The Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills will duke it out later today at Highmark Stadium with a trip to the AFC Championship game on the line. This is a matchup between two of the conference's juggernauts that each boast high-powered offenses, headlined by some of the NFL's top quarterback talents in Joe Burrow and Josh Allen.
These two teams did meet in Week 17, but the game was ultimately stopped and canceled following the on-field collapse of Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Now, they'll get to face one another again, as they both try to keep the hopes of their franchise's first-ever Super Bowl championship alive.
In this space, we'll specifically be looking at the different betting angles that this matchup has on deck for us. Below, you'll read picks from both CBS Sports and SportsLine experts on this game, as well as a handful of player props that catch our eye.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 22 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Highmark Stadium (Orchard Park, New York)
TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)
Odds: Bills -5.5, O/U 49
R.J. White is a wizard when it come to betting NFL games. He is well known for cashing out big in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest twice since 2015. White has also gone 445-378-24 on his ATS picks from 2017-21, which returned $2,542 to $100 players. Needless to say, you'll want to know which way he is leaning in this head-to-head between the Bills and Bengals. We can tell you he's leaning Under the total, but to see his must-back ATS pick, you'll have to go to SportsLine.
"This is the game of the weekend if you love quarterback play. Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen. We thought we'd see this game in Week 17, but the game was canceled after Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. That was the right thing to do, but that's also why this game is in Buffalo. If the Bengals won that game, and they were leading early, this contest would have been in Cincinnati. As it is, it's in Buffalo. Neither team looked great last week against backup quarterbacks and both struggled to advance. I think both will play better here. The Bengals do have offensive line issues, with three starters possibly out, but the Bills didn't exactly rush the passer that well last week against Miami and Burrow gets the ball out quickly. This should be a shootout with both quarterbacks having big days. In the end, I think it's Allen and the Bills who will win it in the fourth quarter." -- CBS Sports Senior NFL Analyst Pete Prisco on why he likes Buffalo to edge out Cincy, 34-30. To see all of his divisional round picks, click here.
"If you like offensive fireworks, then this is the game for you: Both teams ranked in the top eight in the NFL in points per game, offensive yards per game and passing yards per game during the regular season. Although the Bengals offense struggled against the Ravens in the wild-card round, I'm not sure I would read too much into that. Joe Burrow struggled against AFC North teams this year, but he dominated everyone else he played. Here's a look at how Burrow has done in the Bengals' 17 games, including the playoffs:Joe Burrow vs. AFC North teams (4-3): 257.9 passing yards per game, 13 TD, 9 INTBurrow vs. non-AFC North teams (9-1): 287.9 passing yards per game, 23 TD, 3 INT
"What this means is that teams that aren't used to playing Burrow are getting destroyed by Burrow. The Bills got a small taste of that in Week 17. Although the stats don't count, Burrow had a perfect QB rating (158.3) after starting 4 of 4 for 52 yards and a TD. ... The problem with [Josh] Allen is that he has been a turnover machine this year. Besides his 16 interceptions, he's also lost six fumbles, and although I'm not good at math, I do know that 16 plus six equals 22, which was the most turnovers by ANY quarterback in the NFL this year. Not only has Burrow had fewer turnovers, but he's also been objectively better in the fourth quarter this year. I think what I'm trying to say here is that if we're only looking at the 2022 season, the quarterback I trust more in this game is Burrow.
"The last time these two teams played each other in January came at the end of the 1988 season when they met in the AFC Championship, which seems kind of fitting, since the winner of this game will be headed to the AFC Championship. Burrow has NEVER lost in the month of January (6-0) in his career, so I feel like I have to roll with him here." -- CBS Sports NFL writer John Breech on why he likes the Bengals to win 27-24 over Buffalo. To see all of his picks, click here.
"Josh Allen's recent sloppy play has me fading Buffalo as it hosts the Bengals. The Bills quarterback had three turnovers as they narrowly escaped an upset against the Dolphins last weekend, and that piles on top of the 19 turnovers he had during the regular season. Now, he faces a Bengals defense that enjoyed a plus-6 turnover differential in the regular season, which ranked top five in the NFL. With Joe Burrow waiting on the opposing sideline, Cincinnati is the type of offense you do not want to give a short field to, nor do you want to squander any scoring opportunities, which I expect Buffalo to do once or twice.
"I also don't think that Buffalo instills much fear into the Bengals. Before play was stopped in their Week 17 matchup, Cincy elected to take the ball to begin that game and it marched down the field for a touchdown. Offensively, the Bengals feel like they can move the ball against this Bills defense that does seem like it can be beaten deep. Last week, Dolphins receivers were able to get a step on Bills corners, but simply couldn't haul in the ball. I don't think Burrow has that problem this week with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Cincinnati's banged-up offensive line is an issue, but I do think Burrow is savvy enough to get the ball out quickly to try to negate how much of an impact that'll be in this game." -- CBS Sports NFL writer Tyler Sullivan on why he likes Cincy to pull off the upset. Click here to see the rest of his picks.
"I'm sure everyone is excited that we get this game. Last time these two teams played, we all witnessed the unfortunate Damar Hamlin incident. Thankfully, he's recovered enough where both teams have been able to refocus on football. Discounting the canceled matchup earlier this year, this is the first meeting between Joe Burrow and Josh Allen.
"This is probably the game of the weekend. It's the first playoff matchup between two teams that are on winning streaks of at least eight games since the 2016 AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. I have to say, I'm surprised this spread is what it is. When it opened at BUF -4, I really thought it would be bet down. Nope.
"I expected both the Bills and Bengals to blow out their opponents on Super Wild Card Weekend. Buffalo's matchup against the Miami Dolphins surprised me in particular, as Allen turned the ball over three times. This year, he became the first player to lead the NFL in turnovers and make the playoffs since Eli Manning in 2007. By the way, Manning won the Super Bowl that year. If you've been keeping up with my postseason bracket, the Bills are my official Super Bowl pick. I think it also helps in this matchup that the Bengals are dealing with multiple injuries on the offensive line with Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams, and then La'el Collins has already been ruled out for the year. With that said, I find myself wanting to take the points with the Bengals. Am I hedging my Bills' Super Bowl prediction? Maybe. But I also predicted the Bengals would cover the spread in Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams, and lose by exactly three points." -- CBS Sports NFL writer Jordan Dajani on why he likes the Bengals to cover, but the Bills to win on Sunday. To see all of his picks, click here.
SportsLine's projection model is one of the best tools you can have during the NFL playoffs. It simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up well over $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception. The model is also on a 16-6 roll on top rated NFL picks since Week 7 of this season, so anyone who has been following it has been way up.
Naturally, you'll want to know what the model thinks of this AFC head-to-head between Buffalo and Cincinnati. In terms of the total, we can tell you that the model is leaning Over. However, the model has also identified one side of the spread that is carrying all the value. To see what side that is, go check out SportsLine.
Josh Allen total interceptions: Over 0.5 (-142). Allen has been a turnover machine this season. His 19 turnovers in the regular season make him the first quarterback to lead the NFL in turnovers and still make the playoffs since 2007. That doesn't include the three he had last week against Miami. Now, he faces a Cincinnati defense that was +6 in turnover differential this season, which ranked fifth-best in the NFL.
Dawson Knox anytime touchdown (+205). Knox has been a go-to target for Josh Allen in the red zone and has hauled in a touchdown in five straight games, including last week against Miami.
Ja'Marr Chase total receptions: Over 7.5 (+110). The matchup against Tre'Davious White does give you some pause, but if Cincy is going to win this game they'll need to go to Chase. Since Week 14, Chase is averaging 12.8 targets per game and has gone over this prop in every game but one over that stretch.