NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Preview and Picks
If you were with us for our NFL picks in the first round of the playoffs last week, you may have had a fun week of straight up action, as we went 4-0 with our picks.
We’ll count that as fairly impressive, since we went out on a limb in picking each road team to win – something that had never been done in NFL history going into last week.
We weren’t so lucky against the spread, of course, as we had the Texans beating the spread, a push in the Steelers/Bengals game and Seattle covering. We nailed the Packers pick, though, ending the week at 1-3 ATS.
Round two may be even more unpredictable, but if you need straight up picks, we might be a good source of insight. We also hope to turn the tables on our ATS calls, as tough as they may be. With that, let’s dive head first into the Divisional Round playoff picks:
Chiefs @ Patriots (-5)
Julian Edelman’s return should give New England’s offense quite a boost, as the Pats were one of the league’s more potent offenses when at full strength. That may be too much for KC to handle, seeing as they haven’t faced anyone of Tom Brady’s caliber and been successful in 2015. That being said, the Chiefs haven’t won 11 straight games for nothing and they still have an elite pass rush. I like New England to tough it out and get to the AFC title game, but it won’t be easy.
Pick: Patriots 26, Chiefs 23
Steelers @ Broncos (-7)
Big Ben and Antonio Brown are banged up and we are already fairly certain that DeAngelo Williams will miss his second straight playoff game. A healthy Steelers offense can beat anyone, but going into Denver at less than 100% and escaping with a win just doesn’t seem realistic.
Pick: Broncos 24, Steelers 20
Packers @ Cardinals (-7)
Arizona slammed the Packers at home just a few weeks ago, but it’s tough to beat a team twice in one year and Green Bay looked far better last week. I think Green Bay protects Aaron Rodgers a little better this time around and we could see a bit of a shootout. Still, Arizona is at home and is the better team in every regard.
Pick: Cardinals 30, Packers 24
Seahawks @ Panthers (-2.5)
This is the only game where I truly love the road team, as the Panthers barely beat Seattle earlier this year and throughout 2015 felt a little bit like a pretender. We’ve seen 15-1 teams crater early in the past before and these very Panthers couldn’t get the job done two years ago when they were in a very similar situation. Seattle has the tougher defense and the more experience playoff passer. I expect a tight defensive battle, but in the end, the same old story for both sides.
Pick: Seahawks 16, Panthers 13
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