Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills
Game Preview & Pick:
This line has moved half a point since I grabbed Cincinnati +5 earlier in the week, but nothing has swayed my opinion of why I’m riding with the Bengals. Cincinnati has only lost by more than a field goal 3 times over the past two seasons, and I just don’t see that changing here, not with Joe Burrow under center.
Everyone wants to talk about the Bengals offensive line issues, but how is that any different than last season? Burrow was sacked 9 times in the Divisional Round against the Titans a year ago, and still managed to lead his team to victory. I know Bills head coach Sean McDermott is one of the best defensive minds in the league right now, but this defense desperately misses Von Miller’s presence, and I think Joe Cool will generate enough explosive plays to bring this one down to the wire.
Bengals +5.5 (-105) 1 unit
Tee Higgins under 62.5 receiving yards (-120) 1 unit
Ja’Marr Chase anytime touchdown scorer (+135) 1 unit
Josh Allen over 46.5 rushing yards (-125) 1 unit
Josh Allen anytime touchdown scorer (+155) .5 unit
Dawson Knox over 36.5 receiving yards (-115) 1 unit
Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers
Game Preview & Pick:
This is probably the game this weekend that I’m the most torn on, because I can’t figure out which version of Dak Prescott will show up. Dak was sensational against the Bucs on Monday night, but the Bucs suck; they limped into the playoffs with a losing record, and their defense was one of the worst in the NFL at generating interceptions this season. The Niners defense presents a much more difficult challenge (obviously), as they ranked 3rd in interception rate, and are tremendous at stopping the run. Dak threw 15 picks this season, so if Mr. Irrelevant can continue to protect the football, and Dallas is forced to play from behind, can we really trust Dak not to commit any costly turnovers? My hunch is no.
The one area the Niners defense has been vulnerable this season has been through the air, and the Cowboys passing game is definitely capable of generating explosive plays, but in my opinion this game really comes down to how much Dak leans on his legs to keep the chains moving. Mike McCarthy is one of the most overrated head coaches in the NFL, and the biggest reason why Aaron Rodgers only has one Super Bowl ring, so for Dallas to have any shot at keeping this game close it will come down to defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s scheme. Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator under Quinn during his time as the head coach of the Falcons (Matt Ryan can probably place equal blame on both of them for why his career is ending without a ring), so he’s definitely very familiar with how Shanahan likes to attack opponents.
Niners ML (-200) 1.5 units
Dak Prescott over 251.5 passing yards (-115) 1.5 units
Dak Prescott over 15.5 rushing yards (-125) 1 unit
Dak Prescott over 0.5 interceptions (-175) 1 unit
CeeDee Lamb over 75.5 receiving yards (-115) .5 unit
Christian McCaffrey over 66.5 rushing yards (-115) 1 unit
Christian McCaffrey anytime touchdown scorer (-155) 1 unit
Brandon Aiyuk over 52.5 receiving yards (-120) .5 unit