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NFL divisional round Sunday picks, predictions, odds


Dave Blezow makes his NFL Divisional Round picks for Sunday’s games. All lines courtesy of BetMGM.

Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5) over BUFFALO BILLS; Under 48.5

With due respect to Jones vs. Jalen Hurts and Mahomes vs. Trevor Lawrence, this is the quarterback matchup I most want to watch this weekend: Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen.

Both teams are a bit fortunate to still be playing, as the Bengals used a 98-yard return of a fumbled sneak by the Ravens’ backup quarterback, and the Bills were trailing in the second half to the Dolphins’ third-string quarterback.

Looking at the matchup, I don’t see as much difference between the teams as the spread indicates. Though the Bills hold some statistical edges, this Bengals collection and coaches have gotten it done together, posting a 4-1 postseason record including 3-0 on the road with a near-miss vs. the Rams in the Super Bowl. 

All odds are provided by BetMGM Sportsbook.

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Though this total looks a bit low, I’m going to try the Under for two reasons. Injuries on the Cincinnati offensive line figure to make things more difficult on Burrow, and the Orchard Park forecast — around 35 degrees, winds 9-16 mph and a couple of inches of snow — could slow things down little.

Bills, 24-20

Josh Allen
Josh Allen
Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-4) over Dallas Cowboys; Over 46

For a game that features two teams that played last week, there’s actually a situational edge to embrace here. The 49ers defeated the Seahawks in the 4:30 Saturday start. Cowboys-Bucs on Monday night kicked off almost 52 hours later, which is significant when you add in the cross-country travel, though Dallas had a pretty easy time with Tampa Bay.

Betting on the NFL?

Last year’s playoff meeting in Arlington, Texas, was a memorable one as the 49ers took a 23-7 lead in the third quarter and had to hold on for a 23-17 victory as Dak Prescott was bumped by the umpire who was spotting the ball as the final second ticked off.

This is a different 49ers team now, with Brock Purdy seemingly a better fit in the offensive scheme than Jimmy Garoppolo was. The major upgrade is the arrival of Christian McCaffrey, a home-run hitter both running and catching the ball who sends Deebo Samuel back to wide receiver to wreak his havoc.

The Cowboys can score on San Francisco, but they have a major problem at kicker, and the quick turnaround and long trip will hurt them defensively. 

49ers, 28-21

Last week: 8-4 overall; 4-2 sides and 4-2 totals
Lock of the week: Chiefs (Locks 10-9 in 2022-23).


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