*Editor’s note: The Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals game has been suspended after Bills’ player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, according to NFL.
NFL Pick: Josh Allen Over 260.5 Passing Yards (-115) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)
The big showdown in the NFL’s regular season is happening Monday night in Cincinnati between the Buffalo Bills (12-3) and the Cincinnati Bengals (11-4).
Quarterbacks Josh Allen and Joe Burrow come in hot and ready to put on a show in what should be some unseasonably warm weather for the first week of January.
The Bills are a 1-point favorite in a game with a total of 49.5 points at many of the betting odds offered by the best sportsbooks. These teams have not met since 2019 when they looked very different, so this is new territory for both, but they both have Super Bowl dreams next month.
This should be a great game, and we have identified our favorite prop picks for this highly important AFC matchup.
And if you’re a Cincinnati resident looking to bet on this game, don’t forget to check our guide on the best Ohio betting sites!
Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Monday, January 2, 2023 – 08:30 PM EST at Paycor Stadium
Josh Allen (Bills)
- Over 260.5 Passing Yards
- Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
- Over 48.5 Rushing Yards
One could say Allen’s season peaked in Week 6 in Kansas City, when he led a game-winning drive and finished with 329 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks. Since then, Allen has gotten into trouble with interceptions, injured his elbow against the Jets, had that cataclysmic fumble against the Vikings for a touchdown, and he only threw for 172 yards with two more picks in Chicago a week ago.
Allen's Weakened Performance
He has been a chaotic quarterback since the bye week rather than the dominant, efficient, MVP passer he was in the first six games when he averaged 330 passing yards per game and had 17 touchdowns to four picks.
Since the elbow injury, Allen is only averaging 232.3 passing yards per game over the last seven games. But look at the teams the Bills have faced since Kansas City. Only two would qualify as teams who had a winning record and a productive offense to challenge the Bills: Minnesota and Miami.
What did Allen do in those games? He threw for 330 yards in a 33-30 loss to the Vikings and he had 304 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-29 win over Miami.
Almost every quarterback the Bengals have faced this year has been a backup, benched, injured during the game, or is just having a lousy season. Patrick Mahomes is one of the only legit quarterbacks they faced, and he was having a good game with limited possessions until Travis Kelce fumbled in the fourth quarter.
So Why These Picks?
Trust Allen to play well in a big game that will have plenty of offense. Maybe he doesn’t quite get over 300 yards on the road, but he should go over 260 yards with multiple touchdown passes.
Allen is also a prolific rushing quarterback and does that as effectively as any quarterback in the league right now. Look for him to hit that over as well. He has gone over 48.5 rushing yards in seven games this season, including those two high-scoring games we pointed out against the Vikings and Dolphins.
The Bills know big games like this require big-time quarterback play from Allen. He can be trusted to deliver even if the Bengals are a fresh opponent for this team.
NFL Pick: Josh Allen Over 260.5 Passing Yards (-115) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Josh Allen Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-150) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Josh Allen Over 48.5 Rushing Yards (-115) at Bovada
Joe Burrow (Bengals)
- Over 283.5 Passing Yards
- Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
Not to be outdone, Joe Burrow might have the biggest edge in this quarterback matchup since he does not have to worry about Von Miller coming after him the way Patrick Mahomes did in Week 6. The Bills brought in Miller for matchups like this to get over the hump for a Super Bowl, but he unfortunately tore his ACL on Thanksgiving in Detroit.
The Bills have played some good defense in the last month, Miami game aside, but that was against the likes of the Patriots, Jets, and Bears. Those offenses cannot throw the ball with great wide receivers the way the Bengals can.
Burrow especially is a dominant player at home as he averages nearly 60 more yards passing per game at home compared to on the road. He also averages better than 1.5 yards per pass attempt at home in his career.
Including the playoffs, Burrow has 11 games where he passed for at least 320 yards, and all but three of them were at home.
Without Miller, look for Burrow to have enough time to find his receivers and flirt with another 300-yard passing game, if not much better. He just threw for 375 yards in New England, becoming the first player ever to complete 40 passes in a wire-to-wire win.
NFL Pick: Joe Burrow Over 283.5 Passing Yards (-115) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Joe Burrow Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-185) at Bovada
Running Back Props
Devin Singletary (Bills)
- Over 45.5 Rushing Yards
The running game is maybe the key area where the Bills distance themselves from the Bengals. The Bills have rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season, the only team to do so this year. They also average 5.3 yards per carry, which leads the league and would be the best average ever for a team with a 4,000-yard passer too.
This offense is versatile, and while Allen’s unique rushing ability has a lot to do with that, Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook have also stepped up their game in recent weeks to make up for the decrease in passing production.
Singletary just had a season-high 106 rushing yards in Chicago. He has gone over 45.5 yards in nine games this year, including 85 yards in one of his best games in Kansas City in Week 6.
That may be the difference in the game. The Bills should be able to run the ball against a so-so run defense, while the Bengals need more of a passing show from Burrow and his receivers. But Singletary is a good bet to hit his over even if the Bills do not dominate on the ground the way they did in Chicago last week.
NFL Pick: Devin Singletary Over 45.5 Rushing Yards (-115) at Bovada
Dawson Knox (Bills)
- Over 37.5 Receiving Yards
He is not so much a secret weapon since he had a breakout year in 2021 for the Bills, but Knox has scored a touchdown in three straight games. That should open some eyes in the red zone, but he really is a good weapon down the field too.
When the Bills need a big day in the passing game, Knox is usually a safe bet to show up and contribute to that. He shouldn’t have any issue getting over 37.5 yards in this one.
Just fade the touchdown score from the tight end in this matchup. In fact, the Bengals have only allowed three touchdowns to tight ends this year. The Bills are the only defense to allow zero touchdowns to tight ends in 2022.
NFL Pick: Dawson Knox Over 37.5 Receiving Yards (-115) at Bovada
Ja'Marr Chase (Bengals)
- Over 82.5 Receiving Yards
- Anytime Touchdown Scorer
Chase is always so hard to tackle, which makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the field. In correlation with Burrow’s home-road splits, Chase has been incredible at home in his career:
- Chase averages 107.2 yards per game at home and 65.3 yards per game on the road.
- Chase averages 11.04 yards per target at home and 8.09 yards per target on the road.
- Eleven of Chase’s 15 regular-season games with over 70 yards have been at home.
Chase has scored a touchdown in 15-of-28 games in the regular season, so he is a little more than likely to do it than to not score.
The Bills lack an elite corner this year. Tre'Davious White tore his ACL last Thanksgiving and returned a few games ago, but he is not playing up to that previous high level yet.
Chase has a high standard to live up to if he wants to top what Justin Jefferson (193 yards) did against these Bills, but 100 yards and a touchdown will definitely be within his reach.
NFL Pick: Ja’Marr Chase Over 82.5 Receiving Yards (-115) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Ja’Marr Chase Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+105) at Bovada
Stefon Diggs (Bills)
- Over 67.5 Receiving Yards
- Anytime Touchdown Scorer
Finally, to complete our theme of the night, big players make big plays in big games. We like Burrow and Allen to both go over in passing yards with multiple touchdown passes, and we like the No. 1 wide receiver on each team to deliver a big night and touchdown too.
Maybe if these teams meet again in a few weeks in a playoff rematch, things will be different after they get some tape on each other and how they react to different things. But for this first meeting of Allen vs. Burrow, we like the biggest stars on the field to shine the brightest.
Diggs has been at a disadvantage for his statistics with Buffalo’s new approach to running more and passing less, but he is still one of the game’s most elite receivers. He has 10 games with 70 receiving yards this year, and we already watched him go off in Kansas City for 10 catches and 148 yards in the first AFC Game of the Year.
He likely won’t get there this week, but after season lows in targets (two), catches (two), and yards (26) last week in chilly Chicago, expect the Bills to crack the emergency glass on Diggs and go to him often in this big matchup for your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Stefon Diggs Over 67.5 Receiving Yards (-115) at Bovada
NFL Pick: Stefon Diggs Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+105) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.