NFL Divisional Round Betting Insights
Wild Card Weekend gave us some ups and downs and now we’re headed to the NFL Divisional Round. Bovada Sportsbook is ready for everything too. All the lines, odds, and props you need as we continue the march to the Super Bowl. Let’s check out the matchups and see where some of the smart money might go this weekend.
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HOUSTON TEXANS at BALTIMORE RAVENS
Very few people foresaw the Houston Texans dominating Cleveland and the league’s best defense on Wild Card Weekend. But dominate, they did.
Oddsmakers seem to be a little cautious about that surprise performance repeating itself though, giving the Baltimore Ravens a -9.0 spread heading into the NFL Divisional Round.
But they might be discounting C.J. Stroud a little. The rookie QB played like a seasoned vet against the Browns last weekend, showing poise and ability far beyond his years. Yes, the Ravens led the league in sacks this season and had the #2 overall defense. But the Texans just bodied the #1 D, so maybe number two can be handled similarly.
Then again, Stroud was 3-4 on the road this season, throwing for 80 yards less per game than he did at home. Baltimore serves up a tough home crowd too, which will test Stroud’s poise even more.
If you think the Ravens have this one wrapped up (the moneyline is a conservative -410) and would prefer longer odds for your wagering ways, have a look at +2000 for Odell Beckham Jr. to have 2+ TDs and Baltimore to win. Beckham was under-used in his last 3 games of the season, but the playoffs are all about surprising your opponents and big game performers. OBJ fits both categories.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Speaking of maturity, Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers represent the youngest team in the league. Despite their youth, they gave the Dallas Cowboys a 48-32 beating.
Like the Texans, though, the Packers are not being given much credit by oddsmakers just yet. The San Francisco 49ers, fresh off an extra week of rest, are heading into the game as 9.5-point favorites.
The Niners do have a ton of weapons that might justify that big spread. Brock Purdy can choose from Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle on any given play. CMC was the league’s top rusher and he’s going against a Packers team that was 28th in rush yards allowed; makes that rushing yards over 88.5 prop look pretty good at the moment.
One note of caution? The 49ers were just 5-5 ATS over their last 10 games of the season, so bettors might look for any holes in their armor that the Pack could exploit to beat the spread. This might mean you want to ride Love’s hot hand against a team that is only 14th-best in pass yards allowed so the game stays close.
Add to this the superior game plan that Packers’ head coach Matt LaFleur used to shock the heavily favored Cowboys last week, and you might give Green Bay a shot at keeping it close. But San Fran is considered the best team in the league by many (and for good reason), so playing with the prop builder might be where the real money is to be made.
For example, a defensive or special teams TD is a solid +230. With Nick Bosa and Chase Young storming the QB and the likelihood of the Packers needing to pass a lot to play catch-up, this could be one way to wager.
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TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at DETROIT LIONS
Spread-watchers, consider this: the Bucs are a very impressive 8-1 ATS on the road this season, including last weekend’s win over the Eagles. This alone could make someone confident that TB will keep it within a TD (current spread is Detroit +6.5).
Trouble for the Bucs could come in form of Lions’ edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson. He has multiple sacks in each of his last 3 games, and Tampa QB Baker Mayfield is already a big banged up.
Salvation for Tampa, on the other hand, could come from the passing game. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are always deep threats, and the Lions ranked a measly 29th in pass yards allowed this season. Meow.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at BUFFALO BILLS
This contest features the closest line of all the NFL Divisional Round games, with the Buffalo Bills favored by 2.5 points over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Buffalo QB Josh Allen has the Bills back in the playoffs in style, finishing off the Steelers on Monday with 4 TDs (3 in the air, one rushing) and over 70 yards rushing. If he stays hot, the Chiefs 4th-ranked pass defense will be put to the test.
KC, meanwhile, easily handled the Dolphins last weekend and won 6 of their last 7 regular season games (the loss was a 1-point meaningless game in Week 18).
Home field advantage? The Bills Mafia will be looking to hound Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes – he’s 2-0 against Allen and the Bills in the playoffs and has a hefty 12-3 postseason record overall. Interestingly, this is the first road playoff game in Mahomes’ career, and there couldn’t be a more hostile place in which to play it.
In what could end up being a shootout between two of the biggest gunslingers in the league, one bet has odds of +450 in Bovada Sportsbook on any player to throw for more than 350 yards. Expect a close, entertaining game all around.