Jake’s Takes: Your Guide To The NFL Divisional Round Odds, Betting Mismatches, Props & Trends

Welcome NFL fans to the Divisional Round of the playoffs!

Off the bat, let’s address the record from Super Wild Card Weekend, particularly what went well and what went not so well. In the end we went 4-2 straight-up, and if we’re being honest, if you’d offered me 4-2 before it even began, I probably woulda grabbed it. What went well? The Chiefs took care of business at home, like they always do in the playoffs. The Bills rode a great start and gave their fans a snowy good time in Orchard Park. A mysterious QB led the Bucs to a major upset over the broken home that is the Eagles. I refused to name him hoping to avoid the voodoo finally believing in him invokes and it seems to have worked. Will he remain nameless this week? I guess we’ll find out.

Perhaps the highest high of Super Wild Card Weekend was reserved for Detroit. Jared Goff’s revenge arc against his former team came to fruition in an absolute nailbiter and the Lions secured their first playoff win since 1991. Do Detroit’s feel-good vibes carry on? Or does the buzz from getting off the playoff schneid burn too bright to last.

The bad news from Wild Card Weekend? Well first and foremost, the upstart Texans made my belief in retiree Joe Flacco look outright foolish, and made the league’s best defence (supposedly) look equally so. In the win, C.J. Stroud maintained an absurd 76.2 completion percentage and an even more absurdly absurd 157.2 passer rating. His three passing TDs tied for first all time by a rookie in a playoff game and his total yards were good for seventh. All this against what was widely regarded as the most complete defence in the league. I said last week that Stroud was a revelation, but that the Texans may not be quite ready for primetime and boy was I wrong.

Speaking of primetime, maybe Jerry Jones can get him to come out of retirement and help his team out, cause the status quo ain’t working. I have to take the “L” in stride because it’s just how the Cowboys and I work together. I can’t pick them, and I have to admit that I am pretty dang relieved I don’t have to pick another one of their games this season.

Wild Card Weekend is in the bag and the Divisional Round is before us. The Chiefs, Texans, Buccaneers, Bills, Lions and Packers move on and the Ravens and 49ers emerge from their first-round byes to meet them. It’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff, let the cream rise, and find the diamonds in the rough.

Equipped with last week’s storylines, let’s ding into the numbers and make some Divisional Round picks!



UnderdogDay/Time (ET)
Baltimore Ravens-425-9O/U 43.5Houston TexansSaturday / 4:30 PM
San Francisco 49ers-450-9.5O/U 50.5Green Bay PackersSaturday / 8:15 PM
Detroit Lions-290-6.5O/U 48.5Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday / 3:00 PM
Buffalo Bills-150-2.5O/U 45.5Kansas City ChiefsSunday / 6:30 PM
All odds courtesy of bet365
* = Home Team Underdog

Divisional Round Picks

  • Houston Texans – Moneyline: +325

I’m not about to hide this pick. It’s the first game on the docket, out front and centre, and it’s my biggest underdog pick of the week (spoiler alert). You can accuse me of being seduced by one game and having a major recency bias, but I prefer to see this as more of an eye-opening moment. A moment that revealed that I’ve turned a blind eye on Stroud and the Texans for too long. Okay, it’s not that dramatic, but we bet with numbers as much as we bet with our guts, and my gut says that the Texans are that surprise team we see during the playoffs that defies the odds and makes some serious noise. I also believe in the bad juju of coming out of a playoff bye. Sure, a rested football team is the ideal football team, but rest also negates momentum, and lack thereof can result in slow starts. A slow start from the Ravens benefits an explosive team like Houston. We saw the Browns unravel after conceding ground on the points sheet and after some Joe Flacco forced throws resulted in two consecutive pick-sixes, the game was put to bed. Since 1990 teams coming out of a playoff bye lose about 25% of the time, which is not all that different for the Texans’ implied 23.5% odds to win this one, but there’s still a vibe there for me, that’s my gut talking more than it is the numbers and I’m opting to trust it.

  • San Francisco 49ers – Moneyline: -450

As much as it would be fun to see the Texans and Packers win this week I just can’t justify picking Green Bay like I did Houston. I continue to view the 49ers as the most complete team left in these playoffs and no I’m not forgetting that they lost to the aforementioned Ravens on Christmas Day. If I were picking between the same two teams right now in an elimination game, I’d opt for San Fran despite the regular season L. Much like Stroud, Jordan Love surprised me last week with his poise and efficiency. But I’m choosing to believe that the Packers win has a lot more to do with the innate dysfunction of “Dem Boys” than it is does anything else. All do respect to Love and the Packers, I just don’t have the same level of faith in them that I do Houston. What’s more, that all important rest factor is pretty paramount for a team like the 49ers. Bye week juju aside, vital rest to stars Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brock Purdy, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle is huge for this team. The 49ers’ success has been denied in recent years by key injuries and they’re entering the 2024 playoffs in perhaps the healthiest state they ever have. It’s their show until proven otherwise.

Bet on 49ers vs. Packers

SF -450
GB +350

  • Detroit Lions– Moneyline: -290

Baker Mayfield has been playing really well. There I said it. I invoked him and even complimented the man who rewards cautious optimism with soul-crushing failure, at least this time I hope he does. I didn’t want to point out Baker by name last week, lest my invocation lead to implosion, but this week is different. Not only do I believe in these Lions outright but I’ll add whatever magic dust to the pick that I can. Baker Mayfield I’m calling you out. The real one, the one that loses big games and lets his fans down. Ok that might be a little harsh but hey, it’s the playoffs, and I’ll take any edge I can get. Let’s offset that negativity with positivity and talk about a story and a team worth getting behind in the Detroit Lions. A much-maligned franchise finally seeing the sunlight. I spoke last week about how a team long shrouded in shadow has to pass a test to be able to emerge from that shade, a milestone win that emboldens the team and allows the sport’s collective fans to say “ok, maybe it is time”. I believe in beating the Rams, and former QB Matt Stafford, the Lions achieved that narrative shifting victory and though I’m not saying I’m ready to pick them to take it all the way this year, I am saying that I’m ready to declare this iteration of Detroit to be here to stay and here to win.

  • Buffalo Bills– Moneyline: -150

The NFL saved this tasty cupcake for last. The epic QB duel fated to happen when the season started (and especially after Joe Burrow was lost to injury) has arrived. Regardless of whether this game took place in Kansas City or Buffalo it was going to be a bitterly cold and bitterly contested battle, but the fact that it is happening in Buffalo gives me reason to believe that we’re in for a different outcome than what we’re accustomed to. Believe it or not, this game will mark the first time that Patrick Mahomes has to travel to another team’s home base to play a playoff game (Super Bowl neutral sites aside). In what has been a wishy washy season for Mahomes and the Chiefs, this added bit of unease and discomfort is enough to give the Bills a serious edge. Neither team will be bothered by the cold, having both pulled out impressive wins last week in frigid climes a week ago. As such, it’s the mental game that will be crucial, and Mahomes playing such a tightly contested affair on the road for the first time, gives Josh Allen and the Bills a distinct mental advantage. Not to say that the Chiefs wont push them to their limits, but I think ultimately Buffalo comes out ahead and writes another glowing chapter in this unlikely season.

Bet on Bills vs. Chiefs

BUF -150
KC +125

Betting Trends of the Week

Here are a few trends to keep in mind when placing your bets this week:

  • The Houston Texanshave hit the moneyline in 11 of their last 16 games 🔥
  • The Baltimore Ravenshave scored first in one of their last six games 🧊
  • The San Francisco 49ershave scored first in eight of their last nine games at home 🔥
  • The Green Bay Packershave scored last in two of their last nine away games 🧊
  • The Kansas City Chiefshave hit the moneyline in eight of their last 11 away games 🔥
  • The Buffalo Billshave scored first in eight of their last 19 games 🧊

Player Props to Play

Here are a few player props I love this week:

  • Player Passing Touchdowns – OVER 1.5 – C.J. Stroud: +145

If we’re backing the Texans’ upset this week then we have to back a big game from Stroud. It may take another 3-plus TD effort for Houston and its rookie QB to pull it off, but let’s hedge a little bit and give ourselves an attainable target of over 1.5 TDs.

  • Player Rushing Attempts Milestones – 20 –Christian McCaffrey : +150

McCaffrey and the rest of the 49ers have been resting for a number of weeks now, considering most starters sat their final game of the season. In what is not only a Divisional Round showdown, but also the first and only opportunity to shake that inactivity off, I see San Fran leaning on CMC on the ground to get him fully back into game speed.

  • Anytime Scorecast – James Cook Anytime TD Scorer, BUF Bills 1-6 Winning Margin : +700

James Cook doesn’t have a TD in his last four games, but last Monday’s win provided some encouraging signs. His 18 rushing attempts were his highest total since Dec. 23 and it falls in lock step with OC Joe Brady’s re-energizing of the Buffalo run game. In what shapes up to be a cold, testy affair, it’s time to let James Cook.


Gonna take another note from the bet365 book and feature a bet-boosted parlay as our Divisional Round gold star. This week we’re gonna feature the San Francisco 49ers as I expect them to come out ready and drop some big numbers on the Packers.

Same Game Parlay – Brock Purdy 2+ Passing TDs, Deebo Samuel 75+ Receiving Yards, Christian McCaffrey 75+ Rushing Yards


2024 NFL Season FAQ

What NFL Teams Have a Bye Week in Week 18?

Week 18: None

What is the 2023 NFL Bye Week Schedule?

Week 5: Browns, Chargers, Seahawks, Buccaneers
Week 6: Packers, Steelers
Week 7: Panthers, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, Jets, Titans
Week 8: None
Week 9: Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, 49ers
Week 10: Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Eagles
Week 11: Falcons, Colts, Patriots, Saints
Week 12: None
Week 13: Ravens, Bills, Bears, Raiders, Vikings, Giants
Week 14: Cardinals, Commanders

What are the 2024 Divisional Round NFL Power Rankings?

San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens
Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Rams
Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars
Green Bay Packers
Seattle Seahawks
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Tennessee Titans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears
Indianapolis Colts
Las Vegas Raiders
Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Chargers
Arizona Cardinals
Denver Broncos
New York Jets
New England Patriots
Washington Commanders
New York Giants
Carolina Panthers

(Per ESPN Power Index)

What is the 2024 Divisional Round NFL Schedule?

Saturday, January 20, 2024
Houston @ Baltimore 16:30
Green Bay @ San Francisco 20:15

Sunday, January 21, 2024
Tampa Bay @ Detroit 15:00
Kansas City @ Buffalo 18:30

What is NFL Against the Spread betting?

If you’re new to ATS betting in football, check out our convenient primer on Point Spread Betting and take a look at our new and improved Parlay Betting Guide should the mood strike to combine some of these picks!

When are the next week’s NFL Lines set?

Typically oddsmakers will set the next week’s Game Lines after the Sunday slate of games. NFL Odds will evolve as bets are made throughout the week and NFL Picks made too early may lack vital information. The NFL Point Spreads are set with a somewhat unclear picture and NFL predictions become more informed as the games get closer.