There are eight teams remaining in the race for the Lombardi Trophy. The final four is set in both the AFC and NFC.
A classic, established rivalry anchors the divisional round between Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. A potential budding rivalry could be taking shape between C.J. Stroud and Lamar Jackson.
Matt LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan continue their professional rivalry. The winner of the Buccaneers and Lions contest wants to plant their flag as more than just a feel-good story.
Storylines abound. Let’s break down the odds, early lines, and nitpick the best teams in the NFL.
NFL Divisional Round Odds & Lines
NFL divisional round odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook unless otherwise noted and are current as of Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 10:30 a.m. ET. Be sure to keep tabs on all of our current NFL odds during the NFL playoffs.
NFL Divisional Round Games
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens (Sat. Jan. 20, 4:30 p.m.)
Texans +9.5 (-110) @ Ravens -9.5 (-110)
The last time the Ravens lost a game (not including Week 18 as they rested their starters), Baltimore lost a nail-biter 33-31 to the Browns.
In that game, they jumped to a big 14-0 lead and took their eye off the prize by surrendering 17 unanswered points in the game’s final nine minutes.
I’m not anticipating such a slip this week. Baltimore is arguably the most well-balanced team in the league with a strong run game, pass game, run defense, and pass defense.
The Texans lack glaring flaws, but they’re not particularly balanced. This team demands Stroud play at an exceedingly high level, and they’ll need it to secure the upset.
While I appreciate Houston’s breakout season, this game feels like a decisive Baltimore victory with a clear cover of the spread.
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers (Sat. Jan. 20, 8:15 p.m.)
Packers +10 (-115) @ 49ers -10 (-105)
The 49ers are the biggest opening favorite among these four divisional round games. That says a lot about San Francisco, but it may be ignoring how well Green Bay performed against Dallas.
After seeing the Cowboys and Eagles flame out early in the wild-card round, who are the 49ers, really? It’s not fair to exclude those wins, but besides them, San Francisco only has maybe one impressive win (vs TB) since its Week 9 bye.
Or is this 49ers team who lost to Cleveland, Minnesota, Cincinnati, and Baltimore?
Erring on the side of caution, you may feel more comfortable siding with Green Bay. But Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle are one ferocious fivesome.
Bet against them at your own peril. I’m taking the Niners ATS.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions (Sun. Jan. 21, 3 p.m.)
Buccaneers +6 (-108) @ Lions -6 (-112)
If I’m looking for bulletin board material for either of these teams, I’m focusing on the feel-good angle. I’d be in the locker room and ask them, “Are we just happy to be here?!"
Both teams are receiving their well-deserved flowers yet no team is content to only make it to the divisional playoffs.
I tweeted a few weeks ago that I liked the Bucs and the way they played as a team on both sides of the ball with infectious body language and energy. It’s not scientific, it’s just the eyeball test.
With that in mind, I am continuing to pick Tampa Bay and for it to win outright so the points are a bonus.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills (Sun. Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m.)
Chiefs +2.5 (-102) @ Bills -2.5 (-118)
The third time’s the charm. I expect the Bills and Josh Allen to finally beat the Chiefs in their third playoff matchup. Patrick Mahomes has bested him twice in the postseason, but not this go-round.
Buffalo’s ability to maintain a two-dimensional offense both in the air and on the ground has been the difference this season. James Cook provides just enough traction to keep defenses honest.
While the Chiefs are effective when they do decide to run the ball, they opt to keep it pass-heavy most every week. I don’t believe you can do that against Buffalo and string together drives consistently.
This will be a tight game that may be decided by who has the ball last as they’ll score as time expires. Give me the Bills by a field goal.