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And then there were eight. The Super Wild Card Round was an exciting one, especially if you loved conservative playcalling. We are back to a normal schedule with two games each day and we have some premium matchups this week. Underdogs were the favorable bunch in terms of the spread but we also had three dogs win outright. The Rams will travel to Green Bay, who are fresh off a bye. Buffalo and Baltimore are one of the more intriguing matchups, and Baltimore's defense looked very good this past week, and health certainly plays a factor in this. We will also have a rematch of the prior two division games with the Saints-Buccaneers. New Orleans has torched them both games and really made Tom Brady struggle. Will it happen for a third straight time? The largest favorite of the week is the Chiefs, who are ten-point home favorites against the Browns, who pulled off the upset.
|LAR @ GB||GB -6.5||46|
|BAL @ BUF||BUF -3.0||50|
|CLE @ KC||KC -10.0||56|
|TB @ NO||NO -3.0||52|
LAR @ GB
The Saturday slate of games is the most intriguing from a viewer standpoint. The Rams defense has made very good quarterbacks look uncomfortable all year, but Aaron Donald's injury report will be one to follow. Overall the Rams have allowed 4.6 yards per play this season and 18.6 points per game this season. Green Bay led the league in points per game, averaging 31. Even with the Rams limiting them below the season norm, can Jared Goff make enough big plays and the quarterback health is another one to follow. Another x-factor matchup is going to be Cam Akers against the run defense. He had over 25 touches against the Seahawks and the Rams would love to have a similar game where they can manage it with Goff and try and control the game on the ground. We know Jalen Ramsey is going to give Davante Adams his attention and this Rams pass defense is no joke with a strong pair of safeties. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers get the running backs involved in the passing game a bit and look Robert Tonyan's way on a few big plays. Now the spread is a bit higher than I was thinking and this game should still be close. Unless the Rams offense comes out at puts up just an all-time stinker, Cam Akers should have success and the game will be close. While I still like the Packers to win, the Rams should cover.
BAL @ BUF
This game has a lot of the public's attention from a neutral standpoint. You can find this game at -2.5 as well but places have it at three. A battle between Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen is going to be a fun one, but the Baltimore running backs could make this a tough one for the Bills to put up points. We saw the Colts control a lot of the clock and have lengthy drives, but failed to finish the job in the red zone. Baltimore is one of the stronger red zone teams in the league and I wouldn't bank on those results again from an opponent if I was Buffalo. The Bills averaged 289 yards per game through the air and 7.8 yards per pass but Baltimore was one of the stingiest pass defenses this season holding teams to 217 yards per game and 5.9 yards per pass. The over/under is set at 50 which could also take a hit if Baltimore slows the game down like they did against Buffalo, however, the Bills will be more pass-happy given the ground game has been average at best when it comes to using their running backs. Zack Moss is also done for the playoffs. This game is a tough one to grasp and should be another close one.
CLE @ KC
Cleveland is riding high after last week and will have to regroup before facing the best team in the league. While the Chiefs have played "okay" by their standards down the stretch, I feel this team can flip a switch. Cleveland's secondary should get a few bodies back this week but that doesn't matter much to me. They have struggled all year long against the pass and this team still allowed 26.8 points per game, which was more than the Bengals and Falcons who are widely recognized as truly bad defenses. Ten points is a lot in a playoff game but we will really see if Baker Mayfield can keep pace on the offensive side in a game where they will likely be trailing. Cleveland does have an edge with their running backs against a soft Kansas City run defense, but if the Chiefs can cut those attempts down by keeping this game in distance, it will be tough to get them going. Many will be talking themselves into Cleveland covering this week but I won't be one of them.
TB @ NO
Now historically from this season, we would be looking at the Saints taking care of business. They did in the prior two games and made statements both weeks, especially on the defensive side. The spread sits at three, which is actually a pretty solid number for the Saints and if you are buying into the Bucs, I would rather take the straight moneyline at +148 over the -108 +3. Both offenses were pretty similar this season, although New Orleans is more effective in the red zone and runs quite a bit more against a Buccaneers defense that has ranked top-three against the run the last two seasons, we should see them get the short passing game going even more, especially with Michael Thomas back. I still find the Buccaneers secondary is going to be something to target for the Saints and their pass rush is going to cause Brady issues again. As mentioned, Saints -3 is not a bad number and Vegas is giving the Bucs and Brady some respect. We also might want to watch where money is going this week.
NFL Divisional Round FAQ
How Can I Bet On Football?
If you are a resident within one of these states: NY, NJ, PA, NH, PA, RI, WV, OR, IN, IA, NV, AR, DE, MS, NM, you can legally bet on the NFL. Sportsbooks are available, and some of them also offer mobile betting.
What Are Opening Lines?
Opening lines are the very first lines put out to the public by oddsmakers. They are put out early, and then adjustments will be made. Getting in on opening lines is where bettors can have an advantage before the lines change.
When Does The Divisional Round Start?
The wild card round will begin on Saturday, January 16th. The Rams will travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers, where Green Bay is favored by a touchdown.
What Is A Game Total?
A total set for a game is the set number. You can bet the over or under on for total points. If a game is set at 54.5, you can bet either over or under the total combined points between the two teams.
Why Do Lines Change?
Lines can change for various reasons. If there is an injury leading up to the game that has a major effect on the potential outcome, the line will adjust based on the news. Weather is another reason why it can change.
Who Is The Biggest Favorite Of The Divisional Round?
The Browns upset the Steelers last week and now will travel to Kansas City to take on the one-seed Chiefs. Kansas City are the biggest favorites of the weekend at -10.