Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates his rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Green Bay Packers 24-14 win at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.Mjs Packers Bears Packers18 02416

NFL Divisional Round Picks: Titans, Packers, Bucs, Bills

Still well above .500 entering the NFL divisional playoffs, here are four fresh takes for arguably the best weekend of the year.

Can the Bills get over the hump and avenge their loss a season ago in KC? Does rest help Tennessee get healthy and overcome surging Cincinnati? And will the 49ers get after Aaron Rodgers to chase the MVP from the playoffs?

Check out picks analysis on all four games and then get the short-version quick picks here.

Packers vs Rams | Bengals vs Titans | Bills vs Chiefs | Rams vs Bucs 

Lines are as of Friday Jan. 21 at FanDuel Sportsbook watch for late line moves for any injury or Covid-related activity that may change your wager.

 

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Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5): Titans

I hate the hook and I’m afraid of the fact we don’t know exactly what to expect from Derrick Henry in his return from injury, but Henry is a playoff king and the well-coached Titans beat a lot of good teams this season. I also think the Bengals have hit their limit, but I’d consider buying back half a point before taking the fave, if possible.

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-5.5): Packers

The Packers aren’t trustworthy but they’re a lot healthier than San Francisco and they are usually good for at least one playoff win before choking. It’s a little surprising they’re laying less than a touchdown at Lambeau, because it’s possible San Francisco peaked in Dallas last week.

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)

On the road against a team that dominated last January and is led by the most decorated player in NFL history, and potentially without veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth, it’s downright silly that the Rams are getting less than a field goal in this spot. The Bucs aren’t exactly a picture of health either but should be considered the better team, and this line indicates otherwise.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-2): Bills

Neither result would surprise me at all here, but I think it’s Buffalo’s time. They’re completely healthy and rolling on all cylinders, and quite simply the better team at this point. Arrowhead could be a factor, but I think we’ll see a change of the guard here.

Archived NFL Divisional Round Picks article from Jan. 15, 2021

2020 RECORD: 128-119-11

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (-6.5): PACKERS

Injuries didn’t cost the Rams against the Seattle Seahawks on wild-card weekend, but Seattle was overrated and unable to properly take advantage of L.A.’s many deficiencies. It’ll be a different story in Green Bay against a Packers team that has outscored its opponents by 16.0 points per game over the course of a four-game home winning streak.

The Pack have also had two weeks to prepare. And although Rams breakout back Cam Akers could heat up against a vulnerable run defense, that unit has also improved. We saw that when they shut down David Montgomery in Week 17.

With big questions at quarterback and All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald hurting, there’s no way I’m taking the Rams with only 6.5 points on their side.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT BUFFALO BILLS (-2.5): BILLS

I went back-and-forth on this one so I’d probably prefer to sit back and enjoy it. The Ravens are tempting because it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping Lamar Jackson right now, but let’s not forget that the Bills would be riding an 11-game winning streak if not for a Kyler Murray Hail Mary in Week 10.

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s hot streak is a bit deceptive because the Ravens spent much of December beating up on bad teams. Josh Allen can match Jackson’s impact, and both have monkeys off their back after registering their first playoff wins last weekend. The Bills might not win big, but they should at least be favored by a full field goal at home.

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-10): BROWNS

Why are the Chiefs laying double-digit points? I know, Andy Reid is 25-5 in his career following regular-season or postseason byes, but the Chiefs haven’t been themselves for quite some time, they’re still pretty banged up, they might be rusty coming off essentially three weeks’ rest, and the Browns have absolutely nothing to lose right now.

That makes this a sucker’s line. Kansas City hasn’t won by more than six points in any of its last eight games, and Patrick Mahomes hasn’t been right for much of that stretch. Why should we suddenly expect that to change here, especially with standout right tackle Mitchell Schwartz still out of the lineup for the Chiefs?

The Browns are healthier now than they were when they rocked and shocked the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round. They’ll hang around here, and the backdoor cover is your friend anyway.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3): SAINTS

I’m really betting this game will push and taking this opportunity to warn you against betting against it at all with this line. The Saints are the much better all-around team and they won handily in Tampa in November, so it’d be silly to go against them with the Bucs slightly worn down on the road here.

Gun to my head, I’ll take the team I have pegged to win the game with only three points to give up, but add a hook and I’m jumping to the Bucs. That’s how serious I am about this thing being decided by about three points.

NFL Divisional Round Picks courtesy of Brad Gagnon. Watch NFL odds all week here at NFP.

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. He was a lead contributor to an earlier incarnation of NationalFootballPost.com and was happy to return when new management revived the brand in 2020. Based in Toronto, he's covered the NFL since 2008 and has been a national NFL writer at Bleacher Report since 2012. He despises all 32 NFL teams equally but remains a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors. He can be reached at Brad@NationalFootballPost.com

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