Bleacher Report’s Skilled Divisional Weekend 2023 NFL Picks
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Brock PurdyAP Photograph/Godofredo A. Vásquez
Underdogs got here up large throughout NFL Wild Card Weekend—4 coated the unfold and two gained outright. Whereas our betting specialists jumped all around the New York Giants for the straight-up upset, the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens did some harm to the crew’s consensus report.
NFL analysts Gary Davenport, Brent Sobleski, Kris Knox, Brad Gagnon and Maurice Moton, editor Wes O’Donnell and B/R Betting host of “Winners Solely Wednesdays” Greg Ivory broke down the divisional spherical with extra respect for underdogs, however did they again any of the highway groups for the upcoming weekend? Nicely, we’ve one unanimous choice in favor of an away workforce.
Earlier than we dive into divisional spherical picks, let’s try the playoff leaderboard.
T-1. O’Donnell: 3-3
T-1. Gagnon: 3-3
T-1. Moton: 3-3
T-4. Ivory: 2-4
T-4. Sobleski: 2-4
T-6. Davenport: 1-5
T-6. Knox: 1-5
Consensus picks: 2-4
Strains are from DraftKings as of Thursday, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. ET. Test DraftKings for the most recent odds information. Data on public betting tendencies is courtesy of the Action Network. ATS data are offered by TeamRankings.
Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (14-3)
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Patrick MahomesDavid Eulitt/Getty Pictures
DraftKings Line: Chiefs -8.5
The Jacksonville Jaguars come into this contest as the largest underdogs of the divisional spherical, however they need to really feel assured of their means to compete with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Final week, they recorded the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff historical past, overcoming a 27-point gap to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30.
In Week 10, the Jaguars misplaced to the Chiefs 27-17 and turned the ball over 3 times in that recreation. If Jacksonville takes higher care of the soccer, quarterback Trevor Lawrence may preserve the Chiefs’ 18th-ranked cross protection—the unit that has allowed probably the most touchdowns (33)—on its heels.
Knox took the factors with a Jaguars squad that is made strides over the previous two months (7-1 since their Week 11 bye).
“Both the Chiefs will come out of their bye extraordinarily centered and stand up on the Jaguars early, or the time without work will enable Jacksonville to realize an early benefit. Both means, I believe that is too many factors to provide a resilient Jaguars workforce that’s enjoying with home cash. Jacksonville misplaced by 10 when these two met within the common season, and it’s a higher workforce by leaps and bounds now.
“Jacksonville wasn’t purported to be right here this rapidly. In a 12 months or two? Certain, however the Jags have meshed underneath head coach Doug Pederson, discovered a star in Trevor Lawrence and have confirmed that they won’t go quietly. They current an actual downside for a Chiefs workforce that struggled to shut out the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos (twice) earlier than blowing out the Raiders in Week 18.
“Jacksonville’s cross protection is not nice, and it has struggled to cowl tight ends, which is an apparent downside in a matchup with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Nonetheless, Ok.C.—ranked fifteenth in yards per rush allowed, 18th in passing yards allowed and final in passing touchdowns allowed—has its personal defensive points. A sluggish begin or a failure to shut issues out late may have the Chiefs flirting with an early playoff exit. I believe Ok.C. survives, however I additionally suppose the Jags make it uncomfortably shut.”
Moton does not see lightning placing twice for the Jaguars in the event that they fall behind a Chiefs squad with a high-powered offense, and he expects Mahomes to select aside Jacksonville’s susceptible cross protection.
“Jacksonville, and particularly Lawrence, earned some respect in a comeback victory over Los Angeles final week, erasing a 27-0 deficit. Nonetheless, the Jaguars will not have the ability to pull that off towards the Chiefs, which discipline the No. 1 scoring offense. And although the Chiefs do not run the ball with consistency, they common 4.7 yards per carry, which ranks eighth leaguewide. So, Kansas Metropolis can milk the clock with a giant lead.
“Extra importantly, the No. 1-seeded Chiefs had every week off, which allowed offensive mastermind Andy Reid further time to recreation plan towards the Jaguars’ Twenty eighth-ranked cross protection. Mahomes, who’s an MVP candidate with league-leading passing numbers in yards (5,250) and touchdowns (41) will shred Jacksonville’s secondary en path to a decisive double-digit victory.”
Consensus: Chiefs -8.5
Rating Prediction: Chiefs 35, Jaguars 24
New York Giants (9-7-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)
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Daniel JonesAP Photograph/Abbie Parr
DraftKings Line: Eagles -7.5
The New York Giants will face off with the Philadelphia Eagles for the third time within the 2022 marketing campaign. The Eagles gained the primary two contests. Do not be fooled by the rating within the Week 18 assembly, Philadelphia led 19-3 going into the fourth quarter earlier than New York cosmetically balanced the ultimate rating (22-16) with a few touchdowns.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is not on the harm report, which is an efficient signal after he missed two video games with a shoulder sprain and played through pain in Week 18. Philadelphia’s offense should come out sharp. New York has scored 38 and 31 factors in its final two outings with Daniel Jones underneath middle and enjoying at his greatest, throwing for 478 passing yards, 4 touchdowns with a 73 % completion charge and dashing for 169 yards and two scores in these begins.
Davenport predicts an Eagles season collection sweep with a large victory for the workforce with the league’s greatest regular-season report.
“The Giants are a terrific story—Brian Daboll is a number one contender to be named Coach of the 12 months after getting a lot from the New York roster, and quarterback Daniel Jones has made himself a boatload of cabbage with simply one of the best season of his skilled profession.
“That particular season ends Saturday night time in Philly.
“The Giants have spent a lot of the season punching above their weight. And New York’s offensive efficiency towards the Minnesota Vikings final week may need been their greatest outing of the season. However the G-Males have been 18th in whole offense in 2022, fifteenth in scoring offense, twenty fifth in whole protection and seventeenth in scoring protection. The Eagles did not rank decrease than eighth in any of these classes and have been inside the highest 5 in three of them.
“Once we final noticed the full-strength Eagles towards the full-strength Giants, New York had no reply for the Philly offense, permitting 437 yards of offense and 48 factors at MetLife Stadium in Week 14. The expertise hole right here is simply too broad.”
O’Donnell believes the familiarity between division opponents will favor the Giants in a 3rd battle with the Eagles.
“The general expertise hole between these two sides nonetheless exists. The Eagles have a bonus in nearly each place battle. Issues may very simply appear to be the Week 14 matchup that noticed Massive Blue dominated by Philly. These Giants executed a virtually flawless recreation plan of their Wild Card Weekend win over the Vikings and nonetheless nearly misplaced the sport.
“However, very merely, it is troublesome to beat a workforce 3 times in the identical season. With a touchdown-plus within the again pocket, I am going to take the factors and hope for one of the best. New York has earned that a lot with a league-best 14-4 report against the spread this marketing campaign.”
Consensus: Giants +7.5
Rating Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 21
Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) at Buffalo Payments (13-3)
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Joe BurrowAP Photograph/Jeff Dean
DraftKings Line: Bills -5
In Week 17, these groups took the sector at Paycor Stadium, however Buffalo Payments security Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest halfway via the primary quarter. Thankfully, he is on the highway to restoration and on the membership’s facility “almost daily,” which has helped ease his teammates’ issues.
“He appears to be, I believe, nonetheless bodily very drained, however the man’s in nice spirits,” Payments middle Mitch Morse stated about Hamlin. “And that additionally helps with the restoration course of for all of us as nicely.”
The Payments can absolutely concentrate on their opponent with Hamlin on the mend, they usually’ll want considered one of their greatest performances of the season to snap the Cincinnati Bengals’ nine-game successful streak.
Regardless of the potential absences of left deal with Jonah Williams (dislocated kneecap) and left guard Alex Cappa (ankle), Moton expects to the Bengals to win their tenth consecutive contest.
“This line appears disrespectful to the Bengals, who will attempt to attain the AFC Championship Recreation in back-to-back years. Although Cincinnati has accidents throughout the offensive line, quarterback Joe Burrow helped lead this squad to Tremendous Bowl LVI with shaky cross safety, taking 70 sacks through the 2022 marketing campaign.
“Moreover, the Payments had a sloppy Wild Card Weekend efficiency in a 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins, who had third-string rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson underneath middle. Josh Allen turned the ball over 3 times in that recreation.
“If the Payments proceed to provide the ball away at an alarming charge, the Bengals will make them pay for it in factors off turnovers. Cincinnati scored 13 factors off the Baltimore Ravens’ two giveaways final week.
“Bettors ought to comply with the tendencies for these golf equipment. Cincinnati has the league’s second-best highway report towards the unfold (7-2) whereas Buffalo lists 3-5 towards the unfold as a house workforce. The Bengals not solely cowl however win outright.”
Sobleski broke down the quarterback matchup. He has main questions on Allen and believes the Payments may have a tough time producing strain on Burrow.
“The Payments might have gained eight straight video games, however franchise quarterback Josh Allen hasn’t performed significantly nicely as of late. He is accomplished lower than 60 % of his passes in three of his previous 5 video games with 5 interceptions over the previous three. Not every part falls on Allen, however he has been careless with the ball this season.
“Conversely, Joe Burrow is being requested to shoulder the Bengals offense due to the quantity of uncertainty alongside Cincinnati’s offensive line. With out Von Miller’s eight sacks—the edge-rusher suffered a season-ending harm in November—the Payments’ 32 remaining regular-season sacks would have ranked among the many league’s backside 5 within the class. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is great at scheming strain and complicated quarterbacks, however Burrow and his full complement of weapons will nonetheless be troublesome to defend, even with the Bengals’ points up entrance.”
Consensus: Bengals +5
Rating Prediction: Bengals 31, Payments 28
Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
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Brock PurdyAP Photograph/Godofredo A. Vásquez
DraftKings Line: 49ers -3.5
After two stalled drives, the Dallas Cowboys offense caught hearth this previous Monday, scorching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Thirteenth-ranked scoring protection (ninth in yards) for 31 factors and 425 yards. Quarterback Dak Prescott had a robust outing, going 25-of-33 passing for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns.
If Prescott performs at that degree, the San Francisco 49ers’ Twentieth-ranked cross protection could possibly be in for a protracted day at Levi’s Stadium. Regardless that the Cowboys signal-caller will go up towards a stingy scoring unit, Gagnon trusts him greater than 49ers’ rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.
“I struggled over this one probably the most as a result of I do not belief the Cowboys, however they nonetheless have the rather more established quarterback and regarded rattling good disposing of the Bucs. I would nonetheless decide the 49ers to win this recreation, however the Brock Purdy stumble may come at any second, and that hook is simply too daunting. This looks like a field-goal recreation in both course between two of probably the most gifted groups within the league.”
On the flip facet, Moton can not recover from what he noticed from kicker Brett Maher, who price the Cowboys 4 factors this previous Monday.
“Regardless that the Cowboys thumped the Buccaneers 31-14, how can anybody belief them with Brett Maher as their kicker? Within the wild-card recreation win, Maher missed 4 extra-point makes an attempt, and he hasn’t made a discipline aim since Week 17. In what must be a detailed battle with the 49ers, the Cowboys have a shaky kicker who might price them extra factors.
“In the meantime, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy shook off a primary half of missed alternatives to complete 18-of-30 passing for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Dallas’ cross protection has had some leaks as of late, permitting a median of 275.6 yards over the past 5 weeks. By the best way, the 49ers have coated the unfold in 5 out of Purdy’s six begins (Raiders coated in Week 17).
“Purdy has earned plenty of belief, and Maher misplaced it this week—lay the factors with San Francisco.”
Consensus: 49ers -3.5
Rating Prediction: 49ers 28, Cowboys 23
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