NFL Divisional Round Best Bets 2022

By Akiva Wienerkur   January 20, 2022 

NFL Divisional Round Best Bets 2022

NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend didn’t produce the close games the league was hoping for. The average margin of victory last weekend checked in at 17.1 points, with only two of the six games finishing with single-digit margins. That’s more than double last season’s margin of victory on Super Wild Card Weekend (8.3), and far more than the previous two years (6.0 in 2020 and 3.8 in 2019). 

Favorites dominated last weekend (5-1 against the spread) and, historically, Favorites rule the Divisional Round as well. Over the last three postseasons, Favorites hold an 8-4 against the spread record in the Divisional Round. NFL Odds all back the home teams this weekend, but three of those spreads are 3.5 points or less. 

The Under hit in four of the six games last week, following the season-long trend. Over the last three postseasons, the Under has posted a 7-5 mark in the Divisional Round. Although this year’s field sports some high-powered offenses, scoring tends to stay low in the playoffs and in cold weather, where three of the four games will be played. 

Don’t miss the NFL Divisional Round Picks and Predictions on Sideslines.io. It navigates all of the week’s lines, making picks and predictions for each contest. 

The NFL Divisional Round playoff slate features a number of actionable lines and totals to bet this weekend. Here’s a look at four NFL best bets to follow for the NFL Divisional Round.  

NFL Best Bets for the Divisional Round

Game Bet
Bengals at Titans Best Bets Titans -3.5/+100 (FoxBet)
49ers at Packers Best Bets Packers -5.5/-115 (BetMGM)
Rams at Buccaneers Best Bets Rams +3/-115 (FanDuel)
Bills at Chiefs Best Bets Chiefs -2/-109 (Sugar House)

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans

Best Bet: Titans -3.5/+100 (FoxBet)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Houston Texans defensive end Jordan Jenkins (50) during the third quarter at NRG Stadium Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in Houston, Texas | Sidelines
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Houston Texans defensive end Jordan Jenkins (50) during the third quarter at NRG Stadium Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by: George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Bengals play the Titans on Saturday afternoon to start the NFL’s Divisional Round. Cincinnati enters this one after snapping a 31-year playoff win drought, but they’re facing the AFC’s top seed and haven’t won a road playoff game ever. The Titans, meanwhile, used their well-earned Bye to get healthy and hope to have Derrick Henry back in the lineup for the first time since Halloween. 

The Cincinnati Bengals (11-7, 11-7 ATS) won a playoff game for the first time since 1991, thanks, to a solid offensive effort and some questionable officiating. Joe Burrow looked like a natural in the postseason, going 24 of 34 for 244 yards and two touchdowns, while leading scoring drives in each of the Cincinnati’s first four possessions. 

The Bengals’ defense limited Las Vegas to one touchdown in five red zone trips and 9-of-20 on third and fourth down combined. They sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr three times and forced two turnovers. 

But the Bengals lost two of their top defensive linemen to injury. Larry Ogunjobi sustained a season-ending foot injury while edge rusher Trey Hendrickson suffered a concussion. Without Ogunjobi on the field, Cincinnati’s pressure rate drops significantly, from 35 percent to 26 percent. 

The Tennessee Titans (12-5, 10-7 ATS) used the Bye week to get healthy and hope to have Henry on the field once again. That can only help the league’s fifth-ranked red zone offense (63.9 percent). 

Tennessee finished the season ranked fifth in rushing yards per game (141.5), even though Henry missed the last nine games. Cincinnati ranked fifth defending the run this season, allowing just 102.5 rushing yards per game. But the Bengals faced the fifth-fewest rushing attempts this season (407) and allowed 4.3 yards per carry (13th). 

This game features to two most sacked quarterbacks this season, with Burrow leading the league (51) and Tannehill trailing just behind (47). Burrow posted the league’s second-best quarterback rating against pressure this season (108.3), trailing only Aaron Rodgers (111.9). Cincinnati finished 5-0 in games they allowed less than three sacks, so the Titans need to pressure Burrow without blitzing to avoid explosive plays downfield. 

Turnovers will be key in this contest. The Bengals have gone 0-14 since last season when committing two or more turnovers in a game. The Titans, meanwhile, are 11-1 when they commit less than three turnovers in a game this season. Cincinnati forced two turnovers on Super Wild Card Weekend, but ranked 17th on the season in takeaways (21). 

The Titans registered eight wins this season against teams above .500, which stands as the most all-time in a single season. Under head coach Mike Vrabel, Tennessee’s 8-0 against the spread with more than eight days to prepare. The Titans have won seven of their last eight home games this season, going 6-2 against the spread in those contests. 

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

Best Bet: Packers -5.5/-115 (BetMGM)

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith (91) celebrates after sacking Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (not pictured) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field
Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith (91) celebrates after sacking Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Mannion (not pictured) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Photo by: Dan Powers / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 49ers play the Packers on Saturday night in a highly-anticipated Divisional Round game. The Niners held on to win during Super Wild Card Weekend, making them the only underdog to do so. Green Bay enjoyed a much-needed Bye, using the extra time to get healthy and prepare for this grudge match. 

The San Francisco 49ers (11-7, 10-8 ATS) have had the Packers’ number of late. The Niners have eliminated Green Bay from the postseason three times since 2012 and have not been defeated by Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. San Francisco held on to beat the Cowboys last Sunday despite some uneven play from Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Injuries could complicate matters for the 49ers this weekend. Garoppolo finished the game against Dallas, but suffered a slightly sprained right shoulder in the process. If he’s limited in any way against the Packers, that tilts even more favor toward the home team. San Francisco also saw defensive end Nick Bosa leave last week’s game with a concussion and linebacker Fred Warner exit with an ankle injury. Both are key pieces for the Niners’ defense. 

The Green Bay Packers (13-4, 12-5 ATS) finished with the league’s best record and sport the best odds to win not only the NFC Championship but also the Super Bowl. Grabbing that first round Bye for the third straight year proved valuable for the Packers. The team expects to get left tackle David Bakhtiari back in the lineup, as well as potentially cornerback Jaire Alexander and pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith, too.

When these teams met in Week 3, the Packers held San Francisco to 67 yards on the ground. That will be a key for Green Bay, considering the Niners are 11-3 this season when gaining at least 100 rushing yards. they faced the second-fewest rushing attempts (221). The Packers allowed 4.6 yards per carry (22nd). The Niners are 1-9 since last season when failing to reach at least 100 rushing yards. 

Turnovers will be key in this game as well. The Packers went 11-0 this season went making at least one interception. Garoppolo threw 12 interceptions this season, and threw a critical one against Dallas in the Wild Card round. San Francisco went 5-7 this season when committing at least one turnover, and 2-6 when committing two turnovers or more. The Packers ranked eighth this season in takeaways (26). 

The Packers are 4-0 both straight up and against the spread in their last four Divisional Round games. Green Bay’s 7-1 against the spread in its last eight home games, and in its last eight home games versus opponents with a winning road record. 

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Best Bet: Rams +3/-115 (FanDuel)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at SoFi Stadium | Sidelines
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half in the NFC Wild Card playoff football game at SoFi Stadium. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams play the Buccaneers in perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the weekend. While all home teams enter the Divisional Round as favorites, the defending Super Bowl champs might be the team most ripe for an upset. This game features a pair of high-powered offenses that could also blow by the 48.5-point total set for this contest. 

The Los Angeles Rams (13-5, 9-9 ATS) scored an important early-season win over the Bucs back in Week 3. Although that one was played in Los Angeles, the Rams topped Tampa Bay 34-24 behind 343 passing yards and four touchdowns from Matthew Stafford. 

The Rams dominated divisional rival Arizona on Super Wild Card Weekend, walking into the Divisional Round after a 34-11 rout last Monday night. Although that win left Los Angeles with one less day to prepare, that’s not an overwhelming obstacle for this talented team and its attacking defense. LA limited the Cardinals to just 183 total yards and forced two turnovers, including a pick-six. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4, 10-8 ATS) didn’t make it through Super Wild Card Weekend unscathed. The Bucs saw right tackle Tristan Wirfs (ankle) and center Ryan Jensen (foot) go down against the Eagles. Neither expects to practice until Friday at the earliest, and if they miss the game, that could prove problematic against Aaron Donald, Von Miller and the rest of the Rams’ defensive front.

The Bucs may also be without their top two running backs, Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II. Both are questionable for Sunday’s game, but Tampa Bay has a pair of good backs behind them in Gio Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. 

Tom Brady proved to be the most well-protect quarterback in the league this season. He was sacked a league-low 22 times and faced pressure on just 12 percent of pass attempts this season. The Bucs went 12-1 when allowing less than three sacks in a game. The Rams, though, registered the third-most sacks this season (49), and sacked Brady three times in Week 3. 

In three of Tampa Bay’s losses this season, Brady was sacked 10 times. He faced pressure on 18.4 percent of dropbacks against the Rams in Week 3, which stands as the second-highest pressure percentage of the season. The only time he faced more pressure came in Tampa Bay’s Week 15 loss to the Saints (18.9 percent). Pressuring Brady has historically been the key to defeating him. 

Handling pressure will be important for LA as well, considering the Bucs defense blitzed 317 times this season, most in the NFL. They blitzed on 29 percent of plays, also most in the league. The Rams had a third down conversion rate of 59 percent against the blitz this season, which ranked second in the NFL. LA finished 10-3 this season when allowing less than three sacks. 

Los Angeles went 6-0 this season in games Stafford did not throw an interception, but the Bucs were 11-0 when intercepting at least one pass. Stafford must take care of the football to keep the Rams in the game and avoid short fields for Brady and the Tampa Bay offense. 

The Rams are 8-1 against the spread in the last nine meetings between these clubs, and 5-0 in the last five games at Raymond James Stadium. The underdog is also 4-0 in the last four meetings between these teams. LA’s 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as a road underdog. The Bucs are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, and 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs

Best Bet: Chiefs -2/-109 (Sugar House)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scrambles as he looks downfield after being pressured by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Chris Wormley (95) during the first half in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium | Sidelines
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scrambles as he looks downfield after being pressured by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Chris Wormley (95) during the first half in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills play the Chiefs in the marquee matchup of the NFL’s Divisional Round. This game pits two of the top offenses against two of the top defenses in the league. It represents a rematch of not only last season’s AFC Championship game, but also a Week 5 matchup earlier this season. This will be the third matchup at Arrowhead Stadium in less than a year for these two teams. 

The Buffalo Bills (12-6, 11-6-1 ATS) routed their division rival, the New England Patriots, 47-17 last weekend. Josh Allen set a team playoff record with five touchdown passes, including two to Dawson Knox, and Devin Singletary ran for two scores, as the Bills erased any lingering doubt over their abilities. 

The Kansas City Chiefs (13-5, 9-9 ATS) saw their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, also put up five touchdowns as they routed the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-21 on Super Wild Card Weekend. Both of these teams put up over 40 points on offense and stymied their opponents on defense. KC’s defense limited the Steelers to 257 total yards and 3.9 yards per play, forcing one turnover.

When these two teams met in Week 5 this season, the Bills rolled to a 38-20 road win in Kansas City. Allen was masterful, putting up four touchdowns, and Buffalo’s defense forced four turnovers and limited the Chiefs to 5-of-13 on third and fourth down. 

But the Chiefs are a very different club at this point. Kansas City struggled through a 3-4 start to the season, committing 17 turnovers in that stretch. However, the Chiefs found their rhythm after that, going 9-1 to finish the regular season, committing just eight turnovers over their final 10 games. Over that span, KC finished with the best scoring defense (16.5 points per game), allowing the fewest points overall (165), and ranking seventh in QBR against (39.5). The Chiefs picked off more passes (15) than passing touchdowns allowed (12), and generated the sixth-highest pressure rate (30.7) over that span.  

Mahomes leads the league with 17 touchdown and just two interceptions over his last six games, including last week. Kansas City’s averaged 36.5 points per game over that span and turned the ball over just four times. Mahomes must take care of the football in this one, considering Buffalo went 9-1 this season when intercepting at least one pass. He’ll be facing a Bills defense without Tre’Davious White, who was their top corner.

Kansas City is 5-2 against the spread in the last seven meetings between these clubs, and 6-2 against the spread in their last eight meetings in Kansas City. And they’re 5-1 against the spread in their last six home playoff games, and 5-0 against the spread in their last five games as a home favorite. Home teams are 8-4 against the spread in the Divisional Round over the last three years.

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