Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals Free Pick and Preview for Sunday’s NFL game
Updated: November 29, 2023
NFL Buffalo at Cincinnati (Sunday nite)
In the early portion of the season, the Buffalo Bills were rising, while the Cincinnati Bengals had fallen noticeably. Apparently, the script has been flipped as the 5-3 Bills travel to oppose the 4-3 Bengals Sunday evening.
This, of course, is the first trip to Cincinnati by Buffalo since last season’s Damar Hamlin game.
Buffalo, mediocre at best, has split its last four. It did defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-18, this past Thursday in a lackluster effort. Also lackluster were a pair of losses (to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London) and at the New England Patriots, along with a 14-9 home win over the New York Giants (who failed with a chance to win on the game’s final play).
Cincinnati, meanwhile, enters with three consecutive wins, the latest a 31-17 statement victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Santa Clara.
Cincinnati is a 2½-point favorite (total at 49½), according to NFL odds.
Moneyline is Bengals -135, Bills at +115.
Buffalo is leading the all-time series (including postseason), 17-16.
Explain These Bills
Buffalo shot itself in the foot many times in an opening-week, overtime loss to the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. Then, the Bills seemingly righted the ship, three consecutive blowout wins (Las Vegas Raiders, Washington Commanders, Miami Dolphins) and 123 points in the process.
Since then, just 2-2, and with some issues.
Quarterback Josh Allen (2,165 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, eight interceptions) has been playing with an injured shoulder. He missed a midweek practice, but was confident he will be able to go against the Bengals.
Wideout Stefon Diggs (64 receptions, 748 yards, six touchdowns) remains the target of choice, but there are seven other Bills with double-figure receptions this season.
Buffalo’s overall numbers have been good, fourth (27.8) in points per game, fifth (376.9) in yardage and third (17) in points/game permitted.
If there’s a statistical issue with the Bills, it’s poor (122 yards/game) defense against the run. However, in the Bengals, they’re not opposing a team with much success in that area.
Buffalo has tended to play to the level of its opponent in recent games, which may explain the middling performance.
Earning the Stripes
It was an undeniably moribund start to the season in Cincinnati as the Bengals were somnambulant, While losing its first two games and thrice in the first four, Cincy was limited to a single field goal in two of those games.
Since then, however, there’ve been three victories in succession, 82 points along the way and a defense that’s held a pair of potent offenses in abeyance,
Quarterback Joe Burrow (1,513 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, four interceptions) can certainly relate to his opposite number. He, too, has injury (calf) issues, but drilled (283 yards, three touchdowns) the vaunted San Francisco 49er defense last Sunday.
Ja’Marr Chase (60 receptions, 656 yards, four touchdowns) has a 10-catch, 100-yard, one-touchdown game against the Niners.
As was mentioned, Cincinnati hasn’t been able to run the football at all this season (79 yards/gme, 29th in NFL).
Defensively, the Bengals are solid, right around the same number of surrendered points 20.6 compared to 19.6) as last season.
It’s the Bengals
However, it’s the Bengals who’ve been Super Bowl-esque in recent games.
Allen, while a gamer, has some injury concerns, so what version of him you get is not known.
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals Free Pick
Take the Cincinnati Bengals -2½ Sunday evening. Go over, too.
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