NEW YORK, NY – After an exciting first week of action, the NFL playoffs continue this weekend with the divisional round with eight teams vying for the chance to play in Super Bowl LV at Ryan James Stadium in Tampa. This week’s picks are brought to you by Joe Wiz, one of the country’s leading sports betting analysts.
L.A. Rams at Green Bay Packers
Current line: Green Bay -7. Total is 46.
The Rams advanced to the Divisional round after winning at Seattle last week 30-20. The story of that win was the Rams defense who held Seattle to just 11 first downs and 5 sacks on Quarterback Russell Wilson. The Rams held the Seahawks to just 2 of 14 on 3rd down attempts.
“Quarterback Jared Goff didn’t have a great game playing with his surgically impaired thumb on his throwing has was just 9 of 19 for 155 years and one TD,” Joe Wiz said. “LA led the NFL in total defense this season.”
Green Bay is coming in well-rested getting the bye as the #1 seed in the NFC. Quarterback Aaron Rogers is the leading candidate to secure MVP honors throwing 48 Touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. The Packers have dominated the NFC North winning the division seven times in the last 10 years but are just 6-7 in the playoffs including last year’s NFC Championship loss at San Francisco 37-20.
“There are some question marks for the Rams, especially with their quarterback, Goff,” Wiz said. “How will he play in the cold and is all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald at 100% with bruised Ribs?”
The game plan for head coach McVay is to go conservative and try and establish the ground attack with Cam Akers who rushed for 131 yards last week at Seattle. The biggest match-up could be Rams start CB Ramsey trying to cover WR Davante Adams who led the NFL with 18 Touchdown catches. Points could be at a premium especially for the Rams so the better play might be the Under 46.
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills
Current line: Buffalo -2.5 Total is 50.
Two of the hottest teams collide at Orchard Park Saturday night. Buffalo is coming off a hard-fought 27-24 Win over Indianapolis last week. It was the Bill’s first playoff win since 1995. They have won seven straight games and are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games. QB Josh Allen passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns.
Baltimore came from behind 10-0 in Nashville last weekend to knock off Tennessee 20-13. QB Lamar Jackson finally played well in a playoff game and he actually outrushed Titans star RB Henry 136-40. The Ravens have won six straight games and are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games.
“Bills head coach Sean McDermott will need to come up with a game plan how to contain Ravens Quarterback, Jackson who has back to back 1,000 rushing yards which is an NFL record,” Wiz said about this weekend’s matchup.
He was 17 or 24 for 179 yards.
“His success on the ground will determine the outcome of this game,” Wiz said. “Buffalo has scored at least 26 or more points in their last nine games and is at home rested while Baltimore is playing their third straight road game. Bills advance in a squeaker so you might consider the money line at -130.”
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs.
Current line: Kansas City -10.5. Total is 57.
The Cleveland Browns pulled off a big upset last week over Pittsburgh 48-37. It was their first playoff Win since 1994. The defense was special with five takeaways versus the Steelers and QB Mayfield played mistake-free ball and throwing three touchdown passes.
Kansas City has been off for almost a month as they rested almost all their starters in the last week of the regular season where they lost to the Chargers. That loss snapped their 10 game winning streak. KC has the Top-rated offense in the league and has the best QB in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes who passed for 4,740 yards and 38 TD’s.
Despite having the most talented them in the league KC hasn’t won a game by more than six points since week 8 of the NFL season and they are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games.
“Asking Cleveland to come into Arrowhead and pull off another upset is daunting but not impossible, HC Stefanski will be back on the sidelines calling the signals,” Wiz said. “If QB Mayfield can play error-free which he has recently, in 9 of the last 10 games Baker has not thrown an INT. If running backs Nick Chubb and X-KC Kareem Hunt can keep the ball out of the hands of Mahomes anything is possible.”
Not interested in laying double digits even with the defending Champs who have burned a ton of money the past two months so we are going to ask Baker to take a walk with us to the bank and make a deposit with the 10+ points.
Tampa Bay Bucs at New Orleans Saints
Current line: New Orleans -3. Total is 52.
These two teams met twice this season and New Orleans won both games outscoring Tampa 72-26. Week 1 here at dome they won 34-23 and then on November 8th, it was a blowout 38-3. So one wonders why is the line only 3 with two convincing wins by the Bucs? Well, the answer is Tom Brady.
In the last five games, Brady had thrown 15 touchdown passes and just 1 INT. In last week’s Wildcard win at Washington, the Bucs had 507 yards of Total Offense vs. one of the better defensive teams in the Washington Football Team. Tampa comes in with a five-game winning streak and just may be peaking at the right time.
New Orleans is coming off a dominating playoff win last week over the Chicago Bears 21-9, it wasn’t that close. QB Brees was banged up midway through the season but now seems 100% and has most of his team healthy as well. Most notable is WR Michael Thomas who led the league last year in receptions but was plagued with ankle injuries most of the season this year.
“No doubt the NFL saved the best matchup of the weekend for last,” Wiz said. “This game is certainly the most intriguing with the league’s two top passers of all time and most likely we will see their two future Hall of Famers face each other.”
Wiz said it has been rumored this can be Brees’ final year before retirement but anything is possible.
“Brees has the edge in passing yards but Brady has the edge in passing touchdowns and of course the all-important Super Bowl rings,” he said. “This one will be closer than the first two meetings and it could come down to who has the ball last.:
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