SportsGrid’s Betting Model’s Best Divisional Round NFL Bets
Our Betting Model predictions at SportsGrid have highlighted some games for the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs that may represent some value for bettors looking to have some action on the craziness that will surely ensue this weekend!
The SportsGrid Betting Model lists sides and over/unders on a five-star system, with five stars being the highest likelihood, down to a listing not having stars as games that are too close to call. I’ve highlighted some of them below.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints Over 52
Tom Brady and Drew Brees-led teams with all of their weapons are playing in a dome. Both teams need to get to 26 points for this over to hit. Seems likely. Brady’s weapons should all be healthy for the game: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Gronk, Antonio Brown, and Cameron Brate all are active, and the Bucs’ offensive line is still above-average to give Brady time to throw.
Brees has reigning Offensive Player of the Year Mike Thomas back, secondary passing targets Tre’Quan Smith, Emmanuel Sanders, and tight end Jared Cook, and arguably most important, NFL touchdown leader running back Alvin Kamara playing against a Todd Bowles-coached Bucs defense who sell-out to stop the run on almost every play: if Kamara slips by, as he’s prone to, he can have a monster day catching passes from Brees. Further, this is the last time we’re ever getting Brees vs. Brady as Brees is retiring after this season, so you don’t think Brees, in the Super Dome, isn’t getting to at least 26 points? This game ends 34-30 New Orleans. Over is the play.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (-159)
The second SportsGrid betting model five-star pick is the New Orleans Saints’ money line. As mentioned above, this will be Drew Brees’ last start ever in the New Orleans Super Dome: if they win, they travel to Green Bay next week. The Saints are not going to let Brees’ last game in New Orleans be a loss, and stylistically, it’s a good matchup for the Saints on both sides of the ball. The Saints offense is such that they are structured to beat any type of defense: the Bucs’ hyper-aggressive blitzing fronts favored by head coach Bruce Arians and Bowles might work against some teams, but it’ll turn into a “death-by -a-thousand -cuts” game with Mike Thomas and Alvin Kamara slipping Tampa’s defensive linemen and Brees hitting them for a 7-yard completion over and over.
The Saints also are one of the few defenses in the league (along with maybe the Rams and Pittsburgh) who have the star power in their secondary to at least slow down the onslaught of pass catchers for Brady: cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Janoris Jenkins all play very physical styles of football and will have support by safeties Malcolm Jenkins and PJ Williams if Brady tries to favor Gronk up the middle of the field. The matchup, and the motivation here, favors the Saints to go back to the NFC Championship for Brees’ last year: this won’t be his last game yet.