The opening round of the NFL Playoffs is set to begin this weekend, and there are six games on the schedule. These games will span from Saturday through Monday, which will create plenty of terrific betting opportunities.
Here is a quick rundown of the six games on the schedule, and a betting preview for each matchup.
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals -5.5
The Raiders enter the postseason with a ton of momentum after winning their last four games. Las Vegas has a tough matchup this Saturday though, as they take on the surging Cincinnati Bengals.
If you are a fan of points, this is the game to watch. Both teams can light up the scoreboard in a hurry, but the Bengals have the better quarterback-wide receiver duo.
Ja’Marr Chase has racked up 1,455 receiving yards this season, and Joe Burrow threw for more than 4,600 yards. Las Vegas has some issues in the secondary, and the Bengals win and cover the spread because of it.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills -4.0
The Buffalo Bills will host the New England Patriots on Saturday night. These teams split the regular season meetings this year.
Buffalo wants to use the passing attack to take control, but New England has a history of getting stops in the postseason.
The Patriots stumbled down the stretch, losing three of their last four games. New England put up some big offensive numbers, but the defense is dealing with too many injuries.
Buffalo did not have as dominant of a season as they had hoped, but this will provide a chance to reset. The Bills will win this game, but look for a late field goal to be the difference.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8.5
The defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers begin their title defense by hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Injuries are a significant concern for the Bucs, but this team is still loaded with talent.
Jalen Hurts threw for 3,144 yards this season for the Eagles, but he doesn’t always get a ton of help. The Eagles’ defense has shown the ability to give up big plays, which will impact this one as well.
This one might get out of hand in a hurry as the Buccaneers roll into the second round with a win.
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys -3.0
The 49ers and Cowboys used to have a terrific NFL rivalry, and things will get heated back up on Sunday. Dallas is going to look to throw their way to a win, while the 49ers feature a ferocious defense.
The biggest difference in this matchup will come on the offensive side of the ball, and few teams have been able to slow down the Cowboys. San Francisco can keep this close for awhile, but they just don’t have the talent to keep up.
This one will be tight, but the Cowboys win this game by a touchdown, at least.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs -12.5
The Chiefs are not the top seed in the AFC, but they still enter the playoffs as the betting favorite to win the conference. Kansas City can still score points in a hurry, but the defense has taken the most significant step forward this season.
Pittsburgh had to sneak into the playoffs, and this doesn’t feel like a team with a real shot to win the AFC. The Steelers are a proud franchise with plenty of recent postseason success, and they should keep this one close.
The Chiefs win, but look for the Steelers to battle, and taking the 12.5 points is the way to go.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams -4.0
The best game of the opening round might be taking place on Monday night as the Los Angeles Rams host the Arizona Cardinals. These two NFC West rivals have both struggled a bit of late, but both teams feature terrific offenses that can score in a hurry.
Throughout the year, Los Angeles has been the better defensive team, and quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown for nearly 5,000 yards. Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray has been solid as well, but teams have started to slow him down.
There doesn’t appear to be much separation between the rivals, but the Rams will win this game and cover the spread.