Just eight teams are left standing after Super Wild-Card Weekend and we're one step closer to Super Bowl LV down in Tampa, Florida. Last week brought with it a number of upsets, but none more jaw-dropping than the Browns shell-shocking the Steelers in Pittsburgh. That was one of the two-game we didn't see coming in our picks last week (Rams beating the Seahawks being the other), but this divisional round bracket was largely what we expected, going 4-2 SU over the weekend.
This week, we have a number of juicy quarterback matchups to sink our teeth into, including Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees, Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen, and Patrick Mahomes vs. Baker Mayfield. While we see this divisional round weekend as a bit chalky from a betting standpoint, there's no denying that it's going to be action-packed. Here's a look at who we see advancing to the AFC and NFC championship.
All NFL odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
Rams at Packers
Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET (FOX)
With the quarterback situation still a bit shaky for the Rams along with Aaron Donald's rib injury, it feels like this spread it a bit too small. The Packers are coming into this game on a tremendous six-game winning streak where they've gone 4-2 ATS. Over this stretch, the offense has averaged 33.5 points per game and owns a +15 point differential per game, winning all six of these games by seven or more points. Due to his right thumb injury, Jared Goff didn't show enough command through the air to strike much fear in anyone laying the points and the Packers defense has allowed just 18.5 points over this current winning streak. Also, Aaron Rodgers-led Packers have won their previous two divisional round games (2014, 2019) following a first-round bye.
Projected score: Packers 33, Rams 17
My pick: Green Bay -6.5
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
The Ravens are coming into this game covering their last seven contests (longest streak in NFL history) and have won six straight since Lamar Jackson came off the COVID-19 list. Following Jackson's return, he's largely looked like the MVP-caliber player we saw a season ago. That said most of that was against inferior competition. They were able to put together a strong performance shutting Derrick Henry down on Super Wild-Card Weekend, but Buffalo brings with it a much tougher challenge: Josh Allen.
The Bills quarterback has taken a leap this season in his development and there's a case to be made he's elevated his game even higher over the last month. In his past four games, Allen is completing 73% of his passes, averaging 306.7 yards passing, and has 14 total touchdowns to just one interception. He also leads the league in play-action pass attempts, which is an area Baltimore's secondary has struggled this season, ranking 19th in the league. That won't swing the game itself, but Buffalo is too hot to fade on anything less than a field goal.
Projected score: Bills 27, Ravens 24
My pick: Buffalo -2.5
Browns at Chiefs
Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Cleveland Browns shocked the NFL by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, earning their first playoff victory since 1994. However, they do get the tough draw of having to go into Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs in the divisional round. Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield have put together a couple of fantastic showdowns over the course of their playing careers, including back in 2016 when they were in college and set a record with 1,279 combined passing yards.
This time around, Mahomes' Chiefs are heavy favorites, giving up 10 points from the jump. However, I think that's warranted, despite K.C. not winning a game by more than six points since Week 8. Throughout the regular season, the Chiefs seemed like they were playing at half-speed and simply waiting for the playoffs to begin. Well, the time has come and it will be fascinating to see if they can truly flip a switch and start rolling at peak performance, which I expect they will. Mahomes is 4-1 SU and ATS in his postseason career and has won all four of his games by 11 or more points.
Projected score: Chiefs 30, Browns 17
My pick: Chiefs -10
Buccaneers at Saints
Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET
New Orleans just seems to have the Bucs number this year. In both matchups over the course of the regular season, the Saints have put together decisive victories against Tampa Bay, outscoring them 72-26 over those contests. While it's never wise to simply go with the team that dominated in the regular season solely on that reasoning alone, there's not a lot of evidence to support Tampa Bay turning the tide.
They did advance last week, but the Buccaneers did struggle a bit against Taylor Heinicke and it was hardly one of those wins you felt good about going forward. It kind of felt like they simply escaped rather than sent a message to the rest of the NFC that they were around to make a deep run. Meanwhile, the Saints had no problem with the Bears last time out, but you could make a case that we didn't learn much about New Orleans either as Chicago did their best to come away with the L. While Tampa Bay has the talent, it's hard to trust them going on the road and slaying the Saints. In their careers, Drew Brees is 5-2 SU and ATS in head-to-head matchups with Tom Brady. This game will be closer than the previous matchups, but I'll still roll with the status quo in New Orleans.
Projected score: Saints 28, Buccaneers 24
My pick: Saints -3
Against the spread in Wild-Card Weekend: 1-4-1
ATS overall: 118-131-11
Straight up in Wild-Card Weekend: 4-2
SU overall: 175-84-1