NFL Divisional Round Preview: Picks and Best Bets

Imran Khan 1

We had a fun wild card weekend to open the NFL Playoffs, and we had two upsets! Both the Rams and Browns stunned their divisional rivals in two road upsets. We are now in the Divisional Round and down to the final four in each conference. Our picks last week went 3-3, and our best bets were 2-4. Let’s see who gets one game closers to the Super Bowl.

(Wesley Hitt/ Getty Images)

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers

The Rams shocked everyone last week and went into Seattle understaffed, and not only did they beat the Seahawks, but they kicked their ass! Jared Goff had to play with an injured thumb after an injury to John Wolford, and the Rams defense lost Aaron Donald for most of the second half and still shut down Seattle.

Green Bay enjoyed a bye week due to them being the conference’s number one seed. As great as the Rams defense is, I think their season will end on Saturday. I think their pass rush will give Aaron Rodgers some problems, but I do not see them winning at Lambeau. Adams vs. Ramsey will be a great match up to watch, but I think the advantage here will be the Packers’ defense versus an injured Jared Goff.

Game Pick: Packers
Betting Pick: Packers – 6.5

 

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

The Ravens finally beat the Tennessee Titans last week on the road to avenge last season’s playoff loss. Lamar Jackson finally got his first playoff win and got that monkey off his back. Last week Josh Allen also got his first playoff win as the Buffalo Bills topped the Indianapolis Colts. Buffalo is playing as well as any team in the NFL, and Baltimore has been on a hot streak the last five weeks.

This game is a matchup of two teams playing their best football at the most critical times. I think Buffalo is the better team here, and their offense will handle the Ravens defense, more so than the Ravens offense is to handle the Buffalo defense. I think Lamar Jackson will have moderate success in this game, passing the ball and running, but I think Josh Allen and the Bill’s offense is just too much for the Ravens defense to handle. The Bills have weapons all over their offense, and their Quarterback is a lethal dual threat.

Game Pick: Bills
Betting Pick: Bills -2.5

 

Clevland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

The Browns went into Heinz Field against the Steelers last week, missing their head coach and their best offensive lineman, and beat the brakes off the Steelers. The Steelers were a team that started 11-0 and lost four of their last five games and ended up in the playoffs and playing in the opening round instead of having a first-round goodbye.

Although this week the Browns will get their head coach and starting guard back, they have to go into Kansas City and play the Chiefs, who are the number one seed in the AFC and maybe the best team in football. I think leading with the ground game will allow them to control the game a little bit early, but I don’t think they can sustain that for too long as Kansas City has way too many weapons. I don’t think Kansas City will blow out Browns completely. I do believe that they will keep this game close. The Chiefs are on their quest to defend their Super Bowl title, and unfortunately, they will have to kick the Browns out of the playoff party.

Game Pick: Chiefs
Betting Pick: Browns +10

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

The Saints handled my Chicago Bears last weekend to move onto the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their hands full with the Washington football team, but we’re also able to escape with the Win. This matchup will be the third time that these two teams have played each other this season. The Saints have swept the Buccaneers this year and hope to add a third-time win on Sunday.

Tampa Bay and their offense look to be coming into form. They have weapons at every level, and Tom Brady is getting more and more comfortable. I think the third time is the charm and the Buccaneers offense overpowers the Saints defense. Drew Brees has not looked like himself this year and has a problem getting the ball downfield. That was able to work against an anemic Chicago Bears offense, but I don’t think that will be the case against the Buccaneers. We will also have a decent defense. We will see Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship.

Game Pick: Buccaneers
Betting Pick: Buccaneers +3 (Money Line as well)

That wraps up our NFL Divisional Round picks! Best of luck to your teams if they are still playing this weekend in the Divisional round.

 

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