Columnists, Sports

Booms, Busts and Bets: NFL Divisional Round

What’s better than the NFL playoffs? NFL playoffs with some skin in the game. Here are some of my favorite ways to be a little more involved in the action this weekend.

(Using FanDuel Sportsbook odds at time of writing. Disclaimer: Picks are merely the opinion of the author. Gambling involves financial risk. The author is not responsible for losses incurred from gambling.

Game Bets:

Yvonne Tang / DFP Staff

Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans: Over 47 points

  • This game might end up being the most fun to watch this weekend. Two of the league’s most explosive offenses (when healthy) are facing off. Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase has been the best connection in the league the past few weeks and King Henry will likely be back to impose his will in the playoffs. I’d expect a high-scorer. 

San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers: Green Bay to cover spread (-5.5)

  • A solid win against the Cowboys doesn’t change the fact that Jimmy Garopollo threw for 172 yards and an interception. Now, you can argue that the 49ers still won and he did what they needed him to do, but the question is whether he can do more if necessary. I’m not convinced he can, and I think Green Bay knows this. If the Packers can stop the run (a difficult task when facing Deebo Samuel) and make Jimmy G try to air it out, I think they can win this game comfortably. 

Los Angeles Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay ML (-146)

  • I really like Matthew Stafford. He’s had an incredible career and I want him to go to the Super Bowl so badly. But I don’t trust him against Tom Brady and the Bucs defense in the playoffs. The big-market pressure of LA has gotten to Stafford a few times this season. I expect the Bucs to shut down the run game, putting all the pressure on Stafford, and I don’t think he’ll hold up under it.

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs: Bills ML (+108)

  • Betting against Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs feels like a death wish. But Josh Allen and the Bills just eviscerated the Patriots defense and put up the NFL’s first perfect game — and Allen is way too fun to watch — so I’m riding with Bills Mafia. On the defensive side, Mahomes will have to throw against the best safety duo in the league, Poyer and Hyde, while Allen has a man open on most plays thanks to the expected poor play of Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen. 

Prop Bets:

Joe Burrow: Over 23.5 receptions (-122)

  • In his last six games, Burrow has only failed to eclipse this mark once. In what will likely be a high-scoring playoff match, he’ll need to throw the ball a lot for the Bengals to stay in this game. 

AJ Brown: Over 74.5 yards (-110)

  • Derrick Henry’s return will undoubtedly help to open up the field for the Titan’s receiving core. But a team hoping to make a deep playoff run won’t want to rely too heavily on its star RB in his first game back from injury. AJ Brown will be the Titan’s X-factor, and this yardage mark could easily be hit in around four catches for a playmaker like AJ.

Aaron Rodgers: Any Time TD scorer (+500)

  • Aaron Rodgers is going to have fun in what could potentially be his last playoff run in GB. While the 49ers are focused on stopping the RB duo of AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones and locking down Davante Adams, I could see Rodgers scrambling for a TD himself. Sure it’s still unlikely, but at +500 it’s a fun bet.

Cooper Kupp: Under 102.5 yards (-110)

  • Cooper Kupp is an absolute monster. But 103 yards, in the playoffs with Todd Bowles in charge of the opponent’s defense, is a tough ask. The Bucs know that the Rams run through Cooper Kupp and they won’t let him reach this total.

Parlays:

49ers ML + Deebo Samuel 50+ Rush Yds + Deebo Samuel Any Time TD (+609)

  • Despite my pick of Green Bay handling its business, the 49ers have a path to victory if Deebo can get going in the running game. This parlay assumes that this is the case, and could be a fun way to hedge your bets on Green Bay.

Chiefs/Bills Over + Patrick Mahomes Over 281.5 Yds + Josh Allen Over 280.5 Yds (+348)

  • I think many are hoping for and expecting an offensive shootout between Allen and Mahomes this weekend. If the game goes how it’s expected, this parlay is relatively low-risk for a decent reward.

Ja’Marr Chase 1st TD + AJ Dillon 1st TD + Giovani Bernard 1st TD + Dawson Knox 1st TD (+1,356,500)

  • I had to include one crazy one. 1st TD bets are one of the most fun bets to make in football, and when you combine a string of them you get a parlay that would pay out over $13K from a $1 bet if it hit. In seriousness, any of these guys make solid straight bets for 1st TD in their respective games. And if you get a group of friends to watch the game together and you all make the same 1st TD bet, that room will erupt if it hits.

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