NFL Playoffs, Divisional Round: This Weekend's Best Bets

  • NFL Playoffs, Divisional Round: This Weekend's Best Bets

NFL Playoffs, Divisional Round: This Weekend's Best Bets

First of all, I'm very glad to be writing for the National Football League column again, as I have enjoyed writing these throughout the season and I'm truly excited to be bringing them to you in the playoffs. Two games on Saturday and two on Sunday, a weekend where a permanent imprint can be left on one's couch.

In short, this game boils down to one question: Can the Saints, with all their offensive weapons, find a way to cut through the best defense in football?

For the first time in playoff history, a No. 6 seed is a road favorite over the top seed in the Divisional Round.

I had more trouble this week than I did last week, specifically in the NFC.

Just as interesting is how little confidence Vegas and bettors have on the overall #1 seed in the NFC.

The Saints and Falcons both jumped ahead of the Eagles after Wild-Card Weekend, while the Vikings have remained the favorites since the end of the regular season. That is a team that is clicking at the right time, no? There is a vanilla game plan that involves running the ball, not turning it over and forcing Matt Ryan to make bad decisions that could get the Eagles a win on Saturday.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara
Saints running back Alvin Kamara

"I think experience in general is great", Keenum said.

What are the odds ... the Eagles win a playoff game without Carson Wentz?

"I think Atlanta wins here". You can throw on them (although that may still be a challenge for Bortles) and also can run on them, as evidenced by four of their last five opponents gaining more than 100 yards on the ground. Tennessee has hardly found themselves in this position over the years, while this is the norm for New England. Do you back the home teams or the road teams? The Steelers offense is out for revenge, and with all the talent on that side of the ball they will score at least 20 points. Only slightly, but as Bill Belichick did point out this week, the Titans have essentially won two playoff games in a row if you include their win or go home week 17 game against Jacksonville. It would be nice to see the Patriots line pushed to a field goal with the tease, but I'm not sweating 3 to 3.5. They have no chance.

"Talk about a game that is important for [Blake] Bortles". The pressure is really on now, and there are lots of factors that will go into who advances to the final four of these playoffs. The Steelers' defense limped down the stretch and hasn't been the same since linebacker Ryan Shazier was lost for the season. The argument in favor is that this is traditionally the week where most upsets happen, plus there is still the maximum number of games taking place. Jacksonville didn't show me a whole lot offensively last week. An underwhelming performance from either of their units probably won't cost them a job, but if they can tune out the noise and look good doing it, it will only help them.

While it remains to be seen whether Sarkisian will have to match wits with a strong defensive mind in crunch time, we do know fatigue vs. freshness strongly favors Philadelphia. The Vikings have a top ten offense in terms of points per game, and Keenum has one of the highest QBRs in the NFL. Holding the Bills to only three points, snagging two interceptions, and compiling two sacks totaled the Jags defense with 13 FanDuel NFL points.

With those thoughts in mind, we'll start your NFL DFS optimal lineup with the Quarterbacks... He did it without a true running game too. Two, actually. First, the Falcons are second in yards per play differential between offense and defense, a HUGE metric in measuring team quality for gambling purposes.