Not sure I’ve ever seen a Divisional Round week where such a strong case can be made that each of the road teams has a legitimate chance to win. While history tells us the home team should win three of these games (if not all four), they’re going to be competitive – nothing could be worse than last week’s blowouts.
Here are five players we’re convinced have a great chance of sending you to the playoff pay window.
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook (updated Friday, Jan. 21 at 7:40 p.m. ET) … If you’re in CO or NJ, place all of your legal, online sports wagers with Tipico Sportsbook.
The Tennessee Titans found a way to lock down the No. 1 seed in the AFC without their most potent weapon, RB Derrick Henry. Now he’s back, and there’s going to be a lot of pregame debate about whether he’s the Henry that was a legitimate MVP candidate or a running back being forced back too soon with a foot injury – an RB killer. By his standards, he has a low Over/Under (80.5 rushing yards at -114 for both the Over and Under). The fact the Titans activated him lends itself to giving Henry a heavy workload. He’s the centerpiece of the offense, and the team has been built around him for a reason. Take the Over (-114).
Runnin’ with the Devil
The San Francisco 49ers have a big job ahead of them traveling to Green Bay. Their QB has a thumb problem on his throwing hand. In cold weather, it hurts much worse. The 49ers are likely to lean on RB Elijah Mitchell … again. Over his last six games, he has more than 20 carries in all of them. His Over/Under for rushing attempts is less than that (18.5 carries at -118 Over, -110 Under). The only way he doesn’t make it seven in a row with 20-plus carries is if the Packers blow out the Niners early, or he gets injured during the game. Take the Over (-118).
The deeper the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go in the playoffs, the more the injury to Chris Godwin and the release of Antonio Brown are going to stand out. QB Tom Brady has had absurd Over/Under numbers all season, and this week is no exception (290.5 passing yards at -114 for both). Brady has more than proved what he is capable of in the postseason and many see a shootout type of game. While I don’t disagree with that, if the Los Angeles Rams defense can effectively limit Mike Evans, Brady will need to complete 30 passes to hit that number with dink-and-dunk passes. The Bucs may win, but it shouldn’t be through an aerial attack. Take the Under (-114).
Swinging for a Single
Just as many who are projecting the Rams-Buccaneers game to be a passing festival, the same is true in the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs matchup. In this case, I see that happening. Bills RB Devin Singletary is playing the best ball of his career of late, reflected in his Over/Under (15.5 rushing attempts at -105 Over, -123 Under). For a standard featured back, that’s not a lot, but for Singletary, that’s a pretty stiff number. If he struggles early, his carries will suffer. The Bills may just come out throwing and not look back. Zack Moss may get some looks. Too many factors are against it. Take the Under (-123).
Hail to the Chief
There are always two players for the Chiefs that get bettors expecting huge games – WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce. The Bills linebackers are decent, but not great. Kelce is great. Hill is likely to garner double-coverage on most plays. Kelce will likely be locked up one-on-one more times than not. Who will Patrick Mahomes choose? The star in single coverage. He has a pretty big number for a tight end (69.5 receiving yards at -116 Over, -111 Under) for a reason. He’s going to top it. Take the Over (-116).
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