Welcome to the divisional round of the playoffs, where the NFL’s final four is about to be decided. This weekend, the No. 1 seeded Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs enter the action, and take on a couple of teams that pulled off upsets on Super Wild Card Weekend and are after more.
As we do every week, we’ve collected all of the best picks and gambling content from CBSSports.com and SportsLine and put them in one place, so you can get picks against the spread from our CBS Sports experts as well as additional feature content for each game, including plays from top SportsLine experts and the SportsLine Projection Model, best bets from our staff and more. Ready? Let’s jump in.
Which picks can you make with confidence in the divisional round? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine, as its incredible model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and is up more than $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs playoffs
“Laying 8.5 points with a team like Kansas City that struggled to pull away from clubs this season does seem like a shaky road to go down, but the Chiefs feel like a team that has simply been waiting to flip the switch.
“After the bye, they’re beginning another playoff run with Patrick Mahomes, who has been playing at an MVP level to end the year. He has a mismatch against this Jacksonville defense that could see him slice his way up the field. The Jags allowed an NFL-high 6.8 yards per attempt against throws coming out in under 2.5 seconds. Meanwhile, Mahomes led the NFL in EPA per drop with under 2.5 seconds to throw this season. One of his main targets, of course, will be Travis Kelce, who now faces a Jacksonville defense that allowed the third-most receiving yards and third-most yards per reception to tight ends this season. Translation: K.C. should be able to move the football at will.
“Back when these teams met in Week 10, the Chiefs were able to beat the Jaguars by 10 and were even up by 20 at halftime. Two second-half turnovers in that game allowed things to be a bit closer than they actually were. So long as Mahomes keeps the turnovers from getting out of hand this weekend, Kanas City should roll.
“This matchup is also another head-to-head for
Andy Reid against one of his former assistants in Doug Pederson. Reid has a stellar record against his coaching tree, which includes a 4-0 record in the playoffs.”
CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan is pointing to history as a reason why he’s taking the favorites to cover the spread this week in Kansas City. To read his divisional round column, click here.
“I don’t think (the Jaguars) are beating the Chiefs. I just don’t. But I do think they’re gonna hang around. I think offensively, they’re going to score points. I think this Chiefs defense has major issues. Block Chris Jones and you’re gonna score. Period. End of story. I know it’s a big thing to do, but if you block him, you’ll score. So I think Jacksonville will score points, I think they’ll hang around in the game, but I do think the Chiefs will win. So I’ll take the Jaguars AND the Over as two of my best bets in this game.”
That’s Pete Prisco’s take from the Pick Six Podcast, where he, R.J. White and Will Brinson broke down all the games from a gambling perspective and gave out best bets Thursday — as they do every week. Give it a listen below and subscribe for great NFL content in your feed daily.
“On paper, this game seems like it could turn into a blowout:
The Eagles have the better offense, the better defense and a healthy Jalen Hurts is better than Daniel Jones. And as I said earlier, I am NOT going to overthink things this week and the most notable thing about this game is that these two teams have already played twice this season with the Giants getting outscored 70-38.
“When two division rivals meet in the playoffs, I don’t necessarily pay attention to what happened during the regular season, but in this game, it’s kind of hard to ignore. The Eagles blew out the Giants twice this year with wins of 48-22 and 22-16, and yes, I count that second score as a blowout because it was 19-3 midway through the fourth quarter.
“Apparently, it’s supposed to be tough to beat a team three times in one season, but I wanted to find that out for myself, so I decided to actually do some research (This actually just involves me emailing our research department, so there’s not really too much work involved on my end, so don’t feel sorry for me).
“Anyway, since 1970, a total of 24 teams have gone 2-0 against a divisional opponent in the regular playoffs season and then faced them again in the playoffs and those 24 teams have gone 15-9 in the third game, which means 62.5% of the teams have finished the three-game sweep, but that also means that the 0-2 team has won the third game 37.5% of the time, and I think what I’m trying to say here is that I just did all that research for nothing, because that’s not enough information to help me pick this game.