NFL betting roundtable: Our favorite bets for the divisional round

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Just eight teams remain in the quest for the Super Bowl. Many consider the NFL divisional round the best football weekend of the year. The stakes are high. The pretenders are gone. In theory, there should be no blowouts like we saw last weekend. Just the league's eight best teams fighting it out for the right to continue their season. Our staff sat down and took a look at this weekend's slate from a betting point of view.

What's your best bet for the divisional round?

Nick Bromberg: I'm going with Rams vs. Buccaneers under 48.5 points. I think this game ends up as a relatively slow and low-scoring game. Yeah, I know these two teams combined for 58 points in Week 3, but it feels like the total is inflated because of the blowouts that both had in the wild-card round.

Frank Schwab: It's risky not knowing Jimmy Garoppolo's health situation, but the 49ers are getting too many points as 5.5-point underdogs. This is a really good team and they do a lot of things that you like in the postseason. They beat the Cowboys and won't be scared of the Packers.

Pete Truszkowski: I'm backing Frank up here. That 5.5 points with the 49ers seems like too many points. I'm not convinced they win this game, but I do think it comes down to the last second. Think back to Christmas when the Browns absolutely rammed the ball down the throat of the Packers. Cleveland lost that game by just two points despite Baker Mayfield throwing four interceptions. San Francisco can run the ball almost as effectively as the Browns and I don't think Jimmy Garoppolo will have four turnovers. These teams played earlier in the year and the Packers won by two on a last second field goal. I see a similar result here.

Sam Cooper: I hate to agree with Nick, but I agree with Nick. I’m on the under 48.5 points in the Rams-Buccaneers game. It went unnoticed because of the score, but the Eagles got a lot of pressure on Tom Brady last week. With some of Tampa’s injuries up front, the Rams should be able to do the same. At the same time, Tampa’s defense has not been this healthy in quite a while.

Greg Brainos: As much as I liked the Niners last week versus the Cowboys, I love them even more against the Packers this week. Their defense is allowing 3.0 yards per carry over their past three contests and they’re ranked sixth in passing yards allowed per game (207.8). San Francisco blitzes at the fourth-lowest rate, yet they rank third in sack rate. Ask Dak Prescott about how fun it is when you don’t have time to throw and you’re facing seven defenders in coverage.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Can Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers keep it close during the NFL divisional round? (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Which underdog are you betting on the moneyline?

Nick Bromberg: Bengals over Titans at +160. Both of my hunches were just horribly wrong a week ago, but I think Cincinnati can take down Tennessee, especially if Derrick Henry isn’t ready to get 20 carries. It’s crazy to think that Tennessee is 4-6 in divisional round games on the road in franchise history but just 1-3 at home.

Frank Schwab: I'll take the Rams at +125. The Buccaneers are dealing with a lot of injuries, and the ones on the offensive line could be a big problem. The biggest issue for the Rams will be Matthew Stafford avoiding turnovers. If he does that, they win.

Pete Truszkowski: I'm with Frank again. If there's one team you don't want a banged-up offensive line against, it's the Rams. Tom Brady has always struggled with interior pressure, and Aaron Donald is the best interior pass rusher in football. Jalen Ramsey has the ability to take Mike Evans out of the game and the loss of Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin looms large. I'm taking Los Angeles at +125.

Sam Cooper: I like the Rams in this spot, too. It seems like those new pieces are starting to really gel and this feels like a game where the absence of Chris Godwin will really be felt for the Bucs.

Greg Brainos: Like I said, I’m all in on San Francisco. I'll take the 49ers at +200 on the moneyline. This is one of the best matchups they could ask for. Since the bye week, Green Bay’s defense is surrendering 5.6 yards per carry. Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel are going to brutalize them.

What's your best bet for an "anytime touchdown" scorer this weekend?

Nick Bromberg: Stefon Diggs at +140 feels like fantastic value, especially if the Chiefs are going to blitz Josh Allen a lot like they have done in the past. Diggs is No. 6 on the board for an anytime TD in the headline game of the weekend and tied with Dawson Knox. I also think Mecole Hardman at +333 is a decent value play.

Frank Schwab: What am I missing with Odell Beckham Jr. getting +175 odds? He is clearly a Matthew Stafford favorite, especially near the end zone. His hot streak will continue.

Pete Truszkowski: There's nothing wrong with laying a bit of juice, and I'll do just that with Davante Adams at -125. Adams has brutalized the 49ers in every game he's played against them. The weakness of this San Francisco team is its secondary. Aaron Rodgers will look to his guy and he will find the end zone at least once.

Sam Cooper: I’ll go boring and roll with Travis Kelce at +105. Andy Reid always finds creative ways to get him the ball in the red zone. I also am thinking about sprinkling some on Patrick Mahomes at +400. He’s scored at least one postseason rushing touchdown in the last three seasons.

Greg Brainos: I’m taking Niners running back Elijah Mitchell at +110. He’s scored in seven of the 10 games where he recorded double-digit carries and serves as San Francisco’s short-yardage bulldozer when they get near the goal line, which should happen plenty against the Packers’ run D. I also like the value on George Kittle at +160. He didn’t score against Green Bay in their Week 3 matchup, but he burned them for 92 yards on seven catches and the Packers gave up the sixth-most touchdowns to tight ends this year.

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