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NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread for Divisional Round Playoffs

Ryan Metivier

by Ryan Metivier in NFL Football

Updated Jan 20, 2023 · 7:03 PM PST

Nick Gates celebrates a win
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New York Giants center Nick Gates (65) reacts after winning a wild card game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
  • Get our top expert NFL Divisional Round Playoff picks for January 21-22, 2023
  • In our Divisional Round ATS picks there is a clean sweep on the Giants, Bengals and 49ers
  • Read on for our expert NFL picks against the spread for the Divisional Round

Only eight teams are left standing on the way to Super Bowl glory. Which four will move on to the Conference Championships? But more importantly for our purposes, which four teams will cover in our expert NFL picks against the spread in the Divisional Playoffs?

Last week we compiled a 4-5 record in the Wild Card Round, leaving our season-long ATS record at 89-91-7.

Read on for our top Divisional Round ATS picks below.

Expert NFL Picks Against the Spread Divisional Round

Ryan Metivier Zach Reger Bob Duff
Jaguars (+9) Chiefs (-8.5) Chiefs (-8.5)
Giants (+7.5) Giants (+7.5) Giants (+7.5)
Bengals (+5.5) Bengals (+5.5) Bengals (+5.5)
49ers (-3.5) 49ers (-3.5) 49ers (-3.5)
20-32-3 Season Record 32-23-2 Season Record 30-22-1 Season Record

Odds as of January 20. Check out this Caesars Sportsbook promo code to bet on the NFL this weekend

Our expert ATS picks above include picks on all four Divisional Round matchups, with three picks each on the Giants, Bengals and 49ers, with a split on the Jaguars vs Chiefs contest.

Ryan Metivier Divisional Round Picks

  • Jaguars (+9) at FanDuel Sportsbook

This line falls right around how this matchup ended earlier this season when the Chiefs won 27-17. 

Kansas City has won five straight and 10/11, not losing since a game in Cincinnati back on December 4.

But the Chiefs are poor ATS, going 6-10-1. Here are some more trends that go against the Chiefs. Number 1 seeds have a recent ATS record of just 13-25-1 in the Divisional Round. And when they are favored by less than ten points, they’re just 8-22-1.
Neither of these teams are great at defending against running back passes, each ranking in the bottom three. Christian Kirk also could have some success in the slot with Chiefs’ rookie CB Trent McDuffie moving to the position, a spot where he’s only played 15 snaps. KC is just never a team you can trust covering a big number so I’ll back a close game here for my Jaguars vs Chiefs prediction.

  • Giants (+7.5) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The Giants are the top against the spread team in the NFL at 14-4. But the Eagles are the number one seed at 14-3. They’ll be rested after last week’s bye, also giving Jalen Hurts extra time to rest his injured shoulder. He did return in Week 18, but only had 13 rushing yards on nine carries.

Philadelphia was leading 19-3 heading into the fourth quarter in their Week 18 matchup, before winning 22-16. But Brian Daboll rested a host of starters including Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. Davis Webb played at quarterback in that game for the G-Men. That won’t be the case this time. The Eagles are tops defending the pass but only 16th against the run, meaning if the Giants can get Barkley rolling they could find some success. 

We’re all assuming Hurts is rested and ready to go. But he also hasn’t played in a serious game for the past month being out in Week 16, 17, playing a bunch of backups in Week 18 against the Giants and resting on a bye last week.

  • Bengals (+5.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

Cincinnati have won nine straight after defeating Baltimore 24-17 in their playoff game. The Bengals are also 12-5 ATS this season. Joe Burrow’s personal ATS record is even more impressive as he’s on a 19-4 ATS run in his last 23 starts. When Cincy is an underdog of more than three points, Burrow is 10-2 ATS.

These are two of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL with the Bills ranking second in PPG at 28.8 and the Bengals seventh, at 26.0. In a game where I see a lot of scoring, I see this coming down to the wire and a Bengals cover or even upset win.

If Buffalo allowed Skylar Thompson to put up 31 points, despite his offensive line being banged up, I think Burrow can do something similar on Sunday. Burrow will need to get the ball out quickly with three offensive linemen injured, but the Bills’ pass rush hasn’t been as strong without Von Miller. Bills QB Josh Allen has also been causing turnovers of late throwing five interceptions in his last three games. Cincy will have an extra chip on their shoulder having missed out on a home playoff game after their game with the Bills was cancelled earlier this month.

  • 49ers (-3.5) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The 49ers have 11 straight wins. Last week they won 41-23 over Seattle in the Wild Card Round. Their average margin of victory during this winning streak has been 16.18 points.

Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has been at the helm for seven of those wins and has thrown three touchdowns in back-to-back games and multiple scores in all seven of his starts.

This San Fran team is stacked on both sides of the ball, being fifth in yards per game on offense and second in DVOA offense. Defensively they are fifth in both yards allowed and DVOA defense and gave up the second-fewest yards per game against the run. Throw in the extra rest with the 49ers playing Saturday compared to Dallas on Monday, plus a distinct coaching advantage between Kyle Shanahan and Mike McCarthy, and I’ll back the 49ers for my ATS picks.

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Zach Reger Divisional Round Picks

  • Chiefs (-8.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

Laying this many points with the Chiefs can be scary, but now that they are in the playoffs, I would not expect any ring-around-the-Rosie-type plays against Jacksonville. The Jaguars on the other hand are still riding the emotional high of a 27-0 comeback win against the Chargers last weekend.

If they fall behind in this one, Kansas City is too powerful on offense and defense to let up a comeback of that magnitude. The Chiefs should not have a problem scoring, and they can generate enough pressure with just the front four to be able to combat Trevor Lawrence and Jacksonville’s passing attack.

  • Giants (+7.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

The New York Football Giants are riding high after their first postseason win since 2011 when they went on to win the Super Bowl. Daniel Jones looked like a franchise quarterback last week, and Saquon Barkley did Saquon Barkley things. The Eagles’ defense is much better than Minnesota’s, but New York should be able to establish the run in this one.

On the other side of the ball, the Giants’ defense has been flying around. The Eagles have a lot of firepower on offense, but Jalen Hurts might show some rust since his only game in the last month was in a meaningless game against New York’s backups in Week 18. The Giants should keep this NFC East battle within one score.

  • Bengals (+5.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

The Bengals have been the best against the spread team dating back to last season. They did not cover last week, and I do not see them failing to cover two weeks in a row. The line has moved in favor of the Bills in the NFL Playoff odds, but Joe Burrow and company have covered as public underdogs before.

Buffalo’s defense struggled last week against the Dolphins’ pass catchers, and I expect that to continue with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins heading to Buffalo. This game will be a close one, and if the Bengals can get a turnover or two from Josh Allen, they might just win.

  • 49ers (-3.5) at DraftKings Sportsbook

Dallas looked unstoppable on Monday night, but they were playing the lackluster Buccaneers. Dak looked as good as he has all season, but I do not expect that to continue against the 49ers. The Seahawks were able to move the ball against San Francisco’s defense in the first half but were shut down in the second half. Prescott finally did not turn the ball over, and that should also change.

Not much needs to be said about the 49ers’ offense, except that they are explosive. San Francisco should roll in this game.

Bob Duff ATS Picks

  • Chiefs (-8.5) at DraftKings Sportsbook

It’s been a great season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, one offering much hope for the future, but it comes to a conclusion this week. The Kansas City Chiefs simply possess too many weapons for the Jaguars’ defense to contain.

The NFL public betting splits are solidly favoring the Chiefs in both spread and moneyline wagering. Both teams come into this game on 5-0 SU runs. Jacksonville is also 5-1 ATS over the last six games. But Kansas City is 5-0 SU in the last five against the Jaguars and 7-4 ATS in the playoffs since 2018.

  • Giants (+7.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

Perhaps the most bitter rivalry in the NFL, the NFC East clash between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants is their third of the season and the first time facing each other in the postseason since 2008. Philadelphia won both regular-season meetings, but the Eagles have never beaten the Giants three times in a single season over the 90-year history of this rivalry.

The Giants are the NFL’s best cover team this season. They’re 14-4 ATS. That includes an astonishing 11-2 ATS success rate as an underdog, and 7-1 ATS as a road team. Getting 7.5 points on them seems like a gift.

  • Bengals (+5.5) at FanDuel Sportsbook

The line on the Bengals vs Bills game opened at Buffalo -4.5 and has since lengthened. Failing to cover against the Miami Dolphins on Wild Card Weekend, the Bills dropped to 2-5 ATS in their last seven playoff games.

Meanwhile, the Bengals covered at home against the Baltimore Ravens and are now 8-1 ATS over all in their last nine games and 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games.

  • 49ers (-3.5) at DraftKings Sportsbook

In four of the five times that the Cowboys beat the 49ers in the NFL Playoffs, they went to the Super Bowl. On two of the three occasions that San Francisco has defeated Dallas in the NFL postseason, the 49ers were Super Bowl bound.

Winning at Tampa Bay, Dallas claimed a postseason road victory for the first time since beating the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game in 1993. San Francisco has won five in a row overall and five in a row at home. But Dallas is 5-1 SU in the last six road games against the 49ers.


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