Both AFC road teams have opened as 3-point favorites at BookMaker Sportsbook for the AFC Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs. The Bengals vs Steelers game will be one of the best Wild Card weekend games of the 2015-2016 NFL playoffs but oddsmakers are siding with the Steelers in the matchup, at least as of Sunday night. That could change depending on the news the Bengals get when Andy Dalton visits doctors on Monday with the hopes of getting his cast off.
Here are the explanations on the opening odds:
Steelers at Bengals (+3, 46.5)
The first two meetings were basically tossups, and coincidentally, both teams lost key skill players in each. Cincinnati is worse for the wear as the Steelers still have their starting quarterback under center. Even though it looks as if Pittsburgh will be down to its third-string tailback, we felt comfortable making the road team chalk because at the end of the day, it's Ben Roethlisberger vs. AJ McCarron. Big Ben has been here, the backup has not.
Chiefs at Texans (+3, 41)
Cliche, but the Chiefs are the team nobody wants to see in the playoffs. As vanilla as that offense is, the defense is playing better than any unit in the league right now. We've already seen some bettors hit the under as everyone is anticipating a defensive slugfest. Kansas City deserved to be a road favorite here, and we may have been too conservative on that side. This spread could climb quickly.
Though the Bengals have yet to win a playoff game in their last five attempts, they will be playing at home, against a Steelers team they have beaten this year. Unfortunately, they also lost to the Steelers less than one month ago at home at Paul Brown Stadium. That game created enough drama and storylines that everyone from the media, to fans to the players will be extra pumped up come game time next weekend.