NFL Playoff betting tips are everywhere now that the season has wound up and there is a lot of differing opinions. After Week 17, we finally have the playoff field set and some solid ideas. It’s an interesting weekend of matchups, with the two biggest favorites actually being road teams including the 6th seed Seattle Seahawks. Let’s take a look at the AFC matchups and see where we stand heading into one of the NFL’s most exciting weekends. Take note that point spreads are changing regularly and may vary depending on where you wager.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Houston Texans – NFL Playoff Betting
The Kansas City Chiefs are flat out rolling. They enter the postseason on a 10 game winning streak, and boast a top 10 offense (25.3 ppg) and a top 10 defense (17.9 ppg). WR Jeremy Maclin enjoyed a monster season in his first year at Arrowhead, accumulating 1,088 yards on 87 catches. His eight touchdowns also lead the team.
On the flip side, the Houston Texans come in on a three game winning streak and are led by the NFL’s best defensive player in J.J. Watt. Watt leads a defense that has given up a total of 22 points over its last three games to help propel a below average offense into the playoffs. If the Texans are going to have any success here as home underdogs, it looks like once again they will have to lean heavily on their defense. However, they also come with questions at the QB, RB, and LT positions and they’ve struggled to put up points against playoff teams this season.
Most people are giving the Chiefs the advantage given how they’ve torn through the league in the second half of the year. However, a home underdog lead by J.J. Watt has the potential to wreck this game and give Alex Smith and the Chiefs all they can handle. With both teams coming in playing their best football of the season, this should be a great one to open Wildcard Weekend.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) at the Cincinnati Bengals
This line has moved quite a bit since it opened with the Pittsburgh Steelers as – 1.5 point favorites. Either way, this is essentially a Pick’em game between arguably two of the biggest rivals in football. This AFC North clash features one of the league’s most explosive offenses in Pittsburgh led by Super Bowl champion QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Bengals offense, well that’s a different story.
QB Andy Dalton was having a career year before suffering a hand injury that’s kept him out of the lineup for the past few weeks. It’s still unclear if he will suit up for the Cincinnati Bengals, as he’s yet to begin throwing the ball at practice. If the Bengals want to have any hope at ending their playoff losing streak and finally taking that proverbial next step, odds are they’ll only be able to do with Dalton under center.
Aside from the QB position, the Bengals’ roster is both deep and loaded with talent across the board. An explosive WR core, a top 3 defense, and a legitimate home field advantage may be enough, even without Dalton, to give the Steelers fits. The most intriguing matchup of the game will be to see how the Bengals defense tries to contain Steelers All-Pro WR, Antonio Brown. Brown is the league’s toughest cover and has torched the Bengals in previous meetings this season.
The Steelers’ offense gets all the credit and rightfully so, as their defense has seen better days. Going on the road in a hostile environment causes many to wonder if Pittsburgh’s offense can carry this defense into the next round, or if the Steelers Achilles’ heel will finally be their undoing. Primetime on Saturday night, it doesn’t get much better than Steelers at Bengals.
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