Broadway Best Bets is a weekly NFL betting article selecting our preferred NFL lines to gamble on each week. Note: Sports gambling advice is intended for recreational purposes only. All odds and lines are from William Hill US Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
It’s the Divisional Round in the NFL, and we have two great match ups before us. The Rams are traveling to Green Bay to make sure Aaron Rodgers keeps his career championship games played in Lambeau at zero.
The Buffalo Bills are looking to stop a red hot Baltimore Ravens rushing attack, after failing to keep the Colts run game in check.
Let’s dive into Saturday’s games from a betting perspective.
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LOS ANGELES RAMS at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-6.5)
Total Points: o/u 45.5
Kickoff: 3:35 p.m. CT
The Pick: Packers -6.5 (-115)
There are several bets to like in this game. The total points is really low when you think about these offenses, and the line hasn’t moved much since it open at -7.
The Rams have key injuries to their quarterback, their defensive player of the year, and Cooper Kupp is a true game-time decision. Usually, when these things pile up during the week, the spread will move wildly in favor of the Packers. Except it didn’t.
The Packers should, for all intents and purposes, win by at least a touchdown and maybe more. Their offense ranks first in:
- Total points scored
- Passing touchdowns
- Scoring percentage
- Lowest turnover percentage
- Time of possession
- Points per drive
- Red zone offense
It is common knowledge that Jalen Ramsey is having an all-world year this season, but Davante Adams has been putting the likes of Kyle Fuller, Darius Slay, Malcom Butler, and Marshon Lattimore in the torture chamber.
The counterpoint to all of this comes from Justin Graver:
Yeah, I just have no faith in the Packers to beat the Rams because the Rams have the perfect formula to attack Green Bay’s weaknesses: their own run defense and facing a good pass defense.
The Rams have a great run game and a terrific pass defense. Not saying the Packers will lose, but 7 points is a lot for a playoff game. I know Goff may suck in the cold but he’s gotten all the way to a Super Bowl before, and the Rams run game and defense can carry him to at least make this a competitive game. Especially since Aaron Donald is expected to play.Twitter Group Chat
Those are all great points, and while there are player prop bets below surrounding the Green Bay Packers run defense, they did hold Derrick Henry to 98 yards and 0 touchdowns.
The one thing Justin fails to mention, or doesn’t remember, was that Jared Goff only played in dome games on his way to the Super Bowl. This is also a Goff with a recovering broken thumb that wasn’t allowed to start just one week ago.
Not to rehash what was already said, but while Aaron Donald is expected to play, he’s going up against one of the best offensive lines in football with a rib injury. He’s a beast of a man, but even that will provide some limitations.
The Packers defense effectively neutralized one of the best offenses in football when they faced the Tennessee Titans. In the end, the Packers have a better offense and are overall healthier. Their pass rush should show everyone the true Goff today, take the Packers -6.5.
Alternate Bet: Over 45.5 total points (-110)
Rams Player Prop: Cam Akers over 73.5 rushing yards (-112)
Packers Player Prop: Robert Tonyan anytime touchdown (+165)
BALTIMORE RAVENS at BUFFALO BILLS (-2.5)
Total Points: o/u 49
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. CT
The Pick: Baltimore Ravens ML (+124)
This is a tougher game than the earlier match up. The Ravens and Bills should have a really great game, but the Buffalo Bills weakness on defense is their run defense.
The Bills just let the Indianapolis Colts rush for 163 yards and 5.25 yards per carry. On top of that, the Colts somehow kept it close and really they beat themselves with poor clock management and coaching decisions throughout the whole game.
The other reason to like Baltimore is that their trio of defensive backs match up well with the trio of wide receivers that the Bills have been leaning on, and the Bills definitely cannot rely on the run game to help take the pressure off them.
Josh Allen has had a great season, but the Ravens are going to make it hard for him to move the ball with ease as he has all year long, and if the Ravens can neutralize Stefon Diggs, then where can Allen effectively go?
These are the two hottest teams in all of the playoffs when you look at how their season ended and how their playoffs began. This is being deemed the best game of the weekend by a lot of analysts.
The weather in Buffalo will be in the mid to low thirties with winds around 13 mph. No precipitation expected.
If you are concerned with picking a straight up winner in this game, then a good alternate bet would be to take the Ravens at +2.5, or take an alternate spread in their favor.
Alternate Spread to Bet: Ravens -2.5 (+140)
Ravens Player Prop: Gus Edwards anytime touchdown (+270)
Bills Player Prop: Tremaine Edmunds total Tackles + Assists over 8.5 (+108)
How Betting Lines Work
A quick reminder for anyone unfamiliar with betting lines. “Favorites” are listed next to a negative number, which represents how many points they must win by to “cover the spread.” Titans -2.5, for example, means that Tennessee must beat the Broncos by 3 points or more for bettors to win. Gamblers can also bet on the game’s “total,” betting on whether or not the teams’ combined score in the game is over or under a pre-selected number of points.
“ML” or “moneyline” is not against the spread, just picking the winner of the game. Many people refer to the moneyline as “straight up,” but this can be confusing, because if you’re ever at a betting window in Vegas, a “straight bet” means you are betting on the point spread. Instead of saying “straight up,” you’d want to say “moneyline” when you mean to pick the winner of the game regardless of the point spread to avoid any possible confusion.