Check out our picks for the 2021 NFL Divisional playoffs!
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After a wacky Wild Card Weekend, we now move on to the NFL Division Finals portion of the playoffs. Just eight teams remain in the hunt for a Super Bowl, and this week's slate is loaded with tough calls. Luckily for you, we have some piping hot NFL Divison Round picks to get off our chests.
Before we get into everything, here are the latest NFL playoff odds, courtesy of the folks over at Bovada:
|Green Bay Packers||-360||+280||Los Angeles Rams|
|Buffalo Bills||-145||+125||Baltimore Ravens|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-550||+375||Cleveland Browns|
|New Orleans Saints||-165||+145||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Since we're jumping on super early lines, you'll want to check these NFL Divisional playoff odds before making any decisions, as they will move prior to opening kickoff. Now, let's get to the good stuff: Our latest and greatest NFL picks.
NFL Divisional Playoffs Betting Breakdown
Buffalo Bills (-145) vs. Baltimore Ravens (+125)
There's no secret as to why the Bills are favorites over the Ravens: They get to play in Buffalo, where they are now a dominant 8-1 on the season.
Of course, it also has something to do with their offense, which ranks second in points scored per game on the season. Quarterback Josh Allen has now shown he can dissect defenses on the postseason stage, too. He threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns without a single interception in the Bills' Wild Card Weekend win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Still, we can't help but wonder whether they have the two-way firepower to stop what suddenly seems like a formidable Baltimore squad. Not only do the Ravens rank second in points allowed per game, but they are now seventh in points scored. And everyone who thought Lamar Jackson couldn't perform under the brightest lights has been proven wrong. He rushed for more yards than Derrick Henry while throwing for more yards than Ryan Tannehill in the Ravens' win over the Tennessee Titans.
OSB Prediction: Baltimore Ravens (+125)
Kansas City Chiefs (-550) vs. Cleveland Browns (+375)
Look, let's not spill too much ink here.
What the Browns did versus the Pittsburgh Steelers was impressive. They went into hostile territory and forced not one, not two, not three, not four, but five turnovers—four of which were interceptions at the expense of Ben Roethlisberger.
As if that weren't enough, they went and scored 28 points...in the first quarter alone. They ended up with 48 points on the night, controlling the pace through and through with steady decision-making from quarterback Baker Mayfield (three touchdowns), a workhorse performance from Nick Chubb (18 carries for 76 rushing yards) and a gutsy red-zone display from Kareem Hunt (two touchdowns).
Cleveland, which just ended what was the league's longest playoff drought, might be scarier than we thought.
At the same time, they're playing the Chiefs. There's really nothing else to say. Patrick Mahomes is the best player in football, no offense is more dynamic or terrifying and they have a defense that verges on elite, especially at home.
OSB Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs (-550)
Green Bay Packers (-360) vs. Los Angeles Rams (+280)
Coming off a victory over the Seattle Seahawks is huge for the Rams. Their defense mucked up one of the league's top offenses, and quarterback Jason Goff was able to steer the ship off the bench without a major issue.
This still doesn't profile as the best matchup for Los Angeles. The Packers currently have the best offense, one that's led by a proven playoff gamer and MVP candidate in Aaron Rodgers.
As has been the case all year, the Rams do not have the offensive juice to go up against a terrific air attack. There's a strong chance this tilt not only goes to the Packers but isn't even close in the process.
OSB Prediction: Green Bay Packers (-360)
New Orleans Saints (-165) vs. Tampa Bay Pay Buccaneers (+145)
The Saints are going to be the popular pick here. They have more star power on the ground thanks to running back Alvin Kamara, and the combination of Drew Brees and Tayson Hill under center gives them more big-play potential in general.
There is definitely something to that, particularly when measured against a 43-year-old Tom Brady making plays for Tampa Bay. He doesn't have the raw arm strength that he used to and has struggled when forced to go up versus more aggressive defenses.
And yet, the Saints don't play stat style. Plus, the Bucs looked more than capable of making monster plays during their latest victory over the Washington Football Team. Brady had no trouble airing it out 40 times to the tune of 381 yards, and that was with shoddier than usual protection from his offensive line.
OSB Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+145)
Parlay of the Week
This week's bet slip is a straight moneyline play using all four of our picks. Here's how our docket is shaking out:
- Baltimore Ravens (+125)
- Kansas City Chiefs (-550)
- Green Bay Packers (-360)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+145)
The payout on this parlay is pushing more than 8-to-1. For every $100 you wager, you're looking at a potential return of $833—or $733 in pure profit.
If investing in two separate underdogs is too bold for your tastes, consider removing the Ravens at +125 or Bucs at +145 to lower your risk. We'd recommend bouncing Tampa Bay in that scenario, since choosing them over New Orleans' offense is, in fact, a hard decision.