Well, that was fun wasn’t it? Let’s do it again next weekend.
The Divisional Round is set with four more games on the NFL playoff slate next Saturday and Sunday.
On the NFC side of things, the Carolina Panthers are the No. 1 seed, but Vegas seems to believe that the Arizona Cardinals are at the top of post heap. Meanwhile, on the AFC side of the bracket, the top-seeded Denver Broncos look to keep their momentum from Week 17 and the New England Patriots loo to turn things around at home.
Starting with Saturday’s games, here’s how the Divisional Round is projected to play out. Make sure to keep checking back here on Sunday as well to see how lines are updated:
Saturday, January 16
Game One: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots
Time: 4:35 p.m. ET
Spread: New England Patriots -5 via OddsShark
Prediction: The Kansas City Chiefs just won a playoff game. Before Saturday afternoon, the last time the Kansas City Chiefs won a playoff game, Joe Montana was the team’s quarterback. Now, they (and their almost ridiculous win streak) head to New England for a Divisional Round tilt against the reigning Super Bowl champs. Kansas City is coming off the first playoff shutout in a decade, but this is still a Tom Brady-led Patriots squad at home and that’s no easy task. Add into the mix that the Chiefs will likely be without Jeremy Maclin after he suffered a knee injury on Saturday and this won’t be a second straight walk in the metaphorical park.
Game Two: Green Bay Packersvs. Arizona Cardinals
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Spread: Arizona Cardinals -7.5 via OddsShark
Prediction: The Green Bay Packers may have staged the come-from-behind victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon, but that didn’t do much to inspire a lot of odds-based confidence in them heading into the Divisional Round. Arizona defeated the Packers 38-8 in Glendale on December 27, recording nine sacks in that game. Green Bay committed four turnovers in the loss, including two fumbles that were returned for a touchdown and a pass that was intercepted in the end zone.
Sunday, January 17
Game One: Seattle Sehawks vs. Carolina Panthers
Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Spread: Carolina Panthers -3 via OddsShark
Prediction: The Seahawks weathered the cold (and got some help from a missed field goal) to earn a Divisional Round berth and a matchup against the top-seeded Panthers next weekend. Seattle out-played Carolina in their Week 6 matchup, but couldn’t hold the Panthers down the stretch. Since then, the Seahawks have looked a lot better on both sides of the ball and that could inspire some betting confidence. Still, Cam Newton and the Panthers have had a week off to get healthy and that could also mean dangerous.
Game Two: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos
Time: 4:40 p.m. ET
Spread: Denver Broncos -6.5 via OddsShark
Prediction: Well, that was crazy right? After the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off an improbable Wild Card victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, helped a bit by some Bengals flags, the squad heads to Mile High for a matchup against the top seed in the AFC. Mike Tomlin told reporters at his post-game presser that Antonio Brown, unsurprisingly, suffered a concussion after his late-game hit, but that puts the wideout’s status in question heading into next week. Meanwhile, on the Broncos side of things, Denver gets a chance for a bit of redemption after a 34-27 loss on December 20. What a time for Peyton Manning to return as a starter, huh?
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