Looking at NFL Boosts And Super Bowl Odds Of Eight Remaining Playoff Teams

With eight NFL teams still in the running to become Super Bowl champs, NJ sports bettors have a full menu of wagering options with NJ online sportsbooks.

The betting public still expects a Green Bay Packers-Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl.

But there is value everywhere, as the second round of the playoffs begin. This weekend’s games will substantially alter the odds, so New Jersey online sportsbook bettors observe the best deal possible right now.

Here is a look at the latest Super Bowl odds:

But come Sunday night, only four of these teams will be left on the board.

 Eagles are out, but FanDuel offering odds on next coach

And in the spirt of futures, what would an NFL coaching change be without speculation?

FanDuel Sportsbook now has odds on the next Philadelphia Eagles coach to replace Doug Pederson.

Robert Saleh (+200), the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, was the early favorite but his name is off the board. He is the new head coach of the New York Jets. So who does that leave?

Well, as of Friday afternoon, Duce Staley, the current Eagles assistant head coach and former running back, was leading the field at +200. This is after being +700 earlier this week.

Here are some of the other contenders:

  • Joe Brady +400
  • Mike Kafka +450
  • Brian Daboll +650
  • Eric Bieniemy +700
  • Arthur Smith +800

Any candidate will have to contend with the possibility of meddling from the Eagles front office regarding personnel. It is hard to handicap which candidate can accept that. This scenario changes often, stay tuned.

On to weekend playoff games

Now that the weekend is here, the focus shifts to the four NFL Divisional Playoff games. Here is the schedule:

Significant odds boosts apply to each weekend game. Some may play well into your perception of the game.

Interesting NFL Divisional round options

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering  bettors the option of taking the chalk across the board. The operator has boosted the prospect of all four favorites winning to +365. This shows bettors the premium of the Bucs-Saints and Bills-Ravens as close games.

Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen to secure rushing TDs in the Bills-Ravens game has gone up to +400.

FanDuel Sportsbook is offering  some razzle-dazzle, too.

How do you make money on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC? They are at +200  at FanDuel. One can succeed by including a Chiefs championship into a previous bet.

The sportsbook posted an interesting elimination special, listing the odds of which teams will eliminate others from the playoffs.

Kansas City to eliminate the Ravens is +260, and  to eliminate the Bills is +195. You are banking on Kansas City beating Cleveland as a lopsided pick and then defeating whomever survives the Bills-Ravens game.  You can even make a few bucks if you play both sides.

This is a neat way to improve your odds on the Chiefs, if you already like them to win the AFC.

Fox Bet + NFL Playoff odds boosts

Here are some boosts available for all four games from Fox Bet.

First up is the Rams-Packers. 

Here’s an even-money shot. Can each team notch two or more touchdowns and one or more field goals? That’s been boosted from -110 to +100, essentially eliminating the vig. This is a statement about whether the Rams can notch two TD’s. They are a ball control offense.

Green Bay QB  Aaron Rodgers to throw two or more touchdowns and 300 or more yards is now paying +300, up from +250. That seems reasonable for him.

The variable is determining how good the Rams defense is. It has been hot lately, but Rodgers is Rodgers. In taking this prop, you are hoping for at least one long completion.

Packer’s receiver Davante Adams to notch more than 100 yards and a touchdown has gone from +250 to +300, which is excellent value.

Looking at Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen

Each team to score two touchdowns and notch two field goals is worth +250, boosted from +200. The Bill and Ravens  both accomplished the feat last week.

Can Bills receiver Stefan Diggs tally 100 yards and notch a TD? The yes is +200.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 146 yards last week. He’s part of a prop this week that plays into that. If Jackson and Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen combine for 125 yards, it will pay +150, up from  +120.

Bets on players to score first or in the first quarter are good complements to anytime scoring, but they come with time risk. With that in mind, Jackson has been boosted from+500 to +600 to score a rushing TD in the first quarter.

Super Bowl champion Chiefs versus Browns

Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes to notch 300 or more passing yards and three or more passing TDs has been boosted from +150 to +200.

Tyreek Hill, raw Chiefs star wide receiver,  is worth +215 if he is able to notch a touchdown and attain 100 yards. These two categories often go together for him as Hill is targeted on many deep balls.

The vig has disappeared for Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. His prop to throw for at least 200 yards and two passing touchdowns has improved from -133 to +100.

There’s a big difference between two touchdowns thrown and three. Just ask the bettors who had Tom Brady to notch three passing scores against the Washington Football Team last week.  Brady’s third TD pass was reversed on replay and the next play was a running score.

The props for Mahomes and Mayfield also indicate the expectation of a high-scoring game.

Speaking of Brady, NFL Divisional Weekend wraps up with Tampa Bay at New Orleans.

Brady is in another touchdown-tossing prop this week. If Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees each throw two touchdowns, it pays +150, up from +100.

You can usually count on Brady, but Brees is a mystery. There’s the chance of running back Alvin Kamara or back-up QB Taysom Hill pirating at least one of his scores.

Brees himself nearly collected one last week. He did the flying leap to place the ball over the goal line and quickly pull it back on a QB sneak. However, he pulled the ball back too early. No score.

Then there is Kamara to score a first-quarter touchdown, which is now  paying +400, up from +300.

Michael Thomas of the Saints and Antonio Brown of the Bucs have a yardage prop of 150 combined. Seems like an easy one right?  It is now at +100 after being -125.

On the Tampa Bay end, Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans to both score touchdowns has been boosted to +700. You wre weighing the New Orleans defense and Brady’s recent resurgence with Brown into that prop.

AP Photo/Brad Penner


PlayUp, New Jersey Devils Team Up To Start NHL Season

The New Jersey Devils and PlayUp announce a multi-year agreement that includes the soon-to-launch operator serving as a presenting partner of the NHL club.

Two days after securing an online sports betting license in New Jersey, PlayUp has partnered with the Garden State’s NHL team.

The multi-year agreement, announced today via press release, includes PlayUp becoming the presenting partner of the Devils’ newly redesigned PlayUp Studio.

Fittingly, the New Jersey Devils will open up the 2021 regular season tonight, hosting the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center in Newark (puck drops at 7 p.m.).

More on PlayUp + Devils partnership

PlayUp is a premium Australian-owned online betting  betting and technology group. The brand is a known commodity in Australia, India, and New Zealand. Play offers online sports betting, horse racing , and daily fantasy sports.

In terms of the partnership with the Devils, here are some additional details:

  • Serve as  presenting partner of the Devils’ season preview show, as well as the Pre-Game Live Show before all home games
  • An in-arena activation location, called the “PlayUp Sports Lounge,” for its soon-to-launch online sports betting app
  • Branding will appear on a TV-visible dasherboard, corner in-ice logo and virtual signage

With the NJ sports betting app being close to launch, Laila Mintas, PlayUP USA CEO, said “engaging New Jersey sports fans is extremely important for us.”

“This unique, digital-focused partnership provides PlayUp with several opportunities to connect with New Jersey Devils fans,” said Mintas.

Devils hope to score with digital audiences

The Devils had record-setting fan engagement on digital and social media platforms this offseason, said Adam Cross, a senior vice president for the team’s owner, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.

Cross said PlayUp shares their vision for amplifying those experiences.

“PlayUp is a partner that shares our commitment to providing top-notch and progressive digital experiences for each and every fan,” he said. 

The Devils were among the first U.S. major professional sports teams to embrace sponsorship deals with gaming companies.

For the 2018-19 season, the team partners included:

  • William Hill 
  • FanDuel
  • Caesars Entertainment

The Devils also have a sponsorship deal with Unibet.

And that deal was announced right after the app launch.

Welcome to NJ, PlayUp

PlayUp  was recently approved to operate online sports betting in New Jersey and Colorado.

According to the press release, PlayUp will be launching its new app and website within the next few weeks.

The online sports betting skin will arrive  via a land-based partnership with Freehold Raceway. And at the moment, it looks they will be the first for the Monmouth County racetrack.

The license holder is a newcomer to the NJ sports betting game. The Parx-branded retail sportsbook started taking bets last fall. Freehold is a joint venture between Greenwood Racing and Penn National Gaming.

But for now, this deal with the Devils will help with introducing the product to an already crowded market.

There are currently 19 NJ sports betting apps.



NJ Sets All-Time Record With $6 Billion In Yearly Sports Wagers

Technically, the Garden State took in $1 billion in December NJ sports betting wagers. The $996.3 million handle makes it five straight months of records.

A monumental final month of 2020 helped New Jersey set an all-time annual record of more than $6 billion in total sports betting handle last year.

Gamblers placed more than $996.3 million in total wagers with Garden State sportsbooks in December, according to data released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement

This is yet another all-time monthly record for any legal U.S. sports betting jurisdiction, Nevada included.

December NJ sports betting revenue came in at $66.4 million.

Online sports betting still big winner

Like previous months, the bulk of the action came via the 19 NJ sports betting apps. They accounted for more than 93% ($929.3 million) of the total monthly handle in December. 

More than $5.53 billion, or 92%, of the 2020 annual sports betting handle was from online wagers.

NJ enjoyed record-breaking 2020

December was the fifth consecutive month that New Jersey set a U.S. record in sports betting handle. Here’s a look at the recent monthly handle:

New Jersey’s 2020 sports betting handle is $1.4 billion more than the $4.58 billion reported last year, an increase of 24% year-over-year. Even more remarkable is that there were no major professional or collegiate sports to bet on in April, May and June of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NJ sports betting revenue saw an increase of 33.1% over 2019. The 2020 total came in $398.5 million versus $299.3 for ’19.

FanDuel Sportsbook crushed the competition

Meadowlands Racetrack, the land-based partner of FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet NJ, is the biggest winner when it comes to NJ sports betting revenue.

The Meadowlands reported $33.2 million in December. It is NJ Gambling Sites’ understanding that FanDuel accounts for the bulk of the reported revenue.

To put that number into perspective, the nine Atlantic City license holders reported combined revenue of $28.9 million for the same period.

For the entire year, the Meadowlands and its online partners generated more sports betting revenue ($206.5 million) than every Atlantic City casino and their online operators combined ($166.3 million).

In terms of other license holders, Resorts Digital (DraftKings Sportsbook, Fox Bet, and Resorts) placed a distant second with $100.9 million for the year.

Inches away from first $1-billion month

NJ barely missed $1 billion of monthly sports betting wagers in December, but the milestone is not impossible to reach.

With the NFL Playoffs, the recently completed NCAA College Football Playoff championship game, plus NBA and NHL regular-season action in January, NJ sportsbooks have a $1 billion month squarely in their sights.

The wild card for NJ sports betting is just how much of an impact regional competition will have. Pennsylvania’s online sports betting market is growing and New York appears ready to enter the fray.

But in 2020, NJ was king of the sports betting hill.

AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

Football Five: Doug Pederson’s Odds On Becoming Jets Next Coach

Since being fired as head coach of the Eagles earlier this week, Doug Pederson has become part of a futures wager at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is a now prop bet.

Only in the NJ sports betting world can a fired head coach spark betting. Pederson, canned by the Eagles one day and a futures wager  the next, headlines our weekly Football Five.

New Jersey online sports bettors love the rumor mill, especially when it is actionable.

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Who will coach the Eagles? Look at the Jets first

Where the Jets go will influence where the Eagles direct their efforts.

Following his firing, Pederson became the frontrunner (+300) for the Jets job at FanDuel Sportsbook. As of early Wednesday morning, his odds shifted to +650 as San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh moved into the top spot (+100).

Here is a look at the FanDuel odds on the next Jets head coach as of Tuesday.

If Pederson gains that position, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (+850) and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (+850) become available for Philadelphia. Both were the early favorites for the Jets job.

Other notable rumors for the Eagles include Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Tampa Bay Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and  Saleh, a name worth a long look.

Saleh, a defensive coordinator, has already become a finalist for the Jets job. It’s only been a question of when, not if, he becomes a head coach. The Jets may be a more natural fit for him, but the Eagles could use someone to light a fire under the entire team.

Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs, is another assistant likely to land a head-coaching position. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie likes Andy Reid’s input, that’s how he got Pederson in the first place, so Bieniemy makes sense. But other teams want him as well.

Then there is Bowles. Remember him?

He had three straight losing seasons with the Jets. How crazy would it be for the Eagles to select the former Jets coach and the Jets to recycle Pederson? Can’t find a prop for that.

Bowles also was the secondary coach for the Birds in 2012.

Eagles will likely interview Duce Staley, too

There’s a common denominator with the candidates. Philadelphia’s long-term contract with quarterback Carson Wentz is a lasso around the neck of whomever takes the job. The Eagles are committed to Wentz and the new coach will experience friction if he wants to bench Wentz at some point.

The successful candidate must be on board with Wentz, who regressed badly this past season but was also left vulnerable by a weak offensive line. What the odds can’t tell you is what candidate will accept this stipulation.

Expect Duce Staley’s name to be included on the list of interview candidates. The former Eagles player served as assistant head coach and running backs coach under Pederson.

Stay tuned. Rumors, and odds, change often.

What about the NFL Divisional Playoff odds?

The NFL Playoffs resume Saturday and Sunday with the final eight teams competing in the divisional round. Here is the weekend slate:

Early splits from DraftKings Sportsbook show the public loves all four “overs,” with the Cleveland-Kansas City game getting the highest endorsement 89%, even at the highest total, 56.5.

Early betting saw the public loving Green Bay the most. Here’s the support level:

  • Green Bay 84%
  • Buffalo 61%
  • Kansas City 60%
  • Tampa Bay 59%

Rams are the NFL chameleons

They do the unexpected.

The Los Angeles Rams flopped as a 17-point favorite and became the first team the Jets beat this year. And then they toppled the Seattle Seahawks, who had beaten the Jets by 37 points, in the Wild Card round.

Just to reach the postseason they defeated the Arizona Cardinals behind backup quarterback John Wolford.

The Rams defense turned that game around with a late first-half defensive score.

And they repeated the feat against the Seahawks. A Pick 6 put Seattle up 13-3 and Jared Goff, who had to replace the injured Wolford, gutted out an efficient performance.

Can the Rams do it again?

They face Aaron Rodgers, enjoying the best year of his life with 48 touchdowns versus five interceptions. The Rams want ball control, the Packers a track meet.

Weather is always a big variable in cold-weather cities. The forecast for this game is under 30 degrees, with winds at less than 10 mph. May feel like 20 degrees. For the Rams, it could have been worse.

Bills and Ravens look good on either side

The Bills opened at -1.5 across the major NJ online sportsbooks and early Buffalo wagering pushed the line up to -2.5. This is still a nice place to bet either team. Ravens bettors may click their heels if the line hits -3. Even the move from -1.5 to -2.5 might make it worth their while to buy the extra point, taking a +3 line.

Lamar Jackson is one key to the game.

The Ravens quarterback rushed for 136 yards in the team’s opening-round triumph over the Tennessee Titans. He also helped rally the team from a 10-0 early deficit.

In avenging the playoff loss to the Titans from last year, the Ravens continued to look formidable.

Buffalo’s defense gave up 472 yards in a narrow victory over the Indianapolis Colts, who crossed the 50-yard line on nine of their 10 possessions and averaged more than six yards per play.

Baltimore’s defense, on the other hand,  has stepped up dramatically and is the biggest wild card in this matchup. How about holding the Cincinnati Bengals to three points and then putting a handcuff on Derrick Henry and the Titans? Henry was coming off a 200-plus yard game and the Ravens kept him to 40.

In this game, Buffalo’s offensive line looks to protect Josh Allen enough for him to launch downfield throws to Stefon Diggs and to scramble. Buffalo does not rely on its running game the way Tennessee did.

All ‘Bs’: Brady + Brees = bets

You have to love the marquee. Tom Brady’s best work of the season has come in the last five games, in which the Tampa Bay offensive line has given him tremendous time to throw.  Brady has more receiving targets than Drew Brees does for the New Orleans Saints.

It’s been the same pregame script every time these teams met this year.  Brady was supposed to lead the Bucs over the Saints, and New Orleans beat him in the opener. Brady was rolling before the rematch and the Bucs, at -5, were never in it.

And here we go again.

Can the Saints beat the Bucs three times in one year? They will need a big game from Alvin Kamara and Brees will have to throw deep once in a while to keep  the defense honest.

Will Super Bowl champs stop the Cleveland Browns party?

It’s been great for Cleveland Browns fans, who watched their team topple the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in eight days. But now they visit the defending Super Bowl champions, who lost only one game this year.

The Browns optimist believes the team’s momentum from the Pittsburgh triumph snowballs into another upset. Cleveland backers bank on the usual stellar effort from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The subplot will be whether Kansas City should have kept Hunt, who broke in with them.

The Chiefs backer believes they won’t commit the mistakes that brought Cleveland that early 28-0 lead against the Steelers and that the Chiefs won’t be rusty despite the offense resting in the last regular season game.

A shootout is expected and the Chiefs, on paper, have a little more ammunition in their gun.

AP Photo/Michael Perez

PlayUp Sportsbook Secures NJ Sports Betting License With Q1 Launch Planned

PlayUp Sportsbook has received regulatory approval from the NJDGE and is on the verge of taking its app live via a partnership with Freehold Raceway.

If variety is the spice of life, then the number of options for online sports bettors in the Garden State is closing to really playing up the value of the market. PlayUp Sportsbook New Jersey is set to become one of the next entrants.

The Australian-based company announced via press release that it has secured licensure from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.  The PlayUp online skin will launch via a land-based partnership with Freehold Racetrack. The NJ sports betting app is targeted for a Q1 launch.

Exactly when and what the book will look like is still unknown, however.

More on PlayUp Sportsbook New Jersey

Before making a foray into North America recently with licenses to run a sportsbook in Colorado and NJ, PlayUp made its presence known in Australia, India, and New Zealand. Now, the Garden State will be among its active locales.

According to PlayUp USA CEO Dr. Laila Mintas, the company wants to go “live in NJ during the first quarter of this year.” When that happens, it could  be the first online sports betting platform tied to Freehold Raceway to open up shop.

“We are very excited about the partnership with two excellent brands – Parx Casino and Penn National,” Mintas said. “We are looking forward to establishing PlayUp as a strong and innovative sports betting brand in the U.S.”

The NJ online sports betting market currently consists of 19 apps.

Freehold has taken retail wagers at its Parx-branded sportsbook since last September. Greenwood Racing, which owns Parx Casino in Pennsylvania, operates Freehold in conjunction with Penn National Gaming.

The Parx NJ sports betting app has yet to launch. However, the Parx online casino product operates under the Ocean Casino Resort license and has been live since 2019.

As Penn National owns a minority stake in Barstool Sports, there has long been speculation about whether the third skin would go to Barstool Sportsbook.

That’s uncertain right now, as is how accessible PlayUp will be on its first day. Other questions are outstanding as well.

Mobile apps, bonuses, still TBD

A press release from PlayUp makes no mention of whether the sportsbook will have Android or iOS apps for use in NJ upon launch. Additionally, there’s no mention of any deposit or registration bonuses.

Those details may become more clear when the sportsbook gets closer to its go-live date. As a matter of fact, ironing out the details on mobile apps may be one reason that the sportsbook hasn’t set a firm launch date yet.

As new customer promos are pretty standard in the sportsbook biz, it seems a foregone conclusion that will be part of the eventual introduction into New Jersey. Before spring hits, NJ bettors should have another sports betting option to try.

Dreamstime photo 

NFL Playoff Odds: Stacking Up Final Eight Teams In Divisional Round

Round two of the NFL Playoffs will include underdogs like the Cleveland Browns and LA Rams still playing for a Super Bowl opportunity.

Bring on the NFL Playoffs round two.

While the Philadelphia Eagles’ season is over and fans debate Monday’s firing of head coach Doug Pederson, New Jersey online sports bettors await a stellar second NFL Playoff weekend.

Can the ‘dogs bark again?

NFL Wild Card Weekend  featured a strong performance for the underdogs.  They went 3-2-1 and captured two games outright.

Who shouts loudest this week, when the NFL’s final eight teams go to the divisional round?

Here are the matchups:

Let’s look at each conference and our weekly Odds 5.

Rams preparing for Green Bay + Rodgers

The Los Angeles Rams, who produced a 30-20 road upset over the Seattle Seahawks, invade the top-seeded Green Bay Packers as a decided dog. But when the spread opened at Green Bay -7, Rams betting made the first line move go down to Green Bay -6.5 on Tuesday morning.

The Rams showed the effect of a smothering defense against the Seahawks.

They scored off a sloppy pass by quarterback Russell Wilson and never looked back after the Pick 6 put them ahead 13-3.

Wilson looked overmatched by the big Rams offensive linemen and could not extend drives by scrambling.

Can the Rams put the same pressure on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers?  That’s a major question, but at least the Rams can ask it.

The Packers finished the regular season 13-3 and secured the NFC bye.

Green Bay features Rodgers, the runaway MVP quarterback, star receiver Davante Adams, and a stellar offensive line. The line may indeed be the big story, enabling Rodgers to float throughout the pocket and find receivers who break off their routes and get open.

Rodgers notched a nearly-unheard of 48 touchdowns versus only five interceptions this season. It is one of the finest, and most efficient campaigns a quarterback has ever put together.

It is the highest number of touchdowns passes Rodgers has ever thrown. He also surpassed 4,000 yards for the third straight year. His yardage and touchdown-pass totals will be prime betting targets.

The Rams cannot outgun the Packers. This comes down to whether they can win the battle of ball control.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff did well enough to manage the game in relief last week while Cam Akers supplied a spark in the backfield.

Rams coach Sean McVay improved to 37-0 when his team leads at halftime.

Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees, round 3

The New Orleans Saints  dominated the two earlier matchups against the Tampa Bay Bucs and offseason acquisition Tom Brady. However, this is the one that counts and the NFL betting line was on early gridlock.

It was stuck on New Orleans -3.

If it goes to -2.5, the Saints backers will be all over it. Should it drift to -3.5, here comes Tampa Bay money. Bettors can also buy the line they want, but it’s cheaper if the line goes there in the first place.

The talk is always about how hard it is to beat a team three times in one year. We’ll find out.

Brady was lured from New England to Tampa Bay in order to transform a team that had talent. The Bucs have won their last five.

The Bucs invade the Saints, who waged a close-to-the-vest type of game against the Chicago Bears. It was what the Saints defense prevented, rather than what its offense accomplished, in the 21-9 triumph. But the Saints had receiver Michael Thomas back, and he scored. Quarterback Drew Brees did just enough and running back Alvin Kamara had a good second half.

Brees, Kamara, and Thomas will attract prop betting attention, along with Brady, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown. The Brady-Brown connection is percolating.

NFC extra points: Pederson is out

The Eagles make the hot-stove circuit. There are no NFC playoff matchups involving them, but the Pederson news dominated Monday headlines.
It had looked as though Pederson would be given one more year after Philadelphia’s 4-11-1 season, but his meetings with team owner Jeffrey Lurie appeared to convey no long-term vision.

There was also a clash of ideas regarding Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. The Eagles have a long-term commitment with Wentz.

Ravens are one hot NFL Playoff team

Look out for the Baltimore Ravens, now winners of six straight. Their crushing ground game was expected in Sunday’s 20-13 triumph over the host Tennessee Titans.

What wasn’t forecast was the tremendous job of limiting “The Beast,” Derrick Henry, to 40 yards. Henry led the league in rushing, eclipsing 2,000 yards, but the Ravens stuffed the line of scrimmage and dared the Titans to beat them through the air.

We have mentioned Baltimore as the team nobody wants to play. They will now visit the Buffalo Bills in a great betting game from both sides. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson as an anytime and first scorer remain popular wagering opportunities.

Baltimore’s defense has suddenly come alive and, combined with a stellar ground game, make the Ravens formidable.

The second-seeded Bills advanced to this conference semifinal, which they’ll host. This was their first playoff win since December 1995.

Buffalo showed playoff jitters in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts before building a 14-point second-half lead and barely hanging on, 27-24. Quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are Buffalo’s major weapons

Can Browns rock again as double-digit underdog?

The Cleveland Browns visit the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs as a large, double-digit dog. The Browns obtained their first playoff victory in 26 years Sunday night, jumping to leads of 28-0 and 35-7 before coasting home, 48-37. The 28 first-quarter points is the most in an NFL playoff game, post 1970 merger.

Cleveland got its first win in Heinz Field since 2003 and secured its first-ever playoff victory over Pittsburgh. The Steelers, once 11-0, fizzled out and lost five of their last six games, including the Wild Card game.

Cleveland is rocking behind the punishing running game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the league’s best backfield tandem.

Both players scored (Hunt twice) against Pittsburgh, rendering most of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s 500-plus passing yards against Cleveland’s defense an afterthought. The Browns intercepted Roethlisberger four times.

The Chiefs have not resembled their Super Bowl-winning form in a long time. In Week 16, they barely slipped past the Atlanta Falcons. In Week 17, the starters rested. Last week, this team was off.

Can the Chiefs suddenly turn it back on?

Patrick Mahomes has an arsenal of weapons and he usually targets Tyreek Hill early in the game for those thinking first touchdown scorer.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren