NFL Line Movement Report for Wild Card Weekend: Raiders a Popular Bet vs. Bengals


January 14, 2022

If last week was any indication, there’s plenty to be excited about for wild card weekend in the NFL. Although there’s no duplicating the seemingly impossible circumstances that played out last Sunday, we have an entire weekend of action to look forward to. There are two games on Saturday, three on Sunday, and the first even Monday Night Football playoff game featuring a pair of NFC West teams.

As usual, we’re running through some of the more significant line moves from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Raiders +6.5 to +4.5

The Las Vegas Raiders’ path to the postseason was one of the more exciting journeys to watch to end the season. The Raiders needed a four-game win streak and help from the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18. Vegas went into the playoffs in style, kicking a field goal in overtime as time expired to guarantee themselves a spot in the wild card round while sending their long-time rival Chargers packing.

The Cincinnati Bengals come in rested, giving their starters the week off against the Cleveland Browns last week after locking up the AFC North in Week 17. The easy narrative is that the Bengals are rusty or inexperienced; however, it’s hard to look past the Raiders’ recent defensive efforts. Whatever the case may be, early money is shifting this line in favor of the visitors ahead of the opening game of the postseason.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Total 49 to 45.5

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may need to rely more heavily on their defense to defend their Super Bowl Championship from last season. At least, that’s what the early line movement implies ahead of their wild card matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The total has moved down 3.5 points off the opening number, which is also a reflection of the Eagles’ stout defense.

Philadelphia finished the season with the 10th-ranked total defense, allowing an average of 328.8 yards per game. The Bucs defense was right behind the Eagles in yards allowed, finishing the season giving up the 13th fewest. The Bucs’ scoring defense that allowed the fifth-fewest points could be dragging the total down. This total may have bottomed out, so now could be the time to buy if you like the over.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Total 49.5 to 51

The exact opposite is happening to the NFC wild card game total between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. After opening at 49.5, this total has been bought up to 51, clearly reflecting both teams’ offensive proficiency to end the regular season.

The Niners head into wild card weekend with the 13th-ranked scoring offense, scoring 23 or more points in eight of their past nine games. That gives them a puncher’s chance of keeping pace with the Cowboys, who had the top-rated scoring offense this season, accumulating more yards than any other team. The yearly stats imply that this game could be a track meet, and the betting market agrees.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams

Total 50.5 to 49.5

The first-ever Monday Night Football playoff game takes place on wild card weekend when the Los Angeles Rams host the Arizona Cardinals. These teams have already met twice this season as divisional opponents, with both games going over the total. Early line movement suggests that we should expect otherwise on Monday, with action dragging the total from 50.5 to 49.5.

The Rams have stayed under the total in four of their previous five home games, while the Cardinals have stayed under in three of their past four overall. Early bettors expect those trends to continue on Monday night, as these teams know what to expect from each other, and both teams have been sharp defensively to end the year. The spread hasn’t moved; however, it’s worth noting that the Cardinals finished the season 6-0 against the number as underdogs, winning all six games outright.

All NFL game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid

Sign up for Fanduel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Picked For You