Breakdowns and Predictions for the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Rahl Bets’ Playoff Records

Brock: ATS- (4-2) Money Line- (3-0)

Tanner: ATS- (2-3-1) Money Line- (5-1)

Shane: ATS- (2-3) Money Line- (4-2)

Matt: ATS- (4-2) Money Line- (6-0)

Jeff: Money Line- (4-2)

I hope everyone jumped on the Rahl Reviews team for Super Wild Card Weekend. Every single one of us went positive on money line picks. Brock and myself also took it a step further and cashed on spread picks. So what does the gang have in store for the Divisional Round? Something tells me this weekend won’t go as “chalk” as opening weekend.

#4 Cincinnati Bengals @ #1 Tennessee Titans (-3.5)

Brock – This is a perplexing matchup. Both teams are somewhat overrated in my opinion, so let’s look at some factors. The Titans had the bye, are playing at home, and will have Derrick Henry returning to the backfield. You could also argue that some recency bias could have tilted this line in Cincinnati’s favor. So let’s take the home team, who is getting healthier. However, just to be safe, I would buy the hook to take the line to TEN -3.5 or better. 

Tanner – Like last week’s SF/DAL matchup, this one is a coin flip. You have a Bengals team that didn’t look as sharp on offense last week against the Raiders, but I think they clean things up and get more consistency on that side of the ball. The Titans have not only a healthy Derrick Henry, but a healthy receiving core as well. This team had so many injury related issues throughout the year, but still secured a bye for the playoffs. That extra fire power will make this interesting, but give me Burrow and the Bengals to fend off the Titans late. This could be a close one, so I’d be safe and take the spread. Bengals +3.5

Shane – Burrow means business in these playoffs and I think this Titans squad is too overhyped. Once you shut down the run, you should be able to pressure Tannehill. I have the Bengals, but take the +3.5

Matt – The king is back in Nashville. Derrick Henry is possibly coming back to the lineup for the first time since Week 8. However, could that dispute the continuity this team developed over winning 4 of their last 5? In my opinion, absolutely. I feel like there will be this added pressure to get Henry early touches, and the 5th ranked rush defense in Cincinnati will hold. I have this weird feeling Joe and company are coming in ready to ball. The Titans allowed Davis Mills to torch them for 300 yards and 3 TDs in their ‘do-or-die’ game to get the first seed. The Bengals come out early and force the Titans out of their game, make them throw the ball, and the Bengals pass rush forces multiple sacks. In all of the Titans losses, Tannehill was sacked 2 or more times. Bengals win this game and cover the +3.5

Jeff – Cincinnati seems very mature and calm after their Wild Card Weekend win. This is a young team with a lot of heart, taking on a tough Titans’ team that now has King Henry. This game can easily come down to a field goal. I’ll take Cincinnati +3.5 and Cinci ML

#6 San Francisco 49ers @ #1 Green Bay Packers (-5.5)

Brock – You could argue that the Niners are a bad matchup for everyone because of the way they run the ball and chew up clock. But in this case when they’re going on those long drives taking chunks of time off the clock, they will be keeping the presumptive MVP off the field in Aaron Rodgers. Also, as I mentioned last week, the Niners perform well in the underdog role. Those things, along with the fact that the books have been all over the place with this line, make me want to take the points. Take the Niners +5.5. If the line moves, I would be comfortable backing them down to +4 

Tanner – Last week the 49ers did a great job of looking like a well, put together team until late in the game when it mattered most. Luckily, the Cowboys do what they always do, which is choke in the playoffs. Jimmy G was throwing loaves of bread when the offense, that team, and the city needed him most. Things ended up working out in the ed, but you can’t be an “okay” quarterback and go toe-to-toe with the BACK TO BACK. This 49ers’ defense could create some issues at times, but give me Rodgers & the Packers to win and cover the spread. Packers -5.5

Shane – Aaron Rodgers in the cold will be a challenge for the Niners, but Kyle Shanahan will make it a game hopefully. Packers win, but it will be a shootout and the Niners cover the +5.5

Matt – Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have taken the league by its balls and posted the best record in the NFL. Rodgers is going to win the MVP, while also feeling like he has something to prove. He took all of that negative chatter from him being unvaccinated to heart. He led the Packers to a 6-2 record after that incident and threw 20 touchdowns to just 1 interception. He helped put up 30+ points in six of those last 8 games as well. However, he is running into his Kryptonite. The 49ers and their running game are here to once again, spoil Rodgers’ hopes. San Francisco almost beat this team early in the year, but Rodgers led a game winning drive with under a minute left. Could this be another dramatic scenario, or did SF learn its lesson? Look for the Niners to go back to what worked before. Force turnovers, run the ball, and keep Rodgers off the field. That sounds easy, but I think Rodgers gets this monkey off his back. Rodgers and the Packers win, but the 49ers cover the +5.5

Jeff – Green Bay is just the better team and Aaron Rodgers loves to silence critics. Cold night game in Lambeau. Give me Packers -5.5

#4 LA Rams @ #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

Brock – The Rams defeated the Bucs by 10 earlier this season – and it felt like they were in control the entire game. Both teams have had injuries & distractions throughout the season and we all know Tom Brady’s track record in the playoffs. Most people don’t know about Matthew Stafford’s playoff history, though. That’s because he doesn’t have one. Stafford reached the playoffs only 3 times with Detroit, losing all 3 games. That means his win last week in the Wild Card was his FIRST win in the playoffs as a QB in the NFL. However, I’m gonna roll the dice with him and hope that the Rams’ defense can help keep a depleted Bucs’ offense in check. Take LAR +3, but no lower. 

Tanner – For me, this is the most interesting game of the Divisional Round. You have two teams that blew out their opponents in the Wild Card. You could argue the Bucs kept things close, but they won by double digits with a banged up O-line. The Rams embarrassed the Cardinals with great pass rushing and even better offensive play calling. Cam Akers played out of his mind for being somewhat limited, so I’d expect him to be even more of a factor in this game. The Rams present too many offensive weapons to game plan for, while the Buccaneers continue to appear one dimensional. If these Bucs can’t find a way to run the ball, I see a close game getting away from them late. It’s hard to bet against Brady, but I’m doing it. Give me the Rams to win or cover the +3

Shane – Don’t get too cute here. The Goat is playing at home in the Playoffs and the Bucs expose the horrendous O-line in LA. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers dominate and cover the -3. Hell, take it to -9 for +220 odds.

Matt – Well to no surprise, the Buccaneers whooped on the Eagles handedly. No Godwin, no AB, and losing Wirfs early in the game didn’t phase the goat. Tom looks to be on that rampage where he just marches his way to a Lombardi trophy victory. I mean, he has a 13-2 record in the Divisional Round for crying out loud! However, he does have two losses huh? That’s right! Im feeling crazy, and I’m going against Tom and the Bucs. This is exactly why you bring in Von Miller. This is why you pay Ramsay all of this money. Aaron Donald is arguably the best defensive lineman in history, and bringing pressure up the middle is the best way to defend Tom. No Wirfs should help Miller disrupt. Jalen should be able to play lockdown defense on Mike Evans. McVay is hoping to get revenge. Give me the Rams to win this game and cover +3

Jeff – Brady gets stronger as the playoffs roll on. Stafford on the other hand is still new to what it’s like to even have a playoff run. Comes down to Brady knowing how to manage a late game clock, as he usually does. I’ll take Bucs -3

#4 Buffalo Bills @ #2 Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5)

Brock – This is another tough read. Buffalo trounced Kansas City in Arrowhead back in October, but that was a vastly different Chiefs team. So I’m going to look at this from a futures perspective. Out of the last 8 Super Bowl champions, 4 of them led the league in PPG or PPG allowed. Buffalo is the only remaining team that led the league in one of those categories, so that’s who I’ll back. Take BUF +1.5 and give yourself a point to fall back on. 

Tanner – Here’s a game that will have all eyes on, as it’s the later game & last game of the Divisional Round. The Bills surprised many people with their consistency on offense as they steam rolled one of the best defenses in New England last week. So much so that Coach Belichick went into the Bills’ locker room to congratulate them on the win. The Chiefs won how everyone expected, defeating the Steelers and ending Ben’s final run. The Chiefs aren’t as one dimensional on offense, but share a defense with similar skillset to the Bills. If the Bills want to get passed the Chiefs, they’re going to need to run more play-action passes, alongside running the ball just to keep ‘em honest. A lot of people are expecting a shootout, but I’ll be expecting the Chiefs to keep scoring while the Bills eventually struggle late in the game to keep up. I like the line, as it’s not showcasing a field goal game as of now. Give me the Chiefs -1.5

Shane – By far the most anticipated matchup of the weekend. Bills should do the upset this year and cover the spread, too. Allen > Mahomes this time around. Bills win and cover the +1.5

Matt – This is my favorite matchup on this slate. Both of these teams looked absolutely dominate in the Wild Card round, and have hopes that momentum will work in their favor. Kansas City had arguably the easiest game in the opening round, but looked a little suspect at the beginning of the game. If Pittsburgh was good at all, they could’ve easily forced KC into an unfamiliar territory. Buffalo however did the impossible of scoring on every single full possession. Can Josh Allen finally take the next leap in his career or is Mahomes always going to win when it matters. This rivalry screams Manning vs Brady to me. Josh Allen is carrying his team offensively. Single handedly winning games. However Mahomes is crowned as the new face of the league. The QB who will usurp Tom from Goat status. Fuck that. Allen is ready for this moment, ready for what KC throws at him and goes into Arrowhead Stadium and beats the Chiefs to show everyone that he tired of living in Mahomes’s shadow. Buffalo wins and covers the +1.5

Jeff – I want the Bills to end KC in another Josh Allen MVP showing. With the warmer weather, these QBs are gonna sling the pigskin in a high scoring game. I’m predicting 6+ TD passes total in a close one. Give me the Bills +1.5

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