The divisional round was everything we hoped, and more. Only one game wasn't close -- Titans at Patriots -- and it was the late Saturday game and the most likely to be a blowout. The other three games were different and wild and the last game of the day, Saints at Vikings, gave us the most incredible ending I've ever seen to a football game. Hyperbole happens a lot, but, please find a more exciting ending than what happened with Case Keenum hitting Stefon Diggs for a long touchdown and a walk-off win against the Saints.
It was breathtaking, heart-stopping and a perfectly wild finish to a bananas playoff stretch that has seen underdogs go 7-1 against the spread (oddly the largest spread, the Pats game, was the only one where a favorite covered). There's another two big spreads coming up for Championship Sunday, too.
We're gonna get a home underdog and a public favorite giving a ton of points. Let's look at the lines.
Jaguars at Patriots (-9) (o/u 46), Sun. Jan. 21, 3:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
And speaking of teams no one believes in, the Jaguars are catching nearly double digits in Foxborough against the Patriots just a week after they were massive underdogs against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Jaguars will take that to heart. What's interesting about this line is that it's not shocking to see the Pats sitting there as a huge favorite: They're the Patriots. They have the best offense in football, they have Tom Brady, they have Rob Gronkowski, they have Bill Belichick and they're a very public team. But this is not a Jaguars team anyone should dismiss. They are loaded on the defensive side of the ball, with play-makers who can match up against the Patriots' weapons. Their defensive line is capable of pressuring Brady. Blake Bortles went on the road and converted a ton of third downs Sunday; Belichick's team will be a tougher defensive test, sure, but he has shown there's a reason to trust him. Leonard Fournette looked like he had an extra gear against the Steelers until he had to leave for a little bit with an ankle injury -- his health could be a big factor in this game. The Patriots are, unsurprisingly, getting 65 percent of the bets and 81 percent of the money.
Vikings (-3) at Eagles (o/u 40), Sun. Jan. 21, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox)
The Eagles just upset the Falcons as and they appreciated being an underdog but didn't appreciate being doubted. Here they are again, though, sitting as a three-point underdog at home to the Vikings. Perhaps this isn't surprising; the Vikings are a more complete team. They shut out Drew Brees and the Saints for an entire half. It is very possible they could shut out Nick Foles and the Eagles for an entire half. The Falcons defense is based on speed. The Vikings defense is just the best defense in the NFC. On the other hand, the Eagles are not a bad team. They are being doubted again, but they can run the ball and have a really physical offensive line that dominated Atlanta down the stretch. The Eagles can also generate some serious pass rush, and that could put a lot of heat on Case Keenum. It's hard to believe it, but Keenum -- himself a massive underdog -- is a three-point road favorite in the NFC Championship Game. According to William Hill, the early action is on the Vikings, who are getting 71 percent of the bets and 88 percent of the money (as of Sunday night shortly after their win).