No. 6 Patriots (10-7) at No. 3 Bills (11-6), 8:15 p.m. (CBS)

Spread: Bills by 4.

Outlook: New England has won nine of its past 10 trips to Orchard Park including this season, when the division rivals split games. That trend, and the continuing life in Bill Belichick’s genius card, make you think Patriots may have an upset in them. Don’t overthink that, though. Buffalo won the AFC East on the wings of four straight wins to close it out, and because the Pats and rookie QB Mac Jones faded pretty badly down the stretch, ending on a 1-3 skid. I like Josh Allen to outscore a struggling Jones. It won’t take much, though, with the scoreboard in the grip of two strong defenses. Watch the first quarter as a barometer. The Bills are 8-0 when they score a touchdown on their first possession, and that early momentum would be accentuated before a rabid crowd enjoying only Buffalo’s third home playoff game since 1996.

Prediction: Bills, 23-16.

No. 5 seed Raiders (10-7) at No. 4 Bengals (10-7), 4:30 p.m. (NBC)

Spread: Bengals by 5 1/2.

Outlook: The Raiders are after their first postseason victory since 2002, while the Bengals last won a playoff game in 1990. The Raiders won six games on the final play – most of by any team in any season since the 1970 merger, plus road teams have won 10 of past 14 wild-card round games. Can Vegas continue the trend? I give them a big shot, best of any underdog this weekend, especially if RB Josh Jacobs (ribs) and TE Darren Waller (knee) play as expected. Despite that I like still Bengals for their first playoff win in 31 years. Joe Burrow has clear edge in weapons if it gets into a point fest.

Prediction: Bengals, 27-20.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.