Welcome to my NFL divisional round point spread picks column. There was only one upset in the wild card round. The San Francisco 49ers disposed of the Dallas Cowboys. Last week I went a perfect 6-0 in my wild card column! This brings my overall record on the season to 151-127. I am now ranked 285 out of 8670 on the season. You can always view all of my previous picks here. There are two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday this week. Let’s take a look at my NFL divisional round point spread picks.
Saturday, January 22nd
Cincinnati Bengals (11-7) @ Tennessee Titans (12-5) Line: Titans by 3 1/2
Cincinnati defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 last week in the opening round of the playoffs. By securing the number one seed in the AFC playoffs the Tennessee Titans were able to rest RB Derrick Henry for an additional week. There are reports out of Tennessee that Henry could receive his normal workload of 20 plus carries this week. The Titans offense operates much more efficiently when they can pound the ball on the ground. The Cincinnati Bengals lost Larry Ogunjobi last week for the rest of the season, which would be a huge loss for them because he is probably the best run-stopper on the Bengals defense. Pick: Titans
San Francisco 49ers (11-7) @ Green Bay Packers (13-4) Line: Packers by 5 1/2
Green Bay was idle last week after securing the number one seed in the NFC playoffs. Meanwhile, San Francisco defeated Dallas 23-17. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers is 0-3 against San Francisco in the playoffs. In week 3 of the regular season, the Packers defeated the 49ers on a last-second Mason Crosby field goal. The temperatures at game time could be in the single digits for this contest. 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is playing through a torn thumb ligament and sprained throwing shoulder. San Francisco will need to rely on WR Deebo Samuel to continue to be a force out of the backfield to offset some of their passing game deficiencies. This may prove difficult on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Pick: Packers
Sunday, January 23rd
Los Angeles Rams (13-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4) Line: Buccaneers by 2 1/2
The Rams dispatched the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 34-11 last week. The Buccaneers had no problems with the Philadelphia Eagles either, winning by a score of 31-15. The injuries are beginning to mount for Tampa Bay. They could be without offensive linemen Tristan Wirfs and Ryan Jensen this week. They were injured in the Buccaneers victory last week and are both questionable to play on Sunday. Tampa Bay is already without WR Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown and could be without RB Leonard Fournette once again. The Rams defense has the speed at linebacker to keep up with Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski and the power up front to hassle QB Tom Brady. I believe that the Buccaneers title defense will be put to a halt this week. Pick: Rams
Buffalo Bills (12-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (13-5) Line: Chiefs by 1 1/2
The Bills throttled the New England Patriots by a score of 47-17 last week. Meanwhile, the Chiefs annihilated the Steelers 42-21. Buffalo had the best defense in the league this season as they had the fewest points allowed. Kansas City played defense poorly at the beginning of the season but has been much better recently. The Chiefs failed to score any points in the first quarter against the Steelers. Kansas City will want to avoid doing that against the Bills because it may be too much for the Chiefs to overcome. I believe that the winner of this game will win the AFC championship. This should be a high-scoring affair resulting in a Chiefs victory. I believe that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will get the best of his former assistant coach Sean McDermott in a thriller. Pick: Chiefs
How Betting Lines Work
A quick primer on how point spread lines work: For a favored team to cover the spread then they have to win by the number of points indicated in the betting line. For example, this week the Packers are favored by 5 1/2 points against the 49ers. If the Packers win by the score of 31-20 then they would cover the point spread. If the Packers win by the score of 24-20 then the 49ers would cover the point spread even though Green Bay had won the game.