15 Jan Betting Blind: Divisonal Round
Each week of the 2020 NFL season Dominick Petrillo (@EnvisionFF) will provide his best plays of the week. These may be a line, a spread, or a variety of other plays. The only guarantee is they will not be a parlay. Please stay tuned for the Betting Blind picks each and every Friday of the NFL season. Lines current as of the writing of the article. Make sure to check your sportsbook for any movement.
All Lines from Draft Kings Sportsbook
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Last week showed us exactly why the playoffs are so difficult to wager on. The Browns won due to a horrid performance from the Steelers, the Ravens-Titans game actually had defense in it, and depending on where you got the Colts-Bills over/under, you either won, lost or like me, pushed. It was a wacky weekend for sure.
Time to try to navigate the minefield together and make some money heading towards the Super Bowl.
*** Three Star Play *** (12-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints: Saints -3
The Buccaneers are 1-4 against teams with a top 10 D.V.O.A. on defense. This gets worse at 0-5 against the spread in these games. Two of those loses this season came against the New Orleans Saints, whose defense has only gotten better since these games were played. While the Saints defense is getting better, the Tampa Bay defense is going in the opposite direction.
Not only did the Buccaneers give up 23 points to the Washington Football Team last week, but they did also so against a backup quarterback who hurt his shoulder halfway through the game. Drew Brees may not be 30 anymore, but he is better than that. Not to mention he has dangerous weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas to work with.
This game should be high scoring. I do not expect the Saints to be able to hold the Buccaneers to three points like their last game. I also do not expect the Buccaneers to hold down the Saints. Mike Evans is still hobbled. This was fine against a good but not great Washington secondary. It is a horse of a different color against New Orleans, a team set up to win this game on offense and defense.
This one will be close early, but much like the Cleveland-Kansas City game, I think New Orleans starts to impose their will and pull away late. As a Saints fan, this is a bit of wishful thinking. In my head I also feel it is the best play of the week. The Saints may go to Green Bay next week and lose in the NFC Championship game, but they will have the chance to do so.
Take the Saints -3
** Two Star Play ** (7-9-2)
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs: Chiefs Team Total Over 33.5
We all know how great Andy Reid is coming off a bye. In his career he has only lost three times. With Patrick Mahomes he is a perfect 6-0 in these games. What makes us think he will not do it again this week? Nothing.
The Browns are a great story. Unless you are a fan of another AFC North team you have to have a soft spot for the Brownies. That said, they are not the better team this week.
Mahomes also does not make the mistakes we have seen from Ben Roethlisberger his entire career. Add to this the incredible Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and the game is set up for points. Cleveland will certainly try to keep Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field with the run game, but when Mahomes starts to put up points, the Browns will be forced to come back.
This is when the short drives will start and Kansas City scores even more.
Although the Browns will be getting back Denzel Ward for this game, their defense is still not great. Ward is great but he cannot do it alone. Cleveland’s defense ranks 28th or worse in D.V.O.A. in three key categories that pertain to this game – against the tight end position, defending against the deep pass, and against the pass on third down.
If these weaknesses can be exploited by Kansas City, it will be a long afternoon in Arrowhead Stadium.
The line in this game is -10 which seems perfect. This means I do not have a call either way. Kansas City has an offense which is rarely held down. After a bye week with Reid and Mahomes, they are averaging 38 points per game. 33.5 seems relatively safe to play.
Take the Chiefs Team Total Over 33.5
* One Star Play * (12-6)
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers: Under 45.5 Points
Jared Goff is starting this game with a broken thumb. Aaron Donald is expected to play, but how effective will he be? Either way, the Rams are going to run the ball with Cam Akers.
Akers is coming off a131 rushing yard and 45 receiving yard performance and is starting to really take over the backfield. Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson are just complimentary pieces at this point. This means against a mediocre Packers run defense it will be Akers getting a lot of work. This will be important as Jaire Alexander leads a stellar secondary for the Packers.
When the Packers are on offense they will be led by the clear NFL MVP choice in Aaron Rodgers. But they will be going against possibly the best defense this season in the Rams. Jalen Ramsey will be matched against Davante Adams in this one. He will not shut him down, but he will limit him a bit.
This will put more pressure on a run game led by Aaron Jones. Great in his own right, he will find it difficult to get things going against the Rams pass rush led my Donald.
Both teams will score, but it will not be a lot of points. Rodgers is great but he will also be limited, because of the pass rush of Los Angeles as well as by the secondary play of the Rams. For this reason, it is likely neither of the teams get to 25 points. And if the line of Packers -6.5 holds, this means the under is sure to hit. Even if it turns into a field goal game, I think 24-21 final score would be likely.
I like the under here in the frozen tundra.
Take Under 45.5 Points
Dominick is a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area. Playing fantasy football for more than 20 years and writing for more than five, he has a vast knowledge of both the NFL and fantasy football. Despite his being blind, Dominick is a consistent ranker amongst FantasyPros experts, and always strives to be better than last season. Follow him on Twitter @EnvisionFF and read his weekly Best Bets articles during the season.