NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Betting Guide and Picks
What an exciting opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs. If the Divisional Round is near as entertaining as Wild Card Weekend was, football fans and sports bettors are in for a real treat. In this guide, we’ll preview the games that are to come, break down the odds, and give out picks against the point spread and on the over/under total. We’ll also take a look at the updated odds to win the Super Bowl and both conferences.
Super Bowl Odds
Baltimore Ravens (+200)
San Francisco 49ers (+325)
Kansas City Chiefs (+350)
Green Bay Packers (+800)
Seattle Seahawks (+1200)
Minnesota Vikings (+1400)
Houston Texans (+2800)
Tennessee Titans (+2800)
Odds To Win AFC
Baltimore Ravens (-137)
Kansas City Chiefs (+170)
Houston Texans (+1200)
Tennessee Titans (+1200)
Odds To Win NFC
San Francisco 49ers (-110)
Green Bay Packers (+275)
Seattle Seahawks (+500)
Minnesota Vikings (+600)
Futures odds from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, January 9, at 11:30 p.m. ET and subject to change.
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers
Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 4:35 p.m. ET
Santa Clara, CA
Spread Open: 49ers (-7)
Current Spread: 49ers (-7)
Over/Under Total Open: 46
Current Over/Under Total: 44.5
Public Money on Spread: 53% on 49ers
Public Money on Over/Under Total: 58% on Over
The San Francisco 49ers only had to watch the first game on Sunday to see who they were playing on Saturday, as the Minnesota Vikings went to New Orleans and beat the Saints in overtime. Kirk Cousins threw a walk-off touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph to give the Vikings the win 26-20. The Vikings will now meet the top-seeded 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 4:35 p.m. ET for the first game of the Divisional Round.
Dalvin Cook looked good for the Vikings against the Saints, rushing 28 times for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 3 catches for 36 yards. With those numbers, both the rushing yards and receiving yards player props hit the over for Cook. He had a rushing player prop of 65.5 yards and a receiving player prop of 31.5 yards.
Adam Thielen was welcomed back for the Vikings, going for 129 yards on 7 receptions, including a 43-yard bomb that set up the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Thielen’s receiving yards player prop was 53.5 yards, so he easily hit the over on that.
The betting market had the Vikings pegged as big underdogs against the Saints, but they were able to pull off the upset victory on the road. Things won’t get easier for Minnesota in the Divisional Round, as San Francisco boasts one of the best teams in the league, both offensively and defensively.
Breakdown and Picks for Vikings at 49ers
The Vikings have only been a slightly above-average team to bet on this season, going 10-7 against the spread (ATS). That includes 5-3 ATS at home and 5-4 ATS on the road. This is Minnesota’s third trip to the playoffs since 2015, in which they have gone 2-2 ATS with their two victories coming against the Saints in dramatic fashion. The interesting betting trend for the Vikings has been their home/road splits in the last four seasons. Since 2015, the Vikings have gone 29-13-1 ATS at home, compared to 23-18 ATS on the road.
Looking at the Vikings numbers on the total this season, the have been a slightly above-average team at covering the over, going 9-8 on the over. That includes 4-4 at home and 6-3 on the road. Looking at Football Outsiders’ DVOA numbers, the Vikings have been an above-average team both on the offensive and defensive end, ranking 10th in offensive DVOA and 7th in defensive DVOA.
The 49ers have far and away crushed expectations this season, as no one thought that they’d have a shot at taking the NFC crown. Even though they have crushed expectations this season and had one of the largest point differentials in the league, the 49ers have only been a bit above average at covering the spread, going 9-6-1 ATS. From that, San Francisco went 6-2 ATS on the road and 3-4-1 ATS at home. Since the 49ers started playing in Levi’s Stadium, they have covered at a 41% clip at home (16-23-1), compared to 46.2% (18-21-1) on the road.
Looking at the 49ers numbers on the total this season, they have only been an average team with an 8-7-1 record on the over, including 5-3 at home and 3-4-1 on the road. Looking at Football Outsiders’ DVOA numbers, the 49ers currently rank 2nd overall. They have the 7th-ranked offensive DVOA and 2nd-ranked defensive DVOA.
This game is a little bit of a tough one to nail down. The 49ers are likely the better team. The Vikings have struggled against good opponents and on the road for years. The game is being played outdoors, which is likely unfavorable conditions for the Vikings because they are used to playing most of their games in a dome.
Cousins may have finally had a big win the playoffs last week by upsetting the Saints, but we have a fairly big history of Cousins struggling against good teams. The Vikings lone win against a playoff team, outside of last week, came against the Philadelphia Eagles. But looking at every single game against a playoff team, the Vikings were in it until the end. They had a 3-point loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City, a 5-point loss to the Packers in Green Bay, and a 7-point loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. The one game that got out of hand was the other game against the Packers that took place in Minnesota. In that one, the Vikings were without Cook and Alexander Mattison, which is big considering how much the Vikings like to run the ball.
In this game, there is a small chance that the Vikings will be without Thielen, which would be a big hit to their passing game. All things considered, though, I think that the Vikings win this one.
The perception is that Cousins can’t win a big game, but as stated above, all the games against playoff teams were close games and they just beat the Saints last week in one of the toughest road environments. This Minnesota team is the 7th-ranked team in terms of Football Outsiders’ DVOA and they’re going up against the 5th-ranked team in DVOA team.
Plus, San Francisco really doesn’t have that much of a home-field advantage. The Vikings come into this game with some momentum. If they have Thielen in the game, they will be a lot healthier than they’ve been for most of the season. I’m taking the Vikings with the points, but I really don’t hate the moneyline either.
Free Picks: Vikings (+7) and Under 44.5
READ MORE: Kevin Taylor’s Preview and Picks for Vikings at 49ers
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens
Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 8:15 p.m. ET
M&T Bank Stadium
Spread Open: Ravens (-10)
Current Spread: Ravens (-10)
Over/under Total Open: 48.5
Current Over/under Total: 47
Public Money on Spread: 53% on Ravens
Public Money on Over/under Total: 59% on Under
The upset victory by the Vikings may be fresh in everyone’s mind, but let’s not forget about what the Tennessee Titans did on Saturday night. The Titans went into New England and beat the Patriots 20-13. It was a hard-fought battle that many are pegging as the end of the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era in New England. The road won’t get any easier for Tennessee, as they now have to head to Baltimore to take on the dominant Ravens. This game is slated for Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 8:15 p.m. ET.
When they beat the Patriots, the Titans did it on the back of powerful running back Derrick Henry, who ran 34 times for 182 yards and 1 touchdown. Henry also caught a pass and rumbled for 22 yards. Those numbers allowed the rushing yards and receiving yards player props to hit the over for Henry. He had a rushing player prop of 90.5 yards and a receiving player prop of 7.5 yards.
Ryan Tannehill did next to nothing in the air, throwing just 15 times and completing just 8 of those passes for 72 yards. Tannehill threw 1 touchdown and 1 interception, but a stellar performance from him simply wasn’t needed. With a passing yards player prop of 230.5, Tannehill came in well under.
The Patriots could only muster 307 totals yards of offense and their only touchdown was a reverse by Julian Edelman. Tennessee’s defense was very much up to the task against Brady, keeping him to just 209 yards passing and landing a game-sealing pick-six. Brady’s passing yards player prop was set at 259.5 yards for this game, so the under hit.
Breakdown and Picks for Titans at Ravens
The Titans have been an entirely different team since Tannehill took over as quarterback. The team has drastically improved since then, but they still have been an average team at covering the spread, going 9-7-1 ATS. At home, Tennessee is 3-4-1 ATS. On the road, the Titans are 6-3 ATS. This is the Titans’ second trip to the playoffs since 2015 and, including last weekend, they are 2-1 ATS in the playoffs.
Looking at the Titans numbers on the over/under total this season, they have been one of the better teams at covering the over, going 10-7 on the over. That comes from going 5-3 at home and 5-4 on the road. Looking at Football Outsiders’ DVOA numbers for Tennessee, they are 6th in offensive DVOA and 16th in defensive DVOA.
The Ravens have been the best team in the league this season. They have been a fantastic team to bet on with a 10-6 record ATS, including a 4-4 record ATS at home and a 6-2 record ATS on the road. This is just the Ravens second trip to the playoffs over the last four seasons. In the other postseason trip that came last season, they failed to cover the point spread.
Looking at the Ravens numbers on the total, they are an average team at covering the over, going 9-7 on the season. Baltimore went 4-4 on the over at home and 5-3 on the road. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metrics, no team has been more dominate this season and it’s not particularly close. The Ravens rank 1st in offensive DVOA and 4th in defensive DVOA.
On one side, the Titans have been a pretty good team since Tannehill has taken over. While they may currently rank 6th in offensive DVOA, they are probably a better team than that due to the numbers incorporating a lot of the early-season struggles of Marcus Mariota. Additionally, The Titans don’t really have a weak spot and were able to beat the Patriots at home last week, although it was by a narrow margin.
The Ravens have been incredible this season and they are by far the best team in the league. While I think that the Titans will be able to put up points against this Ravens defense, I’m really not sure they will be able to stop this Ravens offense.
All of this is basically to say that a 10-point spread in this game is probably a bit too high for me to take the Ravens, so give me the Titans.
Free Picks: Titans (+10) and Over 47
READ MORE: Kevin Taylor’s Preview and Picks for Titans at Ravens
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, January 12, 2020, at 3:05 p.m. ET
Kansas City, MO
Spread Open: Chiefs (-8)
Current Spread: Chiefs (-9.5)
Over/under Total Open: 49
Current Over/under Total: 51
Public Money on Spread: 51% Chiefs
Public Money on Over/under Total: 58% on Over
Kicking off Sunday’s playoff action is Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans taking on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans pulled a come-from-behind victory against the Buffalo Bills on Wild Card Weekend, winning 22-19 in overtime. At halftime, Houston was down 13-0 to Buffalo and the deficit was extended to 16-0 early on in the third quarter.
After a slow start, Watson turned things around in the second half to finish with 247 yards passing and 55 yards rushing. He had both a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown, with plenty of electric plays that brought his team back from being down 16-0. Watson had a passing player prop of 249.5 passing yards, so he went under there, but he hit the over on his 28.5 rushing yards player prop.
DeAndre Hopkins had 6 receptions for 90 yards as Houston’s leading receiver. Both of those hit overs on Hopkins’ player props. He has a receptions prop of 5.5 yards and a receiving yards player prop of 77.5 yards.
JJ Watt returned to spark the Texans defense. Although he only had 1 sack on the day, Watt’s presence was felt.
Breakdown and Picks for Texans at Chiefs
The Texans were an average team to bet on in terms of the point spread, with an 8-8-1 record ATS this season. However, the Texans were one of the worst teams in the league at covering at home, going just 2-6 ATS. They did go 5-3 straight up at home, though. On the road, the Texans went 5-2-1 ATS and 5-3 straight up.
Looking the Texans numbers as they pertain to the total, they were slightly below average at covering the over, going 7-10. That included a 4-5 record at home and a 3-5 record on the road.
Looking at the Football Outsiders DVOA rankings, Houston is ranked 19th overall, with the 17th-ranked offense and the 26th-ranked defense.
Prior to the season, I believe that the Chiefs were probably the consensus team to take the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, but a few tough losses and an injury to Mahomes caused them to end up with the No. 2 seed. Even with them probably failing to meet expectations in that regard, they were the best team in the league to bet on this season. The Chiefs went 10-5-1 ATS, including 4-3-1 ATS at home and 6-2 ATS on the road. While the Chiefs have been a fixture in the playoffs for a while, they have not performed that well for bettors, going 2-4 ATS since 2015. It should be noted that the majority of those postseason starts were with Alex Smith at quarterback. With Mahomes, Kansas City is 1-1 ATS in the postseason.
Even with the Chiefs being one of the best offenses in the league, the expectations were so high for them this season that they only covered the over in half of their games, going 8-8 on the over. That includes 5-3 at home and 3-5 on the road.
Looking at Football Outsiders, Kansas City came in 2nd overall, ranking 3rd in offensive DVOA and 14th in defensive DVOA.
This is another interesting game from a betting perspective. While I believe that the Chiefs will win this one and advance to the AFC Championship, this is another point spread that seems a little high. The Chiefs are a great team and they have a massive home-field advantage considering how loud Arrowhead Stadium can get and the fact that the Texans are going from a dome to an outdoor stadium that can bring some rough weather.
Additionally, the Texans may be the worst team to make the playoffs this season. As mentioned above, the are in the bottom half of the league in both offensive and defensive DVOA, and the Chiefs are stout on both ends.
What this comes down to is the Chiefs defensive line going up against Watson. I know that Mahomes will be able to put up points, but I’m not sure that Watson will. The Houston offensive line is terrible and the Chiefs defensive line will be putting a ton of pressure on Watson all game. I’m not going to be surprised when Watson gets sacked 10 times in this game.
Free Picks: Chiefs (-9.5) and Under 51
READ MORE: Kevin Taylor’s Preview and Picks for Texans at Chiefs
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
Sunday, January 12, 2020, at 6:40 p.m. ET
Green Bay, WI
Spread Open: Packers (-3.5)
Current Spread: Packers (-4.5)
Over/under Total Open: 46.5
Current Over/under Total: 47
Public Money on Spread: 58% on Seahawks
Public Money on Over/under Total: 64% on Under
The final game of the Divisional Round features Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks travel to frigid Wisconsin to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks got here after going on the road to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 17-9 on Wild Card Weekend. The game is scheduled for Sunday, January 12, 2020, at 6:40 p.m. ET.
Seattle’s game against Philadelphia was clinched with a 36-yard bomb from Wilson to DK Metcalf with under 2 minutes remaining. On the day, Wilson threw for 325 yards and 1 touchdown, plus he ran the ball 9 times for 45 yards. Outside of Wilson’s rushing, Seattle only had 19 yards on the ground. With player props of 250.5 passing yards and 19.5 rushing yards, Wilson hit two overs there.
Metcalf had 7 receptions for 160 yards and 1 touchdown. He had a receptions prop of 3.5 receptions and a receiving yards prop of 58.5 yards, so both overs came in.
Seattle benefitted from Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz going out in the first half with a concussion, forcing backup Josh McCown into the game. McCown did what he could, but just couldn’t bring the Eagles back. It was a fitting end to Philadelphia’s season, as they battled injuries all season long and then ended up losing their starting QB in the playoffs.
Breakdown and Picks for Seahawks at Packers
Although the Seahawks do have one of the best records in the league, they have been involved in so many close games that they have only covered the spread at an average rate of 8-8-1 this season, including a 2-6 ATS record at home and a 6-2-1 ATS record on the road. The Seahawks have made the playoffs six out of the last seven seasons, they have been entirely average for betting purposes during that time, going 7-7 ATS.
Looking at the Seahawks against on the total, they have been an average team at covering the over, going 8-8-1. At home, Seattle is 4-3-1 on the over. On the road, they’re 4-5.
Looking at Football Outsiders, the DVOA numbers say that Seattle has been an above-average offensive team and a below-average defensive team. Seattle’s offensive DVOA has them ranked 5th, and then their defensive DVOA has them ranked 18th.
Even though the Packers are generally a team that the public tends to bet on way more often than they should, they have paid off this season by going 10-6 ATS. Both at home and on the road this season, the Packers went 5-3 ATS. This is the Packers’ first trip to the NFL Playoffs since 2016. In their last two postseason trips, they combined for 3-2 straight up and 4-1 ATS.
On the over/under total this season, the Packers have been close to the worst team in the league at covering the over, going 6-10 on the season. That’s from 3-5 at both home and on the road.
It’s surprising the Packers were the No. 2 seed in the NFC if you want to go by how Football Outsiders has them graded. Green Bay is the 10th-ranked team in overall DVOA, ranking 8th on offense and 15th on defense.
As I say every week, take my pick in this Seahawks games with a grain of salt, as I am a Seahawks fan. That said, this is the easiest game all weekend for me to pick. The Packers are not really that great of a team anymore and how they got the No. 2 seed is beyond me. They had an easy schedule this season, which definitely helped them, but looking at all their games against tough opponents, things start to make a little sense.
Against a healthy Eagles team, the Packers lost by 7 in Week 4. They beat a Chiefs team with Matt Moore at quarterback in Week 6, which isn’t surprising, then lost against the Los Angeles Chargers by 15 and lost to the 49ers by 29. Green Bay’s lone victory against a good team in the second half of the season came against the Vikings, who were without their top two starting running backs.
While the Seahawks have had their share of luck this season, they are still a team that is much better offensively and a team that is comparable defensively. I know that Green Bay is a tough place to play, but you’re getting Seattle as a 4.5-point underdog in this game and they are a team that tends to stay in close games constantly. The Seahawks have been known historically as a team that is much better at home than on the road, but they have actually been better on the road than at home this season. In recent years, the trend of them being bad on the road really doesn’t hold up. I think they Seahawks win this game outright, so taking them with the points feels like easy money.
Free Picks: Seahawks (+4.5) and Under 47
READ MORE: Kevin Taylor’s Preview and Picks for Seahawks at Packers