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The NFL saved its best Week 17 game for Monday Night Football. The AFC East champion Buffalo Bills (12-3) head to Paycor Stadium to face the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (11-4).
Buffalo opened as 1.5-point favorites but the Bills have steamed up to -2.5 by Monday mid-afternoon. Earlier this week, the Bengals got down to a 1-point ‘dog so the upward line movement is a little jarring.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Bills (-140), Bengals (+120)
- Against the spread: Bills -2.5 (-115), Bengals +2.5 (-105)
- Total — 50.5 — Over: -115, Under: -105
On top of that, the total has steamed up to 50.5 after opening and hovering at 49.5 all week. However, both moves could’ve been predicted and should be faded.
The Bills are the No. 1 power-rated team in the betting market and even been a favorite in every game this season including on the road vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. And the public loves to bet Overs, especially in primetime games.
Now that Cincy is up to +2.5, the best way to get at Bills-Bengals is by “teasing” Cincinnati’s spread and the Under. A “teaser” is when you add 6 points to at least two lines, which is a -120 payout at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Teasing totals in football is tricky and definitely advised against by professional bettors. But, this is one of the best games of the NFL regular season and I want some action on it. I cannot blame anyone for bowing out.
That said …
Tease the Bengals through the key number of +7, up to +8.5
Cincinnati has covered 20 of its last 23 games dating back to last season, including the playoffs. More importantly, there isn’t 8.5 points worth of difference between these two teams.
The Bills are fourth in net EPA/play and the Bengals are sixth. Cincy is second in net success rate and Buffalo is fifth. The matchup between Bengals QB Joe Burrow and Bills QB Josh Allen is a toss-up and I’d argue the defenses are as well.
Since 2021, the Bengals are 11-3 ATS as an underdog with a +6.4 spread differential. The Bills are 3-4 ATS as favorites of -8 or greater this season and 2-5 Over/Under (O/U).
Also, let’s …
Fade the public hammering the Over
Generally, there’s value taking the Under in primetime or island games because the average Joe bets Overs. According to VSIN, nearly 80% of the action at DraftKings Sportsbook in Bills-Bengals is on the Over.
But, primetime games are 20-32-2 O/U this season and MNF games are 6-9-2 O/U. Three of Buffalo’s five primetime games have gone Under the total this year and Cincy is 0-3-1 O/U in primetime games since 2021. Finally, the injury news for both teams are better for the defenses.
Bills Pro Bowl S Jordan Poyer will play despite missing practice Thursday and Friday. Buffalo All-Pro CB Tre White is closer to full health after missing most of this season with an injury from last year.
Bengals pass rusher Sam Hubbard could return Monday and Cincy’s defense has been lights out since DT D.J. Reader came back in Week 11. But, Cincinnati lost RT La’el Collins to a season-ending knee injury last week.
Bills-Bengals Best Bet: 6-Point Teaser with Cincy up to +8.5 & UNDER up to 56.5 at DraftKings
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