AFC Divisional Round Preview

Who’s ready for another wild weekend of football? Last week, my Steelers got pounded by the Cleveland Browns but the rest of the AFC went as planned. This week Cleveland gets the pleasure of taking on the defending Super Bowl champs to try and continue their magical run. In the second game, you have two of the league’s premier young quarterback facing off for their first chance at an AFC Championship Game. Will the big arm of Josh Allen or the running game of Lamar Jackson come out on top.

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (11-5) at No. 2 Buffalo Bills (13-3)
Gametime: Saturday 8:15 pm
Spread: Bills -2.5
Total: O/U 49.5

What to Know: Baltimore has now won six straight games after taking down the Titans last week. The running game of Derrick Henry had haunted that defense from the last two matchups but they showed up ready with a chip on their shoulder and held him to only 40 yards rushing. This defense is good but you can’t completely shut down Josh Allen. You just have to hope you can take away the big plays and make him slowly work his way down the field. The Colts did a pretty good job of that last weekend. They probably should have even beaten the Bills in that game. Indianapolis was able to move the ball consistently, chew up a lot of clock, and out gained the Bills by 163 yards on the ground. Now imagine what a team that has a mobile quarterback instead of Philip Rivers is going to do to this defense? They’ve allowed 5.1 yards per carry over the last three games and allowed dual threat quarterbacks to run for seven touchdowns and 5.2 yards per scramble this year.

Gambling Tip: The under is 5-1 in Ravens last 6 road games. They are also 7-1 against the spread in their last 8 games as a road underdog.

Prediction: Ravens 24 Bills 20

No. 6 Cleveland Browns (11-5) at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)
Gametime: Sunday 3:05 pm
Spread: Chiefs -10
Total: O/U 57

What to Know: The key for the Browns to continue their magical playoff run is to control this game on the ground. Keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field is the best way to beat the Chiefs. The combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the Wild Card win over the Steelers. They’ll be going up against a Chiefs defense that ranks 21st in the league in rushing yards allowed and gave up the most receiving yards to running backs in the league.

The Chiefs have seemed to sleep walk through this season but will they be able to just flip the switch and get things going now that it is playoff time? I think Patrick Mahomes and this offense is enough to pull out a victory but I think there are concerns if they are truly a championship contender. The offense hasn’t looked the same as last year. Chiefs win but the ten point spread is far too much.

Gambling Tip: The Chiefs are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games as favorites.

Prediction: Browns 20 Chiefs 27

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