Cincinnati Bengals (+205) at Buffalo Bills (-240) – Sunday, 3:00PM EST
In the Wild Card round, the Bengals narrowly defeated the Ravens to move on to the Divisional round. This week, it’s a rematch of their week 16 matchup against the Bills, which ended tragically and ruled no contest. The stakes are much higher this time as the winner goes on to play Kansas City for a spot in Super Bowl 57. Burrow is only in his 3rd year, but he’s already accustomed to the prime time games. He was made for playoff football.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cincinnati hasn’t run well all season. Additionally, they are unlikely to find much success on the ground against this 5th ranked rush defense of the Bills. The offense will rely on Burrow as they have much of the year, to move the chains. He will be able to spread targets across Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd as Buffalo’s pass defense is average at best. The Bills will still be without veteran safety Micah Hyde, which would have improved deep ball coverage. Expect Burrow and co to take advantage of this, and the Bengals trio of talented wide receivers will feast against the Bills secondary.
On the defensive side, Cincinnati has been good against the run, but their secondary has been their weakness. They rank 23rd in passing yards allowed per game, even though they’ve tightened up in the second half of the season. They’ll gameplan around stopping opposing wide receiver Stefon Diggs to try and limit the damage through the air. If they can be successful, we’ll see a Bills offense that will sputter at times.
Cincinnati Bengals Notable Injuries: CB Tre Flowers (Q), G Alex Cappa (Q), OT Jonah WIlliams (Q)
It was a very weird game for the Bills against the Dolphins last week. A lot of viewers thought the Dolphins had no chance without their starting quarterback. However, we were all proven wrong. Buffalo played a sloppy game on offense and turned the ball over a staggering three times. If the Bills want to play in the AFC Championship, they can’t afford to give up the ball like that.
Buffalo has one of the most formidable offenses in the playoffs. They seemingly do everything well. They’re ranked 7th in rush yards and passing yards per game and 2nd in points per game. Josh Allen has superb mobility and we’ll surely see him scramble for at least a few 1st downs after a play breaks down. The opposing secondary is rather weak and will try to neutralize the Bills #1 wide receiver, Stefon Diggs. If Allen can spread the ball out to his other weapons, the Bills will have a successful night on the offense.
This is the best defense the Bills have had in quite some time, and they’ll certainly be tested on Sunday. They’ve done a great job at tightening up in the red zone to force their opponents to settle for field goals. They’ve done a great job against the run all year and won’t have to worry about the ground game. As long as they can eliminate big chunk plays between Burrow and Chase, their defense will be in a good spot.
Bills Notable Injuries: S Micah Hyde (O), DT Jordan Phillips (Q), S Jordan Poyer (O)
Cincinnati Bengals vs Buffalo Bills NFL Divisional Round Odds and Picks
It just doesn’t feel right to bet against Joe Burrow. He rises to the moment and has ice in his veins. Josh Allen makes one too many errant throws and the Bengals head to the AFC Championship game for the 2nd year in a row.
Final Score: Cincinnati 27 – Bills 24
Wicked Wager – Cincinnati Moneyline (+205)
Wicked Player Prop –
Josh Allen Passing Yards Over 272.5 (-114)
Since the week 7 bye, Allen has only gone over this number twice, which may come as a surprise. While he has been terrific this season, he’s certainly seen a drop off in passing production the last half of the season. That’s going to change this week, in what you can expect to be a high scoring game. This game has the second highest total on the board in the divisional round, and I expect the Bills to have to throw the ball to keep up with a Bengals offense that is rolling. Look for Allen to get over this number in front of Bills mafia this Sunday against the 23rd ranked Bengals passing defense.
Anytime TD Scorer
Stefon Diggs (+100) This is great value getting Diggs at plus money to score. Allen loves throwing him the ball and Diggs gets in the endzone Sunday.
Joe Mixon (+115) Mixon will be the beneficiary of that wide receiver corp getting them downfield and he sneaks in for 6 at least once.
Dallas Cowboys (+165) at San Francisco 49ers (-195) – Sunday, 6:30PM EST
Dallas had one of their best performances last week against the Buccaneers. They dominated on both sides of the ball and were in the driver’s seat for almost the entirety of the game. This week, their opponents are better both offensively and defensively. The Cowboys definitely have their work cut out for them
Quarterback Dak Prescott had the best game of the entire season last week. He drowned out all of the noise regarding his history of poor playoff performances and rose to the occasion. If he can follow up with another great performance, the Cowboys might actually have a shot in this one. The Cowboys haven’t been a great passing team, but they’re facing a secondary that’s ranked worse than last week’s opponent. They’ll try to establish the run game, but the 49ers are the second best team against it, so it’ll all be on Dak.
The defense will have their hands full covering wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Christian McCaffrey. It seems like if one is covered, the other one isn’t. Dallas’ front 7 will have to step up to stop the best running back in the playoffs. The Cowboys secondary is capable of shutting down the pass game with their 8th ranked passing yards allowed per game. The only question is, will they be able to limit the damage done on the ground?
Dallas Cowboys Notable Injuries: S Jayson Kearse (Q), OT Jason Peters (Q), DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Q)
Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has been one of the most talked about players after stepping in to replace an injured Jimmy Garrapolo. Many wondered if he’d be able to perform on the big stage. He didn’t skip a beat and threw for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns. But will he be able to duplicate that performance against a defense coming off a big game?
Purdy is surrounded by one of the most talented offensive players in the game. San Francisco’s line has done a great job at protecting the rookie. Deebo Samuel is a threat on both the ground and through the air. McCaffrey is just as talented, and has bounced back to the electric running back we were used to seeing in Carolina. One of these two players might have a quiet game, but if that’s the case, the other will put up a huge stat line. I almost forgot about George Kittle, one of the top tight ends in the league. He blocks well and is a danger in the open field.
Just like the offense, the defensive is also an impressive unit. They’re ranked 1st in points and 2nd in rush yards allowed per game. They get to the quarterback with rushing just 4, but as a whole, they’re not perfect. They haven’t had a great secondary this year, but the rest of the defense does enough to offset this weakness. They’re ranked 2nd in turnovers and their defensive front will pester Dak all evening long.
San Francisco 49ers Notable Injuries: CB Ambry Thomas (Q), DT Javon Kinlaw (Q), WR Jauan Jennings (Q)
Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Divisional Round Odds and Picks
The 49ers just have way too many weapons on both sides of the ball and the Cowboys haven’t been consistent enough for me to be confident in them. It’ll be a close game throughout most of the game, but San Francisco and their defense will suffocate Dallas’ offense.
Final Score: San Francisco 27 – Dallas 20
Wicked Wager – 49ers +4 (-114)
Wicked Player Prop – Micah Parsons to Record 1+ Sacks (-112)
We get to watch two of the premier pass rushers in the league in the last game of the weekend. If Dallas has any shot of winning this game, their defense is going to have to step up. Parsons is an absolute monster, and San Fran is going to have to pay close attention to him. He’s more talented than any of the offensive linemen trying to block him, and he gets to Purdy early in this game to set the tone. Look for him to be in the backfield like he plays running back for San Francisco this weekend.
Anytime TD Scorer
Brandon Aiyuk (+220) has been playing well with the rookie quarterback under center, and the 49ers are going to have to keep Kittle back for blocking, giving the receiver some extra chances to score.
Elijah Mitchell (+230) is the bigger of their two backs. Look for him to reap the benefits of CMC carrying them down the field and getting those goalline carries.