NFL Divisional Round: Current Line Movement

by Sean Murphy

The NFL's Divisional Round matchups are set with a mouth-watering four-game slate on tap this weekend. Here's a look at where to anticipate line movement in each contest.

Bengals vs. Titans - Saturday 4:30 pm et

The Titans opened as rather standard three-point home favorites but we've seen the majority of books move off that number to -3.5. The total opened at 47 and has held steady at that number. The money is likely to continue to flow in support of the Titans as the Bengals defensive injury picture clarifies over the course of the week. Cincinnati lost Trey Hendrickson, Mike Daniels and Larry Ogunjobi to injuries in last Saturday's win over the Raiders. Only Ogunjobi has been ruled out for Saturday's game, so far anyway. I'm not convinced that confirmation of Hendrickson or Daniels' playing status will shift the line here, in fact I'm quite confident saying that it won't. I don't anticipate much more movement in the pointspread or total here barring any unforeseen circumstances over the course of the week.

49ers at Packers - Saturday 8:15 pm et

This line is on the move, shifting from the opener of Packers -4.5 (at a handful of books) all the way to -6. We'll likely see the number bounce between -5.5 and -6 all week long leading up to kickoff. The moneyline might be more interesting to watch. The Niners opened as a +200 underdog at most books with that number climbing to +216 to +218 before dropping back down to +210 as of Tuesday morning. If you like the Niners straight-up I believe you might want to lock in sooner rather than later as I would anticipate some underdog money flowing in on the moneyline leading up to Saturday's kickoff. Keep in mind, the Niners have been a somewhat popular Super Bowl sleeper pick ever since they rallied from a 17-0 deficit to defeat the Rams and clinch their playoff spot in Week 18. The total has held firm at 47.5 and I'm anticipating it bumping up to 48 before long as bettors look to support these two explosive offenses.

Rams vs. Buccaneers - Sunday 3 pm et

The Bucs opened as low as -1.5 favorites but have since shifted all the way to -3 at the majority of books. There are injury concerns on the Bucs offensive line with Tristan Wirfs and Ryan Jensen questionable to play on Sunday. If you like the Rams I would suggest grabbing the +3 now as I anticipate this spread settling at -2.5 by the end of the week. The total has been on the move as well, going from the opener of 47.5 up as high as 48.5 at some books. Don't count on that number going much higher as we hear all week about the ferocious Rams pass rush potentially eating up the Bucs banged-up offensive line, not to mention all of the key contributors Tampa is missing at the skill positions. Expect the total to settle around 48 points.

Bills vs. Chiefs - Sunday 6:30 pm et

The betting marketplace seems to be treating this game as the definition of a toss-up with the Chiefs bouncing around at -2/-2.5. The Bills will undoubtedly be a popular moneyline bet on Sunday as bettors look to get a plus-money return rather than grab less than a field goal on the pointspread. We've seen Buffalo go from around +120 down to +115 on the moneyline so far. No surprise if that number settles closer to +110. This game features the highest posted total of the playoffs to date, currently sitting at 55 points, up from the opener. Given the way the last two matchups between these two AFC rivals have played out with the winner easily eclipsing the 30-point mark, I wouldn't be shocked if this total climbs as high as 56.5 points before likely settling back at 55.5. If you like the 'over', you probably won't want to wait until Sunday to lock in your wager, when more 'over' money will undoubtedly roll in. 

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