Best NFL Bets Today for Saturday’s Playoff Games: Are the Ravens and 49ers Locks To Win in the Divisional Round?

Can C.J. Stroud and Jordan Love pull off upsets for another week? Our betting experts give their best NFL bets for today's playoff games.

Today marks the first day of the NFL Divisional Round, and both games feature the top seeds in each conference — the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Can they avoid an upset to two young but very talented quarterbacks, C.J. Stroud and Jordan Love, respectively?

Our betting experts share their best NFL bets for today’s action.

Best NFL Bets Today for Saturday’s Playoff Games

All odds are from ESPN BET — sign up today and use promo code PFN when registering to secure $150 in bonus bets!

Texans vs. Ravens Predictions

  • Spread
    Ravens -9.5
  • Moneyline
    Texans +340, Ravens -420
  • Total

David Bearman: I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Houston Texans last weekend as I thought the Cleveland Browns’ league-leading defense could stop a rookie quarterback, even one as good as Stroud.

Now, this young Texans team will travel to face the top-seeded Ravens and their top-10 defense.

This is a lot of points to lay, but Baltimore won by double digits in nine of its 13 wins, including Week 1 over Houston. The Texans proved last week that they’re up for the playoff challenge, and considering the Ravens’ lack of postseason success with Lamar Jackson, I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept it close.

MORE: NFL QB Power Rankings — Divisional Round

The Ravens’ biggest improvement this season has been on offense under Todd Monken. Excluding Week 18’s scrimmage, Baltimore scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games to end the season. For the season, they finished fourth in scoring at 28.4 points per game.

Not only does Baltimore have a strong offense, but we saw Houston put up a ton of points last week themselves. I expect points in this one.

Pick: Over 43.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Brian Blewis: Looks like I’m heads up with Bearman on this game.

Since these teams first played each other in Week 1, Stroud has already ascended to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, putting together one of the most impressive rookie seasons at the position in league history.

However, one trend that started in Week 1 and carried over for much of the season, was his struggles on the road.

  • In eight home games:
    • 6-2 record, 310.8 yards per game, 17 touchdowns, 65.47 completion percentage, 8.94 yards per attempt, 108.3 QB rating
  • In seven road games:
    • 3-4 record, 231.7 yards per game, six touchdowns, 61.99 completion percentage, 7.34 yards per attempt, 91.5 QB rating

Specifically, Stroud performed much worse in his five outdoor games this season, where he threw just three touchdowns in five games and tallied a QB rating of 85.1. Unlike this past week, when he played at home and indoors, Stroud will be going against an elite Ravens defense in Baltimore.

While we saw the Ravens blow out multiple playoff teams during the regular season, I’m more comfortable taking the under than backing them as a heavy favorite here. A high-scoring game would be the most surprising outcome to me.

Pick: Under 43.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Kyle Soppe: The Ravens’ defense isn’t one to mess with; it’s really that simple. They were the top-scoring unit in the league this season and the best among playoff teams on a per-play basis. They’re a bottom-10 team in both blitz and pressure rate, instead preferring to take their medicine in the short pass game and dare opponents to kill them with 1,000 paper cuts.

This season, Baltimore has allowed opponents to post a 40.3 passer rating on deep passes. That’s not just the lowest mark this season; it’s the third-best over the past nine seasons.

MORE: Mark Andrews Injury Update

Nico Collins is a bonafide big-play threat, but with Tank Dell and Noah Brown both on injured reserve (IR), the Ravens should be positioned to focus on preventing him from the splash play. In 2023, Collins has seven games with multiple deep receptions and nine without…

  • With (seven games): 49 catches for 980 yards and seven TDs (140 yards/game)
  • Without (nine games): 37 catches for 413 yards and two TDs (45.9 yards/game)

In those nine games without multiple deep receptions, Collins hasn’t cleared 80 yards once and has been held to 65 or less even times. I love where this Texans team is headed long term; this is just a difficult matchup for an offense operating at less than full strength.

Pick: Nico Collins under 82.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)

Jason Katz: It’s always a bit risky taking an under on a running back playing on the team likely to have a positive game script in the fourth quarter. However, Houston has been a brutal opponent for running backs all season. They allow a league-low 3.3 yards per carry to the position.

When these teams met back in Week 1, which, admittedly, is ancient history at this point, Gus Edwards carried the ball eight times for 32 yards. J.K. Dobbins was healthy that game, too. He had eight carries for 22 yards.

Oh, and Justice Hill was also involved. He had eight carries but amassed a whopping nine yards. The Ravens won that game by 16 points, leading wire-to-wire. Even if this week’s game is more of the same, with the Ravens in control throughout, you still can’t run on the Texans.

Pick: Gus Edwards under 50.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

Ben Rolfe: The Ravens laying nine points after essentially a two-week layoff for their offense is a little rich for my blood. I fully expect we may see some early rustiness for the offense that will need to be shaken off.

It would be a major surprise if Baltimore doesn’t win, but nine points is too many. However, I would prefer to avoid the Texans, just because when it goes wrong for them, it tends to really go wrong. Therefore, my play here is to tease the Ravens down to a -3.5 spread and take the total down to 37.5, where I can take the over.

Pick: Ravens -3.5 and Over 43.5 six-point teaser (-103 at ESPN BET)

Packers vs. 49ers Predictions

  • Spread
    49ers -9.5
  • Moneyline
    Packers +360, 49ers -450
  • Total

Bearman: I love the Packers and what Love (see what I did there?) have done this season, but with all due respect to the Cowboys, this is a step up in class for a very young team.

The 49ers won by double digits in 11 of 12 wins during the regular season (and the one that didn’t was a late field goal by the Rams), so I’m not worried about covering a big number here.

They’re better across the board, have more experience, and are well-rested. When healthy, they’re hard to beat.

Pick: 49ers -9.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Blewis: I’m with Bearman here. I have a feeling this game is going to serve as a reminder about how good this San Francisco team is, with another lopsided victory over a playoff team.

As Bearman mentioned, the 49ers’ only win of one score or less during the regular season was due to a meaningless field goal as time expired. During the season, when San Francisco was at full strength, we saw the 49ers beat up on playoff teams like the Steelers, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Eagles by an average margin of victory of 22.8 points.

MORE: Divisional Round Predictions, ATS Picks

The Packers’ upset over the Cowboys was impressive, but I don’t think they have much of a chance against the Niners. It would be shocking to see San Francisco’s defense implode like Dallas did, and I don’t have any faith in Green Bay’s defense shutting down their offense.

I pounced on the 49ers when the spread inexplicably dropped to eight points at ESPN BET — but I would recommend this up to 10.

Pick: 49ers -9.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Soppe: The 49ers are a big favorite in this spot, and part of that is how their passing game matches up with the Packers. For the season, Green Bay creates pressure at the sixth-highest rate, a defensive style that a quick-striking San Francisco pass game could dismantle in short order.

But wait, there’s more. The Packers rank 25th in opponent completion percentage when pressured and 24th in opponent aDOT (average depth of target) in those pressured spots. Those trends point in the direction of the Niners’ all-world RB.

Catch rate when Brock Purdy is pressured:

  • Christian McCaffrey: 68.8%
  • Brandon Aiyuk: 63.3%
  • George Kittle: 57.7%
  • Deebo Samuel: 52.0%

Targets per route when Purdy is pressured:

  • Christian McCaffrey: 22.9%
  • Brandon Aiyuk: 19.6%
  • Deebo Samuel: 19.0%
  • George Kittle: 16.0%

It’s rarely a bad idea to look at CMC with optimism, and this specific matchup should be viewed no differently!

Pick: Christian McCaffrey over 4.5 receptions (+106 at FanDuel)

Soppe: Love has Cheeseheads across the globe optimistic that the franchise has landed on a third straight franchise quarterback. That may be true (I still need to be sold, but the early returns are certainly encouraging), though seeing it out west isn’t statistically likely.

Four times this season, a QB reached 270 passing yards against the 49ers. In each of those instances, they kept picking at a scab created by an alpha target earner.

  • Week 2 (no Cooper Kupp) — Puka Nacua: 15 catches (38.5% target share)
  • Week 7 (no Justin Jefferson) — T.J. Hockenson: 10 catches (27.9% share)
  • Week 8 — Ja’Marr Chase: 10 catches (37.5% share)
  • Week 13 — A.J. Brown: 8 catches (31% share)

We all like the direction of this Love pass game, but there’s no denying that this Packers offense, at the moment, lacks an alpha receiver that can take over a game like what we saw in the above instances.

  • Average top GB earner, 2023: 23.9% target share
    • Average top GB earner, since Week 6 bye: 22.3% target share

Outside of those standout performances, San Francisco gives up just 193.6 yards through the air per game and only 6.0 yards per attempt. At that per pass production, Love would have to throw at least 42 passes, something he hasn’t done since September (Week 3 vs. Saints).

Pick: Jordan Love under 250.5 passing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

Rolfe: This line for Brandon Aiyuk immediately stood out to me when talking about a WR that had over 100 receiving yards in three of the final four games that mattered for the 49ers this season. Aiyuk did play in the final game of the season, but that can hardly be held against him, given the lack of talent surrounding him.

MORE: Updated Super Bowl 58 Odds

Aiyuk has proven himself to be a crucial part of this offense, topping 100 yards in seven of his 16 games and going over 70 yards in eight of them. The Packers’ defense allowed an average of 171.25 yards per game to WRs in the final four weeks of the season, so I expect Aiyuk to breeze past the 70-yard mark.

Given he also got to six receptions in three of those four games, that matters, over 5.5 receptions at +165 is also something I may jump on ahead of kickoff.

Pick: Aiyuk over 69.5 receiving yards (-110 at ESPN BET)

Katz: Anyone can pop off for a huge reception, leading to him finishing with the most receiving yards in the Divisional Round. But realistically, one of the five favorites should probably win it.

Aiyuk is listed behind the likes of Amon-Ra St. Brown, Collins, Rashee Rice, and Mike Evans. Is Aiyuk likely to lead the weekend receiving? Of course not. But should he be priced this far behind Collins? I don’t think so.

Aiyuk is the 49ers WR1. Their game against the Packers has the highest total of the slate. He topped 100 yards receiving in seven games this season. I think there’s good value on Aiyuk here.

Pick: Aiyuk to lead the weekend in receiving yards (+950 at DraftKings)

Our Betting Lines page has the freshest lines and promos to get BANG for your buck. PFN’s FREE Parlay Calculator and Betting Odds Calculator are also available for your betting process! New to sports betting? Check out our guide on How to Bet on the NFL. Visit our Sports Betting Legal Tracker on how to bet legally in the U.S.

Listen to the PFN Betting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Betting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Betting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles