NFL Betting Predictions: Divisional Round Weekend Opening Line Report and Picks
The Wild Card Round of the playoffs was rather uneventful. There were only two games within one possession, which included the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals got their first playoff win in thirty-one years, and the ‘WHO DEY’ nation may have seen their first of many playoff victories under their new franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. In the most anticipated matchup of the week between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, the dramatics of this classic rivalry did not disappoint. The 49ers had the only upset of the week and continued to show their unique offensive schemes mixed with gritty defensive football. In the majority of the game, the 49ers showed a zone defense with very few blitz formations, daring Dak and the Cowboys to throw the ball.
This week in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, there is no spread greater then -5.5 points, and things should be much tighter than the Wild Card games. Every matchup has exciting storylines attached to it this week. Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills will try to beat the kings of the AFC twice in the same year as they travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. The Bengals have a chance to continue to shock the football community with their exciting style of football against the Tennessee Titans. The Los Angeles Rams have arguably never looked better than last week’s performance against Arizona. Their team is finally fully healthy and match up very well against any opponent. The X Factor, If you will……could come down to Matthew Stafford’s experience in the playoffs against Tom Brady, the greatest playoff performer of all time. Stafford has never been in this situation in his career and could be the difference-maker in this matchup. Lastly, Aaron Rodgers looks to continue his MVP season when the San Francisco 49ers travel to Green Bay Saturday Night. The 49ers have a knack for playing to their game plan and wearing teams down on both sides of the ball, which makes them a team you can never rule out.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Buffalo Bills (11-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (12-5)
Spread: -1.5 (Chiefs)
Buffalo travels to Arrowhead Stadium Sunday Night where they will be slight underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs. This will be the second year in a row these two teams meet in the playoffs, and it is really a coin flip matchup. Both teams are coming into this game after huge blowouts last week. Buffalo’s offense was the most efficient in history against the New England Patriots last week, and they were so efficient they did not have a fourth down all game. The Chiefs also dismantled a strong Steelers defense last week and looked to have very few flaws. On the defensive side of the ball, I like the Bills to slow down Patrick Mahomes and show why they were the best defense in football last year.
Pick: Bills -1.5
Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) @ Tennessee Titans (12-5)
Spread: -3 (Titans)
The Tennessee Titans have a very tenacious defense where they rely on being extremely physical and aggressive on the football. Derrick Henry has the potential in playing Saturday. However, with being off for so long, can he pick up where he left off? Nevertheless, the Titans were still able to come out on top of the AFC with the absence of Henry. The Cincinnati Bengals are offensively explosive and rely heavily on the deep passing game. A weakness of the Titans, if any, would be their secondary, as seen this season they have had games where they have given up a lot of points to offenses not as good as the Bengals. In a shootout type of game, I do not believe the Titans will be able to keep up. The Titans key to winning is wearing down the Bengals defense, long offensive possessions and keeping Burrow off the field will be the difference-maker.
Pick: Over 47
San Francisco 49ers (10-7) @ Green Bay Packers (13-4)
Spread: -5.5 (Packers)
Green Bay comes into the playoffs being the top team in the NFL and have shown no reason for the public to doubt them in any way going into their first playoff game. Aaron Rodgers has been phenomenal this season; he has looked like a man on a mission all season and seems to thrive with the negative attention he has drawn heading into the season. San Francisco, after being ruled out of a playoff picture halfway through the year, has gone on an incredible run. Beating the Rams twice in must-win situations, the 49ers have shown they are for real. On offense, there is no doubt between Kittle, Samuel, Aiyuk and Mitchell, they don’t lack offensive playing making ability. San Francisco led the league in yards-after-catch (YAC) this season and seem to shock defenses with their tricky offensive schemes from mastermind coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers will give Green Bay everything they can handle at Lambo Saturday night, but I don’t believe there is any stopping Aaron Rodgers.
Pick: Packers -5.5
Los Angeles Rams (12-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)
Spread: -3 (Bucs)
Matthew Stafford enters unfamiliar territory as he sets a record for most games played as a quarterback before his first playoff victory. Entering into the divisional round, Stafford and the Rams will have their hands full with the defending champions. Tom Brady comes into the Divisional Round as the winningest quarterback in playoff history with a record of 35-11. In stating that, this is not unfamiliar territory for Brady and the Buccaneers. What might scare Tampa Bay and many people choosing the Bucs is that the star-studded cast of the Los Angeles Rams are finally seeming to click. With the likes of Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., Matthew Stafford, Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Donald and Eric Weddle, there is no doubt the Rams have some of the best players to ever play their respective positions. It also poses the point that the superstars of Rams have game-changing ability. In stating the case for the Rams and noting that Los Angeles has beaten Tampa Bay already this year, I do not expect Tom Brady to make the same mistake twice. In the toughest matchup of the week to pick for myself, I have to go with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Pick: -3 Buccaneers, Over 48.5
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