2018 NFL playoff schedule, picks against the spread for divisional round

The 2018 NFL playoffs continue on Saturday with the division round getting underway. Divisional round football is usually the best weekend of the playoffs. You get the top two teams in each conference back in action, and we often get more competitive action.

Last weekend’s wild card matchups were all competitive affairs, and we saw a pair of upsets along the way. The fifth-seeded Tennessee Titans upset the Kansas City Chiefs, while the sixth-seeded Atlanta Falcons knocked off the Los Angeles Rams. The former sets up a matchup where the New England Patriots are nearly two full touchdown favorites.

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The Patriots are a 13.5 point favorite at home against the Titans. Tennessee will once again be sitting DeMarco Murray, which means Derrick Henry gets the start. I think they are better off with Henry starting over Murray, but I just can’t see them keeping this game close late. Maybe in the first half, but I see the Patriots pulling away for the 2+ touchdown win.

The Falcons get what many would view as the lucky draw courtesy of their upset of the Rams. Atlanta travels to face the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons are a rare road favorite in the divisional round due to the Eagles losing Carson Wentz for the season. The Falcons are a field goal favorite, and I think their defense is the difference in this one. One should not pass on an opportunity to bet against Nick Foles in the playoffs.

On Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers looking for revenge against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars thumped Pittsburgh 30-9 thanks to Ben Roethlisberger throwing five interceptions, and Leonard Fournette rushing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. I’m going to take the points with Jacksonville.

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The final game of the weekend features the Minnesota Vikings as a five point home favorite against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints held off the Carolina Panthers in a shootout, but this could turn into a defensive struggle. I’m particularly intrigued to see how Case Keenum does against the Saints dynamic secondary. I’m going with the Vikings to cover, winning by a touchdown or so.

Watch via Online Stream: NBC and CBS will be streaming their games online for free. FOX will stream their one game, but will require users to have a subscription. Additionally, Yahoo! will stream all four divisional round games on the Yahoo! Sports App.

All times PT

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NFL Divisional Round

Saturday, January 13

NFC: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC, 1:35 p.m.) – Falcons -3
AFC: Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (CBS, 5:15 p.m.) – Patriots -13.5

Sunday, January 14

NFC: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (FOX, 1:40 p.m.) – Vikings -5
AFC: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS, 10:05 a.m.) – Steelers -7.5

Championship round

Sunday, January 21

AFC: CBS, 12:05 p.m.
NFC: FOX, 3:40 p.m.

Super Bowl 52

Sunday, February 4

NFC champion versus AFC champion (NBC, 3:30 p.m.)

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