Eli’s NFL Divisional Round Picks: My Favorite Against The Spread Bets

Written By Eli Hershkovich on January 22, 2023 - Last Updated on January 27, 2023
NFL picks

After going 49-29 (+18.71 units) with my NFL picks to date, let’s try to keep things rolling. Below are my bets for Divisional Round odds, including Bengals at Bills and Cowboys at 49ers.

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Bengals at Bills: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Many bettors will point to Joe Burrow’s 12-3 record against the spread as an underdog of three points or more. But his protection will be an issue this time around, as Cincinnati won’t have left tackle Jonah Williams, right guard Alex Cappa nor right tackle La’el Collins at his disposal.

Couple that with Buffalo’s defense delivering an above-average pressure rate. Even without Von Miller (torn ACL), the Bills have enough up front to wreck havoc. However, they’ll mainly need to do so without blitzing, as Burrow boasts the seventh-ranked accuracy rating under pressure this season.

Although I won’t have a pregame wager on this game, I’ll look live bet Buffalo at -2.5 (-110) or better for the first of my NFL picks.

Related: Super Bowl 57 Odds

Beat The Closing Line: NFL Divisional Round Preview

Cowboys at 49ers: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Rookie sensation Brock Purdy certainly ranks highly in the following categories ever since nabbing the starting role in Week 13:

  • No. 1 in YPA
  • No. 2 in Dropback EPA
  • No. 3 in Dropback EPA on play-action passes
  • No. 4 in Dropback EPA against the blitz

But Purdy also ranks No. 34 in “danger plays,” which accounts for when a QB took an unnecessary risk that could have resulted in a turnover. In short, his success has centered around facing subpar defenses. That’s worth noting when factoring in his 24th-rated CPOE, measuring how much higher (or lower) a QB’s completion percentage is relative to the expectation — based on the types of throws they’ve attempted. 

I’m willing to sell high on his stock against Dallas, which is tallying the highest pressure rate across the NFL. Expect it to force Purdy into a handful of mistakes, as Dan Quinn’s unit is collectively the best defense he’s faced thus far.

Meanwhile, San Francisco’s zone setup should also aid the red-hot Prescott. He owns the 13th-ranked passer rating against zone looks, as opposed to ranking No. 32 in that department versus man coverage.

For the second of my NFL picks, I went with the Cowboys over the key number of a field goal.

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