NFL Playoff Odds 2019: Divisional Round Picks and Super Bowl Predictions

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2019

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 30: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on during the game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

No matter which route each of the eight teams took to the 2019 NFL divisional round, each faces the same path forward.

Two more wins are all that stands between these squads and a spot in Super Bowl LIII.

Will underdogs continue defying the odds after a 3-1 start in the Wild Card Round? Or will the better-rested favorites flex their muscles on their home fields?

We'll look at everything here, including schedule particulars, divisional-round picks and Super Bowl predictions.


Divisional-Round Schedule

All times ET

Saturday, January 12

No. 6 Indianapolis Colts at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (4:35 p.m., NBC)

No. 4 Dallas Cowboys at No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (8:15 p.m., Fox)


Sunday, January 13

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No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers at No. 2 New England Patriots (1:05 p.m., CBS)

No. 6 Philadelphia Eagles at No. 1 New Orleans Saints (4:40 p.m., Fox)


Divisional-Round Picks

Chiefs 34, Colts 30

Rams 27, Cowboys 17

Chargers 31, Patriots 27

Saints 31, Eagles 20


Super Bowl Predictions

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Our divisional-round picks left us with an all-AFC West conference championship, as the Chargers and Chiefs would face off for the third time this season. That's just as well, since their 1-1 regular-season series could use a tiebreaker, anyway.

For Kansas City, knocking off L.A. for a second time would require a monster outing from Tyreek Hill. The speedster torched the Chargers for 169 receiving yards and two scores in the Chiefs' win but was limited to just 41 scrimmage yards and zero scores in their loss.

While the Chargers defense is strong enough to contain Hill again, there's just too much talent between Hill and Patrick Mahomes to think they won't connect on at least a couple huge gains. Our crystal ball says that connection will be what lifts the Chiefs into the championship around.

Awaiting them will be the Saints, who will be pushed but not knocked down by the Rams.

Drew Brees is the main motivation behind that pick, with the Future Hall of Famer enjoying a decent-sized advantage over his counterpart, Jared Goff. (And that's saying something, because Goff can sling it.)

But the Saints also have the better defense and the most explosive receiver in the matchup (Michael Thomas), plus they could keep the rushing battle close (if not win it) behind the electric tandem of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

So, we're left with the top seed from each conference, which isn't the boldest prediction you'll ever hear but would be a dream matchup for football fans.

Mahomes vs. Brees would be everything. It would be this season's most prolific passer (second in yards, first in scores) against history's most prolific passer. It would be the virtuosic improvisation and rocket arm of Mahomes against the surgical precision and pinpoint accuracy of Brees.

Butch Dill/Associated Press

It would almost certainly be the MVP against the MVP runner-up, too—unless voters let them share the honor.

"The fact is both Brees and Mahomes deserve the award," Jeff Duncan wrote for "They both enjoyed MVP seasons. They both produced one of the five best passing seasons in NFL history."

They'd both be fantastic Super Bowl showmen, too. But which would have the edge?

Each team rosters multiple players defensive coordinators might admit off the record are basically unguardable.

Hill runs like he's trying to break the land speed record. Travis Kelce is too big for cornerbacks and too fast for other positions. Thomas has the hands and the fight to turn 50-50 balls into 90-10 odds in his favor. Kamara can score at any time from almost any position. Ingram has power, speed and more versatility than the average fan might think.

Neither defense is elite, but the Saints fared better in nearly all facets. That said, the Chiefs had two players among the top-10 sack leaders in Chris Jones and Dee Ford, plus they have a dynamic player on the back end when Eric Berry is healthy.

In other words, this probably shapes up to be a can't-miss coin flip. If forced to choose, though, we'd take Brees and the Saints to be the last ones standing after a Super Bowl shootout.   


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