Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has rushed for a touchdown in three consecutive games
Something’s gotta give Sunday in Cincinnati as two desperate teams with thinning playoff aspirations clash in a critical ‘Loser goes home’ type of scenario. The Bills (4-5) have lost three-straight to Miami, New England and Seattle. Cincinnati (3-5-1) has but one win since September and it came on home turf against the hapless Browns.
Buffalo’s 32-25 loss in Seattle was their fifth consecutive game playing over the total and the team’s scoring average on the year is 26-23. They are 8-5-2 ATS as a road dog since the start of last season and it’s a big benefit for them getting a bye week after such a physical game out on the West coast. Buffalo has a 7-2-1 ATS record after a bye week when they allowed more than 30 points before the break.
The Bengals returned from their bye in Week 10 and were a hot ticket for bettors, moving throughout the week from dogs to faves for their Monday game at New York, but the O-Line was no match for the Giants front seven. Cinci has the Ravens (divisional) on-deck and home teams off the Monday nighter are 22-31-2 ATS when the line is within three points of ‘Pick’.
Cinci will have its hands full trying to stop the two-headed monster of LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor. The Bengals were 9-1-1 ATS against stronger run teams the past two years but so far this year they are 0-4 SU/ATS and they’ve given up more points successively in each game (29 PPGA). Now they are at a rest disadvantage and laying points against a fiery Bills team that has the fourth best turnover margin in the NFL. Home teams off a Monday road loss are a 59-percent fade with tight lines like this, going 39-49 SU and 36-51-1 ATS.
SERVE IT UP COLD
Buffalo won 10-straight against the Bengals from 1989 to 2010 but they’ve lost three in row to them since. Road teams with recent revenge off a bye are 21-18 SU and 22-16-1 ATS, staying under at a rate of 66-percent. Buffalo doesn’t want to find itself in a shootout with Cinci and they’ll try to utilize RB McCoy throughout the game to chew up clock and keep that tired Bengals D out on the field. The advantage of also having a mobile QB will really pay off for the Bills and Taylor has already rushed for 362 yards and four TDs. He has a rushing TD in three-straight games and will look to extend that streak here against a Bengals D that is 24th against the rush, allowing 20 yards per game more than they did in 2015.
The Bengals defense is 27th in the red zone (64-percent) after ranking 4th last year. Buffalo meanwhile ranks 6th overall and 8th on the road. Shutting down AJ Green, Tyler Eifert and Jeremy Hill isn’t going to be an easy task but my power ratings rank the Bills as a value pick and the setup for this game — plus the points — makes Buffalo the play. I paid an extra 10 cents to get this line back to three and would suggest doing the same.