Super Wild Card Weekend Bets: See the Raiders-Bengals line

Super Wild Card Weekend features some rematch, a few fascinating matchups and even “Monday Night Football” in the off-season. Here are some early betting angles.

Saturday

Raiders vs. Bengals (-6.5, 49.5)

The Raiders survived the Chargers, despite having a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter of the final game of the regular season. The Bengals rested almost all in a loss to the Browns. Cincinnati settled the No. 4 seed, and the Raiders moved all the way to No. 5 with the win. You have an indoor team heading east over three time zones to play in what looks like a cool Cincinnati on Sunday. Keep a close eye on this line.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase avoids tackling from Raider's defensive end Gerri Green at Allegiant Stadium on November 21, 2021.
Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase avoids tackling from Raider defensive end Gerri Green in a Week 11 match.
Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

Patriots at Bills (-4.5, 43.5)

This is a rematch between AFC East rivals who split in the regular season. New England won directly as a 3-point underdog on a terrible weather day in Buffalo, and the Bills whipped New England thoroughly in the revenge game as a 1-point puppy. Now the two teams meet in the playoffs. Early lines in some books showed Buffalo -4 when the shine came from the Patriots late in the season, but many players will give Bill Belichick the benefit of the doubt. We’ll see where this border goes, but my guess is that you want sharp groups on both sides, and it may not move much.

Sunday

Eagles at Buccaneers (-8.5, 49)

These two teams played earlier this year in Philadelphia, and the Bucs were a touchdown favorite. The game ended 28-22 in Tampa Bay, but the Bucs led 28-7, surpassing the Eagles 399-213. At that point, the loss dropped the Eagles to 2-4, so they are a better team now, but still a massive underdog. Bucs opened -7 at DraftKings and now sits higher than that, and the upgraded line is probably closer to where it should be.

49ers at the Cowboys (-3, 50.5)

This is probably the most interesting game for me with two contrasting styles. The Cowboys are very balanced, but lean towards the passing game, while the 49ers rely heavily on the run. San Francisco got a lot of respect for coming back against the Rams, but I wonder if this line is a bit cheap. Jimmy Garoppolo is still beaten up and the Cowboys have a wealth of weapons on the offensive, which is something the 49ers have not seen much of. Dallas is receptive through the air, but maybe not so much on earth.

Steelers at Chiefs (-12.5, 46.5)

The Steelers do not have the profile as a playoff team, with a negative difference in yards per. games and a very ugly points difference, so we get a huge line here. These two teams played recently, and Kansas City was a double-digit favorite in the middle of a COVID outburst, winning 36-10. It’s really hard to see this game going differently, even though some early money has hit Pittsburgh.

Steelers defensive end Taco Charlton reaches out for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as he scrambles in the back field in the first quarter at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Steelers defensive end, Taco Charlton, reaches out for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as he scrambles in the back field in a Week 16 game.
William Purnell / USA TODAY Sport

Monday

Cardinals at Rams (-4, 50.5)

Another week of disappointment for the Cardinals, who moved up against the Cowboys but then fought mightily against a Seahawks team playing out in the string. Rams lost, but lost at least to a quality opponent. We have two data points in the 4/5 match in the NFC, and the Cardinals won as a 4-point dog in LA and the Rams won as a 3-point dog in Arizona. This line looks a bit rich, but talks about how the Cardinals have looked on the stretch and it’s hard to trust them.

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