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Handicapping Saturday's NFL Playoff Divisional Round Totals
After a pair of thrilling days of triple-header Wild Card action last Saturday and Sunday, we're down to the eight remaining combatants in the National Football League.
We have some usual faces in the crowd, and a few new faces to the party. It should be another great weekend of action as we pare the field from eight to six on Saturday, and down to four on Sunday.
We'll take a look at the total information for the Divisional Round.
We have two games on tap for Saturday's Divisional round, as the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers meet for the first time this season at 4:35 p.m. ET.
In the nightcap, the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills wrap up the schedule at 8:15 p.m. ET in a highly anticipated game in Western New York in front of a smattering of rabid Bills Mafia fans.
The Rams were awfully banged up, as all-everything defensive lineman Aaron Donald (ribs) was nicked in last week's playoff game. But the good news is that he was taken off the injury report Thursday, so he is good to go.
Well, it's good unless your name is Aaron and you play quarterback for the Packers. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) is considered questionable, but quarterback Jared Goff (thumb) was removed from the injury report and is ready to go. That's good since QB John Wolford, the backup who won Week 17 against Arizona to get them here, is out with a neck injury.
For the Packers, they signed offensive tackle Jared Veldheer from the Indianapolis Colts practice squad, but he landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Hopefull that's the only problem and it doesn't spread amongst the team, which is already thin with OT Billy Turner starting in place of the injured OT David Bakhtiari (knee) at left tackle.
In the late game, only cornerback Marcus Peters (back) is a notable injury for the Baltimore Ravens, while WRs Cole Beasley (knee) and Stefon Diggs (oblique) were each able to practice and have been removed from the injury report ahead of Saturday's night game. That's good news for QB Josh Allen, who will have all hands on deck.
Divisional Round Betting Angles
Unlike the Wild Card round, at least until this season, we have seen a split in the 'over-under' results, or a lean more to the over.
These are the best of the best teams remaining, and it generally shows in this round. The 'over' has outpaced the 'under' 26-14 (65.0%) across the past 10 seasons.
The last time we saw more 'under' results that 'over' results in the Divisional round was the 2013-14 season, when the under finished 3-1.
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Over-Under (O/U) Divisional Round Results
Over-Under Line Moves
Baltimore at Buffalo: 49.5 to 49.5
L.A. Rams at Green Bay: 46.5 to 45.5
Odds Subject to Change
Over-Under Betting Trends
Listed below are the leans for the divisional round as of Friday.
Baltimore at Buffalo: Over 79%
L.A. Rams at Green Bay: Under 56%
Trends Subject to Change
NFL Divisional Round Over-Under Preview
L.A. Rams at Green Bay (4:35 p.m. ET)
The Rams scratched out a 30-20 win in Seattle last week in the Wild Card round, besting the Seahawks for the second time this season. It was a rather surprising 'over' result given that L.A. entered that game on a 4-0 'under' run, and a 11-2 'under' streak.
The Rams had scored 18, 9, 20 and 24 in the final four weeks of the regular season, and they were starting Wolford in the Wild Card round on the road for just his second-career start, and first playoff outing.
He was knocked out, and Goff was forced to come in off the bench. Of course the Rams scored 30, their most points since Dec. 6 in Arizona when they had 38 points. In fact, it was just the fifth time in 17 games this season that the Rams went for 30 or more points.
Green Bay is coming off a bye, with just one team getting a rest this season with the expanded playoff field. The 'over' hit in both of its final two regular-season games, as they scored 35 and 40 in the final two weekends while allowing just 16 and 14.
In fact, the defense showed out for the Pack, yielding 16, 14, 16, 24 and 16 over the final five outings. It's no surprise the 'under' went 3-2 during this stretch.
In last season's Divisional round, the Packers topped the Seahawks 28-23 for an 'over' result at home with a number of 45. The 'over' also hit in the divisional round for the Packers in 2017 in Dallas, winning 34-31 against a total of 53. The last time the 'under' hit for Green Bay in the divisional round as a 26-20 overtime loss in Arizona, a 49-point number, in 2016.
The Rams last appeared in the Divisional round in 2019, also hitting the over agaisnt the Cowboys in a 30-22 win against a total of 48.
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Baltimore at Buffalo (8:15 p.m. ET)
The Ravens enter on a three-game 'under' streak, including just 33 total points last week in a 20-13 win at Tennessee in the Wild Card round with a total of 53.5. It wasn't even close in a rare 'under' in last week's high-scoring Wild Card round.
The Ravens have done the job on offense, going for 20, 38 and 27 across the past three games, including the final two regular-season outings, but the defense has clamped down with just 13, 3, 13 and 14 allowed over the past four outings.
Of course, the final three games of the regular season were against non-playoff teams Cincinnati, N.Y. Giants and Jacksonville.
But they did limit 2,000-yard rusher RB Derrick Henry and the Titans to just 13 points last week, and they have allowed 19 or fewer points in six of the previous seven games overall.
The Bills exploded for 56 points in the regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins, a season high, and they actually pushed on the number last week at most shops, topping the Indianapolis Colts 27-24. Officially, the 'over' is 2-0-2 in the previous four for Buffalo, going for 27, 56, 38 and 48 across the past four outings. But those results could be different depending on which operator you use and when you punched your ticket.
Buffalo had the most 'under' results in the NFL last season, but the defense wasn't nearly as good this season for a number of reasons. But the offense was better, too. They have scored 24 or more points in 10 straight games entering this one.
Buffalo hasn't had much of a history in the playoffs recently, so there isn't much to glean from their results, and they haven't been to the divisional round since the 1995 playoffs.
For Baltimore, they hit the 'under' last season in a divisional-round loss to the Titans, but before that they hadn't been in this round since 2015, an 'over' and loss in New England, and the personnel for most of the team was completely different, so not a lot to glean from that result, either, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
Weather reports are expecting snow in Buffalo on Saturday night but it appears those flurries will come in the second-half.
NFL Divisional Round Playoff Over-Under Predictions
Best Over: Over 45.5 L.A. Rams at Green Bay
Best Under: Under 49.5 Baltimore at Buffalo
Best First-Half Total: Under 25 Baltimore at Buffalo
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