NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: A First-Half Bet For Rams-Bucs and Bills-Chiefs Under/Over Angle For Playoffs

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: A First-Half Bet For Rams-Bucs and Bills-Chiefs Under/Over Angle For Playoffs article feature image

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions 

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Rams-Bucs 1H Under 24
Bills-Chiefs Over 54

Rams-Bucs Odds, Pick

SpreadBucs -2.5
Time3 p.m. ET
Updated odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.

Both of these teams come into this game with issues on the offensive line.

The Los Angeles Rams with be missing left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who hurt his right knee in their wild-card win over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. For the Buccaneers, both center Ryan Jensen and right tackle Tristan Wirfs suffered ankle injuries in last week's win over of the Eagles.

I'm expecting both of these pass rushes to cause problems early with the Rams ranking first in ESPN's pass rush win rate and the Buccaneers ranking 10th.

The last time these two teams played, we got just 21 first-half points and that was with units that were full strength offensively. The Buccaneers won't have Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown while the Rams won't have Robert Woods.

I'll play the first-half under in what should be a surprising defensive battle in a game with Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford (shop for the best real-time line here). I would only play this at 24 or better.

Pick: First half under 24

» Return to the table of contents «

Bills-Chiefs Odds, Pick

SpreadChiefs -1
Time6:30 p.m. ET
Updated odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are coming off arguably one of the greatest performances in their history, a 47-17 destruction of Bill Belichick's New England Patriots in a game where they never punted, scoring on all seven drives. This is the weekend's most intriguing matchup as neither one of these teams should have any answer for the other defensively.

While the Bills are likely to comedown to earth, the Kansas City Chiefs had no answers for this offense the last time these two teams played with the Bills putting up 38 points as Allen completed 15-of-26 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing 11 times for 56 yards and  a touchdown.

At the time, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense were in the midst of a Super Bowl hangover as they put up just 20 points with Mahomes completing just 33-of-54 passes for 272 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

I'm expecting much more success from the Chiefs offense in this matchup given the adjustments they've made midseason. They'll also be facing a Bills unit without All-Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White, and this should be one of the few matchups this season that will put this secondary to the test.

The last game between these two hit 58 points and that's despite a halftime delay that threw off the rhythm for both teams. I'll play the over 54 in what should be an explosive, high-scoring game (shop for the best real-time line here). I would only play this at 54 or better.

Pick: Over 54

» Return to the table of contents «

We've "collapsed" our Raheem Palmer's picks for Saturday's games, but you can still read about them by clicking the arrow.

49ers vs. Packers

SpreadPackers -5.5
Time8:15 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.

If you've been following The Action Network Podcast with me and Brandon Anderson, you're fully aware that this is the matchup we've been waiting to capitalize on for weeks.

The Green Bay Packers come into this game as the NFC's No. 1 seed after posting a 13-4 regular-season record, earning the NFC's only bye week behind another MVP-caliber season from Aaron Rodgers.

After throwing 48 touchdowns to just five interceptions in 2020 on his way to his third MVP award, Rodgers appears on track for his fourth after a 37-touchdown, four-interception season in which he led the league in Football Outsiders DVOA, ESPN QBR and Quarterback Rating.

With the Packers offense featuring weapons like Davante Adams and Aaron Jones ranking second in DVOA, third in EPA/play and success rate, you'd be hard-pressed to find too many people willing to fade this team.

Despite that, there's not a team in the NFC that is better suited to knock off the Packers than the San Francisco 49ers — who are sixth in total DVOA, which is actually ahead of the Packers, who are ninth as a team. The 49ers won't completely slow down Rodgers and this offense, but they are fifth in ESPN's pass rush win rate and with Nick Bosa and Fred Warner healthy, they should be able to get some pressure and make things difficult.

In addition, this 49ers rushing attack with Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel  presents a challenge to a Packers run defense that ranks 30th in EPA/play and success rate. The Packers have struggled with dominant rushing attacks, giving up 219 yards to the Cleveland Browns on 8.8 yards per carry.

In many ways, that game against the Browns was a good comparison for what we could see in this game as the 49ers have a similar rushing attack and ability to beat the Packers through the air via play action. Despite four interceptions from Baker Mayfield, the Browns still had a chance to win down two with the ball at the 50-yard line.

Nonetheless, with the 49ers having a better quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and better weapons, they should have no problems scoring and playing keep-away from Rodgers and this Packers offense.

Interestingly enough, when you dig into the quarterbacks and opposing offenses the Packers have faced down the stretch, it hasn't exactly been a Murderer's Row. They were down at halftime to Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears, they were a two-point conversion away from losing to Tyler Huntley and the Baltimore Ravens and they struggled with Mayfield and the Browns.

One of the biggest issues for the Packers is defending the middle of the field, and they gave up 10 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns to Mark Andrews, so we should expect similar success from George Kittle in this matchup.

Overall, this should be a close game with the 49ers having a real chance to win. They've historically performed well against this Packers team, and my model makes this game Packers -3. When these two teams played earlier this season, the 49ers were laying 3.5 at home, so this is a clear over-adjustment.

I'll back the 49ers at +6 and on the ML as they should cover and have a chance to win outright. I'd bet this to +5.

Pick: 49ers +6 and ML

» Return to the table of contents «

Bengals vs. Titans

SpreadTitans -4
Time4:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.

My model makes this game 49 so at 47.5 this feels too low in this matchup. The Cincinnati Bengals are 11th in EPA/play on offense and the Tennessee Titans have to receive a major upgrade to their offensive power rankings with the return of Derrick Henry and an extra week for A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to get healthy.

With the return of Henry, the Titans welcome their workhorse back, which allows throws off of play action. With Bengals DT Larry Ogunjobi out for the season, I expect the Titans to have a ton of success on the ground. The Bengals are just 19th in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA and 24th against the pass despite facing the 14th-ranked schedule of opposing offenses.

This Bengals team gave up 34 points to the Jets, 41 points to the Browns and 41 points to the Chargers. In last week's game against the Raiders, the Bengals allowed five trips to the red zone and while they allowed just one touchdown, they'll be facing a Titans team that is sixth in the red zone, scoring on 63.9% of drives inside opponents' 20-yard line.

The Bengals will likely be a popular pick in this matchup with Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase as they have an offense that has been fifth in EPA/play and third in Success Rate since Week 11. They've scored 32, 41, 22, 23, 41, 34 and 26 against the Raiders, Steelers, Chargers, Ravens, Chiefs and Raiders, respectively, during that span.

Six of those seven game went over the total. This will be one of the toughest pass defenses the Bengals have faced this year, but it's likely we could see them in a negative game script with them struggling to stop the Titans offense, which could have them throwing their way back into this game and, in the process, have this game flying over the total. I'd bet this to 48.

Pick: Over 47.5

» Return to the table of contents «

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.