After six exciting games during Wildcard Weekend, we move on to the Divisional round and another four exciting games are to come. Both number one seeds enter the playoffs now and we get to see how much that week off will help them.
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Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs
The season so far
The Jaguars have had a great season and fans would not have expected to get this far. They won their division, catching the Colts to take the AFC South title and get themselves a home game in the playoffs.
Very quickly in their playoff game against the Chargers it was looking bad as the Jaguars went 27-0 down. However, a stunning comeback meant they took the win 31-30 to keep their season alive. This team must now feel unbeatable after a result like that.
Kansas City have had a good season finishing as the AFC West champions and getting the number one seed with a 14-3 record. Going into the year many people felt that the other teams in their division could compete, but the Chiefs are the only team left in the playoffs.
Patrick Mahomes has been his imperious best once again and will expect to keep the Chiefs Lombardi hopes alive in this game. Once again Jerrick McKinnon has shown how good he can be in the second half of the season and they always have a chance to win games with the best tight end in the game, Travis Kelce.
The Jaguars have a decent bill of health going into this game. Trevor Lawrence still has a toe injury but will certainly play through it. They also have two injuries on the o-line with Brandon Scherff and Luke Fortner both questionable.
Defensively the Jaguars are fully fit. The only other concern for them is that Jamal Agnew who is questionable with a shoulder injury. If he was to miss out, then that would be a big loss as he is a great punt returner for them.
The Chiefs are almost 100% fit with only defensive end Franck Clark questionable for this game. He has a groin problem but is likely to play. Also, wide receiver Mecole Hardman has been on injured reserve with a pelvis injury and probably won’t play.
My first bet for this game is Evan Engram to get over 45.5 yards in the game at 17/20. Engram has been a huge revelation in Jacksonville this year and is a beloved target for Trevor Lawrence.
Chances are this game will be a high scoring game with two decent offences and two defences that you can score on. Due to that receiving options like Engram become appealing.
The second bet for this game is Jerick McKinnon to have over 0.5 receiving touchdowns at 2/1. As has been said this game should be a pass heavy game and although McKinnon is a running back, he will be used a lot in the receiving game.
McKinnon had nine touchdowns in the last six weeks of the regular season. However, eight of the nine were passes and so 2/1 looks a great price for him to do it again.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
The season so far
The New York Giants have had a great season after missing out on the playoffs for a long time. They went 9-7-1 this season and managed to get a wildcard spot.
They then had a decent performance against the Minnesota Vikings last weekend winning 31-24. A standout performance from Daniel Jones made the difference and their offence was much better overall.
The Eagles had a great season finishing the regular season with a 14-3 record. Doing that meant they took the NFC East title and the number one seed overall.
Jalen Hurts has been amazing all season and it would be surprising if he didn’t keep it going. There are very few weaknesses on the Eagles roster, and they should be looking at getting to the big game.
The Giants have few issues on the offensive side of the ball with only Isaiah Hodgins struggling with an ankle problem. He has been limited at practice this week but should start.
Defensively, the Giants have bigger issues. Azeez Ojulari has a quadriceps injury and is the biggest worry for this game. Both Fabian Moreau and Julian Love are also questionable but are likely to play.
Philadelphia is in a good space now having had last week off because of claiming the number one seed in the regular season. Currently only Lane Johnson is a concern for this game with a groin injury, but he should be good to play.
The only other issue the Eagles have is with Brandon Graham who is questionable with illness. However, he is likely to be fine to play.
The Eagles are big favourites for this game and so they should be. The two teams played twice this season and the Eagles have won both. They should win this game, but the handicap feels a little high.
The Giants have shown they can put up points, especially last week against the Vikings. The Eagles are a much better defence but taking the +9.5 at 3/4 feels like a good bet.
The second bet to go for in this game is Isaiah Hodgins to have over 0.5 receiving touchdowns at 23/10. Hodgins has had a great end to the season scoring four touchdowns in the last five games. He also scored against the Vikings last week and has created a great connection with Daniel Jones.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills
The season so far
The Bengals have had a great season, winning the AFC North, with a 12-4 record. The start of the season wasn’t fantastic for the Bengals going 4-4 but an eight-game win streak got them over the line as the number three seed.
They took on the Ravens last weekend and although it was a close game it felt comfortable for them. Joe Burrow showed he can win the game in the air and with his legs and the stud QB will need to be at his best to win this game.
Buffalo also had a great season winning the AFC East with a 13-3 record. They missed out on the number one seed but still finished at number two after a seven-game win streak.
They got a win against the Dolphins last week, but it was a close affair that would have made Bills fans a bit concerned. Winning 34-31 against a team playing their third string QB is not ideal and a mixed bag from Josh Allen was not great.
Cincinnati have got a couple of injuries on the o-line that is concerning. Left tackle Jonah Williams and right guard Alex Cappa. Both guys are questionable but will probably be fit to play.
The defence is looking fit overall with only Tre Flowers questionable with a hamstring problem.
The Buffalo offence is fully fit and will be looking to keep firing against a tough defence in the Bengals.
The defence does have some worries though. Dane Jackson and Jordan Poyer are both questionable with knee injuries and DeQuan Jones has a calf problem.
This game looks to be the most exciting game of the weekend and hopefully it won’t disappoint. Both teams have got explosive offences and it feels like both QB’s are going to want to show who is best. The total points market is set at 47.5 points, and you must love the over at 3/4.
Next up is Dawson Knox to have over 0.5 receiving touchdowns at 11/5. Knox has scored four touchdowns in the last five games in the regular season and then again last week against Miami. He isn’t the first option for Josh Allen, but he is a big redzone target and has a great chance of scoring this week.
Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers
The season so far
Dallas have had a decent season going 12-5 and only just missing out on the NFC East title to the Eagles. They seem to have found a good run game with Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliot that has been a big strength all season long.
They took on the Buccaneers last week and took care of business easily. At no point did they look in danger of losing that game and they will be able to give the 49ers a good game.
The 49ers have had a great season winning the NFC West with a 13-4 record. They missed out on the number one seed, as that went to the Eagles, but have been on a great run winning the last 10 games of the season.
Not only did they finish the season off with a 10-game win streak, but they also went on and beat the Seahawks last week. The offence is still working well together and putting up points, but the defence is the true star of the show and will give them a great chance to lift the Lombardi.
The Cowboys are looking good on the offence with no new injury worries going into this game.
The defence does have a couple of issues, however. DeMarcus Lawrence currently is limited with a foot injury and Jayron Kearse has a knee problem. Its likely that both guys will be fit to give it a go.
Like the Cowboys, the 49ers have got a clean bill of health on the offence and should all be healthy for this game.
On the defence the 49ers have got a couple of injuries to worry about. Javon Kinlaw was limited at practice with a knee injury and Samson Ebukam with an ankle injury. Kinlaw should be fine to go but Ebukam is considered day to day currently.
This game looks like it will be quite a tight encounter with both sets of defences having good seasons. On top of that you have two sets of offences that are more than capable of putting up points. The 49ers are -3.5 in the handicap market and at 4/5 it looks like a good price for the home team.
The second bet that looks good is George Kittle to have over 0.5 receiving touchdowns at 17/10. He didn’t get in the end zone last week, but he has a good repour with QB Brock Purdy and scored seven touchdowns in the last four games of the season. He is always a good target in the redzone for Purdy and is a good price.