This weekend the NFL playoffs continue with the Divisional Round. We have four games on tap in what many consider the best weekend of football of the year. Last week I went a perfect 6-0 with my picks. That’s gotta be a fluke. I expect some serious reversion to the mean this weekend. Nonetheless, I soldier on. Here are my picks for the Divisional Round of the playoffs. All odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook. For my picks, these are just who wins the game deals. Odds do not factor in. DISCLAIMER: This is just for fun. I make no claims to actually being any good at this. Anyone who chooses to bet according to my picks will likely prove the old maxim, a fool and his money are soon parted.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans. I like the Bengals. I love quarterback Joe Burrow. But this Bengals team just didn’t have many signature wins this season, and they rarely sustained a run of excellence for long. The Bengals lost to the Bears, and the Jets, and the Browns, twice. They had one huge win, against the Kansas City Chiefs. Other than that the Bengals’ best wins came against a mediocre Pittsburgh Steelers team, twice, an injury ravaged Baltimore Ravens team, twice, and the Las Vegas Raiders, twice. The Titans, on the other hand, beat the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills, and the Los Angeles Rams. That’s impressive. The Titans were more consistent, they have the better defense, they have home field, and oh yeah, they get Derrick Henry back for this game. I think this is the end of the road for the Bengals. Titans over the Bengals.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers. The Packers feature a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. They feature MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The Packers almost never lose the turnover battle, largely because Rodgers almost never gets intercepted. Rodgers is the reason the Packers had the fewest turnovers in the NFL this year, and he’s the reason they will be tough to beat. The Packers are at home, where they are undefeated this season. The 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback and they are on the road, where they have a 4-4 record this season. This one seems obvious. Packers over the 49ers.
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers cleaned up against a weak schedule this year. They will be missing Ronald Jones, Jason Pierre Paul, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Ryan Jensen. This team is severely beaten up at just the wrong time of year. The Rams, after going through a rough 0-3 stretch in the middle of the year against some of the best teams in the NFL, are peaking. The Rams have won six of their last seven games. The Buccaneers generate pressure on the QB primarily by blitzing like crazy. Matthew Stafford is the best quarterback in the NFL against the blitz. The Rams beat the Buccaneers early in the year. Time for a repeat. Season finale for the Brady Bunch. Rams over the Buccaneers in an upset special.
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs. When they’re on, these two teams feature two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the game. The crucial difference may be the Bills have the best defense and the best pass defense in the NFL, while the Chiefs have one of the worst defenses and a mediocre pass defense. I think the Bills are the best team in the NFL. Let’s see if they begin to prove me right. Bills over the Chiefs in an upset special.