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Divisional round matchups are all set. I don't have any official plays on these games yet, but they will come later this week. These are just early observations now that lines for all four games have been set. Odds via PointsBet.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans (-3.5) Total: 47.5
Winners of the AFC South, the Titans host the AFC North-best Bengals to start division round weekend. This is the first meeting between these two teams since the Bengals beat the Titans 31-20 in Nov. 2020, where the Titans were a 7-point favorite. Then in his rookie season, Joe Burrow threw for 249 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
This season as home favorites, the Titans were 3-3 ATS and 4-2 straight up. The Bengals were excellent as road dogs, posting a 4-1 ATS record and 3-2 record on the Money Line. The Bengals may very well have the best roster remaining in the playoffs. However, I worry about Cincinnati from a coaching standpoint. Mike Vrabel is one of the NFL's best coaches. I don't think Bengals HC Zac Taylor be able to outcoach Vrabel. I think this game will be competitive, but my early lean is to back the Titans Money Line and the Under.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers (-6) Total 47.5
Most seasons when the playoffs start, fans will identify a team that “no one wants to play." In most postseasons that's nothing more than water cooler talk. This season, the Niners are actually that team. San Francisco has been impressive down the stretch. Kyle Shanahan's squad has won eight of its last 10 games, including the Wild Card victory over Dallas.
Meanwhile, the Packers have been great all season. This game opened up with the Packers as 4.5-point favorites. I thought that number was too high. I really think it's too high now that it has steamed to six. The Packers beat the Niners 30-28 back in September. Over the past two seasons, the Niners are 8-4 ATS and 7-5 on the Money Line as underdogs. For now, I like them to at least cover the spread.
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Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) Total: 48.5
This one is pretty easy for me to handicap. I don't think the Buccaneers should be the favorite in this game. Tampa was blessed with good health for its title run last season. This year, however, not so much. I think the injuries will catch up with the Bucs this weekend. When these teams met up earlier this season, the Rams won by 10 as a 1-point underdog.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) Total: 55
If you are a football fan you have to be pretty pumped up for this clash between AFC heavyweights. The Bills and Chiefs are back in KC for a rematch of last season's AFC Championship game. That matchup was won by the Chiefs in pretty convincing fashion. When these teams met in the regular season, the Bills returned the favor in the form of beating Kansas City by 18 points. Since that loss, the Chiefs have gone 10-2 on the Money Line. The Bills come into this game winners of five straight. That streak should continue this week. I like the Bills to upset the Chiefs.
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