NFL Divisional Round Odds, Predictions & Best Bets To Back
Bill Speros | 12 mins
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The NFL betting Divisional Round schedule begins Saturday with four games over two games. And while this is often called “The Best Weekend of Football” each season, it has a steep curve when matched against what turned out to be a super Wild Card Weekend, especially for bettors who backed the over.
Bucking a season-long trend on betting apps, the five games played through Sunday night all landed north of the projected points total. Four finished with at least 55 points on the board. The Bengals-Ravens game surpassed its 40.5-point total when Sam Hubbard ran back Tyler Huntley’s fumble 98 yards for the game-winner in a 24-17 Bengals win.
The Divisional Round features the return of the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles coming off their byes. Both play on Saturday.
The No. 4 seed Jacksonville Jaguars play at Kansas City in the first game of the weekend. The NFC action begins at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday at 8:15 p.m. when the No. 6 seed Giants face the Eagles for the third time this season.
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Sunday begins with what will be the most-hyped matchup of the week. The No. 2 Buffalo Bills play host to No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals. Those two teams met on Monday night in Week 17 in Cincy. That game was suspended and then permanently canceled when Damar Hamlin fell to the field and nearly died. Hamlin’s recovery has been the stuff of legend. The Bills have played inspired ball since, beating both New England in the regular season and Miami on Sunday to advance.
The NFL divisional round concludes Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara. The No. 2-seed 49ers get the Cowboys, who beat the Bucs in Tampa Bay on Monday night.
NFL Divisional Playoff Round Picks
Here’s a rundown of our best bets and NFL picks to back for the four NFL Divisional Playoff Round games to be played on January 21-22.
Saturday, January 21
No. 4 Jacksonville Jaguars (10-8) at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) - 4:30 p.m. (NBC)
The Jaguars trailed 27-0 to the Chargers in the Wild Card Round before pulling off a 31-30 victory with a last-second field goal.
These teams met in Kansas City in Week 11. The Chiefs took a 20-0 lead with 46 seconds to play in the first half but gave up a score to Jacksonville 35 seconds later. (Sound familiar?) The Chiefs nabbed a 27-17 win but barely held on to cover on the 9.5-point line. The score fell under the 51.5 total.
Oddsmakers on betting sites posted similar numbers this week. The Chiefs opened at -8.5 and the total is 51.5 points. The Jaguars are +345 on the ML, while the Chiefs are -445. Jacksonville’s defense shut down an exhausted, poorly coached and depleted Chargers team in the second half Saturday night.
The Chiefs will be well rested, fully healthy, and are led by Andy Reid. The good news for Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence won’t throw four picks in the first half like he did against the Chargers. The bad news for Jacksonville: Patrick Mahomes won’t be blowing any 27-0 leads, either.
Midnight strikes for Cinderella this time in Kansas City. The Chiefs have covered on Kansas betting apps five weeks in a row and every line has been at least 8.5 points.
NFL Best Bet: Chiefs -8.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook ➜
No. 6 New York Giants (10-7-1) at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) - 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
The Eagles swept the Giants during the regular season by a combined score of 70-38. The second matchup – in Week 18 – meant nothing to the Giants but they still covered the ridiculous 16.5-point line with ease in a 22-16 loss. In their Wild Card Weekend win at Minnesota, Daniel Jones (finally) came out of whatever shell he has inhibited for five years and morphed into Josh Allen.
That’s no surprise since Brian Daboll was Allen’s coach in Buffalo until this season. Jones wrecked the Vikings with 301 yards passing and 78 yards rushing. The Eagles won’t be caught off guard like the Vikings. Jalen Hurts staying mobile and dishing the ball to A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders will be too much for the Giants.
Even if Hurts isn't 100%, it will be enough. An early lead for Philly could seal Big Blue’s fate. And keep this total contained on New York betting apps.
NFL Best Bet: Under 47.5 Points (-108) at FanDuel Sportsbook ➜
Sunday, January 22nd
No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals (13-4) at No. 2 Buffalo Bills (13-3) - 3:00 p.m. (CBS)
Jim Nantz and Tony Romo have a new home away from home: Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. They will be back for the third consecutive weekend, calling this AFC Divisional Round playoff game. This is a reset of the Week 17 game in Cincinnati that was halted when Damar Hamlin was injured. Both teams were nearly upset by back-up QBs in the Wild Card Round.
The Bills whiffed on their 14-point line in hanging on against Skylar Thompson and the Dolphins 34-31. The Bengals covered their opening line of 6.5 points in beating the Ravens 24-17, but needed an otherworldly 98-yard fumble return to ice the win and cover in what was a 14-point swing. This week, each team will be getting the other’s best.
This line opened at Buffalo -3.5 and has moved to Buffalo -6 on Ohio betting apps and elsewhere. The Bengals finished with the best record in the NFL ATS at 13-4. They haven’t lost outright since Halloween and have covered in eight straight as underdogs.
Neither Buffalo nor Cincinnati showed anything on defense that would make their opponent nervous this weekend. Joe Burrow and Josh Allen will be at their playoff best this week. Look for lots of points and the last team with the ball emerging as the winner. Be wary of that hook.
NFL Best Bet: Bengals +6 (-110) with DraftKings ➜
No. 5 Dallas (13-5) at No. 2 San Francisco 49ers (13-4) - 6:30 p.m. (FOX)
Brock Purdy was introduced to the NFL Universe in Week 14 when the 49ers demolished Tampa Bay 35-7 at Levi’s Stadium. “Mr. Irrelevant” dominated the GOAT. Purdy and the Niners led 35-0 at the half.
San Francisco brushed off Seattle in the second half of their Wild Card Round matchup, grabbing an easy win and cover (-8.5) in a 41-23 victory. The 49ers have won 10 straight and have covered in eight of their past nine games.
The Cowboys sent Tom Brady into the season's end, if not retirement, with a dominating performance Monday night. Dak Prescott had the postseason game that Jerry Jones and everyone else had been waiting for, throwing 4 TD passes and running for another in the 31-14 win. The 49ers will be ready for all of it. And the Cowboys can't trust their kicker, something that might come into play here in a close game. San Francisco is stacked on both sides and the Cowboys emptied the tank in Tampa Bay.
NFL Best Bet: 49ers -4 (-110) at BetMGM ➜