: Are the Buffalo Bills Locks to Beat the Cincinnati Bengals?

NFL Playoff Picks: Are the Buffalo Bills Locks to Beat the Cincinnati Bengals?

Given that the Buffalo Bills have won their past eight games, you'd think they would be monster favorites to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. But that's not actually the case.

Indeed, Josh Allen and the Bills are comfortably favored entering this matchup. But as you can see from the latest NFL online betting odds courtesy of BetOnline, linemakers do not consider Buffalo patented locks to advance past Cincinnati:

FavoriteBetOnlineBetOnlineUnderdog
Buffalo Bills-230+190Cincinnati Bengals

Please make sure you are double-checking these NFL playoff betting odds until you actually make your picks for Bills vs. Bengals. Our Bengals vs. Bills betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, January 18. That gives linemakers plenty of time to make adjustments based on the latest betting trends before the game kicks off on Sunday, January 22, at 3 p.m. EST.

However, you don't have to worry about having the most accurate Bills vs. Bengals betting odds if you've already signed up with the right sportsbook. And luckily, landing with the right odds provider is a breeze if you check out our reviews of the top online sportsbooks. We have jam-packed each and every one with all the information you'll need to find the best NFL playoff online betting sites around!

So...are the Bills actually vulnerable against the Bengals? Should we read anything into their odds to win the AFC Championship declining following their nail-biting victory over the shorthanded Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Round? Or are we all just overthinking everything these days? Let's get to our Bills vs. Bengals predictions!

Trust the Buffalo Bills to Take Care of Business Against the Cincinnati Bengals...To an Extent

The Bills were never going to be 1-to-5 favorites against a Bengals team that has been on absolute fire since the second half of the regular season. But for a squad that has spent much of the year atop the Super Bowl betting odds hierarchy, you might have expected them to enter this playoff matchup as a -350 or so.

Color us unsurprised by the¬†Bills betting odds to beat the Bengals. It says a lot about Cincinnati's improvement on the offensive end, but it also speaks to how much Buffalo has struggled in recent weeks.¬†Quarterback Josh Allen is turning the ball over more frequently, and the defense has fallen off their usual stingy pace.¬†Sure, the Bills rank second in points allowed per game on the season, but they've let up around 24 points per game over the past four weeks‚ÄĒincluding 31 in the Wild Card Round against a¬†Miami Dolphins unit that didn't have starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Both unflattering developments are concerns against the Bengals. Their defense is eighth in turnovers forced, which is terrible news for Allen, and Burrow has the offense ranked eighth in net yards per passing attempt. If the Bills start off slow at either end of the field, Cincinnati is uniquely built to take advantage of it and never look.

And yet, we're still drawn to betting on Buffalo to win. For all their recent struggles, the offense remains more dynamic. They can pick you apart both through the air and on the ground. The Bengals don't have that same multi-faceted gear. Burrow is spearheading an elite passing attack, but Cincy can't generate consistent chain movement on the ground. They rank 29th in net yards per rushing attempt, so if the Bills slow down their passing attack at all, they'll find themselves stranded.

OSB Prediction: Buffalo Bills (-230)

Buffalo Bills To beat the Cincinnati Bengals
-230
BetOnline

The Bengals are Scrappy Enough to Keep Things Close Against the Bills, Even Though They're on the Road

Below you can see the latest NFL point spread betting odds for Bills vs. Bengals:

  • Buffalo Bills, -4.5 (-114)
  • Cincinnati Bengals, +4.5 (-106)

Point spreads that check in under five points are inherently hard to reconcile. In this case, though, the Bills and Bengals seemed destined to play each other to a teensy-tiny point differential.

Both teams know how to move the chains through the air. They both also excel at limiting other teams' passing attacks. In many ways, Cincinnati and Buffalo have adopted similar identities. 

Whether this game winds up being a defensive battle or offensive shootout, we envision the Bengals and Bills going punch for punch. A final score along the lines of 21-18 or 24-21 feels par for the course.

OSB Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals, +4.5 (-106)

Cincinnati Bengals To cover the point spread vs. the Buffalo Bills
-106
BetOnline

Expect Offense to Shine in Buffalo for the Jaguars vs. Bills Showdown

Here are the latest NFL over/under betting odds for Bengals vs. Bills: 

  • Over 48.5 (-106)
  • Under 48.5 (-114)

We initially gravitated towards the "under" for Bills vs. Bengals. The weather is going to be incredibly cold in Buffalo, the Bills have turned the ball over at a high clip lately, and Cincinnati has held opponents to under 25 points in every one of their games since Week 12.

Still, both offenses are faring too well on the final scoreboard for us to predict a sub-50-point total.

The Bengals defense may be on fire, but they haven't faced off against an offense as good as the one they'll see from the Bills. Both quarterbacks in this game, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow, should also wind up slinging it 30-plus times through the air, since their teams prefer not to depend too heavily on rushing attempts. That alone is conducive to cracking the 50-point plateau.

OSB Prediction: Over 48.5 (-106)

Bills and Bengals To score over 48.5 points combined
-106
BetOnline

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your NFL playoff betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan is a sports betting writer who can tackle any topic from presidential elections to changes in the sports betting legislation federally and on the state level. He also writes picks for NFL.