Divisional Weekend: Bengals @ Bills
As the NFL playoffs reach the last eight, Divisional Weekend across Saturday and Sunday has put up four fascinating match-ups, but surely none more tantalising than at Highmark Stadium as the Buffalo Bills face the Cincinnati Bengals.
We’ve been looking at the best punts for Sunday’s titanic clash.
Aside from its status as 2nd and 3rd seeds in the AFC, this game in Orchard Park will see take two from earlier this month, when week 17’s harrowing events at Paycor Stadium overtook matters and saw the highly-anticipated game ruled a no contest, following Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest.
Hamlin’s miraculous recovery has all involved in far better spirits here, for a game that in different circumstances could be an AFC championship showdown. Hamlin is rumoured to be in attendance in Orchard Park this weekend which will guarantee a highly-charged affair as Josh Allen and Joe Burrow also meet for the first time, vying to reach the title game next weekend versus either the Kansas City Chiefs or Lazarus incarnate, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For The Bills, last weekend’s uncertain performance against the Dolphins was a welcome wake-up call and on another day if Jaylen Waddle had held his catches, Allen’s side could have been dumped out by a game Florida outfit. Allen has been decidedly out-of-sorts in recent weeks but did toss in excess of 350 yards against the Fins and here we are backing the Californian to have a stormer, with Allen keen to reach a second successive championship game and then erase the agony of last year’s OT injustices in a potential rematch with Patrick Mahomes.
To begin with, an Allen anytime TD at a best price of 6/4 with 10Bet surely looks a good punt, whilst both wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis went past 100 receiving yds against Miami. A PaddyPower BetBuilder double of Diggs 80.5+ and Davis 56.5+ receiving yards this weekend could set you right at just over 2.4/1.
The Bengals similarly had a nervy encounter in Ohio against the Baltimore Ravens, with Sam Hubbard’s 96-yard TD steal the massive turning point at Paycor last Sunday night. The Bills are the unquestioned favourites to book a place in Atlanta next weekend, but Zac Taylor’s side present a serious threat to that, looking to move into double figures in a streak of wins.
Does a 2/1 shot with Ladbrokes and QuinnBet on Burrow and co. look overpriced? It could.
Visiting hopes will again be placed in Ja’Marr Chase who looks primed to deliver a playoff masterclass: that could come in New York at 3/1 with William Hill to score a TD and catch 87+ yds.
Its Allen v Burrow, of course, so it would be amiss not to go for passing yds double and knowing both QBs will play to the wire, for both to throw 299+ yds at 9/2 – again with ‘Hills – has every chance of landing.
Elsewhere, for the game to have 6+ TDs and 3+ field goals is boosted by Paddy at 7/4, with a 50+ rushing yards treble of Allen, Devin Singletary and Joe Mixon at a sizeable 10/1 with PariMatch and the same bookie offers a covering TD for Bills’ running back James Cook at 2/1.
Finally, after Nyheim Hines’ fairy-tale return TD double in the Bills’ first game after Hamlin’s near-death escape – with Hamlin in the building no less – could Hines run the length of the field once more and bring the house down? 17/2 odds with UniBet says we could see it.