Divisional Sunday Locks
Rams @ Buccaneers (-3), O/U 48.5
With the Packers falling yesterday, the winner here will be hosting the NFC Championship game. Both of these two teams absolutely dominated their Wild Card round matchups, so momentum can be considered equal. The Rams silenced many doubters with their domination last week. Offensively, the addition of an explosive and fresh Cam Akers gives this offense some much needed balance, considering how poor their offensive line had been playing. They’ll need to create some sort of balance going up against a stout Bucs d-line. Defensively, they’ll likely be fine against the passing attack of Tom Brady and the Bucs, but how they handle the run with Fournette back in the fold is the main question mark.
Speaking of getting Playoff Lenny back, the Bucs will look to him to keep Aaron Donald and Von Miller at bay by establishing success on early downs with their ground attack. They certainly hold the edge in the running game on paper on both sides of the ball, but I’m extremely concerned about how their secondary holds up against the Rams explosive passing offense. They made Matthew Stafford look like an MVP-frontrunner back in Week 3.
I’m going Rams here. I don’t have too confident of a feel. I expect a close, competitive game. I expect a lot of points and Stafford to have a ton of success. The main reason for the lack of confidence is simple: the Bucs have Tom Brady. Ultimately though, having a field goal in my pocket seems like the smart move with this game, so I’ll take the points with the away team.
Picks: Rams +3 (Padlock), OVER 47.5 (Deadbolt)
Bills @ Chiefs (-1.5), O/U 54.5
What a game to finish over the Divisional Round. Both of these offense were absolutely unstoppable last week. Both of these teams know each other extremely well. This game likely will come down to the basics: who converts in the Red Zone, who turns the ball over, and who gets a big special teams play. The Bills played a perfect game last week. Josh Allen is that dude. This defense is elite. And this team is built to compete with this Chiefs team.
The Chiefs are the Chiefs. They have Andy Reid. They have Patrick Mahomes. They have the experience. But they lost the regular season matchup between these two teams this year. And they had moments this season where they looked like a mess on both sides of the ball. That being said, they’ve certainly straightened things out midway through the season. Their offense looks as lethal as ever, and their defense may be the best it has been in recent years.
I’m going Bills. I’m throwing away any and all analysis in this game and just making this a feel pick. It’s so difficult to repeat as Conference Champion, let alone do it three straight years. I’m not saying the winner of this game will automatically represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but they’ll certainly be the favorite. So I’m just going with the team that has come up short in recent years. Give me the Bills with the points.