Blurred Lines: Comparing NFL Divisional Round Betting Lines

NFL Divisional Round Lines

Before we jump in the Divisional Round picks, let’s have some fun. Since I had such a pathetic (not hyperbole) year picking games, I thought I would make myself feel better by looking back at my preseason picks.

If you need a refresher, you can check out Blurred Lines: NFL Week 1 Bets | Season-Long Props (clubfantasyffl.com) and Blurred Lines: NFL Week 1 Bets | Season-Long Props Part 2 (clubfantasyffl.com). Things turned out much better there, so let’s all enjoy a trip down memory lane to early September.

AFC Picks

Buffalo Under 11.5 wins (+120) – OK, rough start, but it gets better.

New York Jets Over 5.5 wins (-150) – Now we’re talking!

Miami to win the division (+475) &  to make the playoffs (+140) – Split these, but the division bet was a worthy long shot. Had Tua not suffered three serious brain injuries…, now I’m just making myself sad.

Jacksonville to win the division (+750) – Cha-ching!

Tennessee under 9 wins (-115) – Had this one in the bank before the Jags locked up the division bet.

Cincinnati Over 10 wins (+100) & to win the division (+170) – What’s that noise? It sounds like slot machines going off.

Baltimore Under 9.5 wins (+150) – Only one win away from cashing this one.

Pittsburgh Over 7.5 wins (-110) – Never doubted it, even with the TJ Watt injury.

Kansas City Over 10.5 wins (-120) & to win the division (+175) – Sometimes people overcomplicate really simple things.

Los Angeles Chargers Under 10 wins (+120) – They finished on 10. Should have bought the hook.

Las Vegas Raiders over 8.5 wins (-130) – Sometimes, I overcomplicate really simple things. Taking the Over on a Josh McDaniels team was bad process.

NFC Picks

Philadelphia Over 9.5 wins (-155) &  to win the division (+140) – There’s that sound again…

Tampa Bay Under 11.5 wins (-160) – The South divisions were fertile ground for fading favorites.

Carolina Over 6.5 wins (+105) & to win the division (+900) – I was completely wrong on my Baker Mayfield evaluation and still came a game away from doubling up on my Panthers picks.

Green Bay Over 11 wins (-110) – Not gonna lie, this one still stings.

Minnesota under 9.5 wins (-110) – How does a team with a negative point differential win *13* games?!?! Good process, bad result.

San Francisco over 10 wins (-110) & to win the division (+140) – There goes that sound again. Actually, this was just as much a bet on …

Los Angeles Rams under 10 wins (-105) – Lesson from 2022, identify teams that the market over-values and hit the Under hard.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. A one-unit bet on each pick would have yielded a 14.8-unit return. Of course, season-long bets generally don’t provide significant value since your money is tied up for six months or so, and they typically have lower limits at the window, but I would be pretty pleased with that return. It was at least enough to cover the losses on my *ahem* poor game picks this year.

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Accountability

Last week: My picks, 2 – 4; Analytics, 3 – 3

It all started so promisingly. A 2-0 Saturday turned into a 2-4 weekend.

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville – “Bottom line, this Charger team is cursed until they’re not….”

Truer words have never been spoken.

Seattle at San Francisco – “Seattle doesn’t belong in the playoffs, got whipped twice by the Niners in the regular season, and can’t stop the run, which is all the Niners want to do.”

Other than it was Brock Purdy carving up the Hawks as much as, if not more than, the run game, this was pretty spot on. The one heavy favorite to actually cover the number.

Miami at Buffalo – “I don’t like laying two touchdowns, ever, but Skylar Thompson on the road, in the playoffs, is a special case.”

What the hell, Buffalo? Skylar Thompson “Skylar Thompson’ed” all over the stadium, and you still not only couldn’t cover but almost lost? Not good.

New York at Minnesota – “They’re still better than the Giants, especially at home.”

This was all my fault. There is an immutable law of physics that states that whenever I, a Packers fan, actively want the Vikings to win, they will completely soil themselves. It’s the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of football laws. You may not know that my wife is actually a Vikings fan. Now, I’m not saying I wanted them to go all the way, that would be gross, but I would have liked for her to get one playoff win. If only to not have to live with the “They’re frauds.” narrative for the entire offseason. Sorry, Babe.

Baltimore at Cincinnati – “I’d lay 10 on the Bengals if Lamar was playing.”

The Bills can’t cover at home against Skylar Thompson, and the Bengals can’t cover at home against Tyler Huntley. So I have no idea who to pick this week…

Dallas at Tampa Bay – “I can’t make a compelling case for either of these teams to win the game,…”

Does Tom Brady looking more like Tom Green playing QB mean Mike McCarthy is a good playoff coach now? Spoiler: no.

NFL Divisional Round Lines

(Standard disclaimer – All opinions are my own and may or may not reflect those of this website. “Analytic Lines” are ELO point spreads from fivethirtyeight.com, and “Vegas Lines” are courtesy of thelines.com, current as of the writing of this article. Predicted Line (“PL”) is my early week estimate of where the Vegas line would be set.)

To the Divisional Round! The best weekend of football on the calendar.

Game of the Week

Jacksonville at Kansas City – Analytic Line: KC (-11.5), Vegas Line: KC (-9), PL: KC (-8.5)

When they met back in Week 10, the Chiefs actually covered a home game spread, winning by 10. Since then, the Jags have gone 7-1. I doubt Trevor Lawrence throws four picks in the first or any quarter, and big lines haven’t been safe bets of late, so I’ll take the Jags.

Pick: Jacksonville (+9)

New York Giants at Philadelphia – Analytic Line: PHI (-9), Vegas Line: PHI (-7.5), PL: PHI (-7.5)

There’s a significant difference between the team the Giants played last week and the one they’ll play this week. Minnesota has one of the worst interior O-lines in the league, and Philly has the best. So I’ll take the under on Dexter Lawrence having 10 pressures this week, please. Last week, the Giants were playing their fourth road game in five weeks. Let’s see, carry the one; this week will make five in six.

Pick: Philadelphia (-7.5)

Cincinnati at Buffalo – Analytic Line: BUF (-4), Vegas Line: BUF (-5.5), PL: BUF (-3.5)

Remember back to Week 17 when the Vikings had three offensive linemen out with injuries and were a complete disaster in Green Bay? I hate laying points on the Bills right now, but the Bengals missing most of their O-line scares me too much to take them.

Pick: Buffalo (-5.5)

Dallas at San Francisco – Analytic Line: SF (-2.5), Vegas Line: SF (-4), PL: SF (-4.5)

Dallas in the last two weeks: at Washington, at Tampa Bay (on a Monday night), at San Francisco. Brutal travel, short week, gotta take the ‘Niners.

Pick: San Francisco (-4)


While our content slows down in the postseason, keep an eye out for our weekly betting and DFS articles here.