As the playoffs move into the NFL Divisional Round, we’re back with our weekly installment of game-by-game predictions. We’ve got NFL picks against the spread and straight-up picks for each and every single game.
Eight teams marched into the second round of the playoffs, two as the top seeds on a first-round bye – the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. By the end of the weekend, four will be left standing after booking their passage into the Conference Championship round next Sunday. [insert dramatic shiver!]
Let’s check the latest NFL news, stats, injury reports, and NFL lines for NFL Divisional Round Playoffs Games. We’ve plenty of NFL picks.
NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Weekend
Jaguars vs Chiefs
- Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET NBC
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the toast of the playoffs after rallying from a huge deficit to upset the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 and coming through as the 2-point road underdogs for their backers. Trevor Lawrence was the golden boy of the Wild Card weekend, underscoring his credentials as a generational talent – the label that catapulted him to the top of his draft class in 2021 – and Doug Pederson is lapping up the accolades with a chest puffed out like a proud papa.
However, as impressive as their comeback was versus the Chargers, falling into a 27-0 hole must be considered somewhat of a red flag. No? Put it this way, if they fall into a similar hole at Arrowhead Stadium, would anyone rate their chances of pulling off a similar comeback?
It’s hard to imagine the Jaguars would be so competitive against the No. 1-seeded Chiefs. Yes, it’s the playoffs where anything can happen. But we’re also talking about the C-H-I-E-F-S.
Patrick Mahomes and Co. beat the Jaguars 27-17 on Nov. 13 in Jacksonville, though the score belies just how dominant the Chiefs were for the better part of the game. Then, the Chiefs were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal and allowing the Jaguars to get back into the game in the latter stages.
Arguably, the Jaguars were a different team then. They were at the beginning of their remarkable turnaround with the loss to the Chiefs representing one of two setbacks on an 8-2 run down the stretch. At the same time, the Chiefs have shown a penchant to play up or down to their opponents.
But, not to sound repetitive, this is the playoffs. The Chiefs are one of the best at it in recent years. Now, having seen what the lengths the Jaguars are capable of, don’t be surprised if the Chiefs don’t give them an inch, never mind a mile.
- Pick SU: Chiefs -465
- Pick ATS: Chiefs -9 ½ (Ev)
Giants vs Eagles
- Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
The New York Giants redlined their dangerous floater credentials with an upset over the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round. Now, they have their sights set on the Philadelphia Eagles. Will the Giants deliver a second straight upset? Heady thought, indeed.
Arguably, the Vikings were among the most vulnerable of the teams going into the playoffs. That fact, though, should not take anything away from what Brian Daboll’s side accomplished last weekend. Danny Dimes and Co. were impressive and they took it to the Vikings, seemingly unaware of the fact that they were the considerable underdogs as per the NFL odds. (They must have not gotten the memo!)
That kind of confidence and attitude will serve them well here. Toppling the Eagles will require a healthy amount of disrespect, not to mention amnesia. In two meetings this season, Philly outscored the Giants 70-38, although Daboll rested most of his starters in the 22-16 loss in Week 18.
Jalen Hurts returned in the final week after missing three games with a shoulder injury. He did his part to help lift his side to the victory and seal the No. 1 seed. But, truth be told, he didn’t look especially great in that game. Certainly, nowhere near the lofty form that saw him dominate at the start of the season.
The concern for Philly is going to be Hurts’ form. Let’s face it, missing that much time will invite rust and that could very well rear its ugly head here. As such, the Giants have a shot to keep this game close, if not pull off the upset entirely.
- Pick SU: Giants +270
- Pick ATS: Giants +7½ (-115)
Bengals vs Bills
- Sunday, 3 p.m. ET CBS
The Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills resume their rivalry in the Divisional Round after their first meeting in Week 17 was canceled due to the terrifying health emergency that befell Damar Hamlin. The fact that the game was never finished arguably helped Buffalo in the end. The Bills maintained their advantage over Cincinnati in the AFC standings and thus clinched the No. 2 seed.
Home advantage in a matchup of equals could be very deciding and there is no fan base more passionate than the Bills Mafia, who will be out in full force to spur their team on. That said, the outcome of this game will largely depend on Josh Allen’s performance. How well (or poorly) he plays. He wasn’t up to snuff in the Wild Card round versus the Miami Dolphins, who trotted out third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson and very nearly delivered the upset at Orchard Park.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals had their hands full with a shortchanged Baltimore Ravens side, too. So, in many respects, Burrow’s performance will be key as well.
All told, this is a total tossup for NFL picks. The Bills should come through, but the Bengals could shock them.
- Pick SU: Bengals +190
- Pick ATS: Bengals +4½ (-110)
Cowboys vs 49ers
- Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, FOX
The Dallas Cowboys take on the team that nobody wants to play in the playoffs, the San Francisco 49ers, who steamrolled the Seattle Seahawks 41-23 on Saturday. Importantly, Brock Purdy’s incredible Cinderella run continued and saw the third-string quarterback improve to 6-0 SU in his fledgling NFL career.
The Cowboys are coming off a 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road, playing solid football on both sides of the ball. But how much stock can we put in a win over a team that hobbled into the playoffs? Really?
The Cowboys all too often flatter to deceive. What’s more, it’s not unusual to see them regress after a solid performance, either. It goes without saying that a regression in this game would be tantamount to disaster for Dak Prescott and Co.
Purdy is still a bit of a wild card, though he’s unbeaten so far. The Cowboys’ pass defense is no slouch and the Niners offense (Purdy in particular) will be tested sorely by Dan Quinn’s D-unit. That said, the rookie’s supporting cast is one of the best in the league, and so long as he doesn’t do anything to sink his side’s chances, the Niners should come through as the firm home favorites for NFL picks.
- Pick SU: 49ers -190
- Pick ATS: 49ers -4 (-110)
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.