After a wild weekend of upsets and overtime victories, the AFC schedule is finally set for the playoffs. The Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers are in the playoffs and now have their work cut out for them on the road.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots will take on the Buffalo Bills for the third time this season in what should be an excellent game. Let’s break down the football odds and take a look at the best pro football underdog lines in the AFC this week.
New England Patriots (+165) at Buffalo Bills
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 15
- Time: 8:15 P.M. EST
- Venue: Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY
These two division rivals need no introduction and will be playing their third game in just over a month. The first matchup was interesting, as the Patriots ran the ball 47 out of 50 plays on the way to a 14-10 victory. Three weeks later, the Bills won on the road as they piled up the points to beat New England 33-21. So, what do we have in store this week?
Both of these teams have great defenses. The Bills rank first in total yards and points against, while the Patriots rank fourth and second, respectively. The Bills also allow the fewest passing yards per game. I expect the Pats to run the ball early and often against Buffalo in an attempt to control the clock and shorten the game.
New England has averaged 126.5 rushing yards per game this year (8th) and has put up a whopping 371 yards on the ground against Buffalo in two games. I don’t believe that the Patriots can afford to get into a shootout with Buffalo, so they’ll need to keep the ball out of Josh Allen’s hands and make this a low-scoring contest. I believe that the Patriots’ running game and strong defense will keep this game close and allow them to win.
Las Vegas Raiders (+200) at Cincinnati Bengals
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 15
- Time: 4:30 P.M. EST
- Venue: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH
The Raiders are alive and well after a thrilling overtime victory on Sunday against a tough Los Angeles Chargers team. After winning their overtime thriller last week, the Raiders will start their playoff journey on the road against the heavily favored Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals beat the Raiders this year in Week 11 when Las Vegas was in the middle of a lengthy slump. But the Raiders have now won four straight games against decent teams. They’ve also put up 58 points in the last two weeks, with the offense peaking at the right time.
Las Vegas will look to exploit the Bengals’ susceptible pass defense, which ranks 26th in the league. The Raiders are a throwing team, ranking 6th in the league in pass yards per game (268.6), but they have averaged 139.7 rushing yards per game in their last three matchups, so they’re still a threat on the ground. If Derek Carr has a mistake-free game, there’s a chance that the Raiders will survive another week.
What Are Your Top Pro Football Underdog Lines?
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