Predicting the NFL Divisional Round Games

Drew Brees and Tom Brady have at least one more matchup against each other coming up in the Divisional Round this weekend

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It's been a long and winding road to get here, but after this weekend's playoff games there will only be four teams left vying for a shot to be this year's Super Bowl champions.

Both 6 seeds earned their spots in the Divisional Round as the LA Rams and Cleveland Browns both managed upsets in their Wild Card matchups and represent the reality that anyone that gets to the dance can go home Prom King. The heaviest of hitters await them though as the Rams will face the top seed in the NFC in the form of the Green Bay Packers. The Browns take on an even greater task as they're set to see the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Let's dive in and take a look at each of the four games scheduled for the Divisional Round and give you our take on who's coming out on top!


Saturday 4:35 PM EST

Los Angeles Rams (6) @ Green Bay Packers (1) -6.5

The Rams enter this game in a slightly better spot than they did a week ago as their quarterback, Jared Goff, has had another week to nurse the broken thumb on his throwing hand that he's been recovering from. Goff wanted to start last week, but was held out by Sean McVay. This week McVay will have no other option as John Wolford has been ruled out with the neck injury he sustained in the Rams' Wild Card matchup.

The Rams will need another stellar performance from Cam Akers in their game against Green Bay in order to have a shot to win. Akers racked up 176 yards of total offense and a touchdown against Seattle last week. The Packers were ranked 14th in rushing yards allowed and 16th in rushing touchdowns allowed during the regular season. Akers will be tasked with keeping the chains moving and the Rams defense off the field throughout this game.

As for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers will have a full complement of weapons at his disposal, and the connection to Davante Adams has been one of the league's most dangerous all year. It's to be seen how much we will see Aaron Jones used as Jamal Williams and rookie AJ Dillon have begun to get more touches. But if Jones manages to get going early, Matt LaFleur may decide to turn to his in both the run game and passing attack as he is one of the better receivers on the entire roster.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 41 - Los Angeles Rams 27

Saturday 8:15 PM EST

Baltimore Ravens (5) @ Buffalo Bills (2) -2.5

The Saturday night primetime game is one that we here at FindBet are particularly excited for. We'll get to see two of the best young quarterbacks dual it out to keep their team's hope of representing the AFC alive this postseason. Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson have a lot of similarities in the way they play, and they way they entered the league.

Allen and Jackson both carried a lot of question marks with them as they started their NFL careers, Jackson quickly dispelled many of them after his MVP campaign in 2019, however some have creeped their way back in as he found struggles during this season. Jackson has found his game again down the stretch though, and he appears to be back to the level of play we saw from him during his best moments from last year.

Allen's biggest detractor coming into the league was his accuracy. After seeing him play, his decision-making began to be called into question. After the Bills acquired Stefon Diggs from the Vikings, giving Allen a legitimate number one threat, Allen posted an MVP caliber season this year. Finishing inside the top five in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, and QBR, Allen has developed into an elite NFL quarterback.

There are other factors to consider here in determining a winner, mostly who will have success running the ball and controlling pace of play, but when it comes down to it, this is Jackson v Allen 1 in what we expect to be a long running feud in the AFC for years to come.

Prediction: Buffalo Bills 23 - Baltimore Ravens 21

Sunday 3:05 PM EST

Cleveland Browns (6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1) -10

Even though we as fans are satisfied with the accomplishments of the Browns this year, the Browns themselves are not. Injured Cleveland receiver, Odell Beckham, warned us this week to not be surprised if we see another upset from the Browns against the Chiefs this week.

The Browns will have Head Coach Kevin Stefanski back on the sidelines this week and they'll also get some much needed help returning to the secondary in the form of All-Pro Denzel Ward and cornerback Kevin Johnson. The Browns will also hope to see LG Joel Bitonio and RT Jack Conklin in the lineup who were both on the sidelines as the clock ticked down in their win against Pittsburgh.

Cleveland will rely on their strong rushing attack led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to keep the offense flowing, but don't sleep on Baker Mayfield who is getting the ball out quickly and letting his receivers do work in the open field. The Browns offense has never looked better, but the buzz saw known as the Chiefs await.

The Chiefs haven't lost a step since becoming world champs last year, if anything they're deeper and more dangerous on offense. Patrick Mahomes under center means that Kansas City is NEVER out of a game. The Chiefs enter this one as serious favorites, currently laying 10 points to Cleveland, but there's an X-factor worth keeping in mind. The Chiefs defensive strength is in their pass rush, but if Cleveland is able to extend drives by running the ball, keeping the ball out of Mahomes' hands and Mayfield hitting quick passes, the Chiefs defensive front will have limited opportunity to affect the game.

Don't mind the spread, we think this will go down to the wire.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 38 - Cleveland Browns 35

Sunday 6:40 PM EST

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5) @ New Orleans Saints (2) -3

The final game of the weekend pits Tom Brady's Bucs against Drew Brees' Saints. The Bucs had ups and downs throughout the season allowing New Orleans to win the NFC South even through injuries to Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara throughout the season. In the teams' two divisional games in the regular season the Saints swept Tampa, defeating them opening day, and then again in a blowout 38-3 in Week 9.

Both teams are in much different places now than when they last met. The Saints finally have Brees, Thomas, and Kamara healthy and while Brees was out with broken ribs, Taysom Hill filled in giving Sean Payton a few new wrinkles to throw in if he needs to dig deep into the playbook.

The Buccaneers offense is firing at all cylinders now that Antonio Brown has joined the fray. Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones provide the Tampa backfield two solid options, and we saw Fournette rush for nearly 100 yards in their Wild Card game last week. With so much attention needing to be paid to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown expect Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski to be x-factors in this game.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 28 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27

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All | Pass Yds | Pass TDs| Pass Comp | Pass Att | Rush Att | Rush Yds | Rec | Rec Yds

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Research Prop Bet Betting Example

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Goff has a 5-3 O-U record on his passing yard props at Ford Field this season. While his average line at home on DraftKings is 247 yards, his average result is 277.1 passing yards. Prior to throwing for 250+ yards against the Jets at the Meadowlands in Week 15, he was 2-3 on his passing yards props on the road. His average line on DraftKings on the road was only 10 yards fewer heading into Week 15 yet he averaged a full 50 fewer yards per game (227). This shows a clear pattern that he is much more successful at hitting the over and much more efficient when playing in front of his home crowd. There are countless examples of patterns you can spot using this brand-new prop tool that are even more eye-popping than Goff’s numbers.

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At home, Brady is averaging a whopping 307.3 passing yards and has hit the over in six of seven games heading into Week 15.

On the road, while his average line is only two yards fewer (271.2 to 269.2), he has a 1-5 O-U record and is only averaging 239 passing yards per game.

Fantasy SP has just highlighted a very promising prop bet whenever Brady is at home. Take the over. And when he is on the road, it’s a prime spot to smash the under.

Some players also tend to do much better when their team is the favorite such as running backs late in the fourth quarter when their team needs to kill time. Heading into Week 15, Dalvin Cook had a 7-2 O-U rushing yard record when his team was the favorite (79.9 yards per game). Conversely, when the Vikings were underdogs, he was 1-3 (57.8 yards per game). This is why filtering by favorite or underdog can be a critical data point to help you gain an edge at sportsbooks.

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Wrap-Up

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Stay tuned for our future article on even more in-depth tips and tricks.

2022 World Cup Best Bets, Team Props, and Futures
2022 World Cup Best Bets, Team Props, and Futures

Picking up where they left off in 2018, the French National Team led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe have found their way back into the finals as they look to be the first back-to-back World Cup Champions since Brazil’s dominant runs in 1958 and 1962. Standing between that incredible feat for the defending champions is Argentina, who currently have their superstar, Lionel Messi, in top form. Messi is finding ways to create passes no one can see and he’s done it multiple times, assisting three goals (tied for the most) throughout the tournament. The legend is also scoring goals of his own and is tied with Kylian Mbappe (5 goals) for Golden Boot honors in this year’s World Cup. Regardless, soccer fans around the world are in for a treat on Sunday at 10:00 AM EST as two of the best players in the world face each other for their country’s World Cup glory.

After winning Group D, France defeated Poland in the Round of 16, England in the quarterfinals, and a strong Morocco team in the semis to advance to the Final. On the other side of the bracket, Argentina won Group C and dispatched Australia in the Round of 16. Messi and the Argentinians were then tested in the quarterfinals, needing a penalty shootout to defeat the Netherlands after blowing a late two-goal lead. Finally, Argentina played perhaps their best match of the tournament against Croatia in the semi-finals, winning 3-0. Now the stage is set for a blockbuster finale between two powerhouses featuring some of the top players in the world.

Note (from FanDuel Sportsbook): No team will play at home during Qatar's World Cup. For betting purposes, FanDuel explains that: “Home Team refers to the team listed first, Away Team refers to the second team listed.”

Argentina (-104) vs. France (-112)

Argentina Keys To Victory

Lionel Messi has played incredibly for Argentina throughout this World Cup. He is leaving opposing defenders in the dust, taking on multiple players at once, dragging them away from his teammates, which is opening up the field for his fellow goal scorers. Every time Messi has the ball at his feet, there seems to be more than one threat. Messi is playing just as well as he always has in 2022. He’s served his team as a playmaker and as a goal-scorer in Qatar. He’s also had some help from Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez who’s scored a handful of goals in this World Cup (including two in Argentina’s decisive victory over Croatia). If Alvarez and Messi are able to link up while on the attack, the depleted French defense and midfield could be in for some trouble.

France Keys To Victory

One of the biggest headlines heading into this World Cup Final is the return of French striker Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid star and winner of this year’s Ballon D’Or hurt his hamstring in one of France’s first practices soon after arriving in Qatar. He flew back to Madrid where he immediately completed his recovery work which was set at three weeks from the time of injury. Right now, Benzema is flying back to Doha and could be starting for France in the final. At the moment, France’s HC Didier Deschamps has declined to comment on whether or not he will be including KB9 in the starting lineup. France’s ball movement has been excellent throughout the tournament, but their key to victory against Argentina will be efficient defense. Over the last few games, France’s defense seems to have slowed down. Not only will they need to stop Messi, but they will need to turn defensive stops into counterattacks. Mbappe and Olivier Giroud (four goals thus far in the tournament) will need to be electric on offense and test the Argentinian keeper. Antoine Griezmann may be an x-factor for France as he has three assists in this World Cup and was inches away from scoring against Morocco.

Conclusion

It’s only fitting that Lionel Messi will finally hoist the World Cup trophy in his last World Cup match. Expect him to score a goal and lead his team to victory in a tightly contested battle.

The Pick: Argentina (-104)

World Cup Final Best Prop Bets

Kylian Mbappe: To Score Or Give Assist (+100)

Mbappé has been relatively quiet over France’s last few games. Still, he is the main wing on France’s team who is capable of breaking down defenses through his skillful technique and ridiculous speed. He currently is tied with Messi for the most goals in the 2022 World Cup. If he isn’t able to score in this game, then expect him to at least make an assist. For France to win this one, the 23-year-old will need to have a big game.

Lionel Messi: Anytime Goalscorer (+190)

Messi has stepped up his performance big time this World Cup. If you have watched Argentina play in this tournament, you know how crucial of a role Messi has played in the team’s success. He is tied for the most goals in the tournament with Mbappe and has a great chance of putting the ball in the net at some point during Sunday’s big match. This is a particularly great prop to target since Messi takes all of Argentina’s penalty shots and has converted four-of-five throughout the tournament.

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Calling every sports fan across the globe! The best month for all things sports is here: December. NFL and CFB are getting into the thick of things — I mean, we are finally not seeing Alabama and Clemson in the CFP, not to mention both the NBA and NHL are underway and college basketball just tipped off!

Despite all of these different sporting events going on, the World’s biggest Sporting event is down to the Semifinals, the World Cup.

Although Soccer is the World's most popular sport, it still struggles to gain support in the US. However, every 4 years Soccer takes the country by storm and this year, and these last few games are going to be amazing.

Let us introduce you to your new go-to app, FanDuel Sportsbook. It’s the place to be for not only the usual sports, but for this year's World Cup!

FanDuel Sportsbook is providing a multitude of features with a few market differentiators.

  • Futures:
    • World Cup Winner
    • Who will win the Golden Boot (the award for the top goal scorer of the World Cup)
    • Highest scoring Group
    • And more
  • Popular Markets - outside of the normal Moneyline, Spread & Over/Under lines, FanDuel will also be offering:
    • Anytime Goal Scorer
    • First Goal Scorer
    • Shots on Goal
    • Correct Score
    • Number of Corner Kicks
    • Half-Time Result

Market Differentiators:

  • Tournament Goal Scorer Parlay Builder - build your own tournament-long Goal Scorer parlays with your favorite players from every team.
  • Daily Specials:
    • Highest scoring team of the day
    • Total daily goals
    • Player specials
    • And More!
  • Live Parlays

Out of all the betting apps we’ve used, signing up for FanDuel Sportsbook is also the easiest. Simply download the app and create an account by providing an email, credit card, and SS# — that’s to protect your winnings and ensure you're not a sporting professional.

FanDuel is undoubtedly the best site/app to parlay across multiple sports. It’s designed for bettors at any stage. The clear interface is ideal for beginners and you can make a bet in just a few clicks! It’s complete with a number of betting guides that explain the rules and resources to safely bet.

One of the best parts is that once the game ends, you can cash out your winnings right away. No minimum, no wait.

There’s also the incredible New User Offer: sign up with FanDuel Sportsbook and get up to $1000 in Free Bets if you lose your first bet!

Their app has everything you need — from tutorials to real-time game scores. Get amped for the World Cup with FanDuel Sportsbook. Enhance your Sportsember by downloading the FanDuel Sportsbook app today!

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