Buffalo Bills (3-1; 4-0 ATS: 1-3 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3; 2-2 ATS: 1-3 O/U)
NFL Week Five: Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Cincinnati -3
The Cincinnati Bengals will collide with the Buffalo Bills in an AFC battle Sunday afternoon from Paul Brown Stadium. The Bills are coming off a solid 23-17 road win over the Falcons, and the Bengals broke out with a 31-7 blowout win over the Browns in their week four action. The Bills recorded a 16-12 win in Cincinnati last season.
Bills Defense Dazzles in Win Over Falcons
The Buffalo Bills took advantage of injuries to Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu in their 24-17 road win over the Falcons last week. Tyrod Taylor did not put up big numbers however he was steady, connecting on 12 of 20 passes for 182 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. The 28-year old quarterback has now registered 744 yards with a 5:1 TD to INT ratio, and he has also rushed for 118 yards. Charles Clay was a force in the win, making five grabs for a season-high 112 yards. The 28-year old tight end has leaped past Jordan Mathews for the team-lead in receiving with 227 yards. The Bills running game continued their consistent play in the win, rushing for 117 yards. LeSean McCoy led the way with 76 yards on 20 carries. The dynamic running back is having another strong season, recording 216 rushing yards along with 163 receiving yards. The Bills offense has scored at least 21 points in all three games.
The Bills defense was outstanding in the win over the Falcons, holding Matt Ryan to 242 passing yards and made two interceptions. They took full advantage of the injuries to Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Buffalo was the underdog in their last two contests and came out with two straight impressive wins.
Dalton Shines in Blowout Win Over Browns
The Cincinnati Bengals finally found the win column in their dominating 31-7 road win over the Browns last Sunday. Andy Dalton was tremendous, connecting on 25 of 30 passes for 286 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The 29-year old quarterback has now tossed six TD’s in his last two games after a slow start. Dalton has tallied 892 passing yards with a 6:4 TD to INT ratio through four games. A.J Green made five grabs for 63 yards and a touchdown in the win. The 29-year old receiver has been consistent this season, ranking seventh in the NFL with 315 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals running game did not generate a whole lot of yardage, rushing for 86 yards as a team. Joe Mixon only recorded 29 yards on his 17 carries. The rookie running back has received a bulk of the carries over Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, however, he has yet to impress, averaging only 2.6 yards per carry for a total of 136 yards on the season. The Bengals offense has been much better the last two weeks after failing to score a touchdown in week one and two.
The Bengals defense had no problem against the Browns struggling offense, allowing only 215 total yards, which included only 45 rushing yards. Their defense has been sharp in three of their four games. They face a much bigger test this week against a strong running game.
The Buffalo Bills are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in Cincinnati.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- the underdog is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings between the Bills and Bengals.
The Cincinnati Bengals are:
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against the Bills.
- 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after a straight up win.
- 2-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record.
I am taking the points with the Bills in this one. The Bills defense ranks number one in the NFL, allowing only 13.5 points per game, and they are facing a Bengals offense that has been very inconsistent. The Bills pass defense has been outstanding, and they have already made six interceptions, so they should contain Dalton, plus the Bengals have received little production from their running game. Furthermore, the Bills feature a strong running game led by LeSean McCoy and the Bengals rush defense has been shaky at times, especially against Baltimore and Houston in their first two games, so I expect a strong afternoon from McCoy. Tyrod Taylor has only tossed one interception all season and he continues to make the right plays.
Pick: Buffalo Bills
The Bills defense has been tremendous against some strong offensive opponents and the Bengals are also playing sharp defense. I like what I’ve seen from the Bills defense against both the run and pass, and they should make it difficult for the Bengals offense, plus the under is 4-0 in the Bengals last four games against a team with a winning record. The Bengals struggled against the Texans tough defense in week one and they will be facing a similar Bills defense this week, plus the under is 6-1 in the Bengals last seven games.