NFL Football 2023 – Divisional Round Preview. Last week, we spoke about the Super Bowl odds for the top three teams: San Francisco (+225), Baltimore (+325), and Buffalo (+600). Those are still the top contenders in that exact order, but all their odds have improved. We’ve added Kansas City and Detroit to the list. The remaining three teams’ odds drop considerably.
NFL Playoffs Continue with Super Bowl Odds
San Francisco 49ers: +175
Baltimore Ravens: +290
Buffalo Bills: +500
Kansas City Chiefs: +700
Detroit Lions: +900
Saturday, January 20
- Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)
- Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-10)
Sunday, January 21
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-6)
- Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Both Saturday games feature the rested top teams playing the underdogs of the playoffs. Houston lost to the Ravens in Week 1, where C.J. Stroud played his first game as an NFL starter. He was sacked five times and didn’t score a touchdown. He’s come a long way since then, and so has his team. The defense is arguably as good as Baltimore’s.
But Stroud will still have to deal with a team with the most sacks in the NFL (60). He’s a high-volume passer but will need to be sharp against the Ravens, who have 18 interceptions in the regular season.
Stroud had an exceptional game against Cleveland, producing a 157.2 passer rating, but Lamar Jackson is the leading contender for the MVP award. His odds are at -10000, while the next closest is Dak Prescott at +1800. Jackson can avoid sacks, rush for yardage, or throw the ball. It’ll be difficult to slow him down.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are the top team right now, but Green Bay has been playing phenomenally well these last few games, led by their rookie quarterback, Jordan Love. Their defense sacked Dak Prescott four times in the Wild Card game and has 13 sacks in the last three games.
It helped that Dallas didn’t have much of a running game, so Green Bay’s defense went straight for Prescott most of the time. San Francisco had the third most rushing yards in the NFL this season. Most of that was attributed to Christian McCaffrey, who had the most rushing yards in the NFL with 1,459. The next closest didn’t even have 1,200 yards. Their passing game is just as impressive, which will make it difficult to defend against.
San Francisco is 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS when favored by 10 points or more. Green Bay’s defense is weak on the rush and could be their downfall. San Fran is the better team, but underestimating the Packers is still not a good idea. Just ask the Cowboys.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions
I wonder if the crowd and the cold will be a factor in this road trip for the Buccaneers. The last time they faced Detroit was in Week 6 when they lost 20-6. Quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t have his best game, and this loss started their downward spiral to 1-6.
But Mayfield turned things around and has 1,447 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only two interceptions in his last five games. Have the Bucs improved enough to beat the Lions this weekend? They are 8-3 ATS as an underdog.
Detroit’s edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson has stepped up his already good play to another level. He’s had multiple sacks in his last three games and posted a 33% pass rush win rate against the Rams in the Wild Card Round. That was higher than anyone else in the playoffs.
Jared Goff averaged 269.1 throwing yards per game this season. That’s the second-best in the league behind Tua Tagovailoa. He does even better at home, averaging 280 yards and throwing 19 of his 30 touchdowns there. Detroit also has one of the best running games to back up Goff’s throwing arm, so they’ll be tough for Tampa Bay to handle this weekend. Keep your limits in, though. The Bucs aren’t done yet.
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Buffalo beat the Chiefs 20-17 in Week 14, but this is the playoffs where Mahomes shines. The Bills beat the Chiefs in three regular-season games but have lost two playoff meetings. But all those games were played in Kansas City. The Bills hope a venue change to Buffalo will do the trick for them. Buffalo is in the top eight in the NFL in rushing yards, and the Chiefs have struggled to stop the run. But to win this game, you have to slow down Mahomes. Kansas City is 1-3 when he is sacked at least three times. When you get him off his game, their offense suffers.
Josh Allen has to continue playing as well as he has been in recent games, but the Buffalo defense will have to get under Mahomes’ skin if they hope to win because the Chiefs are built for the playoffs.
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