BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Bills will find themselves in an unusual position this weekend when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium: For the first time in two seasons, they’ll be underdogs.
The Bills have been the betting favorite in every game they’ve played since the start of the 2022 season — a span of 26 consecutive games, including playoffs. That’s the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest in franchise history.
But for Sunday night’s game, betting markets see the Bengals as small favorites at home. As of Friday morning, FanDuel was giving the Bills 1.5 points against the spread, and DraftKings listed the Bills at +2. The line could be had a 2.5 at some of New York’s smaller sportsbooks.
The last time betting sites offered the Bills as underdogs was when they visited the Chiefs in the 2021 Divisional Round of the playoffs, now known as the “13 Seconds” game.
The Bills’ impressive run of being the betting favorite ranks among the longest streaks in NFL history, according to Football Reference data, although 26 consecutive games is a far cry from the top spot.
Tom Brady’s Patriots were favorited in 64 consecutive regular season games between 2016-20. The Bills’ regular-season streak, also at 26 games, ranks 21st all-time.
The longest streak including playoff games belongs to “The Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams, who were favored in 57 straight games between 1999 and 2002. The Bills’ 26-game run ranks 19th all-time when including playoff games.
The Bills were also favored in the 2022 game at Cincinnati that was canceled after Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest, but that is not included in the streak since the game never officially happened.
As for Jim Kelly’s teams, the Super Bowl-era Bills were never favored more than 16 games in a row.
But Sunday, the Bills visit a Bengals team that has won three straight and just took down the San Francisco 49ers on the road. Quarterback Joe Burrow looks like himself again, throwing eight touchdowns and completing 78% of passes over the winning streak following a slow start to the season. The Bills, meanwhile, have slumped through what looked like the easy portion of their schedule, dropping two of their last four games while failing to cover the spread in any of them. They have lost key players on defense due to injury, and quarterback Josh Allen is playing through a sore shoulder that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice.
The Bills were favored by 5.5 points for their playoff game against the Bengals in Buffalo last year, but lost 27-10. Barring a drastic movement in the line before kickoff Sunday, their team-record streak of being favored will end at 26 games, and the NFL’s longest active streak will fall to the Eagles, who are set to extend their run to 14 games this weekend.
Bills bettors, however, may appreciate finally getting points against the spread. Betting on the Bills consistently over their 26-game streak as regular-season favorites would have actually lost money – despite going 20-6 straight up over that span, they posted a 12-13-1 record against the spread.