NFL Divisional Round picks: Chargers hang with Patriots and more of Pete Prisco's best bets

Sebastian Janikowski cost me a 5-0 record with my Best Bets last week.

Here's how: Janikowski left the Seahawks-Cowboys game in the first half with a hamstring injury that forced Seattle to play without a kicker the rest of the way. I had Seattle-Dallas under-43 as one of my picks.

So, faced with a fourth-and-4 at the Dallas 7 trailing 24-14 with 1:22 left in the game, the Seahawks passed on a field goal – the right play without a kicker – to go for the touchdown. They scored to make it 24-20, which put the game over – even without their two-point conversion.

That was the only miss I had last week.


As it is, 4-1 is a nice way to start the playoffs. I feel even better about this week. So here goes:

Chargers (+4) at Patriots

It's so hard to go against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the playoffs, so I won't.

The Patriots will win this game, but it will be the Chargers who cover the spread. Playing consecutive road games on the East Coast is tough, especially since the Pats are coming off a bye. But the Chargers have the pass rushers to make Brady uncomfortable. The Pats will win it, but it's close.

If you still haven't marked your calendar for the Super Bowl, the game will be kicking off from Atlanta on Feb. 3 and will be televised by CBS and you can stream it right here. If you're thinking about buying a new TV for the big game, CNET has you covered. They shared their best picks for every budget.

Eagles (+8) at Saints

You can point to Nick Foles all you want for the Eagles' resurgence, but the real reason for the push forward has been the play of both offensive and defensive lines. They struggled early, but now both units are playing well. That will show up in this one.

The Saints are outstanding off a bye in the playoffs under Sean Payton, and they are good at home with Drew Brees. That's why I think they win the game, but the Eagles will hang around because of their two lines. 

Colts (+5.5) at Chiefs

The Colts are on a roll, which means they carry momentum into this one. But they are playing the league's best offense in their building, which will be a real challenge for a young defense.

I think Patrick Mahomes will have a good – not great – day, as the Chiefs will find a way to win this one late. The Colts will find a way to cover the spread.

What NFL picks can you make with confidence during the NFL's divisional round? And which top Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years

Colts-Chiefs over-57

See Mahomes. See Andrew Luck. See a bad Chiefs defense. See plenty of passing. This one will get into the mid-60s.

Watch Saturday's and Sunday's playoff games on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream Chargers-Patriots and all the CBS games on CBS All Access.

Cowboys (+7) at Rams

The Rams and coach Sean McVay are under a lot of pressure to win this game after losing to the Falcons last year in the playoffs. The Rams offense tailed off some in the final month, so it will be interesting to see if they can get it cranked up against a good Dallas defense.

The key to this one, though, will be the Cowboys running through the Rams' defense, which was 32nd in yards per rush allowed. Look for a big game from Ezekiel Elliott as the Cowboys win this one outright.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories