NFL Playoff Picks 2023: Odds, Prop Bets, Predictions for Final Divisional Games

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2023

NFL Playoff Picks 2023: Odds, Prop Bets, Predictions for Final Divisional Games

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    Bills QB Josh Allen
    Bills QB Josh AllenBryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

    The 2022-23 edition of the NFL's divisional round hasn't been quite as thrilling as Super Wild Card Weekend.

    The Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars played a tight oneโ€”a game that was impacted by Patrick Mahomes' first-half ankle injury. However, the nightcap between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants wasn't remotely close.

    The Eagles jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and did not look back. Their 38-7 victory was as decisive as any we've seen in the postseason to this point.

    With the Chiefs and the Eagles moving on, each conference's No. 1 seed will await the winners of Sunday's games. Two good ones are on tap, with the Buffalo Bills hosting the Cincinnati Bengals early and the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Dallas Cowboys late.

    How might the final divisional games unfold? Below, you'll find a look at the latest odds from DraftKings Sportsbook, some predictions and a few enticing prop bets to consider.

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

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    Bengals QB Joe Burrow
    Bengals QB Joe BurrowIan Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Where: Highmark Stadium, Buffalo

    When: 3 p.m. ET

    TV and Live Stream: CBS, CBS Sports App

    Line and Over/Under: BUF -5.5, 48.5


    While the Chiefs claimed the AFC's top seed, Buffalo and Cincinnati entered the playoffs as the two hottest teams in the conference. Buffalo has now won seven straight, while the Bengals have notched nine consecutive victories.

    However, the latest wins by these two contenders were not decisive. The Bills narrowly survived the rival Miami Dolphins in a 34-31 contest. The Bengals escaped the rival Baltimore Ravens 24-17, thanks in no small part to Sam Hubbard's 98-yard fumble return for the winning score.

    The Bengals and Bills played fairly sloppy games over Super Wild Card Weekend, which led to tight wins. this one should be close too, though for an entirely different reason.

    Both the Bills and Bengals have solid defenses and even better offenses. The quarterback battle between Josh Allen and Joe Burrow should be one of the best of the postseason, and the game will be highlighted by the likes of Ja'Marr Chase, Stefon Diggs, Tee Higgins and Dawson Knox.

    If there's an edge to be found by either team, it's this. Cincinnati is set to be without starting offensive linemen La'el Collins, Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams. The Bengals, though don't believe it will greatly impact their game plan.

    "I wouldn't say it's overly disruptive," offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said, per Mitch Stacy of the Associated Press. "I mean those guys still know what we're doing and how we're doing it."

    The Bengals are a young, resilient team, and they've navigated the postseason with an unreliable offensive line beforeโ€”Burrow was sacked 19 times in last year's playoffs. The prediction here is that Cincinnati finds a way to overcome adversity once again and sets up a second consecutive AFC Championship showdown with the Chiefs.

    Prediction: Bengals 31, Bills 29

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

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    49ers QB Brock Purdy
    49ers QB Brock PurdyThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara

    When: 6:30 p.m. ET

    TV and Live Stream: Fox, Fox Sports App

    Line and Over/Under: SF -4, 46.5


    While neither the Bengals nor the Bills looked particularly good in the wild-card round, the 49ers and Cowboys both looked spectacular.

    Dallas stymied Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 31-14 rout that felt perhaps more lopsided than the score might indicate. Brady and the Bucs got nothing going on offense early, while Dak Prescott and the Cowboys repeatedly hit big plays.

    The 49ers got off to a slow start versus the rival Seattle Seahawks. However, their top-ranked defense surged late, while rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and the offense poured on the points.

    San Francisco faced a one-point deficit at halftime but finished with a 41-23 victory.

    This game shouldn't be a lopsided one. Both teams boast complete rosters and have clear paths to victory.

    Dallas, which led the league with 33 turnovers in the regular season, can win by forcing Purdy into rookie mistakes and taking the football away. San Francisco can win by getting a clean game from their signal-caller and attacking the Cowboys' 22nd-ranked run defense.

    While this one could go either way, we'll give the edge to the home team. Purdy has done nothing to suggest that the playoffs are too big for him, and San Francisco's defense has very few weaknesses. Combine that with Prescott's penchant for turnovers (15 interceptions in 12 games), and you have the recipe for an ever-so-close cover.

    Prediction: 49ers 26, Cowboys 20

Top Props for Sunday

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    Bengals RB Joe Mixon
    Bengals RB Joe MixonIan Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Joe Mixon Over 47.5 Rushing Yards

    While Burrow, Chase and the Bengals' passing offense will be front and center on Sunday afternoon, Cincinnati won't stand a chance if it cannot bring some balance to the offense. This means leaning on running back Joe Mixon.

    Mixon, who is -115 (bet $115 to win $100) hasn't been consistent on the ground this season. He's averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in the regular season and had seven games with fewer than 48 rushing yards.

    However, running Mixon early and often is one way Cincinnati can help offset its lack of top-end pass protection. The Bills, meanwhile, have allowed 4.3 yards per carry, 14th in the NFL.

    As long as Cincinnati keeps this game close, Mixon will be a factor and should approach 50-plus rushing yards.


    Tyler Boyd Over 3.5 Receptions

    The Bengals won't abandon the pass, and they should look to their veteran receiver, Tyler Boyd, frequently.

    Boyd, who is -110 to top 3.5 receptions, has often been overshadowed by Chase and Higgins, However, he can still take over the occasional game when it's necessary. Against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7, for example, he caught eight passes for 155 yards and one touchdown.

    Against the Ravens in Week 18, he caught five passes for 51 yards.

    With Chase likely to see a lot of star corner Tre'Davious White and a fair bit of double coverage, complementary receivers like Boyd will have to play a prominent role. Don't be surprised to see Boyd catch a half-dozen passes on Sunday.


    Brock Purdy Over 1.5 Touchdown Passes

    Will Purdy fare better against the Cowboys defense than Brady did? That remains to be seen, but picking him to throw at least two touchdown passesโ€”he's -125 to do soโ€”feels like the safest wager in the night game.

    The Cowboys' fifth-ranked scoring defense is quite good, but it's been susceptible to the pass at times. Dallas ranks an impressive eighth in passing yards allowed but a more modest 14th in passing touchdowns allowed (23 in the regular season).

    Purdy, meanwhile, has thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of his six starts this year (including postseason). He threw for three in the wild-card round, and it would be a mild surprise if he doesn't throw for multiple scores on Sunday.

    Even though he was smothered by the Dallas defense last Monday, Brady still tossed a pair of touchdown strikes. Expect Purdy to do the same.


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