NFL Divisional Round Betting Picks

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We’re getting close to the end of the season, which means less games each week. It’s as sad, sad thing. I know everyone love’s playoff football and the Super Bowl, but I can’t help but think that soon, we won’t have football until September. 

Last week I opened 0-2 on Saturday’s games and was ready for an abysmal weekend. However, I finished 4-0 the rest of the way to go 4-2 on Super Wildcard Weekend. 

We’re also in the special situation where I can say that I was able to watch every one of these teams play last week (not just on Red Zone), so my “eyeball test” is a little more accurate. Let’s take a look at my betting breakdown for this weekend’s Divisional Round:

Cincinnati @ Tennessee

There are only 4 games so let’s break these games down by using a chart to make it easy to digest

OFFENSETennesseeCincinnati
PPG15th7th
Red Zone6th19th
Yds per play22nd7th
Third Down8th16th
Yds per completion25th3rd
Yds per rush14th27th
DefenseTennesseeCincinnati
PPG6th16th
Red Zone4th15th
Yds per play17th20th
Third Down5th22nd
Yds per completion24th11th
Yds per rush4th17th

Cincinnati’s offense is better than Tennessee’s, but on defense the edge goes to Tennessee. This is probably going to be a close game, hence the 3.5pt spread. If this game turns into a shootout, then I like Cincy a lot. Tennessee struggles to stop the pass, and that is the bread and butter of Cincy’s offense; it’s not a surprise with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and CJ Uzomah leading the way. This game is going to come down to Cincinnati’s defense. If they can stall the Titans offense, then they’re going to be in a great position. But if they struggle to get off the field on third down and stop Derrick Henry, then the Titans probably pull it off on a last-minute score. I lean Bengals here but more because I don’t trust that the Titans are actually a good team. I’m staying away from a side though, and rooting for points.

Pick: Over 47


San Francisco @ Green Bay

This game is intriguing. San Francisco has seemingly got hot at the right time, winning 4 of their last 5 games. Green Bay, however, is the #1 seed and has a potent offense led by potential MVP Aaron Rodgers. Let’s see how these teams matchup, shall we?

OFFENSEGreen BaySan Francisco
PPG10th13th
Red Zone18th1st
Yds per play9th1st
Third Down9th14th
Yds per completion9th1st
Yds per rush20th15th
DefenseGreen BaySan Francisco
PPG13th8th
Red Zone28th16th
Yds per play16th4th
Third Down24th17th
Yds per completion10th5th
Yds per rush31st7th

I bet you weren’t expecting those numbers, eh? It should be no surprise that the SF defense is better than GB’s. However, you might not have realized that statistically, SF is a superior offense. I know you’ve likely heard the story, “Jimmy Garoppolo has never completed a pass in a game less than 40 degrees.” I don’t think that really matters. Cold doesn’t necessarily effect games as much as wind does, and despite the 1 degree temperature, there are winds predicted only between 5-10mph. Now add in the fact that the 49ers rank 5th in the NFL in rushing attempts per game and are going against the 31st ranked defense in yards per carry. I think San Fran is able to control this game on the ground and chew clock to keep Rodgers on the sideline. You hear it all the time: how do you beat guys like Mahomes, Brady, Rodgers? You keep them on the sideline. Garoppolo is dealing with injuries, and rumors are that Trey Lance might start this game, so currently the line has moved to 6.5. Jump on this while you can. I will sprinkle the money line also, just like last week.

Pick: SF +6.5 & ML +205


LA Rams @ Tampa Bay

OFFENSETampa BayLA Rams
PPG2nd6th
Red Zone2nd14th
Yds per play4th3rd
Third Down3rd6th
Yds per completion14th2nd
Yds per rush19th26th
DefenseTampa BayLA Rams
PPG5th9th
Red Zone9th6th
Yds per play7th6th
Third Down9th15th
Yds per completion2nd9th
Yds per rush16th5th

These teams are very similar. Tampa has the slight edge on paper, however there is more to it than that. Tampa is currently without their top 2 RBs, their #2 & 3 WRs, their secondary has been struggling and thin all year. Now, add to the fact that 2 starting offensive lineman were injured in last week’s game: C Ryan Jensen and RT Tristan Wirfs. Backup tackle Josh Wells also dealt with a quad injury during the game. Injuries on the o-line make me nervous when Aaron Donald and Von Miller are on the other side of the ball. As a life-long Patriots fan, I can tell you that the key to stopping Tom Brady has always been to get pressure in his face up the middle. Assuming Matt Stafford doesn’t give the game away with INTs (that’s a big IF), I think the Rams probably pull this off.

Pick: LAR +3


Buffalo @ Kansas City

OFFENSEKansas CityBuffalo
PPG4th3rd
Red Zone10th3rd
Yds per play2nd8th
Third Down1st2nd
Yds per completion7th13th
Yds per rush7th5th
DefenseKansas CityBuffalo
PPG10th1st
Red Zone17th8th
Yds per play28th1st
Third Down19th1st
Yds per completion21st3rd
Yds per rush30th11th

Offensively, these teams are very similar. Defensively, however, the Bills are far and away the better team. Take this into account: Arrowhead is a raucous environment, and the home team usually gets an “automatic” 3pts according to some people, so it should be telling that this opened as KC -2.5 and has come down to 1.5 at some books. I think the resurgence of KC’s offense has made people forget how bad their defense actually is. Just look above, they rank in the bottom third in 3 categories. This Buffalo team also isn’t afraid of the cold or the wind. They are battle tested. They are the superior team and I think they go into Arrowhead and pull off a W.

Pick: BUF ML +110

About Post Author

Jared Mello

Avid Boston sports fan. Lover of all things sports betting. I try to bring a realistic approach to the sports that I cover.
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  • Avid Boston sports fan. Lover of all things sports betting. I try to bring a realistic approach to the sports that I cover.

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