I went 5-1 with my picks in the first round of the playoffs, although that may not be much to brag about when anyone who picked a clean sweep of the home favorites would’ve shared that outcome. Now, the Divisional Playoffs are here, starting with the Saturday games that feature the No. 1 seed in each conference. We will cover the Sunday games in another article.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans
Has there ever been less of a No. 1 seed than the Titans? Don’t get me wrong — I am a fan of Tennessee and the roster they have built up, and they scored impressive victories over the Bills and Chiefs this season. There were also some games in which they were out-matched, although some of that could perhaps be attributed to the injury to star running back Derrick Henry. It just seems like someone else in the AFC should be the No. 1 seed; but hey, they’ll certainly take advantage of it, especially with Henry returning to action this week.
Henry returning with fresh legs could be trouble for the Bengals this week. I know Tennessee is capable of shooting it out with clubs, but given the way Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have played, it seems best to really try to hammer home on that ball control mentality. I am really wrestling with this game, because one side of my brain sees Henry being a little rusty and leading to some empty possessions that Cincinnati capitalizes on, while the other side sees Tennessee flourishing and fresh while also having a decent gameplan to defend Chase. I’m anxious to pick my first road upset, but I just can’t do it here. Titans 27, Bengals 23
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Titans are 3.5 point favorites against the Bengals.
The Packers definitely feel like a No. 1 seed, and this contest against the 49ers has game-of-the-postseason written all over it. These two teams met in the regular season back in September in a wild 30-28 game that saw Mason Crosby kick a 51-yard game winner as time expired, after the 49ers had gone ahead 28-27 with a touchdown pass when there was only 0:37 remaining.
The weather will be far different this time around, with the feels like temperature at -1 degree Fahrenheit. The 49ers are a bit dangerous here because from a defensive standpoint and offensive gameplan standpoint, they are hitting their stride at the right time. Deebo Samuel is also an MVP type of player with his versatility. I can’t bet against Aaron Rodgers, though, as he looks to get back to the Super Bowl. Packers 28, 49ers 21.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Packers are 5.5 point favorites against the 49ers.
You can use this as your open thread to discuss both Saturday games too.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.