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Odds to Score the Most Points in the Divisional Round: Chiefs Favored, Ravens a Close Second

Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson meet at midfield pre-game
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are favored to lead the top offenses in the NFL Divisional Playoff Round. Photo from @TheUndefeated (Twitter).
  • The league’s highest-scoring team, the Baltimore Ravens (33.2 ppg), is not the favorite to score the most points in the Divisional Round
  • Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs, who host the worst remaining defense in the Houston Texans, have the best odds
  •  Will either AFC powerhouse score the most this weekend or will another team light up the scoreboard?

Wildcard Weekend had just about everything for football fans: close finishes, crazy plays, and giant upsets. If there’s one thing it lacked, it was points. All four games went under the total and the highest-scoring team of the week was the Minnesota Vikings, who needed overtime just to reach 26.

Heading into the divisional round, it’s unlikely that scenario repeats itself. While there are some very good defenses playing this weekend, seven of the league’s top 10 offenses (according to DVOA) will also be taking the field. Points should be a plenty. But which team will top them all?

Odds To Score Most Points During NFL Divisional Games

Team Points Per Game (NFL Rank) Odds
Kansas City Chiefs 28.2 (5th) +220
Baltimore Ravens 33.2 (1st) +225
Green Bay Packers 23.5 (14th) +600
San Francisco 49ers 29.9 (2nd) +600
Seattle Seahawks 25.3 (9th) +800
Houston Texans 24.1 (12th) +900
Tennessee Titans 25.1 (10th) +950
Minnesota Vikings 25.4 (8th) +950

Odds taken Jan. 6.  

Chiefs Get The Edge In Opponent

Kansas City finished the regular season scoring a full touchdown less per game than a season ago. But it’s not like this offense is considerably less dangerous: it was hampered by injuries to Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, all along the offensive line, and in the running back room.

With health finally on their side, the Chiefs host the worst remaining defense in these playoffs (per DVOA) in the Houston Texans. Bill O’Brien’s team already shocked the Chiefs at Arrowhead once this season: the odds of that happening again are low, especially if Houston WR Will Fuller can’t go.

Regardless of how many points the Texans can put up, K.C. will definitely be in the mix to be highest scoring.

Raving About the Ravens

What’s exciting about Baltimore’s league-leading offense is that it translates to any weather. A dynamic run game that racks up over 200 yards per game will work no matter what the skies are like in the Charm City on Saturday night. Even with possible showers in the forecast, Lamar Jackson has shown he’s just as slippery (if not more) in the rain.

With Mark Ingram on track to return from injury, there’s no reason to doubt the Ravens will have their usual success. The only question is, what will this game script look like? The visiting Tennessee Titans can pound the ball on the ground too.

If both these teams are running wild, then so is the clock, which makes it a little tougher to like the Ravens to rule the weekend.

NFC Teams Up to the Challenge?

We’re going to ignore what will end up being a cold, ugly game in Lambeau, but there is a chance the NFC could have the highest scorer again this week. In sunny California, the Niners host a Minnesota D that appeared to regain its dominant form against New Orleans. The Vikes had an answer for what the Saints do best in the passing game – get the ball out quick – by pressuring up the middle.

The Saints’ offensive line graded out much better than the Niners this year, so Minnesota could have similar success here. Throw in a running game that can also control the game and there’s reason to be nervous about San Fran here. But it’s also worth noting that the Niners are averaging 32.3 points per game in their last four home games.

The Play

The last two sections were just to pretend like I considered other options, but yeah, the oddsmakers got this one right. Take the Chiefs here. They averaged 31 points per game in Mahomes’ first two playoff outings and 27.5 points per game under Andy Reid. We’ve seen them succeed on this stage before, unlike the Ravens under Jackson or Jimmy Garoppolo’s 49ers.

Pick: Kansas City (+220)

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