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How wise guys are viewing NFL divisional-round matchups


Much to the chagrin of sportsbooks, It's been a public betting bonanza to start the NFL playoffs. Chalk favorites went 5-1 straight up and 5-1 against the spread over Wild-Card Weekend. Contrarian bettors enjoyed some success with totals, though, as Unders are off to a 4-2 start this postseason. With favorites dominating, data-driven bettors are left to wonder whether the divisional round will produce sell-high spots on favorites and buy-low spots on dogs, who might be receiving shaded or inflated numbers for those willing to go the other way.

Here's what we've seen across the betting market for all four divisional-round matchups.

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5, 47)

The No 4-seeded Bengals (11-7 SU, 11-7 ATS) are 4-1 over their last five games and just beat the Raiders 26-19 in the wild-card round, covering as 6-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the top-seeded Titans (12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS) are coming off a bye week after finishing off the regular season with three straight wins. 

This line opened with Tennessee as a 3-point home favorite. Respected money seems to be laying the points with the Titans as we've seen Tennessee move up to -3.5. Some shops are even hinting at a move to 4. The Titans are receiving 62% of bets and 71% of money at BetMGM. Much of the value seems to be gone on Tennessee, which wise guys preferred at the opener of -3. At this point, the Bengals offer some buy-low contrarian value getting the hook. Joe Burrow is 10-7 ATS in his career as a dog. Favorites off a bye in the divisional round are just 28-38 ATS (42%) since 2004. Both teams are giving up roughly 21 points per game on defense. The difference comes on offense, where the Bengals are averaging 27 points compared with the Titans averaging 24. We've also seen some Over money show up, raising the total from 46.5 to 47. The forecast calls for mid-30s temperatures with little to no wind. Currently 90% of bets and 91% of money is sweating the Over. 

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