NFL Divisional round 2021: Picks and predictions for each game

It’s time to look at the 2021 Divisional round and make our NFL picks on a quartet of terrific games across the upcoming weekend.

As always, the lines are provided by our great partners at WynnBet.

Matchup

Cincinnati Bengals

10-7

Tennessee Titans

12-5

Saturday, Jan. 22

4:30 p.m. ET

CBS

TEN -3.5

This has somehow become the forgotten game of the weekend, and it shouldn’t be. Tennessee has a half-dozen excellent wins this year including two over the Indianapolis Colts, and others against the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. The latter four? Still playing.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati has an explosive young offense and a quarterback in Joe Burrow who gives the Queen City hope now and for the next dozen years. This game largely comes down to whether Cincinnati can win in the trenches against a rested Tennessee team with an excellent front four.

Pick: Tennessee 27, Cincinnati 24

Matchup

San Francisco 49ers

10-7

Green Bay Packers

13-4

Saturday, Jan. 22

8:15 p.m. ET

The biggest spread of the week, and it’s both fair and vulnerable. The Packers are the NFC’s best team — maybe the NFL’s — but their weakness has been stopping the run. Green Bay has been the league”s worst defense against such plays over the past month and if it can’t get Jimmy Garoppolo behind the sticks, we could see an upset.

However, Aaron Rodgers has a great receiver in Davante Adams and is going against a bad group of corners with an injured front seven trying to pressure him. If the Packers lose this game, it’ll rank among Rodgers’ most devastating defeats.

Pick: Green Bay 23, San Francisco 19

Matchup

Los Angeles Rams

11-6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13-4

Sunday, Jan. 23

3 p.m. ET

NBC

TB -2.5

This is a fascinating game. The Buccaneers are hobbled offensively, with receiver Chris Godwin out for the year (ACL) and a pair of star offensive linemen in tackle Tristan Wirfs and center Ryan Jensen questionable for Sunday. That’s a problem against the Rams, who feature edge rushers Leonard Floyd and Von Miller, with some guy named Aaron Donald lined up inside.

Can Tampa Bay protect Tom Brady enough, and when on defense, who is covering Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr.? So many matchups point to Los Angeles dethroning the champs, but can you believe in Matthew Stafford against a pressure defense to beat Tom Brady?

Pick: Tampa Bay 27, Los Angeles 23

Matchup

Buffalo Bills

11-6

Kansas City Chiefs

12-5

Sunday, Jan. 23

6:30 p.m. ET

CBS

KC -1.5

The best game of the weekend, and perhaps the season. Buffalo comes in having won five straight including a 47-17 beatdown of the New England Patriots. Kansas City has won 10-of-11 including a 42-21 shellacking of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

These two teams are both Super Bowl-worthy, and their rematch of Week 5 (Buffalo won 38-20 at Arrowhead) likely comes down to whether Josh Allen can run wild, and which quarterback feels more comfort in the pocket. In a phenomenal matchup, it’s tough to bet against Patrick Mahomes.

Pick: Kansas City 30, Buffalo 24

Last Week: 6-0
Playoff Picks: 6-0

Published at Thu, 20 Jan 2022 12:00:18 +0000

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