Posted on: January 2, 2023, 03:36h.
Last updated on: January 2, 2023, 03:36h.
Football fans are in for a long day today if they hope to catch all the action. The Rose Bowl, featuring the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Utah Utes, gets the action going before Monday Night Football brings it home with a later-than-normal start.
The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, both already heading to the postseason, face off in the last game of the NFL’s Week 17. It’s a crucial game for both, as a win gives moves that team one step closer to dominating the AFC.
The Rose Bowl will begin at 5 PM, with the Utes heading in as favorites in their second consecutive appearance. With this, the NFL had to push back the kickoff of its game to accommodate the schedule, and football fans can expect a late night.
Bills and Bengals Clash
The Bills (12-3) and Bengals (11-4) are going to put on a show. They’re both looking for a victory that offers a lot of benefits in the postseason, and a battle will ensue.
|Spread||-1 (-110)||+1 (-110)|
|Over/under||O49.5 (-110)||U49.5 (-110)|
|Courtesy of BetMGM|
The two are in the playoffs, but wins will determine who finishes on top of the AFC. That team gets the number-one seed in the postseason, a bye during the wild card round and a chance to host the entire playoff run at home.
The Bills need to win tonight and then another against the New England Patriots, who just defeated the Miami Dolphins, in Week 18. With that, they would secure the conference.
The Bengals, who took the AFC last year, can take it this year, as well, but need some help. They have to win tonight to earn the AFC North, and then beat the Baltimore Ravens next week. In addition, the Kansas City Chiefs would have to lose to the Las Vegas Raiders next Saturday.
Leading tonight’s battle will undoubtedly be their QBs. The Bills are going to look at Josh Allen and his ability to scope out open pockets where he can run the ball. The Bengals will allow Joe Burrow to work his arm and find his receivers.
The two are closely matched in performance – Burrow is ahead in passing yards with 4,260, while Allen is only slightly behind with 4,029. Burrow has 34 TDs; Allen has 32.
Where Allen excels, however, is with his legs. His agility has proven to be the difference between winning and losing more than once this season. More than ever, the Bengals defense is going to have to step up and collapse the Bills’ offensive line if they want to contain him.
No Clear Advantage
The Bills have taken six straight games, while the Bengals are on a 7-0 run. All the way around, this is going to be a tough matchup that will have both teams fighting for yards.
Buffalo needs to make sure Allen stays consistent – but not in the way he has been. He has put up several interceptions recently that threatened the Bills, and he can’t make those mistakes tonight.
Avoiding mistakes will be the difference between winning and losing tonight. In that regard, the Bengals have a slight advantage based on their performance this season. Despite going in as the underdog, they’re ready for another upset win.
For bettors who want to turn tonight’s long stretch into a parlay, add the Rose Bowl. The Utes are at -120 on BetMGM, compared to the Nittany Lions’ +100, and deserve their position.
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