The NFL’s Divisional Round playoffs take place this weekend as the race to Super Bowl LV continues. The Wild Card round saw its share of upsets as the 2020 season continues to surprise.
The Indianapolis Colts became the first team in NFL history to gain 450 or more yards of total offense and not turn the ball over and lose a playoff game. Buffalo, the No. 2 seed in the AFC, held off a furious Colts comeback and won 27-24.
Will the Bills’ magic continue? What about the Browns who pulled that upset of Pittsburgh? Here’s a look at the NFL Divisional Round top picks.
The Bills are a two-point favorite over Baltimore at top online sportsbooks, which beat Tennessee last week. The Ravens held NFL leading rusher Derrick Henry to just 40 yards and Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson ran for 136 and a touchdown in the 20-13 victory.
The Ravens defense will be the difference on Saturday as will Jackson and the NFL’s leading rushing offense. Last week, Baltimore gained 236 yards on the ground. The Bills defense gave up 163 to Indianapolis, a mediocre rushing offense at best.
Baltimore loves to be in this position – a road underdog. And so should sports bettors.
It’s one that Jackson has done very well in. It’s a small sample size, but in five such games the Ravens with Jackson leading the offense are 4-1 ATS. Baltimore has exactly what it takes to slow down the Buffalo passing game and pull the upset.
Bet on Rodgers
The Green Bay Packers will host the L.A. Rams, who upset Seattle last week. The Rams issues include QB Jared Goff’s injured thumb and star DT Aaron Donald’s ribs. Donald, a former two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is the key to the NFL’s No. 1 defense. He was injured in the game against Seattle last week. He will play this week, but he may not be 100 percent.
That’s not good as the Rams will face the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense. The Packers averaged 31.8 points a game this season led by QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers threw for 4,299 yards and 48 touchdowns. Rodgers has also been very good to bettors throughout his career.
Rodgers is 119-84-5 ATS in his career and he’s even better when playing at Lambeau Field (61-35-4 ATS). He’s also very good when he and the Packers have had 12 to 15 days to prepare for their next opponent. Rodgers is 10-5-1 ATS in such games.
Cleveland has had its best season in decades. Last week, they led Pittsburgh 28-0 after the first quarter on their way to a 48-37 win. It was the Browns first playoff win in 26 years and the first road playoff win since 1969.
It’s unlikely the Browns can pull off the upset against the defending Super Bowl champions, but facing a 10-point spread Cleveland can cover. Since 2004, divisional round underdogs facing the top seed in their conference are 22-11-1.
Plus, the Chiefs haven’t covered a spread in eight games. Kansas City is 0-7-1 ATS in its last eight.