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NFL Picks for Jaguars vs. Chiefs, Bengals vs. Bills Early in the Week

NFL Picks for Jaguars vs. Chiefs, Bengals vs. Bills Early in the Week article feature image

Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes.

  • Our staff of betting analysts didn't hesitate to bet the Divisional Round.
  • Check out our three bets, including a case for each side of Bengals vs. Bills.

For the latest NFL odds, click here.

NFL Odds & Picks

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Jaguars vs. Chiefs Total
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET
Bengals vs. Bills Spread
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
Bengals vs. Bills Spread
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

 Under 51.5
Best Book
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET

Anthony Dabbundo: When you look at the final score from Saturday's Los Angeles-Jacksonville game, you'd think the Jaguars defense played a lot worse than it actually did. And given the game script, you'd think just looking at the box score that Trevor Lawrence's pass offense was significantly more efficient than the reality.

It wasn't until the Chargers were up by 27 that the Jaguars were able to get any sort of passing offense going. The Chiefs secondary can be had, but it should be noted their two top corners rank in the top 15 in lowest average separation metrics.

That means Lawrence will be throwing into tight windows again. Not to mention the only reason there were so many points on Saturday were due to all of the interceptions. Game script from that game against the Chargers is leading to market overreaction.

This is a classic Andy Reid-Chiefs home under spot. The Chiefs are one of the better teams at protecting leads because they have a stellar ball control offense. They allow teams to fight back into games, but rarely lose total control when playing from ahead.

It's part of the reason why they haven't been profitable as a big favorite. However, unders in home games with Reid and Mahomes are excellent. The sample is a bit small (25 games), but the under is 16-8-1 since 2018 when Kansas City is favored by at least seven.

The total was also 51.5 in the last meeting between these teams in Week 10 — that's again too high in a playoff environment. That's especially true when you consider the Jaguars defense has taken marginal steps in the right direction since then.

I'd bet this at 50 or better.

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Bengals +4
Best Book
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

John LanFranca: The Bengals were my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl before the playoffs began, and despite injuries on the offensive line, I believe this Divisional showdown will go down to the wire.

In their last three home games, Buffalo has struggled to put away the Patriots and Dolphins (twice). Turnovers are starting to become a real concern — the Bills gave away the football seven times in those games. Cincinnati will not be as forgiving should this trend continue.

If the turnover battle is even, this game will be closely contested. And if the Bengals win the turnover battle, I expect them to win.

The quick passing game of the Bengals will be the key to victory. Joe Burrow and his receivers have excellent timing on passes outside the numbers. If any team can mask issues up front at this stage, it's Cincinnati.

The quick passing game of the Dolphins gave Buffalo trouble. Tua Tagovailoa averaged over eight yards per attempt against the Bills, which helped the Dolphins cover.

The Bengals will be able to execute a similar gameplan and keep this game within the key number of four.

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Bills -4
Best Book
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: The Bills opened as 6- or 6.5-point favorites, but were quickly bet down as the line dropped to 5, then 4 and then as low as 3.5 where I bet it. It’s still at -4 as of Monday, and I have to grab the line before it rises back to where I thought it was about right in the first place.

There’s a bunch of injury news we’re waiting on, and all of it could make this line rise.

The Bengals lost LT Jonah Williams on Sunday night to an injury that looks like it could cost him some time. That would mark the third straight game in which a Bengals starting lineman got hurt, as Cincinnati is already without RG Alex Cappa and RT La’el Collins.

Recall how much of a thorn in the side Cincinnati’s line was in last year’s playoff run and how hard they worked to fix it. If Williams and Cappa are sidelined, this line will be in worse shape than ever against a deep and versatile Buffalo defensive front that ranks top 10 in pressure rate.

Cincinnati also had corner Eli Apple in and out Sunday night with injury. If he’s banged up or out, that compounds an already shorthanded secondary missing top corner Chidobe Awuzie. These cluster injuries can derail a season in a hurry.

On the flip side, Buffalo has a chance to get star safety Micah Hyde back this week, which would be huge for its pass defense.

I liked Buffalo +1 a few weeks ago in Cincinnati, and the health has swung this further in the Bills’ favor. This time around the game will be in Buffalo, where the crowd will be extremely loud and active for this matchup in particular given the past month.

Both of these teams were poor against backup quarterbacks in the Wild Card Round, but don’t confuse the results. Buffalo was poor, got a bad game from its star QB, caught every bad break and still won, relatively comfortably.

Cincinnati had only 234 yards of offense and was totally outplayed and could have lost if not for a miracle 98-yard fumble return score.

Baltimore wasn’t good enough to take advantage of Cincinnati’s flaws; Buffalo will be. I’ll grab the -4 before it rises.

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