Divisional Round Betting Breakdown


There’s no better time to get some sports betting action in than the NFL playoffs. Divisional Round bets abound on this weekend’s card. Whether it’s sides and totals or player props, we have you covered here at FTN with our NFL betting models and NFL player props tool. But before we put some wagers in play, it’s important to know a thing or two about each of the four Divisional Round games. 


Houston @ Baltimore

We have a bit of a Cinderella story in Houston this season, but we shouldn’t downplay this Texans team after they absolutely rolled the Browns 45-14 in the Wild Card Round. That’s the third-largest win in Wild Card history. Of course, this franchise has never advanced beyond the Divisional Round, going 0-4 in chances to make it to the Conference Championship. 

DeMeco Ryans did a masterful job of turning this team around quickly. The Texans won 11 games in the regular season. That’s the same number of wins as Houston had in the previous three seasons combined. A big part of that success is due to the standout play of C.J. Stroud. The rookie put on a clinic against the Browns last week, recording a near-perfect passer rating to go along with 274 yards and three passing scores. In the process, he became the youngest quarterback to win a playoff game in NFL history.

Stroud has history at stake this week as well. He needs just 281 passing yards to pass Andrew Luck (4,662) for the rookie record including playoffs. He also could become the third rookie quarterback to win multiple playoff games. The only two to do so currently are Brock Purdy in 2022 and Mark Sanchez in 2009. Stroud could also join Joe Flacco as the only other rookie quarterback to defeat a No. 1 seed. 

But this is no easy task. Houston will be on the road in Baltimore, a place where they lost 25-9 back in Week 1. Of course, that was Stroud’s first game, and a lot has changed since then. Stroud has proven to be very effective when throwing deep, completing 49% of throws going 20-plus air yards. That’s the fourth-highest rate this season. At the same time, Baltimore allowed a competition rate of just 24% on throws of 20-plus air yards, which was the second lowest in the league.

Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens Divisional Round Betting Breakdown

The Ravens head into this contest with a first-round bye for the first time since 2019. Baltimore had a magical regular season in 2019 that culminated in Lamar Jackson winning his first MVP award. Of course, that magic didn’t continue into the postseason, as the Ravens lost 28-12 to the Titans in the Divisional Round. In doing so, they became just the sixth team with 14-plus wins to lose their playoff opener in NFL history. The other five are the 1986 Bears, the 2005 Colts, the 2006 Chargers, the 2010 Patriots and the 2011 Packers.

Overall, the Ravens have been quite successful on John Harbaugh’s watch. Since he took over in 2008, the team has 11 postseason wins, including a victory in Super Bowl XLVII. Unfortunately, most of that success was over the first five years of his tenure. Over his last 10 seasons as the head coach, Baltimore is just 2-5 in the playoffs with three straight losses in the Divisional Round. The last time Baltimore reached the Conference Championship game was in 2012. 

But this is arguably the best iteration of the Ravens that Harbaugh has coached. Baltimore is the first team since the 1996 Packers with a first-team All-Pro quarterback and the league’s No. 1 scoring defense. The Ravens also lead the league in rushing yards per game in the regular season. While that’s certainly impressive, the No. 1 rushing team hasn’t won the Super Bowl since the Bears did so in 1985.

A lot of the credit for Baltimore’s offensive prowess can be attributed to Todd Monken. The offensive coordinator came in after having spent three seasons at Georgia and had a big impact on Jackson. Still an elite running quarterback, Jackson took a sizeable step forward as a passer in 2023, posting career bests in passing yards (3,678) and completion rate (67.2%). A second MVP award seems likely.

Despite regular season success, Jackson has struggled in the playoffs. He’s 1-3 in his postseason career with just four total touchdowns and seven turnovers. Jackson’s passer rating is 29.7 points lower in the playoffs than it is in the regular season. That’s the fifth largest drop in NFL history. Jackson also didn’t perform particularly well in the Ravens’ Week 1 matchup against the Texans, throwing for just 169 passing yards and no scores while taking four sacks.

That lack of success in the postseason isn’t just straight up for Jackson. He’s also 0-2 against the spread in two career home playoff starts. He lost to the Chargers by six in 2018 as a three-point favorite. He was also favored by 10 in the 2019 Divisional Round loss to Tennessee. The under has hit in all four of Jackson’s playoff appearances. But Baltimore did cover a 9.5-point spread against the Texans in Week 1. At the same time, Stroud has performed well as the underdog this season, going 6-1 against the spread when the Texans aren’t favored.

Betting Records This Season

HOU: 10-8 ATS, Under is 11-7
BAL: 11-6 ATS, Under is 9-8

Projected Score 

BAL 25.8 – HOU 17.4

Jeff’s Game Pick 


Best Bets

Nico Collins Over 77.5 Receiving Yards

(-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Expect C.J. Stroud to lean heavily on Nico Collins again this week. Collins has seen 24 targets over his last three games and topped this line in each of those contests. As a bonus, we get this one at a discount, as the line is three yards higher on FanDuel.

Lamar Jackson Over 227.5 Passing Yards

(-114, FanDuel Sportsbook)

While we tend to focus on Lamar Jackson’s prowess as a runner, he took a big step forward as a passer this season. He posted a career-best 3,678 yards in the regular season. He also topped this line in three of his last four games.

Isaiah Likely Anytime TD

(+145, DraftKings Sportsbook)
With Mark Andrews not expected to be activated off injured reserve, Isaiah Likely remain Jackson’s go-to tight end in the passing game. Likely has found pay-dirt in four of his last five games with five touchdowns over that span.

Green Bay @ San Francisco

This is the 10th postseason matchup between these two teams, making it the most common playoff matchup in NFL playoff history. San Francisco leads the series 5-4, but the 49ers have won each of the last four. Of course, the two head coaches here have a lengthy history, having coached together in Houston (2008-09), Washington (2010-13) and Atlanta (2015-16). The Packers surprised in the Wild Card Round, defeating the Cowboys on the road. That was the first time a No. 7 seed has won since the NFL expanded the postseason in 2020. But it wasn’t just last week. The Packers have rolled over their last nine games, winning seven of them.

Much of that success is directly tied to the play of Jordan Love. Over that nine-game span, Love has 21 passing touchdowns and just one interception. His 35 passing touchdowns including the playoffs is the fourth most by a quarterback in his first season as a starter in NFL history. Love posted a near-perfect passer rating against the Cowboys last week.

Aaron Jones Green Bay Packers Divisional Round Betting Breakdown

But it wasn’t just Love against the Cowboys. Aaron Jones had himself a day in his home state. Jones ran for 118 yards and notched three rushing touchdowns. He has topped 100 rushing yards in four straight games, tying Ahman Green (2003) for the longest streak in Packers’ history. The expanded workload for Jones over that span coincides with AJ Dillon missing time. Dillon managed to get limited work in on Thursday but is listed as “questionable” for this one. No Dillon will mean another heavy volume day for Jones.

On the other side, we have one of the most successful teams in the history of the NFL. This is San Francisco’s 10th time as the No. 1 seed. They won the Super Bowl in four of their nine previous seasons as the No. 1 seed. The 49ers are also looking to advance to the Conference Championship game for the third straight season. Of course, they lost in both of those contests, but the success is still impressive. 

The 49ers are the first team to boast a 4,000-yard passer and four players with over 1,000 scrimmage yards since the 2004 Colts. Of course, that 4,000-yard passer is one of the biggest surprises we’ve seen in recent seasons. But Brock Purdy is the real deal. Of this weekend’s starting quarterbacks, he’s the only one to not be drafted in the first round. Purdy set the 49ers single season passing yards mark and was the first Pro Bowl quarterback for the franchise since Jeff Garcia in 2002.

It also helps when you have the greatest running back of his generation on the field. Christian McCaffrey is the perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense. This year, he became just the second 49ers running back to win the rushing title. Joe Perry did so for the team twice back in 1953 and 1954. It was an amazing season for McCaffrey, but it is worth noting that the last player to win a rushing title and Super Bowl in the same season was Terrell Davis back in 1998.

Green Bay won as a heavy underdog last week, but only five teams since merger have won more than one playoff game as a seven-plus point underdog. The last team to do so was the 2012 Ravens. But LaFleur is a gamer as an underdog. In his coach career, LaFleur is 17-12 straight up as a dog. He’s the only head coach to have a winner record as an underdog with at least 20 such games. Of course, Shanahan hasn’t lost in a home playoff game. He’s also 7-2 against the spread as the 49ers’ head coach.

Betting Records This Season

GB: 10-8 ATS, Over is 11-7
SF: 9-7-1 ATS, Over is 9-6-2

Projected Score 

SF 27.8 – GB 21.5

Jeff’s Game Pick 

San Francisco

Best Bets

Christian McCaffrey 100+ Rushing Yards

(+124, FanDuel Sportsbook)

Let’s take the gimme putt here. Christian McCaffrey’s line is 89.5 on FanDuel, and it’s fair to just play that at -114. But bumping it up to 100 gets us into plus odds territory. McCaffrey has topped 100 yards on the ground in four of his last six games and figures to see a hefty workload Saturday.

Romeo Doubs Over 36.5 Receiving Yards

(-114, FanDuel Sportsbook)

Sure, Romeo Doubs faces a stout San Francisco defense, but this line is entirely too low for a player who put up 151 yards against the Cowboys last week. That was the third-most receiving yards by Packers player in playoffs history. 

Jordan Love Over 246.5 Passing Yards

(-114, FanDuel Sportsbook)

Likewise, we’re going to ride the trend on Jordan Love. Since the Packers started their run back in Week 9, Love has only failed to top this line twice. 

Tampa Bay @ Detroit

A new quarterback, but similar postseason success for the Bucs, as they defeated Philly 32-9 in the Wild Card Round. A win here would propel Tampa to the fifth Conference Championship in franchise history. The other four came in 1979, 1999, 2002 and 2020. The team has gotten hot at the right time, winning six of their last seven games after starting the season 4-7 start. Over that seven-game span, the Bucs boast the league’s second-best scoring defense.

What a season for Baker Mayfield. He was on his last legs as an NFL starter heading into the season, and some even though Kyle Trask would beat him out for the job. But Mayfield managed to revitalize his career, and in the process, he endeared himself to his teammates and the Tampa fan base. Last week, he became just the third quarterback in NFL history to have three-plus passing scores and zero picks in a playoff win for multiple teams. You may have heard of the other two: Tom Brady and Brett Favre. 

These teams did face each other in the regular season. That contest took place back in Week 6, with the Lions winning on the road 20-6. That game was arguably Mayfield’s worst of the season. He managed just 206 passing yards with zero touchdowns and an interception. That was the only game this season where he had more interceptions than touchdowns.

Detroit had to defeat a surging Rams squad to reach this contest. Their one-point victory was the team’s first postseason win since 1991. This will also be the first time in franchise history that the Lions will host more than one game in a single postseason. But Dan Campbell’s team earned this distinction and are currently favored by 6.5 points. That’s the most the team has ever been favored by in the postseason.

Jared Goff Detroit Lions Divisional Round Betting Breakdown

While he isn’t regarded as one of the league’s marquee quarterbacks, Jared Goff has performed well as the Lions’ starter. Last week, he became the first quarterback in NFL history to break a 10-plus year playoff win drought for multiple franchises. He also did so for the Rams in 2018, which was the franchise’s first playoff win since 2004. Goff was also a huge factor in that Week 6 win over the Bucs. He put up 353 passing yards with two scores and no picks.

While the Lions are heavily favored here, this isn’t a gimme. Tampa has been hot down the stretch and have a quarterback who has covered in all three of his career postseason games. The Bus are also 4-0 straight up in their last four games as the underdog.

Betting Records This Season

TB: 12-6 ATS, Under is 12-6
DET: 12-6 ATS, Over is 11-7

Projected Score 

DET 26.1 – TB 21.5

Jeff’s Game Pick 


Best Bets

Mike Evans Over 70.5 Receiving Yards

(-114, FanDuel Sportsbook)

This line continues to climb, so it’s worth grabbing immediately. Mike Evans may not have put up a massive line last week, but he’s in a fantastic spot to produce with a projected shadow from Lions CB Cameron Sutton. Receivers are feasting on Sutton like Tony Soprano on some gabagool. Sutton allows 15.3 yards per catch. If you want to tack on an anytime touchdown for Evans, he’s currently +100 on DraftKings.

Amon-Ra St. Brown 100+ Receiving Yards

(+116, FanDuel Sportsbook)

Amon-Ra St. Brown was a 100-yard machine this season with nine games over that threshold in the regular season. He also topped it last week. He should have no problem getting his hands on the football, especially in the slot where he’ll face Christian Izien. The Bucs slot corner allowed 80% of his targets to be caught in the regular season.

Jameson Williams Anytime TD

(+280, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Sure, this isn’t the safest play on the board this week, but there’s a very real path to the end zone for Jameson Williams this week. Tampa corners Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis each allowed five receiving scores in the regular season. Davis has also allowed 15.2 yards per catch this year.

Kansas City @ Buffalo

Whether you like it or not, the Chiefs are the NFL’s next great dynasty. A win in this contest would mean six straight Conference Championship appearances. Only one franchise in NFL history has made it to six-plus in a row, the Patriots from 2011 to 2018. Beating the Bills on their turf won’t be easy, but the Chiefs do have the advantage of having two extra rest days. They won over the Dolphins last Saturday, while the Bills ended up having to play Monday.

Two decades ago, we had Tom Brady/Peyton Manning. Now, we have Patrick Mahomes/Josh Allen. The two have faced each other six times including the playoffs, but Mahomes has gotten the better of Allen in each of their last two postseason contests. The Chiefs beat the Bills 42-36 in the epic 2021 Divisional Round game that went to overtime. Kansas City also defeated Buffalo in the 2020 AFC Championship game. But it hasn’t been all Kansas City in these matchups. The Bills won 20-17 in Kansas City back in Week 14. You might remember that game better as the Kadarius Toney offsides game.

Mahomes will be making his 16th career playoff start. Other than Super Bowls, this will be his first start not in Arrowhead Stadium. A road playoff game is uncharted territory for Mahomes. He’s also entering this game on the heels of a disappointing regular season. Mahomes posted career worsts in interceptions (14), passing yards per game (261.4) and yards per attempt (7.0). He also has one-or-fewer passing scores in five of his last six games.

Isiah Pacheco Kansas City Chiefs Divisional Round Betting Breakdown

The good news is Mahomes has a trio of skill position players who can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the NFL in Isiah Pacheco, Rashee Rice and Travis Kelce. Pacheco has emerged as a true workhorse runner with 85-plus rushing yards in three of his last four games. Rice exploded down the stretch and is coming off a 130-yard performance in the Wild Card round. That’s the seven-most receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history. And while Kelce did struggle down the stretch this season, he’s topped 70 receiving yards in 10 straight postseason games. 

On the other side, Allen has been one of the most productive signal callers in the league over the last half decade. He posted 44 combined rushing and passing scores in the regular season and is the first player in league history to top 40 in four straight seasons. His numbers weren’t massive in Week 14, but Allen did manage to throw for a score and run for a score.

James Cook was a bigger factor in that contest, posting 141 scrimmage yards and a receiving score. Cook broke out this season, ranking fourth in the league in rushing yards with 1,122. He’ll be a big factor again. In theory, so should Stefon Diggs. He’s topped 100 catches for the Bills in four straight seasons, but Diggs has gone cold this season. He’s failed to top 100 yards in 12 straight games. To make matters worse, he also figures to draw shadow coverage from L’Jarius Sneed.

While Mahomes hasn’t played a road playoff game in his career, he has had success as a road underdog in the regular season. In eight road games as the underdog, Mahomes has won six times and has gone 7-0-1 against the spread. The Chiefs are 8-4 against the spread over their last 12 playoff games. Meanwhile the Bills have gone just 1-4 against the spread in their last five Divisional Round appearances. Buffalo is also 1-7 against the spread in their last eight primetime games.

Betting Records This Season

KC: 10-7-1 ATS, Under is 13-5
BUF: 8-10 ATS, Under is 11-7

Projected Score 

KC 23.2 – BUF 23.2

Jeff’s Game Pick 

Kansas City

Best Bets

Stefon Diggs Under 62.5 Receiving Yards

(-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)

The slump continued for Stefon Diggs last week, as he failed to top 100 receiving yards for his 12th straight game. He’s also gone under this line in six of his last eight games. 

Isiah Pacheco Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts

(-135, DraftKings Sportsbook)

This guy runs angry, and down the stretch he ran a lot. Isiah Pacheco topped this line in six of his last seven games, including last week’s win over the Dolphins. 

Josh Allen Over 43.5 Rushing Yards

(-114, FanDuel Sportsbook)

He’s one of the best running quarterbacks in the game and has topped this line in each of his last three games. In six career games against the Chiefs, Josh Allen averages 53.5 rushing yards per game.

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