3 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills (-6, 49)
The Bengals (13-4) are the 3-seed and just took down the Ravens 24-17 in the Wild Card round but failed to cover as 8-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Bills (14-3) edged the Dolphins 34-31 in the Wild Card round but failed to cover as 14-point home favorites. This line opened with Buffalo listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is rushing to the window to grab the points with Joe Burrow and Cincinnati. However, despite 70% of bets taking the Bengals, we've actually seen this line move further to the Bills -3.5 to -6. Why would the oddsmakers adjust the line to hand out more points to the public when they're already hammering Cincinnati to begin with? Because wiseguys have gotten down hard on Buffalo, triggering sharp reverse line movement in favor of the home team. Buffalo has value as a contrarian favorite and a "fade the trendy dog" system match. The Bills are in the same spot the Eagles were yesterday, with the line moving in their favor despite the public backing the popular dog. The Bills will be a popular teaser option in a "just win the game" spot (-6 down to a pick'em). Sharps have also leaned under, as the total has fallen from 50 to 49. This drop is especially meaningful because 80% of bets are hammering the over, yet the total fell. This indicates smart money playing the under. The forecast calls for low 30s with snow. Buffalo is 10-7 to the under. Cincinnati is 9-7-1 to the under, including 5-3-1 to the under at home.
6:30 p.m. ET: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (-4, 46.5)
The Cowboys (13-5) are the 5-seed and just crushed the Bucs 31-14 in the Wild Card round, easily covering as 2.5-point road favorites. On the other hand, the 49ers (14-4) are the 2-seed and just blew out the Seahawks 41-23 in the Wild Card round, covering as 9.5-point home favorites. This line opened with San Francisco listed as a 4-point home favorite. The public is backing the home team, with 61% of bets laying the points with the 49ers. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen the line remain frozen at 49ers -4. It even dipped to -3.5 early in the week before being pushed back up to -4. Reading between the lines, all liability seems to be on the road dog Cowboys plus the points. Playoff road dogs are 34-22 ATS (61%) over the past five postseasons. Dak Prescott is 12-5 ATS (71%) as a road dog of 3-points or more in his career. The total has ticked up from 45 to 46.5. Currently 74% of bets are taking the over. The over is 6-1 in San Francisco's last seven games. The forecast calls for high 50s with clear skies and 10 MPH winds. Bill Vinovich, the lead ref, has historically favored road teams (56% ATS) and unders (59%).