The 2021 NFL Playoffs are rolling right along. Last week, the extra playoff team kind of led to a rather boring weekend of football. The NFL, in all its greed, may want to rethink this expanded playoff format for the sake of the integrity of the game or whatever. It almost feels like the real playoffs start now with the Divisional Round. Every single matchup looks like a good one, so that at least is a good thing.
Last week, I predicted there would be one big upset. I laughably thought it would be the Arizona Cardinals, but it ended up being the San Francisco 49ers. I think we’ll see two upsets this week. We’ll have to see if that happens.
Below I preview of each playoff game and all betting odds come from our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Date/Time: Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. Mile High time
Location: Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee
Where to Watch: CBS, Paramount+
Betting Spread: Tennessee -3.5
Moneyline Odds: Cincinnati +150 / Tennessee -170
In a matchup I would consider the least interesting game of the weekend, we’ve got two surprise teams facing off. The Titans get Derrick Henry back and the Bengals finally won a playoff game. Tennessee is a surprise #1 overall seed and they have outperformed my expectations nearly every week down the stretch.
That said, I think they are also a prime candidate for a one and done exit from the playoffs. Historically, teams on a playoff Bye week tend to win almost always, so I could certainly be wrong here.
Prediction: Bengals 26, Titans 23
Date/Time: Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 6:15 P.M. Mile High time
Location: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Where to Watch: FOX, FOX Deportes
Betting Spread: Green Bay -6
Moneyline Odds: San Francisco +195 / Green Bay -240
It seems every playoff game the 49ers have so far is bringing back my memories of those classic NFC playoff games in the 1990s. They tore down the Dallas Cowboys last week and now face the Green Bay Packers this week. Can they keep the upset train rolling in the Divisional Round?
I just don’t see how that can happen. The one caveat here is weather. It’s going to be hovering near the single digit temperatures with upwards of 20 mph wind gusts. There is also a chance of snow, too. If the wind keeps up, we could see wind chill temperatures of negative 16 degrees. All of this points towards an advantage for the 49ers strong rushing attack over Aaron Rodgers’ passing attack.
Prediction: Packers 27, 49ers 23
Date/Time: Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 1:00 P.M. Mile High time
Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
Where to Watch: NBC, Peacock, Universo
Betting Spread: Tampa Bay -3
Moneyline Odds: Los Angeles +125 / Tampa Bay -145
I can’t pick against Tom Brady in the playoffs. The guy is 35-11 all-time in the playoffs and if you remove his difficulty beating the Denver Broncos from that equation he is 35-8. Only a fool would assume he can’t handle a visiting team in the first round of the playoffs. Also, its absurd that Brady has played in 46 playoff games in his career. ABSURD.
If the Rams can somehow get past Tom Brady, I think they would instantly become the favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Bucs 31, Rams 26
Date/Time: Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 4:30 P.M. Mile High time
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Where to Watch: CBS, Paramount+
Betting Spread: Kansas City -2.5
Moneyline Odds: Buffalo +110 / Kansas City -130
Welcome to the game we’re all actually waiting for. The two most exciting teams in the AFC still in the playoffs will face off Sunday afternoon. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes have developed quite a rivalry and it has been one that Mahomes has dominated early on. He led the Chiefs to two wins over the Bills in 2020 - once in the regular season and once in the playoffs. However, it was Allen who has gotten the Bills out of that doghouse this year with an impressive 38-20 blowout win over the Chiefs in Arrowhead.
This should be a fun game as both teams can score quickly. I’m angling for a good old fashioned shootout and, of course, I’m angling for the Bills to win late to knock our hated AFC West rivals out of the playoffs.
Prediction: Bills 38, Chiefs 35