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NFL betting: Why Josh Allen and the Bills are the right side

·Betting analyst
·3-min read
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The dogs slept through the first round of the NFL playoffs. Favorites went 5-1 ATS in the wild-card round with the 49ers as the sole underdog to cover the spread. Just like we have seen all season, they won outright as +155 underdogs as well. I recommended a play on both the 49ers and Raiders moneyline and came within one play of cashing them both — no thanks to Derek Carr.

As we move on to the divisional round, I was able to find value on two underdogs. I like our odds that the dogs will bark back this week, considering that the games are so evenly matched with each team's season on the line. What are the chances favorites will cover the majority of games for the second consecutive week? I'm betting at least two dogs will come through for this.

All lines from BetMGM.

Buffalo (+105 ML) at Kansas City

If the Bills proved one thing this season, it's that they are unstoppable when firing on all cylinders. Buffalo recorded the best offensive performance of the year in a 47-17 demolition of Bill Belichick's defense last Saturday night. For the second consecutive season, the Kansas City Chiefs stand in the way of Josh Allen's path to the Super Bowl. The Bills already walked into Arrowhead Stadium this season and dominated the Chiefs, 38-20. Here is why I think they can do it a second time.

The Bills' offense outgained the Chiefs by more than three full yards per play (8.1 to 5.0) in their previous meeting. They are more than capable of scoring on a Kansas City defense that ended the regular season by allowing 475 yards to Cincinnati and 6.7 yards per play to a Broncos offense led by Drew Lock. Patrick Mahomes will be the one that has to keep up against a defense that ranks No. 1 in pass defense and overall DVOA.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Josh Allen and the Bills will be tough to stop in the NFL playoffs. (AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The Kansas City offense is statistically dominant but has uncharacteristically struggled when Mahomes has to rely on anyone besides Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. We saw a glimpse of this against Pittsburgh before Mahomes decided to force-feed his top two weapons. Our reaction to these games has always been that Mahomes will keep firing until his opponent submits, but he was forced into four turnovers the last time these two teams met. I'm betting the Bills' defense is the difference, and Allen's mental edge from the first matchup gives him the confidence to continue Buffalo's offensive onslaught. Take the plus money with the Bills.

San Francisco (+195 ML) at Green Bay

If you think Jimmy Garoppolo isn't going to play this Saturday night, this bet might not be for you. Garoppolo has to play to give us a shot to cash this bet. If you watched Kyler Murray, Mac Jones and Jalen Hurts play last weekend, you will understand why this is not a bet on Trey Lance.

Getting a San Francisco team that ranks first in net yards per play since Week 9 and second for the season at +195 is pretty hard to turn your back on. The 49ers' high-powered rushing attack has dominated this Packers defense in years past. Green Bay's defense ranks 27th and 28th in terms of success rate and EPA allowed on rushing plays, making this a stylistic nightmare for the NFC's odds-on favorite.

We are getting a running dog with a top offense and a strong pass rush. These are all traits that travel and are appealing when betting a road underdog. The majority of my money is on the 49ers with the points, but the moneyline odds are also worth a wager for a smaller stake.

Stats provided by Football Outsiders, ClevTA, teamrankings.com, Ben Baldwin (Based on 10/90 WP).

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