NFC Divisional Round Preview

The NFC is wide open here with all four quarterbacks having a Super Bowl appearance and three of the four have a ring. There is plenty of experience and talent on these teams that anyone can make it to the championship. I still think that the Packers are a step above everyone else with how Aaron Rodgers has played this season.

No. 6 Los Angeles Rams (11-5) at No. 1 Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Gametime: Saturday 4:35 pm
Spread: Packers -6.5
Total: O/U 45.5

What to Know: The Rams were able to move into the Divisional Round on the backs of their front seven, pressuring Russell Wilson all night long. I don’t think they will fare as well this week against one of the top offensive lines in the league. Rodgers has only been sacked 20 times this season and has faced pressure on only 14% of his dropbacks. Jared Goff is still not too far removed from surgery on his thumb and will need to score a lot of points to keep up with the Packers offense.

Gambling Tip: The over is 7-1 in Rams last eight games as an underdog.

Prediction: Rams 13 Packers 31

No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccanneers (11-5) at No. 2 New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Gametime: Sunday 6:40 pm
Spread: Saints -3
Total: O/U 52

What to Know: Can the Saints pull off the trifecta, taking down Tom Brady three times in a season? It has never been done before but the teams in the AFC East were completely different than this Saints team. The Bucs are getting hot at the right time with an incredible 500 yards of offense and 38.3 points per game over the last four weeks. The three headed monster of AB, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans is finally paying off as all are healthy and totaled 13 catches for 247 yards in last week’s wild card win. The Saints were able to catch the Bucs at the right time twice this season. They played week one and were able to use their chemistry to beat a team with a new quarterback and a lot of new weapons. Their second game came in the first week without Ali Marpet in the lineup. In the 13 games he played, Tom Brady was only pressured on 15% of his dropbacks. In the three games he missed, Brady was pressured on 24% of his dropbacks. The 38-3 beatdown the Bucs took was the first game in that three game stretch.

I think this team is ready to take the Saints on and win a back and forth, high scoring affair. You just can’t bet against Tom Brady in January.

Gambling Tip: The over is 10-1 in Bucs last 11 games against the NFC South.

Prediction: Buccanneers 31 Saints 27

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