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Fresh off of clinching their third AFC East title in three years, Josh Allen and the Bills head to Cincinnati to take on a Bengals team that’s been hotter than your friend’s sister with a fitness Instagram account. The Bills look to add to a six-game winning streak, while the Bengals are winners of seven straight. Everybody and their Mother knows that the top three teams in the AFC are, in no particular order, the Bills, Chiefs, and Bengals. Interestingly, the Bills have proven they can beat the Chiefs as they’ve won two of the last three meetings, and the Bengals have done the same, winning three straight over Kansas City in the calendar year 2022 alone. But who will win when they meet head-to-head? Josh Allen is once again having an MVP-caliber season. He has the sixth most passing yards (4,029) and is tied for the second-most total touchdowns (39). When Buffalo gets their running game going (like we saw last week against the Bears), they are the best team in football. Buffalo’s running back Devin Singletary is averaging 4.6 yards per rush, the second-highest average of his career, and 31.6% of his yards have come on 15-plus-yard runs. In all of Buffalo’s three losses this season, Singletary has rushed for less than 50 yards. He will face his toughest test in months, against a Bengals team that’s only allowing their opponents 106.4 rushing yards a game on average. Buffalo has lost two road games by a combined five points. Unlike the Bengals’ sometimes erratic defense that occasionally gives up over twenty points in a single half of football, the Bills have stayed consistently good all year. The Bills rank number seven in yards allowed per game (317.7), number four in run defense (104.4), and number fifteen against the pass (213.3). The keys to victory for Buffalo are simple. Establish the run early, get Josh Allen rolling in play-action, and don’t let Joe Burrow beat you deep.
Here’s the problem. The difference in talent and athleticism between the Bengals’ receivers and the Bills’ secondary is…well…huge. The Cincinnati Bengals have one of, if not the best wide receiver trios in the NFL with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. So far this season, they’ve combined for 205 receptions, 2,693 yards, and 20 touchdowns. That’s outrageous. Without star safety Micah Hyde playing for Buffalo, Joe Burrow has everything he needs to TORCH the Bills on Monday night. With Hyde out and Tre’Davious White still working his way back into the All-Pro form fans remember from before he suffered a torn ACL in 2021, the big bad Bills’ secondary from years past has struggled to create turnovers and cover the NFL’s premier talent. Just the other week, Jaylen Waddle made Buffalo look like a high-school JV team in a WASPY area of the country. But enough about the Bengals’ receiving weapons. Let’s talk about Joe Burrow. Burrow, who your girlfriend is unfortunately probably obsessed with, is making a run for the top guy you would want to build a franchise around in TV room couch discussions all around the country. He is poised to become the NFL’s all-time leader in completion percentage as long as he makes at least 12 pass attempts on Monday. He’s also completing a league-best 69.1% on third downs and a league-best 71.1% in the fourth quarter. A Von MIller-less Bills defensive front isn’t as scary as it was a few months ago, and Joe Burrow with some time in the pocket? That’s a dangerous man. The only thing Joe Burrow likes more than dapping up Ja’Marr Chase in the endzone is beating the spread. He’s 12-1 against the spread in his last 13 games. Vegas likes the Bills -1, but the Bengals will win by a field goal in a tense shootout. Want to make up for your crappy first attempt at your girlfriend’s Christmas gift? Take either team’s moneyline and get your $200 in Bonus Bets when a TD is scored!
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