Cincinnati Bengals (11-7) at Tennessee Titans (12-5)
A 31-year playoff drought ended for Cincinnati last week in a controversial but thrilling finish against the Raiders in the 26-19 result. Rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase was impressive in his playoff debut as he hauled in 9 catches for 116 yards. Meanwhile, QB Joe Burrow tossed 2 touchdowns and took advantage of the Raiders soft coverage. The combination of Burrow/Chase will be important once again as the Titans rank 23rd in the NFL for passing yards allowed. Especially with the Titans strong run defence ranking them 2nd in the NFL.
The #1 seeded Titans come off the bye and get stronger with the return of Derrick Henry at RB. He missed the second half of the season but the Titans still managed to win 4 of their last 5 games, which is a scary thought for opposing AFC defences. He will face a Bengals run defence that ranks 5th in the NFL so whichever team wins that battle will go a long way to victory.
Defensively, the Titans have allowed just 20 total points in their last 3 home games and will only get stronger with the return of Henry on offence. Meanwhile, the Bengals are still inexperienced in the playoffs and may struggle to score points in this matchup. So we prefer to stick with the Under, which is 5-1 in the Titans last 6 home games. It’s also 6-2 in the Bengals last 8 road games.
The Titans are 7-2 in their last 9 home games. Since 2002, the Bengals are 3-2 on the road against the Titans.
Head to Head Record
Last season, the Bengals upset the Titans 31-20 and Cincinnati have won 6 of the last 10 meetings.
San Francisco 49ers (11-7) at Green Bay Packers (13-4)
The 49ers come off a huge upset over the Cowboys in Dallas as they kept their season alive with a 23-17 victory. Elijah Mitchell continued his good form in the running game and proved hard to tackle. Meanwhile, Deebo Samuel is proving to be a dual threat in this 49ers offence and he’ll look to give the Packers defence plenty to think about. However, Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in the passing game against Dallas and if this turns into a shootout with Aaron Rodgers, the 49ers will be at a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, the Packers will be fresh from the bye as the #1 seed in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers had another fine season and could win the MVP. His combination with Davante Adams will be a big matchup against the 49ers 5th ranked pass defence. Lambeau Field will also be another factor as the Packers are undefeated at home this season.
There’s simply a lot to like about the Packers in this matchup. The 49ers will be on short rest after a tough playoff win and their passing game isn’t at the level of the Packers. So we just can’t see the rested Packers letting this one get close at home as they’ve covered in 7 of their last 8 at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay is a 8-0 at home this season. San Francisco has lost 9 of their last 11 at Lambeau.
Head to Head Record
The Packers won this season’s meeting 30-28 and also beat them 34-17 in 2020.
Los Angeles Rams (13-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4)
The Rams dominated the Cardinals last week in the 34-11 victory. Their defence forced the Cardinals into too many mistakes and that included a defensive touchdown. Meanwhile, Matt Stafford didn’t turn the ball over and totalled 3 touchdowns to finally win his first playoff game in his career. So Los Angeles will head to Tampa with a lot of confidence.
Tom Brady and the Bucs easily cruised into the divisional playoffs with a 31-15 win over the Eagles. It was over at halftime with a 31-0 scoreline as Tom Brady dominated the Eagles defence. Mike Evans and Gronk both caught touchdown passes from the Goat. Meanwhile, the Bucs defence picked off Hurts twice and didn’t let the Eagles establish a running game. However, this will be a tougher matchup against the Rams passing attack as the Bucs secondary has struggled with injuries this year.
There is some merit in a Rams upset but betting against Tom Brady in the playoffs isn’t a great idea. So we like the high scoring trend between these two elite offences. The Over has saluted in all of the last 5 meetings and that includes 58 total points back in late September.
Tampa Bay has won 11 of their last 12 at home. The Rams hold a 4-1 record in Tampa Bay.
Head to Head Record
Los Angeles won the first meeting of the season at home 34-24 and hold a 7-3 record since 2007.
The Bills thrashed the Patriots last week 47-17 in what was a complete performance. QB Josh Allen was simply unstoppable with 308 passing yards, 66 rushing yards on 6 carries and 5 passing touchdowns. That gave their defence a huge advantage as they picked off Mac Jones twice and didn’t let the Pats run over them this time. Considering Buffalo beat the Chiefs in KC this season, they won’t fear a trip to Arrowhead.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs were down 7-0 against the Steelers after a defensive touchdown. However, that sparked the Chiefs offence into action as they scored 35 pts in the 2nd/3rd quarter. Patrick Mahomes tossed 5 touchdowns in the passing game as he spread the ball around through this Chiefs offence. On defence, the Chiefs didn’t let the Steelers establish a running game and had no trouble stopping Big Ben in the passing game. However, Bills QB Josh Allen will pose a much tougher challenge.
A high scoring affair is most likely in this matchup between the in-form Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen as they both tossed 5 touchdown passes last week. So we have to like the Over. In the last 2 meetings in KC, the total is averaging 60 pts. The two sides put up 62 pts in last year’s playoff meeting at this venue as well. The Over has saluted in 4 of the last 5 meetings in Kansas City and games involving the Chiefs are 5-0 in their last 5 games.
The Chiefs are 7-2 at home this season. Buffalo are 2-1 in KC since 2017.
Head to Head Record
Buffalo won the earlier season meeting 38-20 and the Chiefs beat them in last year’s playoffs 38-24.
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