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Brandon Anderson covers all things NBA and NFL for Action Network, specializing in NBA props and ATS picks for every NFL game.
Cincinnati Bengals (+7.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
There’s certainly a version of this game in which the Chiefs run away with it. The Bengals offense ranks 29th in first-quarter DVOA, per Football Outsiders, and the defense ranks 28th in second-quarter DVOA. The offense ranks 25th on the road and the defense ranks 31st on first downs. And they’re still overcommitted to their inefficient run game on early downs. The Bengals could bury themselves early.
But this line is a touch too high at -7.5, though. Under -7, I’d be tempted to ride with Patrick Mahomes. Past the key number, I have to follow the Bengals’ trend in one-score games and believe the back door will be open for Joe Burrow against a Chiefs secondary that sure didn’t look as if it had any answers against the Bengals on Jan. 2 or Bills last Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) over LOS ANGELES RAMS
I backed the 49ers to cover and win as Week 10 underdogs against the Rams, then did so again in Week 18. I picked them to cover and win against the Cowboys and Packers in the first two rounds, and I have Super Bowl futures on the Niners, too.
There’s just one thing that will keep this pick a “lean” for now”: The injury report for San Francisco features almost all their most important players.
Jimmy Garoppolo is nursing thumb and shoulder injuries. Nick Bosa and Fred Warner played this past weekend but went into it questionable. Trent Williams is playing hurt. George Kittle and Deebo Samuel both limped off on the final drive.
I expect all of them to go, but we’ll wait to make sure before going all-in on the 49ers again. I’m less worried about the spread since I’ll almost certainly be playing the moneyline again, and if we lose a little value there, it’s likely because the injury report looks clean. That’s a fair trade worth waiting for. Once we get the green light, I’m backing San Fran again.