The wave of NFL divisional round playoff games is upon us, which means experts’ predictions have littered the web again. But don’t worry, we have carefully curated and vetted the most relevant among them, including expert picks from ESPN, Bleacher Report, and two other “in the know” outlets so that you can make more informed bets of your own this coming weekend.
For your quick reference, here are the games this weekend:
Colts vs Chiefs (January 12)
Cowboys vs Rams (January 12)
Chargers vs Patriots (January 12)
Eagles vs Saints (January 13)
*We’ve listed each NFL writer’s straight up (SU) picks beside their name. When you see “Chiefs”, it means the Chiefs have won straight up over the Colts, and so forth.
Expert Picks and Predictions for the NFL Divisional Round Playoff Games on January 12-13 2019
Matt Bowen — Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, Saints
Mike Clay — Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, Saints
Mike Golic — Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, Saints
Dan Graziano — Chiefs, Rams, Chargers, Saints
Mina Kimes — Chiefs, Rams, Chargers, Saints
Kevin Seifert — Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, Saints
Seth Wickersham — Chiefs, Rams, Chargers, Saints
Trey Wingo — Chiefs, Rams, Chargers, Saints
Of course, no one’s going to forget what the guys over at Bristol have to say about the upcoming playoff round. But if you’re looking for surprises, Matt Bowen and company have very few for you. All but four picks made by the individual experts above had picked the favorites. The Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Rams, and the New Orleans Saints were all unanimously selected to win. The upset picks come from the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers, with Dan Graziano, Mina Kimes, Seth Wickersham, and Trey Wingo having more confidence in the Chargers’ proven track record on the road than on the defending AFC champions’ seemingly indestructible selves when then they are in Foxboro.
Daniel Bates – Colts, Cowboys, Patriots, Saints
What ESPN failed to give us, Daniel Bates of 12UP has it: that’s support for the underdogs. While Bates also has the Patriots and the Saints to win their respective matches, he balanced his picks out by backing the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys. There are some quarters who believe that the Colts are being gravely slept on by fans and experts in this matchup. The Colts have Andrew Luck and a much-improved defense, which are keys to the team’s success. Kansas City has the ability to make any defenses look puny and useless, but the fact that Indianapolis held Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans to only seven points in the AFC Wild Card round shows.
Meanwhile, Bates is also going to shock plenty of people with his Cowboys pick. But his confidence in them is also a testament to how quick Dallas has turned doubters into believers. The Cowboys were 3-4 heading during their Week 8 bye, but went 7-2 the rest of the way. The trio of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper is among the most dangerous in the playoffs, and with a talented triumvirate like that, the Cowboys are always going to have a shot at beating any team, even the Rams.
Matt Stypulkoski – Chiefs, Chargers
There is only one conference worthy of Matt Stypulkoski’s attention this weekend and that’s the AFC. But at least he made up for his lack of focus on the NFC side by uncorking a beefy preview and breakdown of the AFC matchups. For Stypulkoski, the Chiefs’ defense is going to be too good for even the best form of Indianapolis’ defense. Kansas City finished the regular season tops in the NFL with an average of 35.3 points per game. They matched that with another league-best number of 425.6 total yards per contest.
As for the Chargers-Patriots game, Stypulkoski trusts Los Angeles, citing the Bolts’ defense and New England’s offense that, while still potent, has dipped compared to its form in recent years.
Jake Rill – Chiefs, Rams, Patriots, Saints
Jake Krill of Bleacher Report isn’t going to be swayed by any Patriots slander he’s definitely heard from several folks of late. For Krill, it’s still the Patriots, who will take home the victory in the matchup with Philip Rivers and the Chargers, saying that Brady will get the lead early, while he also expects the Pats’ defense to control Rivers. The rest of Krill’s picks are also composed of favorites, with him expecting the Saints to beat the Philadelphia Eagles with a sledgehammer again. Krill has the Saints winning that matchup, 41-24. The Saints defeated Philly at home back in Week 11, 48-7.
TopBet Writer – Ryan Simpson
TopBet’s resident expert Ryan Simpson has published all four of his divisional round predictions. View each article (and free pick!) by visiting the links below:
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