NFL Divisional Round: Vikings-Niners at Levi’s Stadium
There will be a new champion this year. The New England Patriots were unceremoniously bounced from the Wild Card round last week, falling 20-13 to the Tennessee Titans as 5-point home favorites on the NFL betting board. That wasn’t the only surprise from Wild Card Weekend; the New Orleans Saints won’t be going to Super Bowl 54 either, not after dropping a 26-20 overtime decision to the Minnesota Vikings (+8 away).
This sets up what should be a highly competitive Divisional Round at Bovada Sportsbook. To help you navigate the playoffs with confidence, here are some NFL betting tips for each of this week’s four matchups, with the NFC once again providing the two most interesting games on the schedule.
2019 NFL Divisional Round Best Odds and Matchups
There’s not much time for the Vikings (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS) to recover from Sunday’s Wild Card victory, but spirits are high after QB Kirk Cousins led them to victory on hostile ground. In theory, their Divisional Round matchup will be less challenging than their Wild Card game, with the 49ers (13-3 SU, 9-6-1 ATS) laying seven points at Santa Clara with a total of 44 on the NFL lines at press time. In practice, San Francisco’s superior defense should give the Vikings plenty of trouble.
That’s if the Niners can get some of their injured players back on the field. It looks like defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring) and linebacker Kwon Alexander (pectoral) will both return to action this Saturday, alongside safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs). RG Mike Person (neck) also hopes to play for San Francisco after sitting out Week 17.
Just like the Wild Card round, the Seahawks (12-5 SU, 8-8-1 ATS) find themselves in this weekend’s tightest matchup; Bovada’s odds on NFL Sunday have Seattle getting four points with a total of 47 from the Packers (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS) at Lambeau Field. The ‘Hawks were the only road favorites last week, putting away the Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5 at home) 17-9 in an ugly battle for both teams.
Green Bay’s offense has struggled in recent weeks, but they hope to get a number of offensive linemen back on the field at Lambeau, where Sunday’s forecast calls for overcast skies and temperatures in the high teens. The Packers have the shortest Super Bowl 54 odds of any remaining NFC team at +700; the Seahawks are last among the four at +1100.
It’s a bit sad we won’t get to see Kansas City (12-4 SU, 10-5-1 ATS) take on the Patriots again in the playoffs, but Sunday’s meeting with Houston (11-6 SU, 8-8-1 ATS) does set up an interesting battle between two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league. The NFL betting odds have Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs laying 9.5 points to Deshaun Watson and the visiting Texans, with this weekend’s highest total at 51.
Weather is usually a point of interest for football betting tips in January, and Arrowhead Stadium can get pretty nasty at this time of year. However, the forecast calls for temperatures above the freezing mark, and there’s very little chance of precipitation, so both Mahomes and Watson should be good to go on Sunday. The Chiefs have the bye, of course, but Houston will be somewhat fresh after beating the Buffalo Bills (+3 away) 22-19 last Saturday in overtime.
Last, but definitely not least, we have the current Super Bowl favorites at a healthy +185. The Ravens (14-2 SU, 10-6 ATS) have been the hottest commodity on this year’s NFL odds board, thanks in part to presumptive MVP Lamar Jackson at quarterback. They’re 10-point home favorites with a total of 47 versus the Titans (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS), who improved to 7-3 SU and 6-3-1 ATS under QB Ryan Tannehill with their upset win over the Patriots.
If defense truly is king when you bet on the NFL, the Ravens should have the advantage here – although Tennessee already took down arguably the league’s best defense in New England. And again, watch out for the weather – it’s supposed to get quite windy in Baltimore this Saturday night. Bet accordingly, and keep checking in with Bovada Sportsbook for the latest NFL playoff odds and analysis..