Divisional Round Saturday Locks!
Jaguars @ Chiefs (-9), O/U 53
January football at Arrowhead. It feels like that’s not going away anytime soon. The Jaguars enter this one off of their miraculous comeback last week against the Chargers. In the first half of that game they didn’t look like they belonged in the NFL, let alone the playoffs, and in the second half they looked like world-beaters. Trevor Lawrence will need to play a much cleaner game here if they want to have a chance.
The Chiefs are well-rested and have Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. They do typically play down to their opponent if they know they’ve got the game, which could get dicey here. But they’re clearly the more experienced and proven team playing here, and that should go a long way.
I’ll lay the points with the Chiefs here. I don’t feel great about it since the Chiefs can often get off to slow starts and then turn it on at will when they need to, and 9 points means multiple scores. But I still feel better about them here than the Jags. So I’ll lay the points and take the under.
Picks: Chiefs -9 (Padlock), UNDER 53 (Deadbolt)
Giants @ Eagles (-7.5), O/U 48
NFC East duel here in the Divisional Round. Are the Giants back to being a Team of Destiny? It’s possible. They’re rarely the most talented team on the field. But they’re well-coached, play clean football, and win games. And all of a sudden, Daniel Jones has gone from looking like a competent NFL QB to potentially a good one. And this defense is legit.
The Eagles stumbled into the playoffs after being the most dominant team in the league for the majority of the season. Jalen Hurts’ health is going to be the difference here. If he’s healthy and this offense can be its normal self, where it can beat you through the air or on the ground, then I don’t think this game will be super competitive. The Eagles defense is elite and the offense has looked unstoppable. If Hurts is hesitant to run or the scheme has changed to not have him run, then it’s a different story. In that case, I actually think not only do the Giants cover, but likely win the game.
I’m laying the points with the Eagles. I expect Hurts to be fine. Even if he’s not fine, he seems competitive enough and enough of a gamer to gut this one out. The Eagles defense is in a different league entirely than the Vikings defense last week that made this pedestrian Giants offense look elite. So I expect the Giants to struggle scoring more than in the teens. I’ll take the Eagles here along with the under.