Opening NFL Divisional Weekend betting lines, odds and spreads in Early Birds with Jared Smith
Divisional Weekend of the NFL is approaching, so it’s time to look ahead to the opening betting lines, odds and spreads. Our lead betting analyst Jared Smith offers his initial insights into the lines and early betting takeaways. All odds are via the Westgate Superbook.
AFC Divisional Opening Lines
Jaguars at Chiefs (-8.5) | Total: 51.5
Jacksonville is coming off a win despite having a minus-5 turnover margin so I doubt the Jags will attract much public love in the market this week, but the smart money hasn’t loved the Chiefs either considering how expensive the Mahomes tax has been. Kansas City is just 10-18 ATS over the last 3 seasons when favored by a touchdown or more — 1-2 in the postseason, including last season’s blown lead to the Bengals in the AFC title game. Despite that, I can definitely see this line going up through 9 this week to protect against teasers. There will likely also be heavy money-line parlay liability tied to the favorite.
Bengals at Bills (-5) | Total: 49.5
What an emotional game this will be — especially if Damar Hamlin is in attendance. I don’t have a strong opinion on where the market might go here as this number is in no-man’s land at 5. The Bengals did not look sharp on Sunday night against the Ravens and lost another key piece on the offensive line with LT Jonah Williams leaving with a knee injury. Cincinnati was already without RG Alex Cappa and RT La’el Collins so any further damage to the depth chart will be a major obstacle. Burrow took 4 sacks against Baltimore and will be in for another stiff test this week against Buffalo’s versatile front that also got to Skylar Thompson 4 times. Josh Allen threw 2 picks and fumbled and overall the Bills were a minus-1 in turnover margin — something they can’t afford to do this week against a much more polished Bengals offense. Neither defense looked particularly dominant, either, so I can see this total going up toward the key number of 51.
NFC Divisional Opening Lines
Giants at Eagles (-7) | Total: 46.5
It’s fitting that our only divisional rematch on divisional weekend comes from the toughest division in the NFL this season with 3 teams from the NFC East teams making the final 4? Philly is 2-0 against its I-95 rival this season but just 1-1 against the number. The Giants were able to cover as 17-point underdogs in Week 18 despite resting most of their starters. The Eagles scored a season high 48 points and covered easily as 7.5-point road favorites back in Week 11. Daniel Jones looked completely unfazed by the moment in his first playoff start Sunday against the Vikings, but he will be making a big step up in class this week against a Philly defense that’s 6th in DVOA this season. The Giants will likely be one of the most popular dogs of divisional weekend and I only see this line moving south of 7. I’m done doubting this Giants team after what I saw last week, which might be the best display from a coach-QB combo both making their playoff debuts in NFL history. If Jones and Brian Daboll can replicate what they did in Minnesota, this game will be there for the taking.
Cowboys at 49ers (-3.5) | Total: 46.5
The Cowboys will be at a significant rest disadvantage for this game, not to mention the 49ers were the only favorite over the weekend who covered and looked impressive doing so. This will also be the 4th consecutive road game for Dallas and they might be without 2 key pieces on both sides of the ball who got injured in the win over the Bucs. Keep an eye on the injury status of LT Jason Peters and S Jayron Kearse this week. QB Brock Purdy continued to play well above expectations, but it helps when you have the weapons he does and the genius offensive mind of Kyle Shanahan on the sidelines. Purdy committed 0 turnover worthy plays against the Seahawks on Saturday and has remarkably been more efficient against the blitz and under pressure this season than he has when kept clean. The rest advantage for Dallas might already be baked into the line as teams with extra rest in the postseason are just 5-6 ATS since 2007, however all 11 of those games were featuring teams coming off the bye where the average spread was 6.3 points. Also 8 of the 11 games had a spread larger than 3.5, so it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. I would be willing to bet the Cowboys will be one of the most popular plays of the week considering recency bias but I think San Francisco is the more complete teams.