We’re down to eight.
Super Wild Card Weekend came and went without any huge surprises save for one upset: the Browns taking down the Steelers in Pittsburgh. It marked the franchise’s first NFL playoff win since 1994.
The Browns’ reward for beating their AFC North rival? A trip to Kansas City for a date with the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs. That Sunday matchup features the highest total of this weekend’s four game-slate.
Here is our over-under pick for every matchup on the divisional-round docket. The totals are provided by consensus data.
Saturday, Jan. 16Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers — 45.5The Rams were the only betting underdog other than the Browns to earn an outright Wild Card win. The Over 42.5 also safely hit in LA’s 30-20 road triumph over the Seahawks.
Seattle wasn’t executing very well on offense heading into last week. The same can’t be said for the Rams’ next opponent. The Packers have scored 30-plus points in all but one game dating back to Week 11. Some of those offensive outbursts came against defensively stout teams like Chicago Bears (twice) and Indianapolis Colts.
LA might boast the best defense remaining the postseason, but its top player is banged up. Injured ribs surely won’t prevent Aaron Donald from playing, but we doubt he’ll be at 100 percent.
We’re expecting Aaron Rodgers to take advantage leading the charger of a rested Packers offense. Green Bay has some holes on defense, so the Rams shouldn’t be held completely at bay even with an undesirable quarterback situation.
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills — 50One of the more surprising outcomes of the Wild Card round was the Ravens and Titans not even sniffing the Over at Nissan Stadium. A 20-13 Baltimore win over Tennessee resulted in the Under 54.5 hitting by a considerable margin.
Lamar Jackson and Co. enjoyed fairly pristine weather conditions in Nashville, but they won’t have that luxury Saturday. Snow is in the forecast in Buffalo and Jackson, according to the QB himself, as “zero” experience playing in such conditions. The reigning MVP isn’t a great thrower to begin with, so he’ll have his work cutout for him in upstate New York.
The Bills were limited to 27 points last weekend against the Colts, and the Ravens defense is starting to surge. Baltimore has limited the opponent to 19 points or less in six of its last seven games. We’re expecting a lot of running from the Ravens and for Josh Allen to be relatively held in check.
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Sunday. Jan. 17Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs — 57The Browns without question have the worst defense among the eight teams still in Super Bowl contention. Cleveland ended up allowing 37 points to a Pittsburgh offense that looked borderline dysfunctional in the first half and totally lacked a running game.
The sixth-seeded Browns now will meet an offense effectively with no flaws. The Chiefs also will basically be coming off two weeks off rest, as a bulk of their starters either didn’t play or saw little action in Week 17. In short, we’re expecting Patrick Mahomes and Co. to light it up.
Don’t doubt the Browns’ chances of keeping pace, though, at least for a little while. Kansas City’s defense isn’t as good as Pittsburgh’s and it’s particularly shaky in the red zone. Cleveland also is expected to have head coach Kevin Stefanski and Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio back in the fold.
Kansas City should win this one easy, but count on a whole bunch of points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints — 51.5The Bucs offense managed to keep it rolling last Saturday despite going up against one of the league’s better defenses. Nearly 400 passing yards from Tom Brady and an effective rushing attack led to 31 points for Tampa Bay against Washington.
The Saints, on the other hand, struggled against the seventh-seeded Bears. New Orleans was limited to 21 points despite having both Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara back in the mix. Chicago’s defense, however, might be better than Tampa’s. After all, the Bucs made Taylor Heinicke look like a legitimate starting quarterback.
We’re counting on a clinical performance from Brady, who never has lost to a team three times in the same season as a starting signal-caller. The Saints, who put up 34 and 38 points in their regular-season meetings with the Bucs, also should be much improved.
It would be quite fitting if Brady and Drew Brees engaged in a shootout in what likely will be their last head-to-head meeting, so we’ll try to will it into existence.
NFL Odds: Over/Under Picks For All Four Divisional-Round Games
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