The Cincinnati Bengals will look to keep up their undefeated start to this season going when they face an emerging Buffalo Bills team this week.
Given all of their injury questions, the Bills will have an uphill climb against the undefeated Bengals. That's why most oddsmakers see Cincinnati as the favorite in this one. The guys at Odds Shark have Cincinnati pegged as a three-point favorite with an over/under of 43. Here are some of their betting trends regarding the Bengals and Bills.
Cincinnati is 4-0-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Cincinnati is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cincinnati's last 5 games
Cincinnati is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Cincinnati's last 9 games on the road
Buffalo is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games
Buffalo is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Buffalo's last 13 games
Buffalo is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Buffalo is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Buffalo's last 8 games at home
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks can see this being a letdown game for the Bengals, but still sees them coming out of Buffalo with a win.
Marvin Lewis’s team has been lauded all week for its statement-game 27–24 comeback win at home against Seattle, and wouldn’t it be just so Cincinnati to come out flat on the road against a tough Bills team that might be missing starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor with a knee injury? This is a tricky little spot for the Bengals, because Buffalo’s defense can dirty up Andy Dalton’s passing pocket, and its secondary might be able to play a physical style of coverage on A.J. Green & Co. And with Cincinnati facing its bye in Week 7 and then an important trip to Pittsburgh in Week 8, there’s a trap-game quality to this date with the Bills. But if the Bengals are who we think they are, they’ll saddle Buffalo with a third consecutive home loss and cruise into their week off on an undefeated note.
At BuffaloBills.com, Chris Brown noted how Cincinnati's red-zone dominance has played a larger part in keeping them undefeated thus far.
Through the first five games Cincinnati has been dominant on both sides of the ball when it’s come to the red zone. On offense they’re reaching the end zone two-thirds of the time (66.7%), which ranks eighth in the NFL. The Bengals have reached the red zone on their offensive possessions more than any other team in football with 24 trips in five games. They’re also second in touchdown conversions with 16.
Meanwhile they rank third in red zone defense holding opponents to a success rate of just over 36 percent (36.4%). The four touchdowns they’ve allowed is the second fewest permitted in the NFL.
The guys at Fox Sports say Cincinnati needs to keep feeding the rock to Giovani Bernard against a stout Bills defense that will be better at containing a north-south runner like Jeremy Hill opposed to the more elusive Bernard.
Jeremy Hill has been a virtual nonfactor through five games, and a matchup against Buffalo’s third-ranked run defense isn’t the time to try to get him going. Giovani Bernard’s shiftiness is a better matchup against Buffalo’s aggressive front seven as his ability to make defenders miss will extend runs.
Once the Bengals realize that Bernard is the better option Sunday, they should run him behind Andrew Whitworth and Clint Boling. Bernard has 27 carries for 196 yards when running to the left, compared to just 140 yards on 33 carries to the right, a difference of two full yards per carry. In the passing game, Cincinnati should utilize Bernard in the screen game to counter Rex Ryan’s heavy blitzing.
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco sees the Bengals escaping with a close win that comes right down to the wire.
The Bengals are riding high, but they have to be careful here. They are coming off an emotional victory over the Seahawks, and this could be a letdown. The Bills have lost twice at home, but that defense showed better last week against the Titans. This Bengals offense, though, is playing well. It stays that way -- in a close one.
The Pick: Bengals 21, Bills 20
As for the rest of the CBS experts, they went with the Bengals over the Bills by a 7-1 edge. At ESPN, their experts went with Cincinnati by a 12-1 edge. The Fox Sports crew gives the Bengals a 6-2 edge. Six of the eight SB Nation experts say the Bengals will get the win.