NFL: 2020-21 Divisional Round Preview
Eight NFL teams are still in play as football enters the 2020-21 divisional round. Which four teams will advance? We’ll find out this weekend, with some incredible matchups and spreads of all sizes.
In the 2021 NFL post-season, one round is done and eight teams are heading into the 2020-21 divisional round. This weekend’s quartet of games will offer interesting matchups and spreads of all sizes. Let’s take a look at each and share our best bets.
#6 Los Angeles Rams @ #1 Green Bay Packers (-6.5)
Saturday, January 16 at 4:35 p.m. ET – FOX
The Los Angeles Rams advanced with a 30-20 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round, even with QB Jared Goff just 12 days out of surgery to repair a broken thumb. The Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, are led by MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers, who somehow continues to improve each year.
The Rams are very talented and made a statement in the wild-card round, but they’re just not on par with the Packers. The trio of Rodgers-Aaron Jones-Davante Adams might be the strongest in the league. That trinity alone may be enough to get this team to the Super Bowl.
Rams Packers: Green Bay should have no problem covering 6.5.
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#5 Baltimore Ravens @ #2 Buffalo Bills (-3)
Saturday, January 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET – NBC
These teams were the winners of both early games last weekend and advanced by the two slimmest margins of the round. Both have proven they can win in close games—a must this week. The Baltimore Ravens’ strong rushing attack behind Lamar Jackson and JK Dobbins should be able to exploit the Buffalo Bills’ porous run defense. But Josh Allen is making his case as a Top 3 QB in the league, and his offense looks unstoppable.
Ravens Bills: When the dust clears, Allen & Co. should have just enough firepower to and (spoiler alert) give us the much-anticipated Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship matchup.
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#6 Cleveland Browns @ #1 Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
Sunday, January 17 at 3:05 p.m. ET – CBS
This should be pretty obvious. Pat Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs will be moving on. The only question is by how many points. Ten points are a lot to cover, especially against a dynamic young defense in the second round of the playoffs. That said, it’s Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City offense is better than most of us have ever witnessed, and there’s no reason to doubt them here. I expect the Cleveland Browns to jump out to an early lead, so you can swoop in and grab a favorable live line for a trademark Mahomes playoff comeback.
Browns Chiefs: This one should end around 38-21 KC.
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#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) @ #2 New Orleans Saints
Sunday, January 17 at 6:40 p.m. ET – FOX
This battle of the old-timers promises to one of the best and most exciting of the weekend, as Tom Brady and Drew Brees meet in the playoffs possibly for the last time. The New Orleans Saints always disappoint at some point in the playoffs, so why not this week? The team is overrated, and if their season doesn’t come to an end this week, it will next week against Green Bay. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have some momentum coming off an 8-point win over the WFT but New Orleans convincingly handed it to the Bears, defeating them 21-9. New Orleans won both regular season matchups against Brady, and it’s very tough to beat any team, let alone a good team, three times in a row in any professional sport.
Bucs Saints: Tampa Bay should keep this one within the +3 and maybe even win outright. Either way, this will force another legendary QB matchup in the NFC Championship.
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This should be a tremendous weekend of playoff football. Every matchup has potential to be a classic, with plenty of ups and downs in each matchup. Keep an eye on live lines and exploit them. Don’t forget to trust playoff experience and pedigree, especially in the NFL. Good luck and always remember to go with your gut!
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