The Divisional Round is set to start this weekend, with two games Saturday and two games Sunday.
When you look at the matchups, there are two, in particular, where you should consider taking the over in points. Here, we break them down.
The point total in this one, currently set at 57, is the highest of the weekend. Don’t let that discourage you from taking the over.
The Browns-Chiefs game on Sunday should be a blowout. It’s the perfect recipe. Both teams have potent offenses and vulnerable defenses.
When you compare rushing and passing matchups, both teams have distinct advantages in each, a clear sign that big plays are coming.
The Browns offensive attack starts with the running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who are the focal point of the offense and had strong seasons. Both have surpassed 1,000 total yards and scored at least 11 touchdowns.
Now, the Browns rushing game gets a Chiefs run defense ranked 31st in DVOA rankings.
Cleveland is averaging 25.4 points per game on the year, while they let their opponents score 26.4 points per game.
It’s the Browns defense that mainly offers the value for the over here.
There should be no need to explain how dynamic the Chiefs offense is, last year’s Super Bowl champions, 14-2, led by MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City is scoring nearly 30 points per game, and Mahomes is leaning on his two star pass-catchers (Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill) to manufacture big plays throughout the game.
The Browns secondary had to weather some losses last week against Pittsburgh, and while they’re getting some players back - it’s tough to judge what a week off will do for the corners. Back on duty, their first assignment is the speedster Hill, who’s racked up 1,276 yards and 15 touchdowns during the regular season.
The Browns are known to get in track meets and have the offensive firepower to stick with the Chiefs, at least at first. In a game with so many advantages for each offensive unit, don’t expect to see many punts. Perfect for the over.
Consider taking Browns-Chiefs over 57
When looking for overs, I find it best to target games where each offense has an opportunity to move the ball. The Baltimore-Buffalo game on Saturday night fits the bill, with a projected points total of 49.5.
For the Ravens, they have a significant advantage on the ground. Pro Football Focus grades out their rushing attack as third-best in the NFL, while the Bills rush defense comes in at 31st in the league. That’s a significant advantage, and for a team that is built to run first, they’re well-positioned to move the ball and score touchdowns.
All three of Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins, and Gus Edwards could be in for a big day.
Meanwhile, Buffalo is around the aerial attack - and Josh Allen has been playing at an MVP-level. With Buffalo’s loaded receiver room, I’d expect the Bills to move the ball against the Ravens' secondary.
While the defense has been good, don’t confuse Baltimore with its elite defenses of years past. The Bills passing game is the best unit on the field this weekend. Allen will find Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown, and Gabriel Davis just as he has all year, and this game should be fun to watch.
Consider taking Ravens-Bills over 49.5