Odds, evaluation and predictions for Saturday’s NFL playoff video games

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Home groups in CAPS:

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-5.5) over Las Vegas Raiders; Over 49

One of my favourite handicapping angles in the course of the common season entails fading groups with fast turnarounds, significantly after rousing wins. That state of affairs hardly ever presents itself within the first week of the postseason, however right here we’re with the Raiders, who performed a full time beyond regulation Sunday evening that ended with them knocking the hated-rival Chargers out of the playoffs. Now they need to play the Saturday afternoon recreation in Cincinnati, touring three time zones east to face a Bengals workforce that rested Joe Burrow and plenty of of its stars final week.

Do I anticipate guys similar to Derek Carr, Hunter Renfrow and Maxx Crosby to say, “Man, I’m just too tired!”? Not in any respect. Those are robust guys who led the Raiders by a minefield of adversity to a playoff berth. But the state of affairs does assist the Bengals, who’ve quite a lot of methods to place up factors, with Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd and, if wholesome, Tee Higgins. The Bengals gained 32-23 at Las Vegas in November, and this must be extra of the identical.

Bengals, 34-17

Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals will win and cover against the Raiders.Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals will win and canopy in opposition to the Raiders.Getty Images

BUFFALO BILLS (-4) over New England Patriots; Under 44

Is it potential Bill Belichick used up all of his remaining magic when he coached the Patriots to a 14-10 victory over the Bills by calling simply three passes on that windswept, North Pole-like evening in Orchard Park in early December? Since then, the Patriots are 1-3 SU and ATS, the one success a 50-10 dwelling rout of the Jaguars. Last week, needing a win to have a shot on the AFC East title, the Patriots got here up small, dropping 33-24 at Miami.

Meanwhile, the Bills are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS since that assembly. Their OT loss at Tampa Bay featured a 17-3, fourth-quarter comeback that circled Buffalo’s sagging season. On Dec. 26, the Bills went into Foxborough and gained, 33-21, as one-point underdogs. I believe that recreation is a greater approximation of the place these two groups at the moment are. Belichick remains to be Belichick, however he has the rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, whereas the opposite aspect has the perennial MVP candidate, Josh Allen.

Bills, 24-16

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