We’re down to just 7 games left in the NFL season, with the Divisional Round this weekend giving us 4 incredibly high quality contests to sink our teeth into. The NFC half of this weeks action is particularly high quality, with all four teams legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Let’s try to pick the winners.
NFL Divisional Round NFC Betting Tips
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field, Sunday 12:15pm AEDT
I went against the 49ers last week despite struggling to find a fault with them, and of course they made me regret it. Once again they got the job done on the back of the brilliance of Deebo Samuel, the impressive power of rookie Eli Mitchell, and the helpful contributions of the rest of their offensive pieces in Garropolo, Kittle and Aiyuk. The defensive unit and the coaching are both well above average, so overall this is a team that can never be counted out, despite not having a dominant QB.
A week off for the Packers could have them coming in fresh, or it could take the edge off their form just a little. Either way they remain an imposing team on the back of Rodgers, Adams and Jones and with the support of Dillon, Lazard, Valdes-Scantling and others. Like the 49ers, their defensive side of the ball and coaching are both more than adequate, but in this case the team does rely more heavily on the brilliance of their QB. If the 49ers can get after Rodgers with some of their dominant pass rushers, then they might have a chance to hamstring the Packers offensive potency and grind the game out.
Overall, this should be a great contest, and with a reluctance to try to seperate the two sides I’m going to take the head start available on the 49ers and try to ride their momentum through another pounding week of football.
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium, Monday 7:00am AEDT
What a game this promises to be. The Rams were far too strong for the Cardinals, and the most exciting part of the game was the strong return to a full workload for Cam Akers. That adds a dynamic aspect to their offense which was already causing plenty of headaches with Stafford spreading the ball around to Kupp, Beckham Jr, Jefferson and Higbee. With their defensive stars causing all sorts of issues for opposition quarterbacks, every extra bit of scoreboard pressure they can create is likely to bring outsized results
Of course if there is a team that can handle such a daunting assignment it’s the reigning champs led by the greatest quarterback of all time. Tom Brady will see Aaron Donald hunting him down all night, and get the ball out early to limit any big negative plays. The problem for the Buccs is that the loss of several key offensive players has their depth being tested in a big way. Outside of Evans and Gronkowski, their runners and pass catchers are all playing in bigger roles than they are accustomed to and that doesn’t often end well in pressure games like this one.
It’s dangerous to go against a born winner like Brady, but again I’m going to side with the underdog and back the Rams healthier and more well-rounded team to overcome the champs and move closer to their own slice of glory.