The playoffs are here, and the Sunday NFL Divisional Round odds are live on BetRivers.com, giving bettors over 200 betting options on each of the two pivotal matchups.
The Sunday NFL Wild Card favors the home teams, as the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs are 10-point favorites against the Browns, and the Saints are 3-point favorites to beat the Buccaneers for the third time this season.
Longtime broadcaster and gambling expert David Tuchman breaks down the Sunday NFL Divisional Round Odds and provides his picks and predictions on the two epic showdowns.
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#6 Browns (11-5) at #1 Chiefs (14-2). 3:05 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Chiefs -500, Browns +400
SPREAD: Chiefs -10
OVER/UNDER: 57 points
Click here for the full list of Chiefs-Browns playoff odds.
Chiefs vs. Browns Betting Trends: The public is expecting a shootout, backing Over 57 with 85% of the O/U handle. The public is also on the Chiefs to win, backed by 86% of the ML handle. The Chiefs have failed to cover in eight straight games, and as 10-point favorites, the public has less conviction that the favorites will cover, backed by 59% of the spread handle
Chiefs vs. Browns: Tuck’s Take: They haven’t covered since they played the woeful New York Jets on November 1. This suggests that perception and reality are not entirely in-line. Does the public think the Chiefs are actually better than they are? That continued this week because the early money went on KC and the line has moved up steadily from 7.5 to 10.
The game is at Arrowhead Stadium and, coming off a bye, Andy Reid has an astounding amount of success. If you’re a Cleveland fan, that has to be concerning.
The worst of the COVID-19 issues are behind Cleveland as head coach, Kevin Stefanski and the majority of their players are available this week. I don’t think the Browns need the emotional spark, but having your leader and play-caller return certainly can’t hurt.
The Browns were able to win last week without their best cornerback, Denzel Ward, but his return couldn’t come soon enough as they have the unenviable task of trying to slow down Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill.
The only remaining player on Cleveland’s roster that is still on the COVID-19 list is pro bowl guard, Joel Bitonio. The Browns have the best offensive line in the league without him. If he can play (and they’re cautiously optimistic in Cleveland) it’ll be a further boost to the underdog Browns.
So how does this game play out?
Cleveland has a filthy running game. I mean, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and that offensive line just mash. There’s no reason to think they won’t be able to dominate the line of scrimmage and control the time of possession. More time on the field for Baker Mayfield and that Cleveland offense means less time for Patrick Mahomes to tear you apart.
In addition, Myles Garrett is a menace. He’s one of the best pass rushers in the game.
I can’t believe I’m going in this direction, but I’m officially on the Cleveland Browns bandwagon. They have all the ingredients to make a significant run this postseason. A hot QB in Baker Mayfield (one interception in his last ten games), a great running game and offensive line to dominate the line of scrimmage, a pass rusher to wreak havoc on opposing QBs and a stud cornerback.
Not only am I betting on Cleveland +10, I think they may win this game. At +400 to win, they only need to win this game 21% of the time for us to turn a profit. Normally, I’d be fearful of playing a road playoff game at Arrowhead, but home-field is essentially worthless this season.
Where is my money heading?
- Browns +10
- Browns +400 ML
#5 Buccaneers (11-5) at #2 Saints (12-4). 6:40 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Saints -162, Buccaneers +143
SPREAD: Saints -3
OVER/UNDER: 51.5 points
Click here for the full list of Saints-Buccaneers playoff odds.
Saints vs. Buccaneers Betting Trends: New Orleans enters the Sunday nightcap as three-point favorites to advance past Tampa Bay, but the public is decidedly on the other side. Despite losing to their AFC South rivals in Week 1 and Week 9, the Buccaneers are backed by 72% of the ML handle to win and 63% of the spread handle to cover on the road at the Saints. The public is backing Over 51.5 with 82% of the O/U handle, although down from 89% on Monday night.
Saints vs. Buccaneers: Tuck’s Take: I think I may have come up with some groundbreaking analysis. Teams that advance tend to have QBs playing at a very high level. Good QB play is important in the NFL. Hey, I don’t get paid the big bucks for nothing.
On that note, 43-year old Tom Brady is playing as well as anyone. He’s got 14 touchdown passes to 1 interception in his last five games.
41-year old Drew Brees hasn’t been nearly as effective although he’s still got 8 touchdown passes to 3 interceptions in his last four games since returning from injury.
The big difference here is that one team (The Bucs) desperately needs their QB to play at an extremely high level to win while the other team (The Saints) can win in a variety of ways. Truth be told, if this game were only about the QBs, Tampa Bay would be the overwhelming favorite.
But it’s not.
The Saints have one of the better offensive lines in the league, All-world receiver, Michael Thomas is back from injury and their pass rush is quite intense.
Let’s not forget, the last time these two played against each other, Tom Brady threw three interceptions. And in the first game of the year, Brady threw two more picks. All told, Tom Brady vs New Orleans … 45 for 74 (60.8% completion rate), 2 touchdown passes, 5 interceptions. Compare Brady’s stats when he plays the rest of the league and there is a marked difference.
I can certainly make the argument that Brady didn’t have his full complement of weapons in those two games and he will have them all at his disposal this Sunday, but I’m not sure it’s enough.
The Saints beat Tampa Bay 38-3 on November 8, and while I don’t think that score is indicative of the game we’ll see this Sunday, I also don’t think Tampa is going to make up that much ground in just two months. New Orleans is just a better team.
Where is my money heading?
- Saints -165 ML
- Saints – 3
- Under 52