We’re on to Sunday, where the Divisional Round will continue with two more high-octane matchups. Below you’ll find a summary for both of those contests, with a link to my in-depth betting previews. Happy betting.
Weather: Outdoors, chance of snow
The Line Report
- This line opened as Bills -4
- This line has moved to Bills -5.5
- This total opened at 50-points
- This total has moved to 50.5-points
Josh Allen’s Bills against Joe Burrow’s Bengals will be among the most high-interest sporting events over the next decade. The premium quarterbacks and high-end skill position players will be on the marquee, but the Bengals’ offensive line is key to this matchup. Cincinnati will almost certainly be down their right guard and both of their offensive tackles.
One of my longstanding football tenets is you can play effective offense with one unreliable offensive tackle, but it’s hard to do it with two. An example of a worst-case scenario for an elite offense in this position is the Chiefs’ Super Bowl against the Buccaneers. Kansas City went into that contest down their two starting offensive tackles, and the Buccaneers’ pass rush derailed that game, holding the Chiefs to nine points.
We saw Burrow lead Cincinnati to the Super Bowl last year behind a below-average offensive line. But ultimately, playing with that kind of positional disadvantage against Allen’s Bills is a major hurdle to climb. I don’t have any major leans in this game, but I bet on Gabe Davis to exceed 100 yards receiving at +520 odds on FanDuel. I also tailed Josh Larky’s Joe Mixon over 23.5 yards receiving prop on DraftKings.
Score Prediction: Bills 24, Bengals 20
Weather: Outdoors, no concerns
The Line Report
- This line opened as 49ers -4
- This line has moved to 49ers -4.5
- This total opened at 46-points
- This total has moved to 46.5-points
Dallas is a difficult opponent for white-hot San Francisco because Micah Parsons could have a major impact both as a pass rusher and in space. Last season when these two teams squared off in the Wild Card round, Parsons played a lot of off-ball linebacker.
Since the 49ers go out of their way to create yards after the catch for their bevy of premium skill position players, it wouldn’t surprise me if Parsons saw more action in space than as a pass rusher in this matchup. San Francisco couldn’t have hoped for more out of Brock Purdy to this point, but the Cowboys are his toughest obstacle to date, primarily because of Parsons.
On the other side of the ball, I’m not banking on Dak Prescott to have a spike game against the best defense in football. However, if Purdy struggles for the first time this season and Prescott plays a clean game against an elite defense, the Cowboys are a live underdog in this matchup.
Score Prediction: 49ers 24, Cowboys 20