The 2022 NFL Playoffs arrive at the main course. The Super Bowl and the conference championship games are more important, but the Divisional Round is arguably the best round of football. The Wild Card round now features more football with the playoff expansion, but the quality combined with the quantity this weekend is why people love.
We saw mostly chalk advance in the Wild Card round. The sixth-seeded 49ers win over the Cowboys was the only upset of the weekend, and some would argue that wasn’t a big shocker. We’ve got most of the best remaining teams this weekend and it should bring some quality football.
On Saturday, the Titans host the Bengals and the Packers host the 49ers. On Sunday, the Bucs host the Rams and the Chiefs host the Bills. We’re here to offer straight up picks for the four games, but listing them in order of how confident I am that the pick will work out. And spoiler alert, I’m not super confident in these in part because of how evenly matches these teams appear to be.
Chiefs over Bills: A common theme for all four of these is I could talk myself into both teams. In this case, the Bills looked incredible in crushing the Patriots last week. But they are a team that can Jekyll and Hyde with the best of them. The Chiefs are getting healthy at the right time, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire returning to action. This should be a great game, and I think KC holds off Buffalo.
Rams over Bucs: I had the Bucs over the Cardinals in my pre-playoff picks, but LA looked like the team many of us expected when they brought in all that talent. The Bucs rank third in overall DVOA while the Rams are fifth. Matthew Stafford could turn this thing south in a hurry for LA, but I think the Rams defense in particular will be in position to secure the road win.
Bengals over Titans: Tennessee is getting Derrick Henry back, but I just don’t think that will be enough. Cincinnati has that “team of destiny” feel. It’s not the best reason to pick a side, but they’re also really talented. The defense isn’t great, but it’s good enough, and the Burrow/Chase/Mixon trio could do some damage in this game.
49ers over Packers: I’ll admit to being a homer with this pick. The 49ers could win this outright or they could lose by 20 and neither result would shock me. However, they’ve got the ground game and defense to stay in this one. The two biggest issues facing the 49ers are the cold and Davante Adams. The 49ers cornerback depth chart is a mess, but with Nick Bosa expected to play after suffering a concussion last weekend, the 49ers pass rush could be the key in this one.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.