Jeff Reinebold's NFL Divisional Round Tips & Preview
Oddschecker's NFL Ambassador previews four cracking games and gives a tip for each!
Kansas City Chiefs v Indianapolis Colts
First up, let’s look at the Chiefs hosting the Colts, and I think this will be a high-scoring affair. But for Kansas City, it’s imperative that they don’t look past Indy. If they think this will be a walk in the park, they’ve got another thing coming!
For the Colts, they need to be physical and look to run the ball early on: the Chiefs have for me the worst run defence in the NFL, and this is something to exploit.
For Kansas City, it’s simple: Keep Mahomes firing and outscore the Colts. It’s why the points line is sky high!
But what tips it for me is the weapons that the Chiefs have: I don’t know if the Colts have what it takes to deal with the multi-armed attack that the home side have. They’ll have to do some blitzing and they are not used to that.
Yes, Andy Reid has his chequered history in the playoffs and it is a young QB having his first postseason game, but this stage is not too big for Mahomes like it was for Lamar Jackson, and it’s why I’m backing them to get the win in a close one.
Los Angeles Rams v Dallas Cowboys
Next up, the Cowboys have to go to LA to take on the Rams. I like the home team here… but I don’t like their run defence.
It’s up to Zeke Elliott to get through to the second level on multiple occasions and make it a ‘challenge’ for LA to stop him. If you’re a Cowboys fans, you want him to get 35-40 touches.
But I think that overall the Rams have a better roster. If they play well and get on top early (stopping the Cowboys from running as much as they would like) then they should get the job done.
I’m going to go for the points line however. 49.5 is a lot of points, especially for a playoff game. The Cowboys aren’t exactly an explosive offense either, they aren’t ones to rack up touchdowns quickly. So I’m going for under on that line.
New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers
On Monday, the Chargers go to New England and I think this is the closest game of all. The Chargers are 8-0 away from LA and the Pats are 8-0 at home!
Hunter Henry has been activated for LA and that’s huge for them. They were a little one-dimensional on Sunday and this gives them another weapon to play with.
But the Patriots just squeak it for me. I have the feeling that the Chargers are a ‘charmed’ team at the moment, one that are thinking ‘Why not us?’. But they have to go to Foxboro and take on Tom Brady, and it can’t be underestimated how tough that is.
Nobody in Football prepares better than New England and they will have done their homework on this side. I really like Philip Rivers but I feel like the Pats are too experienced in these type of situations to buckle.
New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles
Last up, the Eagles go to New Orleans and Nick Foles will look to produce some more magic. He’ll take them close but ultimately I see it being an unsuccessful trip.
The Saints will look at the tape from last week and see that the Eagles are good up front but they weren’t challenged that much. Sean Peyton will drill home that message.
Make no mistake, Foles CAN do it, he will certainly make it tough. But it’s at the Saints, it’s a great place that offers a big home advantage. Philly won’t be scared, but I don’t know if their back end is strong enough to deal with someone like Drew Brees.
I think it will be closer than what people think, but the Saints will progress.