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.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
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.
Time: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: Chiefs -9, O/U 52
Featured Game | Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
“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.
“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.
Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Fox), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: Eagles -7.5, O/U 47.5
Featured Game | Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants
“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 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.
“The Eagles are a huge favorite, but I’m not sure if I can trust them right now due mainly to the fact that I watched them play three straight bad games to end the season.
- Week 16: Eagles lose 40-34 to the Cowboys. Yes, Gardner Minshew was starting, but he doesn’t play defense and the defense got gashed for 40 points by the Cowboys.
- Week 17: Eagles lose 20-10 to the Saints. In this spot, they lost a home game to a team that eventually finished the season with a losing record. That’s not ideal.
- Week 18: Eagles beat Giants 22-16. With the the No. 1 seed in the NFC on the line, the Eagles barely beat a Giants team that was resting nearly all of its starters. I repeat, the Eagles struggled against the Giants backups. I know I listed this game as a “blowout” a little bit earlier, but I’m now retracting that statement. As we all know, I’m allowed one retraction per picks column.
“By the time this game kicks off, Jalen Hurts will have only played one game over the past month and he didn’t look good in that game. Also, during the Eagles blowout win in Week 14, the Giants were missing three starters — DL Leonard Williams, CB Adoree’ Jackson, S Xavier McKinney — who all could have a huge impact this week. I mean, just look at what Jackson did to Justin Jefferson during the wild-card round.
“I’m not saying the Giants are this year’s team of destiny, but it’s kind of starting to feel that way. The last THREE times the Giants have won their opening round playoff game, they’ve ended up in the Super Bowl and I’m going to say they take one step closer on Saturday night by shocking the Eagles.”
John Breech is taking the underdog Giants to win straight up! To read his divisional round column, click.
Before you lock in your Giants vs. Eagles picks or any other NFL predictions, you NEED to see which side R.J. White is on. A Fantasy and gambling editor for CBS Sports, White consistently crushes against-the-spread picks and went 445-378-24 on his ATS picks from 2017-21, which returned $2,542 to $100 players. He’s also an incredible 39-19 on his last 58 picks involving the Giants, returning $1,679 for $100 bettors.
We can tell you White is leaning Under the total, but to check out his official pick, head on over to SportsLine.
Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS), stream on Paramount+ (click here)
Open: Bills -4, O/U 50
Featured Game | Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
“This is the game of the weekend if you love quarterback play. Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen. We thought we’d see this game in Week 17, but the game was canceled after Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. That was the right thing to do, but that’s also why this game is in Buffalo. If the Bengals won that game, and they were leading early, this contest would have been in Cincinnati. As it is, it’s in Buffalo. Neither team looked great last week against backup quarterbacks and both struggled to advance. I think both will play better here. The Bengals do have offensive line issues, with three starters possibly out, but the Bills didn’t exactly rush the passer that well last week against Miami and Burrow gets the ball out quickly. This should be a shootout with both quarterbacks having big days. In the end, I think it’s Allen and the Bills who will win it in the fourth quarter.”
CBS Sports Senior NFL Writer Pete Prisco is taking the Bills to win, but the Bengals to keep it close. To read his breakdown of the divisional round, click.
“I’m sure everyone is excited that we get this game. Last time these two teams played, we all witnessed the unfortunate Damar Hamlin incident. Thankfully, he’s recovered enough where both teams have been able to refocus on football. Discounting the canceled matchup earlier this year, this is the first meeting between Joe Burrow and Josh Allen.
“This is probably the game of the weekend. It’s the first playoff matchup between two teams that are on winning streaks of at least eight games since the 2016 AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. I have to say, I’m surprised this spread is what it is. When it opened at BUF -4, I really thought it would be bet down. Nope.
“I expected both the Bills and Bengals to blow out their opponents on Super Wild Card Weekend. Buffalo’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins surprised me in particular, as Allen turned the ball over three times. This year, he became the first player to lead the NFL in turnovers and make the playoffs since Eli Manning in 2007. By the way, Manning won the Super Bowl that year.
“If you’ve been keeping up with Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams, and then La’el Collins has already been ruled out for the year. With that said, I find myself wanting to take the points with the Bengals. Am I hedging my Bills Super Bowl prediction? Maybe. But I also predicted the Bengals would cover the spread in Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams, and lose by exactly three points.”, the Bills are my official Super Bowl pick. I think it also helps in this matchup that the Bengals are dealing with multiple injuries on the offensive line with
CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani likes the Bills to advance to the AFC Championship game, but the Bengals to cover the spread. To read his column, click.
Time: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: 49ers -4, O/U 46
Featured Game | San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
“The crazy thing about this game is that there’s definitely a chance that it could turn into an offensive shootout. Since Week 7, these have been the TWO HIGHEST SCORING teams in the NFL and that mainly has to do with the fact that both teams had something big happen that week: The 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey while Dak Prescott returned from his injury.
“Although this game could turn into a shootout, it also could turn into a defensive struggle and that’s because both of these teams rank in the top five for fewest points allowed during the 2022 season.
“The most fascinating coaching matchup in this game definitely involves Kyle Shanahan’s offense going up against Dan Quinn’s defense. I swear, any time those two guys are on the same field together, something crazy happens. I’m sure everyone remembers the Falcons‘ epic collapse in Super Bowl LI. In that game, the Falcons head coach was Quinn while the offensive coordinator was Shanahan, so I guess we’re going to finally find out who we should blame for Atlanta’s collapse.
“The 49ers have been one of the best teams in the NFL this year, but I’m still not sure how they’re going to look against a good team. The 49ers had the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL this year and half their wins came in a bad division (Including the playoffs, they went 7-0 against NFC West teams and 7-4 against everyone else). Also, since Brock Purdy took over the starting job, the 49ers haven’t really been tested because they haven’t really faced any good teams. Purdy has looked great, but he faced five teams in the regular season that finished with a combined record of 35-49-1.
“Last year, the 49ers were the underdog and I picked them to upset the Cowboys. This year, I’m doing the opposite. Only four rookie quarterbacks — Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez — have ever made it to a conference title game and I don’t think Purdy is going to be the fifth.
“And you know what, I’ll even say this things ends with a game-winning field goal from the guy (Brett Maher) who can’t make an extra point.”
John Breech loves underdogs this week, and he’s taking the Cowboys to advance to the NFC Championship game. To read his divisional round column, click.
“The 49ers beat the Cowboys at their place in last year’s playoffs, so this will be a chance for the Cowboys to even things up. Dallas beat Tampa Bay on Monday night, so this is another road game on a short week, which will challenge them. The 49ers will actually have an extra day of rest since they played last Saturday. But the Cowboys seemed to find their offense against the Bucs, especially Dak Prescott. The 49ers have a better defense than Tampa Bay, but the Dallas offense will be able to move the ball. For the 49ers, it will come down to Brock Purdy against the Dallas pressure. Purdy has been outstanding since taking over as the starter with five games left in the regular season. He played well in beating the Seahawks last week, but this will be the best defense he has faced. The Dallas pass rush can be disruptive, which I think happens here. Prescott will get the better of it between the two quarterbacks in this one as Dallas pulls off the upset.”
CBS Sports Senior NFL Writer Pete Prisco likes the Cowboys to upset the 49ers on Sunday. To read his breakdown of the divisional round, click.
Before you make any Cowboys vs. 49ers picks or NFL Divisional Round predictions, you need to see what SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has to say. A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. He entered the 2022 NFL season 427-344 all-time on NFL side picks (plus $3,764 for $100 players), including 394-330 against the spread. Hartstein went 68-50 ATS and 8-3 on money-line plays last season for a profit of $1,552. Hartstein also is 14-4 on his last 18 against-the-spread picks involving the Cowboys, meaning he’s uniquely qualified to make this pick.
We can tell you he’s leaning Over on the point total, but to check out his official pick, head on over to SportsLine.