NFL Playoff Odds & Picks: Bets To Make Based On Divisional Round Trends

NFL Playoff Odds & Picks: Bets To Make Based On Divisional Round Trends article feature image
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Marquise Brown, Lamar Jackson

Super Wild Card Weekend was super indeed. I very much enjoyed the two extra playoff games — but now it’s time to get to business: The Divisional Round is here.

Let’s take a look at some trends for the early spreads and totals for Wild Card Weekend.

Although I’m not a trends bettor, I find that trends help me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games. Using our Action Labs database, I have uncovered some intriguing trends for all four games next weekend.

All lines are from our NFL Odds page.

Abbreviations: Against the spread (ATS), return on investment (ROI).

NFL Playoff Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Packers (-7) vs. Rams
Ravens (+3) at Bills
Browns (+10) at Chiefs
Saints-Buccaneers Over 51.5

Packers (-7) vs. Rams

Kickoff: 4:35 p.m. ET on Saturday | TV: FOX

In the Divisional Round, I like to bet against No. 1 seeds as home favorites (see my Browns analysis below), but I must make an exception for the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

I’m a simple person: I like to bet on quarterbacks who win, and Rodgers wins.

For his career, he’s an A-graded 119-84-5 ATS (14.7% ROI).

And he has been especially dominant at home, going 61-35-4 ATS (23.3% ROI) at Lambeau Field.

Best of all, Rodgers is coming off the bye, and he’s 10-5-1 ATS with 12-15 days to rest and prepare.

But this line has opened at -7, and I think it will move toward the Rams from there. So I’m putting some action on the Packers now in case I’m wrong, but I’m also planning to bet more on them later at a better number.

  • Action: Packers -7 (-105) at PointsBet
  • Limit: Packers -7 (-110)


Ravens (+3) at Bills

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday | TV: NBC

Of all the postseason teams, the Ravens and Bills are the two with the best ATS records at 11-6.

But despite their ATS similarity, I strongly prefer the Ravens in this spot, as quarterback Lamar Jackson is 4-1 ATS (56.9%) as a road dog.

For his career, quarterback Josh Allen is 26-17-2 ATS, but as a home favorite he is a mediocre 7-7 ATS.

The Bills don’t have a historical ATS edge in this spot, and the Ravens clearly do. That said, I would not bet this lower than +3: I have a lot of respect for the Bills.

  • Action: Ravens +3 (-110) at PointsBet
  • Limit: +3 (-110)

Browns (+10) at Chiefs

Kickoff: 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS

It’s the Divisional Round, which means plenty of sports-betting fish will soon appear from nowhere to populate these sharky speculative waters.

And what is the fishiest thing a bettor could do this weekend?

Bet on a No. 1 seed as a home favorite.

And, indeed, a look at the historical data confirms the naïveté of such a bet and the sharpness of the other side: Since 2004 (as far back as our database goes), Divisional Round underdogs are 22-11-1 ATS (28.5% ROI) against No. 1 seeds.

The Browns are an unimpressive 7-10 ATS this season, but they have luckily been at their best as road dogs, going 3-2 ATS when getting points as visitors.

  • Action: Browns +10 (-110) at BetMGM
  • Limit: +7.5 (-110)

Saints-Buccaneers Over 51.5

Kickoff: 6:40 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: FOX

An indoor playoff game? I can’t help myself. Historically, the over in domed playoff contests is 29-13 (36.9% ROI).

On top of that, the over at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is an A-graded 71-51-2 (14.2% ROI) in quarterback Drew Brees’ starts going all the way back to his first season with the Saints in 2006.

In the seven career matchups between head coaches Sean Payton and Bruce Arians, the over is 5-2.

  • Action: Over 51.5 (-105) at BetMGM
  • Limit: 54.5 (-110)

Matthew Freedman is 964-746-36 (56.4%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

The Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, Freedman is commonly called the Oracle & the Labyrinthian.

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