NFL Divisional Round Saturday Best Bets (1/21/23) Betting Picks For NFL Playoffs 2023

The NFL Divisional Round is upon us. Deemed by many to be the best weekend of the football calendar, there are four exciting games on the horizon. In this article, I’ll break down my best bet from the Saturday slate which features two games – Chiefs vs. Jaguars and Eagles vs. Giants. Check out our YouTube channel for further coverage on every NFL playoff game. Let’s get to work.

NFL Divisional Round Saturday Best Bet: The Teaser

The best way to play the NFL games on Saturday is with a traditional Wong teaser which gets you through key numbers for the favorites in both games. It’s remarkably chalky, overwhelmingly public, and could blow up in our faces. However, it’s too good to pass up. In this article, I’ll break down why I feel confident in each of our two teaser legs for the Saturday games.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill over the offseason and didn’t regress. In fact, they finished with the best offense in the NFL as the surefire MVP Patrick Mahomes was utterly dominant. Kansas City led the NFL in yards per play (6.4), points per drive (2.68), EPA, and DVOA.

If there’s one weakness of this Kansas City offense, however, it’s their offensive line. Jacksonville finished the year ranked fourth in pressure rate at 25.1%. Despite blitzing Mahomes on only two of his drop backs in their Week 10 matchup, the Jaguars got pressure at a 32.5% rate.

Mahomes wasn’t bad under pressure, but he ranked 15th out of 40 qualified QBs in passer rating and 21st in completion percentage. Of course, he’s capable of pulling a rabbit out of his hat and creating big plays out of nothing, but on a snap to snap basis, the Jaguars have to find ways to put pressure on Mahomes without blitzing.

When Mahomes wasn’t pressured in that prior matchup, however, he completed 20 of 25 passes for 259 yards (10.4 YPA) and four touchdowns. The Jacksonville secondary improved somewhat down the stretch, but their pass defense is still a major weakness – they ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA despite facing the league’s easiest schedule by DVOA.

With Mahomes picking apart that pass defense, the Jaguars will need to keep pace in scoring. Trevor Lawrence was brilliant over the second half of the game against the Chargers. After throwing four interceptions on the first seven possessions, he completed 23 of his final 29 passes (79%) for 253 yards and four touchdowns.

The Chiefs’ defense is suspect, as they have allowed a league-high 74.8% completion rate and a league-high 5.8% touchdown rate. When they generate pressure, however, the Chiefs have allowed a league-low 3.66 yards per pass attempt on a 43.1% completion rate (sixth).

The Jaguars’ offensive line isn’t good and hasn’t been all season. That’s especially true now that left tackle Cam Robinson is out. However, they’ve made up for it with pre-snap reads and quick-trigger passing from Lawrence – he ranks fourth in time to throw at 2.5 seconds and was at 2.3 seconds against the Chargers.

With that approach, I do expect the Jaguars to have some offensive success here. Lawrence completed 73.5% of his passes with 218 yards and two touchdowns when kept clean in that prior matchup, and he’s only improved since that point in time.

All told, however, the results of the first matchup are somewhat indicative of what to expect here. The Jaguars were the first team since 2018 to have a +3 turnover margin and lose by double digits. That’s only happened four times since 2010. They even recovered an onside kick, as well.

If they don’t get those same breaks, they’re in trouble here. The Chiefs’ offense is a well-oiled machine, and stopping Mahomes is too tall of an order for this defense. The Chiefs have won three straight Divisional Round games off a bye week, and they’ll make it four in a row here.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

The Giants beat the Vikings 31-24 last week in yet another one-score win, their ninth of the season out of ten wins overall. With a point differential of -6, this team hasn’t been overly impressive for much of the year, and the roster is lacking. However, Brian Daboll has continued to lead them to overproducing as compared to expectations.

Still, this is a brutal matchup for them. The Eagles’ defense was outstanding this season as it allowed a league-low 4.8 yards per play. With Daniel Jones under center against this defense, the Giants averaged just 4.5 yards per play and converted just 27.3% of their third downs.

It’s tough to imagine the Giants avoiding several third-and-long situations in this game, and that’s a problem for their offensive line. They’ll be overmatched against this Philly pass rush that led the league with 70 sacks and was the first team in NFL history with four players that finished with double-digit sacks.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense is in trouble here. Wink Martindale’s defense is notoriously based on man coverage and heavy blitzing, and the Giants blitzed on a league-high 42.2% of passing snaps in the regular season. However, they failed to get pressure in their matchups against the Eagles.

The Giants blitzed Jalen Hurts on 53% of his dropbacks in Week 14 and 66.7% in Week 18, but that blitz resulted in just a 34.1% pressure rate. Hurts averaged 7.4 YPA against the Giants blitz compared to 5.8 YPA against them when they didn’t blitz. Perhaps Martindale understands that now and will blitz less frequently.

Either way, the Giants’ secondary is overmatched against the likes of A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. And if they do find a way to slow down the passing game, their defense that allowed a league-high 2.33 yards before contact per backfield rush could get bullied by the Eagles’ offensive line.

You’re going to invariably hear some form of “it’s difficult to beat the same team three times in one season,” this week as a defense for the Giants in this position. However, the Eagles are the 21st team in the Wild Card era to play a team in the playoffs that they swept in the regular season. Those teams are 13-7 straight up and 10-9-1 ATS, so there’s no material edge in that argument.

Ultimately, the Eagles overwhelm the Giants in all of the worst ways, and it’s an awful matchup for New York. The Eagles didn’t lose once all season with both Jalen Hurts and Jordan Davis in the lineup, and they should have no problems scoring against this New York defense off a much-needed bye week.

Best Bet: 2-Team Teaser: Chiefs -2.5 / Eagles -1.5

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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