Now it's time for the serious business as the NFL playoffs reach the Divisional Round. The quality teams have seperated from the pack and now we're left with the best eight teams in football. Here I'll give ypou my 13/1 parlay.
Saturday NFL Divisional Round Picks
The Packers feel like a catfish to me. They have Aaron Rodgers and they're undoubtedly a good team, but I'm not sure they're truly worthy of being the #1 seed in the NFC. They were fortunate to have a weak division, something which certainly can't be argued for the Rams.
The Rams played brilliantly last weekend given everything that was against them. Their starting QB was taken off injured, forcing Jared Goff back into the action, when it was clear that he wasn't truly over his thumb surgery. He wasn't spectacular but did what needed to be done.
It was the Rams defense who truly excelled, with Aaron Donald showing why he's the best player in the league. He's up against a tough Packers offensive line but he can't put Rodgers under pressure. Quietly having another standout season has been Jalen Ramsey, with the corner showing why he's the best in the league, he's locked down wide reciever after wide reciever this year, including the best in the game. His competition against Devante Adams on Saturday could be where this game is won and lost.
When it comes down to it I'm backing the Rams defense to keep them in this game and the genius of Sean McVay to mastermind another great performance. Can they win? Yes, but I'm not confident. I do think they'll cover the spread though.
Bet: Rams +6.5 @ -105
This is the most exciting game of the slate for me. We see the league's best ground game facing a passing game which has hugely improved over the past few seasons. Josh Allen is now rightly regarded as amongst the best quarterbacks in the league, but the Rams defense could be tough to beat this week.
One man who has really stood out for me down the stretch is Marquise Brown. He's still dropping balls that he shouldn't be but since his game with no catches in week 11, the first of his career, he's balled out, averaging a touchdown per game. With Brown playing well it gives the Ravens another dimension and keeps the defense honest.
The Bills will rightly still be doing their best to contain the Ravens' running backs and Lamar Jackson, but I don't think they'll be able to truly lock that threat down and I'm backing the underdogs to cause an upset on Saturday.
Bet: Ravens +3 @ -115
Sunday NFL Divisional Round Picks
The Chiefs are the best team in football but I'm a little concerned about them. They come into this game after a bye, but they've been coasting for what feels like months. The last time they beat an opponent by more than 5 points was over two months ago, on 1 November, and that was against the New York Jets.
The Browns come into this game fired up, with Baker Mayfield playing at a high level and with a defense who are good, albeit not spectacular. Without Odell Beckham Jr on the field we've seen the Browns grow into a better offense, and without trying to feed OBJ they've improved. The dual running back threat of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb is a nightmare for defenses and they'll cause the Chiefs issues.
I'm taking the Browns to cover here. I don't think they'll win, the Chiefs are far too good, but the evidence suggests that the Chiefs aren't quite at the level that we've seen from them previously. Patrick Mahomes will get the job done not by more than 10 points.
Bet: Browns +10 @ -109
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.” Those are the words of Stephen King but they're equally signifcant in football. It's not often you see a team get beaten three times in a season by the same team. Especially when they have such an array of talent as the Bucs and the GOAT under center.
When it really matters, when it's really crunch time, there's nobody I back more than Tom Brady and I think the Bucs will get their first win against the Saints of the season.
I love the Saints defense, they're arguably the best in the league and they'll be able to pressure Brady, but I'm not convinced by the Saints offense. This isn't the Drew Brees we've enjoyed watching over the past few years and I expect this to be the final time we see him on the gridiron. Bucs +3 is the play here.
Bet: Bucs +3 @ -105
NFL Wild Card Round Parlay
Rams +6.5, Ravens +3, Browns +10, Bucs +3 @ +1300
NFL Free Picks
We're really getting to the business end of the season as this weekend throws up the Divisional Round, which sees the best 8 teams in the NFL face off. Saturday sees Aaron Rodgers welcome the Rams and their incredible defense to Lambeau after they kept Russell Wilson in check last week. Next up is the Ravens @ Bills, as the league's best ground game faces one of the best passing attacks in football. Sunday sees the biggest spread of the round as the underdog Browns face the Chiefs at Arrowhead. The final game of the round sees divisional rivals, the Saints and Buccaneers, meet for the third time this season. Can Tom Brady and Tampa Bay get their first win when it matters? We'll find out.
Our talented stable of handicappers, led by Ben Gretch, Davis Mattek, Alex Kirshner, Richard Johnson, Ben Rolfe and more brings complete written and video NFL analysis to our users week after week. Make sure you check the site daily for picks from them all.