Six NFL playoff games are officially in the books, but plenty more are just around the corner. With Super Wild-Card Weekend wrapped up, it’s time to turn our attention to the Divisional Round, where the drama gets turned up yet another notch. We’ve got another rematch of the Buccaneers and Saints. We’ve got Lamar Jackson against Josh Allen. We’ve got Jalen Ramsey looking to shut down the Packers. And we’ve got *checks notes* the Cleveland Browns facing off with the reigning champions.
Who’s favored in the next slate of postseason action? Who do the oddsmakers like to advance to the AFC and NFC title games? Take a look below for an early preview of opening Divisional Round lines, with odds courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook:
Rams at Packers
Opening line: Packers -7
Los Angeles pulled off a major upset on Super Wild-Card Weekend with a 30-20 win over the Seahawks, and quarterback Jared Goff will be another week removed from thumb surgery. But it’s no surprise the Rams are touchdown underdogs here. Goff may have nice weapons around him, but he’s still a mediocre passer right now. More importantly, Aaron Rodgers has been dominant all year, and he and the Packers will be at Lambeau after a week of rest. Green Bay is the more complete and better-coached squad. The road to the Super Bowl runs through Green Bay in the NFC.
Opening line: Bills -2.5
The tightest game of the Divisional Round, according to oddsmakers, this may end up being the most entertaining of the weekend. Between Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, who entered the NFL during the same draft in 2018, the Bills and Ravens figure to put on a clinic of dual-threat QB play. Buffalo wasn’t perfect in its close win over the Colts during Wild-Card Weekend, but neither were the Ravens against the Titans on Sunday. The Bills are likely only getting the slight nod here because they’ll be at home with an extra day of rest, but this one, frankly, is all about whether you believe more in Jackson’s legs or Allen’s arm.
Opening line: Chiefs -9.5
No one deserves more love after Super Wild-Card Weekend than the Browns, who managed to snap a 17-game losing streak in Pittsburgh by dropping 48 on the Steelers. But let’s be honest: Kansas City is on another level entirely when it comes to offensive firepower, and had they trailed 28-0 on Sunday, there’s no question, unlike the Steelers, they would’ve been able to overcome the deficit. This one should be fun, if only because Cleveland will embrace the underdog mentality once more, but at Arrowhead, with Patrick Mahomes coming off a week of rest and facing an iffy Browns “D,” the Chiefs are rightful favorites.
Buccaneers at Saints
Opening line: Saints -3.5
Recent history says the Buccaneers have no chance here. The Saints have won five straight against Tampa Bay, and even with Tom Brady on their side in 2020, the Bucs have been embarrassed for close to two full games against Sean Payton’s squad. Common sense, however, says this will come down to the wire. Brady may have crumbled beneath the pressure the last time these two teams met, but his arm has been lively down the stretch, and he’s also a different breed in the postseason. New Orleans deserves the slight edge, especially considering it’ll tout its top-five defense at home. But this game could very well be a shootout.