Against The Spread: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
|Cincinatti spread (+7.5)||-110||-110|
|Kansas City spread (-7.5)||-110||-110|
We’ll be honest, we’re a little taken back by the Bengals-Chiefs spread set by the best online sportsbooks. It’s seven points — larger than any game last weekend. And just a month ago, Cincinnati beat Kansas City (albeit at home and not on the road with a Super Bowl trip on the line). Our impression is the Bengals are being seriously overlooked.
You see, Cindy’s biggest issue is pass protection. They just allowed Joe Burrow to get sacked a whopping nine times last weekend. Worse, Burrow was brought down a league-leading 51 times during the regular season. The Bengals' offensive line is atrocious but here’s the thing — the Chiefs’ defensive line isn’t good enough to exploit it. During the season, Kansas City was fourth-to-last in sacks with 31. Its front-seven doesn’t scare anyone.
That lack of pass rush was why Burrow went off on the Chiefs in their week 17 matchup. People think Josh Allen torched KC last week (he did with 397 yards of offense and four touchdowns), but Burrow was even better only a few weeks before that. In that 34-31 win, Burrow passed for 446 yards and four TD’s — with 266 yards going to rookie Ja’Marr Chase. We see no reason why he can’t put up similar numbers on Sunday.
We expect an all-out shootout between Burrow and Patrick Mahomes, who added to his legendary status with clutch play after clutch play against Buffalo. Like that game, this AFC title game could come down to whoever has the ball last. In that scenario, a seven-point line for the Bengals should cover (or at worse, push for a tie). Take the underdogs to cover!
Over/Under 46.5 Points: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
|Over 46.5 Points||-110||-110|
|Under 46.5 Points||-110||-110|
Top NFL betting sites are much more conservative with the Rams-49ers over/under line compared to the AFC title game. At 46.5 points, it’s eight points lower than their counterparts. It makes sense given the inconsistencies we’ve seen with the NFC quarterbacks, Matt Stafford and Jimmy Garappolo.
We’ll start with Jimmy G. He’s passed for 303 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions this postseason. Admittedly, he’s banged up with injuries to his thumb and shoulder, both on his throwing arm. Because of that, Garappolo is missing “zip” on his throws. If LA is smart, they’ll try to take away his throws in the middle of the field because that’s the lone area Garappolo can currently complete passes to with that injured thumb.
Stafford, to his credit, has fared well in two playoff games. But he’s been less successful against San Francisco in the two prior meetings this year. In both games, Stafford tossed two interceptions apiece. Almost one-quarter of his 17 interceptions came against this high-flying 49ers ‘D.
At this stage, we don’t trust Garappolo or Stafford enough to bet the over. One is playing not to lose (Jimmy G), while the other one is a gunslinger prone to miscues (Stafford). That’s a recipe for an under more times than not, which is our bet here.
Moneyline: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
Akin to the AFC championship game, the NFC one is a rematch of a late-season showdown. In Week 18, the Niners outlasted the Rams 27-24 in overtime. But here’s the difference: San Fran beating LA is an ongoing trend. The 49ers have won six straight games against the Rams, yet are three-and-a-half-point underdogs. Oh, did we mention that Kyle Shanahan is 7-3 versus Sean McVay all-time?
You can probably guess that we’re betting on San Francisco to win, setting up a Super Bowl rematch with Kansas City from two years ago. The 49ers are the classic example of a team getting hot at the right time: they’ve won 9 of the last 11 against top-shelf teams — Rams (twice), Bengals, Cowboys, and Packers. With a forceful defensive line and a run attack that can control the clock, these Niners are built to win in the postseason.
Here’s one last reason to pick San Fran to win straight up: this will actually be a joke game for them. Make no mistake about it, California bleeds Niner red and has since the Joe Montana days. The Rams might be the third-most-popular NFL team in LA (the Raiders are two). All in all, the cards are stacked against LA and we expect them to fold.
How To Bet NFL Playoffs?
So what’s it going to be — taking our betting advice or fading it? Whatever you choose to do, you can bet on NFL playoffs at one of the betting sites below. These sites will carry a multitude of NFL bets (at great prices) and offer sportsbook bonuses for free play. Click around the table below to place your bets before Sunday’s games!