I have seen the Bengals favored by as much as 8.5 points on Sunday. The over under is 42 so the thought is the Bills may not score much in the game. This is expected with an unknown starting at QB for the Bills.
|Elliot Harrison - NFL.com||24 - 13||Thad Lewis will start for the Bills at quarterback in front of Jeff Tuel, and he had better get the ball out. I don't think Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer plans to go vanilla this week; Zimmer has the "Tuels" (really, I'll stop) in Cincinnati's front seven to confuse Lewis. Buffalo clearly needs injured starter EJ Manuel back, especially considering how well the Bills' front seven -- specifically Kiko Alonso, who has been Polamaluing all over the field -- is performing. If Manuel were healthy, the Bills easily could take this one, especially with the way Fred Jackson is playing. Cincinnati, meanwhile, can't afford another turnover-filled slow start on the road. Also, the pass rush must get home; with their personnel, the Bengals should have more than 13 sacks, which is tied for 14th in the league. And Andy Dalton still isn't making plays downfield for Cincinnati. His 10.66 yards per completion? Puts him at No. 30 in the NFL. No bueno|
|Don Banks - SI||23 - 16
||The Bengals are 3-0 at home and 0-2 on the road, but they draw an apparent break this week with Buffalo starting recent practice-squad member Thad Lewis at quarterback, in place of the injured EJ Manuel. Lewis made his first career start for Cleveland in the Browns' 2012 season finale, and then spent most of this preseason with Detroit. Now in Buffalo, he seems determined to take the entire tour of the NFL's Great Lakes region. He's only missing Chicago and then he'll have the entire set of mini-helmets.|
|Pete Prisco - CBS||
||21 - 13||The Bengals get a break here facing Thad Lewis making his first Bills start for the injured EJ Manuel at quarterback. The Bengals shut down Tom Brady last week, but they have to be careful of a letdown here. I don't think they have one.|
|Coley Harvey - ESPN||27 - 10||Powered once again by their physical defense, the Bengals will finally get their first road win of the season.|
|Mike Rodak - ESPN||24 - 9||Tough to pick the Bills in any game until Thad Lewis (or someone else) can prove he is ready to start in the NFL.|
|Greg Cote - Miami Herald||23 - 20||Giving Buffs a medium-sized outright upset shot here. Cincy is 0-2 on the road and Bison have won six straight at home in this series. But a Cincy pass defense that gave Tom Brady fits last week (and ended his 52-game TD streak) probably will be up to the challenge of Thad Lewis, fresh off the Bills practice squad and making his second career start.|
|Mike Florio - ProFootballTalk||27 - 13||The Bengals can beat the teams they shouldn't, and not the teams they should. This is the weekend they need to turn it around, or they may not be getting beat in January.|
|Michael David Smith - ProFootballTalk||16 - 13||The Bills' defense is playing tough, physical football, and Kiko Alonso is my early pick for rookie of the year. If EJ Manuel were playing, I'd pick the Bills. Unfortunately, I just can't pick a team to win a game when its starting quarterback was on the practice squad a week ago, and that's what the Bills are doing with Thad Lewis starting. So I've got to go with the Bengals.|
Then there are the experts that pick the winners without a score projection or a writeup. Some of those are here:
When I ran the simulation at WhatIfSports.com, the Bengals come up with a big win.
What do you think of this lady Bills fan?