American Football

NFL Picks Against the Spread: Divisional Round Playoff Games

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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Divisional Round Playoff Games
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Suggestions for trying to beat the odds.

Before the Divisional Round of the 2023 NFL playoffs kicks off, let’s have some fun by looking at the spreads for this week’s postseason games.

You can CLICK HERE for straight up NFL picks without regard to the spread. You can find all of the NFL betting lines via DraftKings SportsBook.

My overall record so far is 133-134-10. That’s slightly ahead of the BGN Community, which is 132-135-10. I’m back in the lead after trailing for a bit but it’s going to go down to the wire.

Here are the latest suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

DIVISIONAL ROUND GAMES

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-9.5): Betting against the Jags here is dangerous. Doug Pederson is undefeated against the spread as an underdog in the playoffs with a 6-0 record. The Super Bowl-winning head coach is 5-1 straight up in those situations. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are not very good at covering the spread; only three teams had a worse cover percentage this season. Of course, that’s in part because the line typically tends to be pretty high in KC’s favor. Though I might regret betting against Doug, I will NOT regret betting against Trevor Lawrence in this matchup. He’s looked pretty shaky recently. The second-year quarterback left too many throws on the field in Week 18 and was fortunate to get bailed out by his defense. Then he threw four interceptions in the Wild Card round. The Jags will not be afforded the same margin of error going up against Patrick Mahomes. PICK: Chiefs -9.5

NEW YORK GIANTS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-8): The Giants have become so underrated that they’re now overrated. Everyone agreed that the Minnesota Vikings (who ranked 28th in weighted DVOA) were frauds … and yet were also somehow really impressed by the Giants beating them? Don’t get me wrong, that was a quality win for a New York team in their current stage. The G-Men entered this season tied for the worst record in the NFL since 2017. They’ve come a long way. They’re a well-coached group under Brian Daboll. Daniel Jones is doing a really good job taking care of the ball. But there’s a clear ceiling on this team due to the lack of talent on their roster. And that’s going to be an issue going up a much more talented Eagles team that is also well-rested coming off a first-round bye. The Giants can be expected to hang around for a bit before Jalen Hurts ultimately comes through and gives the Birds a double-digit lead. PICK: Eagles -8

SATURDAY, JANUARY 22

CINCINNATI BENGALS at BUFFALO BILLS (-5.5): I’m a bit worried that taking the points seems too good to be true. But I fully believe the Bengals were going to beat the Bills before Damar Hamlin went down in that Monday night game. Josh Allen’s volatility is a concern. Joe Burrow isn’t working a great offensive line situation at the moment but we’ve certainly seen him be able to overcome that much in the past. That’s the benefit of having a ‘win because of’ quarterback as opposed to a ‘win with’ quarterback. Even if the Bengals don’t win, they’re at least going to make it pretty competitive … right? (Watch them lose in overtime by six.) PICK: Bengals +5.5

DALLAS COWBOYS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-4): There was no episode of The SB Nation NFL Show this week (explained here). Had there been, I was going to take the Cowboys for my Lock Of The Week selection. As a reminder, I am up to 13-6 in those picks. The 49ers are the better team. But I’m not totally sure what to make of Brock Purdy, who might just combust at some point. Also, while both of these teams are facing pressure, it feels like the 49ers could be dealing with more. And, above all, you’ve gotta respect my mush attempt here. But, seriously, can’t you envision the Eagles-Cowboys threematch in the NFC Championship Game? Finally a look at Jalen Hurts vs. Dak Prescott this season? PICK: Cowboys +4

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