NFL Divisional Round Picks: Defense Steals Show In Buffalo; Deebo Samuel Stays Hot

Shootout in Buffalo? Not so fast


Jan 20, 2023

The NFL’s wild-card weekend is officially behind us, and now we turn our attention to the divisional round for this weekend’s slate.

Let’s look at three bets to make for this round of playoff football as we inch closer to Super Sunday. We’ll start with the point spread in Saturday night’s Giants-Eagles game.

All betting lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

(-7.5) Eagles vs. Giants
Both teams come into this game riding high off wins. The Giants went into Minnesota and stifled the Vikings in the wild-card round. Meanwhile, the Eagles are well-rested after earning their bye week, but the last time they were seen in action, they beat these Giants 22-16. In fact, the Eagles swept the season series with the Giants, and the first meeting wasn’t even competitive, with Philly rolling 48-22. Nobody needed time off more than Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was still nursing an injured throwing shoulder. Hurts now is officially off the injury report and says he’s feeling good. It’s hard to quantify exactly just how much the Philadelphia home-field advantage is worth in a spot like this, but Lincoln Financial Field is going to be raucous and that is reflected in this big point spread. Although it’s hard to beat a team three times in any sport, the Eagles will accomplish just that in convincing fashion. I like them to cover the big number of -7.5 at home against the rival Giants.

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills UNDER 48.5
My prediction for how this game will play out is that both teams will try to take some pressure off their star quarterbacks by utilizing the run game. The Bengals have some injury issues on their offensive line, so a strong running game would negate pass-protection problems. Running back Joe Mixon had a career-high 1,519 scrimmage yards this season and possesses a unique talent to both run and catch the ball out of the backfield. The Bills run the ball by committee. They feature two running backs in Devin Singletary and James Cook, but perhaps their most dangerous weapon is dual-threat QB Josh Allen. Although both offensives can make the big, splashy plays downfield, those plays are harder to consistently make in the playoffs. That’s especially true in this game with both teams’ defenses ranking in the top half of the league. I like the Bills to win a low-scoring game because of the home-field advantage and because their defense is better than the Bengals’ defense.

Deebo Samuel anytime touchdown (+140)
My final bet for the divisional round is on 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel, a player who I believe will be the X-factor. Last week against the Seahawks, Deebo was dominant. He snagged six catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball three times for 32 yards, showing off the versatility that has made him a young star in the league. The addition of the equally versatile and dangerous running back Christian McCaffery has only bolstered the unique skillset of Samuel. I’ll bet on Deebo to continue his playoff hot streak against the Cowboys and score an anytime touchdown at +140 available on DraftKings.

Thumbnail photo via Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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