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The playoffs are here! We get some fun games between the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders, and the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. We’ve already shared some futures bets on the playoffs overall, so let’s get into the games themselves.
Raiders at Bengals
Quite honestly, Derek Carr gets a lot of grief – some of it justifiable – but to get to the playoffs after this crazy season in which his coach was fired and his wide receiver selfishly and foolishly killed someone in a DUI incident, he should be commended. All of that goes out the window as soon as kickoff happens though. He will need to face the Bengals on the road. He already had one shot at them this season, a home game that they lost by 19 points. I think the Bengals are the better team though. Joe Burrow is playing great, Ja’Marr Chase has been outstanding, and even Tee Higgins has been good. The Raiders are not a strong defensive team. In the first game, Joe Mixon had 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. I expect the Raiders to key in on him a bit more, but they also don’t want Burrow to beat them. I’ll take the Bengals -4.5 at -114.
Patriots at Bills
These two teams played twice this season and split the games. The divisional matchup is always intriguing, especially in the playoffs. I like the Bills and would love to bet on them, but I can’t confidently say they will win this game. The Patriots were great for a portion of the year. They had a seven game win streak sandwiched between an opening stretch of 1-3 and 2-4 to close the season. So, they may not be playing their best football right now. The Bills, on the other hand, are playing better. They end the year on a four game winning streak, with their last losses coming from the Patriots and Buccaneers. The game against the Bucs also saw them play significantly better. The one note, though, is that the only good team the Bills have beaten in the last four games is the Patriots. It is never a great idea to bet against Bill Belichick, and I think his gameplan for this will be solid. I’m playing the under – especially as I think the cold weather will keep this low scoring. Patriots/Bills under 44 at -110.
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