It is a massive advantage in the NFL for teams with a first-round bye as they are able to get their players healthy and rested ahead of the Divisional Round.
Last year, for example, all four teams on the bye won in this round and each by at least six points, and the last six Super Bowl winners had first-round byes. Here’s a quick look at all four Divisional Round games with Sports Interaction’s NFL Playoff odds.
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers, Saturday
San Francisco won the NFC West for the first time since 2012, which was the last time the team made the Super Bowl – losing to Baltimore in the Harbaugh Bowl. The Niners are the NFC’s top seed, winning a tiebreaker over fellow 13-3 teams Green Bay and New Orleans. Minnesota pulled the upset of Wild-Card Weekend with a 26-20 overtime victory at New Orleans. Kirk Cousins hit tight end Kyle Rudolph on a 4-yard touchdown pass early in OT, although it sure appeared as if Rudolph committed offensive pass interference on the play. The Vikings and Niners didn’t play this regular season.
Pick ATS: San Francisco
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens, Saturday
Baltimore is the AFC’s top seed for the first time in franchise history and on a team-record 12-game winning streak. Lamar Jackson is going to win NFL MVP honours. The Titans pulled a surprise Saturday night in perhaps ending the Patriots’ dynasty with a 20-13 road victory. Former Heisman winner Derrick Henry, who led the NFL in rushing during the season, had 182 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. The Titans passed for just 71 yards. These teams didn’t play in the regular season.
Pick ATS: Tennessee
Two🔥upset🔥specials on the menu for #NFL weekend
🚨Check it out!🚨 pic.twitter.com/IGZTtyYUBN
— Sports Interaction (@SIASport) January 9, 2020
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday
The Chiefs’ were the biggest beneficiaries of New England’s stunning Week 17 home loss to Miami as that gave Kansas City the AFC’s second seed and a first-round bye. The Patriots would have had it with a win as 17-point favourites. Houston beat visiting Buffalo 22-19 in overtime on Saturday. Deshaun Watson had a marvelous play in OT to avoid a sack and set up the winning field goal. Starting receiver Will Fuller missed the game with a groin injury but is likely to play here. Houston won in Kansas City 31-24 in Week 6.
Pick ATS: Houston
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, Sunday
The Packers are NFC North champions for the first time since 2016, which is the last time they made the post-season. Seattle was the only road favourite on Wild-Card Weekend and won 17-9 in Philadelphia – the exact same score the Seahawks won in Philly during the regular season. Helped matters on Sunday that Eagles starting QB Carson Wentz was knocked out in the first quarter on a borderline dirty hit from Jadeveon Clowney.
Pick ATS: Green Bay