These are our NFL Playoffs Picks for the Divisional Round. Check here on what to bet, which games to pass and why.
NFL Playoffs 2020 Picks: Divisional Round Predictions
|16:35||Minnesota @ San Francisco||SF -7.0||44.0|
|20:15||Tennessee @ Baltimore||BAL -9.5||47.0|
|15:05||Houston @ Kansas||KAN -9.5||51.0|
|18:40||Seattle @ Green Bay||GB -4.5||47.0|
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Minnesota @ San Francisco (-7.0)
This is Mike Zimmer’s fifth playoff game and the third playoff game for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Zimmer is 2-2 in the postseason, with both wins coming vs. New Orleans. Cousins is now 1-1 in the postseason. In addition to last week’s win vs. New Orleans, he lost to Green Bay in 2015. Zimmer and Cousins are 1-0 SUATS vs. San Francisco. That game was in Week One last year.
For Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, this is their first playoff game as head coach and starter. In terms of experience and coaching, the edge goes to Minnesota.
San Francisco opened the year 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS, allowing less than 13 points per game. Since then, they are 5-3 SU and 3-4-1 ATS. Garoppolo has not had stellar stats. He has 28 touchdown passes, 13 interceptions, and 5 fumbles.
Minnesota has played fairly consistently all year. Their win at New Orleans last week could lead to a letdown, but it could also be an opportunity for motivation. Cousins had 26 touchdown passes in the regular season, along with 6 interceptions, and 3 fumbles. So you could say that Cousins outplayed Garoppolo, at least in terms of touchdowns to turnovers.
San Francisco is projected to win by a score of 26-19, however, they have allowed 26 points per game in their last eight, and Minnesota is averaging over 25 points per game on offense. So I don’t know where that 19 point projection for Minnesota is coming from.
With thirteen regular season wins, San Francisco has won more games than they have in the previous two years combined. Over the last fifteen years, twelve other teams have won either the same number or more games than they have in their previous two years combined and then made the postseason – Atlanta in 2008, Chicago in 2018, Detroit in 2011, Detroit in 2014, Green Bay in 2007, Jacksonville in 2017, Kansas City in 2013, Los Angeles Rams in 2017, Miami in 2008, Minnesota in 2012, Oakland in 2016, and Washington in 2015.
Those twelve teams went 2-10 SUATS in their first postseason game, including 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS as a favorite. (This would also apply to Green Bay this week.)
Playoff road dogs of more than 7 points off a playoff road win are 16-3 ATS. Also applies to Tennessee this week.
Take Minnesota +7.
Tennessee @ Baltimore (-9.5)
The Patriots were steamrolled by Derrick Henry for 182 yards last week, and I think we’re going to see the same approach by Tennessee in this game. The question is whether Baltimore can stop it, and whether Tennessee can stop Baltimore’s run-heavy offense.
Baltimore has been on an incredible run. But Tennessee hasn’t been too shabby. They are 8-3 SUATS since they made the quarterback change to Ryan Tannehill, scoring 27 or more points in seven of those eleven games. Baltimore has scored 27 or more points in eight of their last eleven games.
In Lamar Jackson’s one previous playoff game last season, he completed 48% of his passes and threw for 187 yards.
I’m on Tennessee +9.5.
Houston @ Kansas City (-9.5)
Kansas City is projected to win this game by a score of 31-21. However, in two games vs. Kansas City with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, the Texans have scored 34 and 31 points.
Statistically, Houston is an average team, but they have an above average quarterback, capable of keeping them in any game. Houston is also a different team on offense with wide receiver Will Fuller, and he is expected to play this week.
Watson is 2-0 ATS as a dog of 7 or more points.
Kansas City laid this same number at home vs. Oakland in Week Thirteen. Oakland was 6-5 entering that game and on the second of back-to-back road games. Kansas City laid less than this number (9 points) at home vs. Denver in Week Fifteen. The Broncos were 5-8 with a rookie quarterback entering that game, and also on the second of back-to-back road games. Is Houston with Deshaun Watson 1 point worse than the 5-8 Broncos with a rookie quarterback? Is Houston with Watson equal to Oakland with Derek Carr?
Teaser players take note that Deshaun Watson has lost by double digits only 3 times in 39 starts.
I’m taking Houston +9.5.
Seattle @ Green Bay (-4.5)
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has taken his team to the playoffs eight times in ten years. His playoff record is 10-6 SU and 9-7 ATS, including 9-5 SU and 8-6 ATS with Russell Wilson at quarterback. Carroll’s Seahawks have gone to two Super Bowls, winning one. That’s an impressive postseason record.
Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur is coaching his first playoff game. When he was with the Rams in 2017, they lost their only playoff game.
Both quarterbacks make their respective teams. Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are a 5-win team. Seattle is probably the same without Russell Wilson.
This is Green Bay’s third playoff game at home in the last ten years. They are 2-2 SU and 1-2-1 ATS in those games.
Teaser players take note that Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has lost by double digits only 6 times in 142 starts. Two of those six losses were at Green Bay.
I’m taking Seattle +4.5.