A great weekend of football last week has led us to the final 8 teams and the divisional round, it was a good weekend for the bets I put up on here too as the teaser treble landed on Saturday and Chase Claypool did the job on Sunday night to bring home his anytime and 2 or more at 17/2 on Paddypower.
The Saturday games this week shape up well, it's a shame they're so late for us in the UK, but it is what it is, the NFC is first up at 935, and arguably the best game of the weekend the Ravens v Bills is 115am for us over here.
LA Rams +6.5 vs. Green Bay Packers: 45
The key to this game is the Ramsey vs. Adams matchup, if the Rams are going to win this then they need to keep him quiet and get home to Rodgers. I don't think the Rams are going to put up a lot of points themselves, Jared Goff is 0-4 in his career in temperatures under 35, and does not do well in the cold, add to that a poorly thumb and I'm not expecting a whole lot from the Rams side of the ball I'm afraid. Aaron Donald looks like he'll be playing through torn rib cartilage but should still be able to get home on Rodgers, he's a damn machine. – Cooper Kupp looked like he did his knee quite seriously last week, it's not as bad as expected but he's probably not going to be full strength meaning Woods and Reynolds will likely have to step up. Could mean more for Higbee who got a lot of snaps last week once Goff took over.
Cam Akers is the main man for them on offense though, he had 176 scrimmage yards and a TD last week from his 31 touches. He'll probably get a fair bit in the receiving game if they're trailing which the line suggests they will be in this one.
Aaron Rodgers has been brilliant this year, and sitting at #1 in TDs, INTs and QBR he's rightly going to win MVP when that vote is finalised in a couple of weeks. He's only been sacked 20 times this year and a quarter of those came in one game, but he'll probably face more pressure with his LT and RT both out, and facing Aaron Donald. He's not got a whole lot to throw too which makes his season even more impressive. Davante Adams led the league with 18 TDs, and Robert Tonyan scored 11 from the TE position as well. Marquez Valdes-Scantling will likely get a few deep targets and may well catch one, although the Rams are good at stopping deep plays.
Aaron Jones has 4 TDs in the 2 playoff games he's had in his career and will probably be the bellcow back for them while Jamaal Williams will get a few receptions as well. I don't mind AJ Dillon at 12/1 but he's rightly a long-shot after 1 carry in the final game of the season.
I can't see the Rams winning, despite the adage that defense wins championships I just don't see Goff getting the Rams to enough points to keep things close.
Total passing yardage – Under 520.5 – 4/5 (365)
Baltimore Ravens +2.5 vs. Buffalo Bills: 49
The late, late game of the night should be the most exciting of the weekend as the Ravens meet the Bills after shutting down the Titans last week while the Bills struggled to a win against the Colts.
Both QBs got the monkey off their backs from losses in the playoffs last year to get their first wins and they're the keys to the game.
The Ravens should be able to move the ball on the ground, of course they do every game but that's the weakest spot of the Bills defense and the triple-headed monster of Lamar Jackson, JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards should all put up yards after their 236 combined last week. Lamar had 136 of those and a TD, while JK Dobbins found the endzone for his 7th game in a row to cap a brilliant end to the season.
Marquise Brown had another 100 yard game, his second in his 2 playoff games, and Mark Andrews has a good match up in the middle of the field against the Bills who conceded 9 TDs in the regular season to the position as well as 1 last week and allowed 136 yards to the Colts TEs.
The Bills are going to be relying even more heavily on their passing game after losing Zack Moss last week, it leaves them thin on the ground and I don't think Montgomery picks up the slack, I think they'll just pass the ball more, it's where the Ravens are weaker, if anything it could mean more rush attempts from Allen who found the endzone last week and may well do that again this week.
Stefon Diggs will lead the way through the air again, he led the league in receptions and yards in the regular season and topped 100 and scored last week. Cole Beasley should get his receptions, as always he caught all 7 of his targets last week, and a line of 4.5 receptions at plus money is good, John Brown will do better than his nothing last week and Gabriel Davis had a good rookie season, I wouldn't be shocked to see Dawson Knox find the endzone again either.
I think the Ravens win this one, but it's too tight to call, I'm surprised the line has come down, the weather isn't as bad as expected and both teams should put up points.
Mark Andrews anytime TD – 21/10 (Paddypower)
Good luck with your bets this weekend, I'll get a Sunday preview up tomorrow.