The 2020 NFL playoffs exceeded expectations during Wild Card Weekend.
Saturday saw the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans duke it out in a fun overtime
game, while the Tennessee Titans knocked out the defending Super Bowl champion
New England Patriots.
Sunday was even crazier, as the Minnesota Vikings stormed Louisiana to take
down the New Orleans Saints in yet another overtime thriller. The final game of
the weekend was altered significantly pretty early on, as Philadelphia Eagles
star quarterback Carson Wentz exited early with a concussion.
Wentz’s departure hurt his Eagles, who succumbed to the Seattle Seahawks,
I had picked the Pats and Saints to face off in the title game in the
preseason, and that obviously won’t be happening. Fortunately, my weekly NFL
picks were a little more productive, as I got a push via the Bills at +3 and
earned a win with the Titans beating what was originally a +5 cushion.
Wentz going down torpedoed my Eagles upset pick, while the Saints did not
hold up their end of the bargain to help me get to the Over (missed by two
points). A 1-2-1 mark will have to do through round one.
As awesome as the first round of the NFL playoffs was, it sets up even more
compelling showdowns for the Divisional Round. Let’s run through all four games
and see which way bettors should lean, starting with the NFL Divisional Round
2020 Divisional Round Odds
There are already Divisional Round odds up at top NFL sportsbooks like
let’s get a head start on our betting research by gauging what the top wager is
for each game.
Tennessee Titans (+10) -120 vs. Baltimore Ravens (-10) +100
Houston Texans (+9.5) -110 vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) -110
Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) -109 vs. San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) -111
Seattle Seahawks (+4) -110 vs. Green Bay Packers (-4) -110
The list is understandably short, as we just get four more games in the
second round of the playoffs. Somewhat surprisingly, however, two of these games
are presently projected as borderline blowouts, and three of four are separated
by almost a touchdown or more.
This gives way to interesting interpretation as to how these teams will all
Obviously, the top seeds in either conference are the Niners and Ravens, and
both teams are fully expected to advance. The question, of course, is if they
actually will and/or if the Titans and Vikings can put up a fight.
Elsewhere, the Chiefs and Packers are also solid favorites at home in their
first game of the 2020 playoffs.
While the spreads are one thing, the game flow projects a little better than
it did in round one. At least two of these games will be pushing for a total of
50 or higher, while all four are starting out at 45.5 or better.
So, which wager stands out the most for each contest? Let’s take a quick stop
by each round two showdown to find out.
New England knew Henry was Tennessee’s ticket to a win, yet they had no
chance of stopping him. Baltimore’s front seven is nastier than the Pats, but
this is still a tough matchup for the Ravens on the ground.
Henry could easily end up setting the tone early in what figures to be a
smashmouth game of ball control. Let’s not forget Ryan Tannehill, who did not
shrink in the face of a tough road matchup, either.
Yes, this is the year of Lamar Jackson,
who is locked in as
the 2019 NFL MVP. However, the Titans are not a cakewalk matchup, and they
may have proved with their round one win that they’re a legit threat to run the
I doubt that happens, and I don’t see Tennessee winning, but this spread just
feels way too thick. The Titans have been one of the best offenses in the NFL
since Tannehill took over under center (8-3 in the last 11 games), and the
Ravens have a lot to deal with here.
Baltimore wins, but the Titans should make a game of it.
Tennessee Titans (+10)
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Texans don’t appear to be getting any more respect than the Titans are as
they head into round two of the 2020 NFL playoffs. Deshaun Watson put Houston on
his back with
one of the best plays of the year, and a lot can be said about
Houston’s thrilling comeback from a 16-0 hole.
Houston is clearly capable of winning in any type of situation, as they’ve
proven all year they can hang with the big dogs, grind out close wins, or
compete in shootouts. They literally put that on display earlier this season
when they upset these very Kansas City Chiefs they’re facing this week, too.
Betting against Patrick Mahomes is not something I feel excited about, and I
do still think KC holds serve and gets the win at home. For one reason or
another, it seems bettors and the top NFL experts have been sleeping on the
Chiefs in the AFC.
I wouldn’t do that when you start thinking about your favorite wager at
betting sites, but I do think the Texans are good enough to keep this game
If Houston was going to fold, they’d have done it last week when the game
felt like it was over at 16-0. Instead, they showed their fight and explosive
ability against a far superior Buffalo defense.
Kansas City should win here, and a shootout is likely, but spotting the
Texans almost 10 points feels like a mistake by the top sportsbooks. This should
be a close one.
Houston Texans (+9.5)
Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Vikings impressed me in round one. Not only did Kirk Cousins show up and
deliver some clutch throws, but the team stuck with the run and allowed Dalvin
Cook to dictate the tempo against a good New Orleans front.
It’s not easy to do that, but it’s also not easy to take out the Saints in
their own building. Minnesota’s defense also deserves a nod here, as they had
Drew Brees facing pressure up the gut and kept forcing him away from what he
wanted to do.
New Orleans simply did not look like themselves and weren’t the aggressors,
while the Vikings head to a brand-new hostile environment in an effort to
duplicate that performance.
That’s obviously easier said than done, but there are two important things we
need to remember about the Niners: Jimmy Garoppolo still may be their weak link,
and their would-be elite defense has shown a lot of holes down the stretch.
Minnesota has the balance to throw the 49ers off, while their defense has
enough bite to force Jimmy G into some unwanted errors. Much like the other
games, I still like the favorite here. The problem is the spread is way too
Minnesota Vikings (+6.5)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
Lastly, we have Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks heading up to the
Frozen Tundra to battle Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
A-Rod has been hit or miss all year, but he’s still a living legend, and the
Packers could have some of that Lambeau mystique in their back pocket. They
probably will need it, seeing as how the Seahawks are now an insane 8-1 on the
road this year.
Green Bay has been surprisingly great lately in this series. They barely lost
a tough game (27-24) in Seattle last year but are 3-1 over the four previous
clashes. Seattle is down to an aged Marshawn Lynch at running back, and their
defense isn’t the elite unit we’ve come to know and appreciate over the years.
Metcalf could be a huge problem for the Packers, especially since they’ll
also have to try to contain the dynamic Russell Wilson.
Green Bay could still control this game with their methodical offense and
underrated defense, but this should be a close one. Like the three games before
it, this is another one that simply feels mispriced.
Seattle is better than a 4-point dog in this setting. This feels like a game
that will at worst be decided by a field goal, one way or the other. My guess is
the Seahawks hang tight, and I won’t be shocked in the least if they walk away
with the win to punch their ticket to the NFC title game.
Seattle Seahawks (+4)
Betting on the NFL playoffs doesn’t have to be hard. For the most part, you
just need to pick the right bet.
Doing that early in the week when the top sports betting sites haven’t yet
adjusted pricing based on how everyone is wagering tends to make that easier.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is betting value. However, I’ve
been successful all year with NFL wagers and once again feel pretty good about
this week’s NFL betting slate.
Don’t just roll with me, though. We have tons of advice posts at our
sports betting blog, as
well as the latest odds and expert predictions at our
sports betting guide.
Hit up both all week long to help formulate the best possible bets.
Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.
When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.