The NFL regular season has ended but that doesn’t mean we are done tracking line movement here at, after all, TheLines. We’ll continue on seeing which way the markets are pushing and pulling in the postseason, with the latest tracking coming for the NFL Divisional playoff spreads.
Since this is the postseason, we’ll go game by game instead of just highlighting the major movement.
NFL Divisional Playoff Line Movement Tracker
|Game||Opening Line||Jan. 20, 11 a.m. ET||Jan. 22, 10:30 a.m. ET|
|Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans||Titans -3||Titans -3.5 (-106)||Titans -4|
|San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers||Packers -4.5 (-115)||Packers -6 (-108)||Packers -5.5|
|LA Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Buccaneers -3||Buccaneers -3 (-104)||Buccaneers -3 (-104)|
|Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs||Chiefs -2.5 (-115)||Chiefs -1.5 (-112)||Chiefs -1.5 (-114)|
Three Divisional Playoff Spreads With Shifting Numbers
Bengals At Titans
The total has not gotten much play at all in this one, but the spread took some serious action immediately.
No number requires a bigger push or pull to generate a move in the NFL than 3. But despite that, it didn’t take long before Titans -3 became Titans -3.5, as they were giving the hook the morning after the lines opened. At DraftKings, the number hit Titans -4 in less than four hours after an opener of -3.
So has it been all Titans action that will continue to blast this number higher? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend.
The quotes coming out of the Titans practices don’t sound at all like they are certain Derrick Henry will return and perform like his old self. Henry just experienced his first practice with any contact at all on Tuesday.
Perhaps the juice starting to edge back toward the Bengals on FanDuel reflects this uncertainty. Cincinnati has put a significantly better offense on the field compared with the Henry-less Titans — they rank 10th in EPA/play with the Titans at 19th.
The Titans are supposed to make a decision about Henry on Friday. That will provide clarity in the market and probably sharpen this number among NFL divisional playoff spreads, so be sure to get your wager in before then one way or the other.
49ers At Packers
Another side that has gotten considerable action is the Green Bay Packers. That may be a little surprising considering how strong the 49ers looked in building a pretty big lead over the Cowboys. But, the market says what it says, and it says Packers -4.5 was too low of a line coming off the bye at home.
What makes the move to Packers -6 so interesting is that the 49ers have both a few matchup advantages and good injury news this week. Although, FanDuel and DrafKings have moved to -5.5 at the time of writing.
As for San Francisco, it sounds like LB Fred Warner and EDGE Nick Bosa will both be ready to roll on Saturday. Bosa seemed the more questionable of the two but got in a limited practice on Wednesday. The team said he’s progressing through the protocols.
His presence will be crucial for two reasons. The Packers have some uncertainty and inexperience along their line, particularly if LT David Bakhtiari is not 100%. He has played a very limited number of snaps as he tries to return from his torn ACL. Plus, the 49ers do not have a strong group of corners. They need to get pressure up front or Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams will destroy them as they did earlier in the season when Adams rampaged for 132 yards on 18 targets.
The Niners can also potentially exploit the one weakness on Green Bay. Both DVOA and EPA data rate this run defense as among the league’s worst.
Despite the potential advantages for both offenses, the total inched downward a point from the FanDuel opener. Perhaps a forecast that calls for 10-degree temperatures is behind that.
Bills At Chiefs
The big-money support has come in on the Bills. DraftKings Sportsbook has the lone Chiefs -2.5 on the board tracked by TheLines, with every other shop either at -2 or -1.5. Even DK posted -1.5 at two separate points this week.
Buffalo played perhaps the game of the year last week against the Patriots, highlighted by a much-publicized offensive performance that ended kick- and turnover-free. And they crushed the Chiefs once in Arrowhead already this year.
However, KC backers can also point to two pretty easy victories by the Chiefs last year. Neither team experienced significant roster turnover since then aside from the Chiefs offensive line, which grades out extremely well in publicly available metrics.
Speaking of metrics, they do favor the Bills, which likely explains model-based bettors backing them. DVOA rates them as the strongest remaining team.
The total opened at 52.5 and the market unsurprisingly hammered the over instantly. It reached 55 before settling back a half or full point lower. Last year’s AFC title game saw 62 on the board despite the Bills kicking four field goals and the Chiefs taking their foot off the gas late with a big lead.
Little If Any Movement In Rams/Bucs Playoff Spread And Total
Rams At Buccaneers
Of the four NFL divisional playoff spreads, by far the least movement has occurred in the Rams‘ road game against the Buccaneers. Both teams looked outstanding in demolishing weaker opposition on Super Wild Card weekend.
What movement has occurred has been Rams money moving the line to 2.5. You could find that number at several shops this week at various times.
However, each time the market drops below this key number, Buccaneers money has forced a move back to -3. The first move at DK Sportsbook, which opened at -2.5, took just 24 minutes.
The Rams beat a healthier Bucs team at home early in the season. The injuries along the Tampa Bay offensive line bear watching. Tom Brady is highly dependent on his protection and the Rams have a dangerous pass rush headlined by Aaron Donald. The situation around Brady looks far from pristine if Tristan Wirfs and Ryan Jensen are out or limited.
But, with a beautiful weather in the forecast and two efficient, pass-centric offenses, there’s only so little you can expect on the scoreboard here. The total doesn’t figure to drop much if at all despite the quality along both defenses, particularly up front.