Best NFL Bets Today for Sunday’s Playoff Games: Bet on the Lions and Bills as Divisional Round Home Favorites?

With two playoff games left this weekend, there's plenty more bets to be made. In our best NFL bets, our experts give out the top picks for today's action.

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions kick off today’s NFL Divisional Round action, the most anticipated playoff game of the weekend takes place this evening between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.

In our best NFL bets today, our team of NFL betting experts share their favorite picks for today’s Divisional Round action. Will Josh Allen and the Bills get their revenge against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs after their devastating playoff loss in overtime two years ago? We break it all down.

Best NFL Bets Today for Sunday’s Playoff Games

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Buccaneers vs. Lions Predictions

  • Spread
    Lions -6.5
  • Moneyline
    Buccaneers +250, Lions -300
  • Total
    48.5

Soppe: The Buccaneers have gone 15 straight games without allowing a rush to gain more than 20 yards, the longest such streak since the Chicago Bears ripped off 16 straight, bridging the 2000 and 2001 seasons, Brian Urlacher’s introduction to the NFL.

Both Baker Mayfield and Jared Goff are playing at an elite level, but these run defenses have been as consistent as anything, which leads to an early prop angle if you’re so inclined. Jahmyr Gibbs is in the 2024 fantasy football first-round discussion, but with a healthy David Montgomery, the rookie averages just 12.4 carries per game when the Lions are favored.

If we are to assume that the splash run is going to be difficult to come by, Gibbs is in a tough spot to make the most of limited volume — under 46.5 rushing yards in seven of eight games this season when failing to notch a run of 20+ yards.

Pick: Jahmyr Gibbs under 46.5 rushing yards (-110 at DraftKings)

Bearman: I correctly picked the Rams to keep it close against the Lions last week, but I also think they’re a much better team than the Buccaneers. Yes, they just blew out the Eagles, but who hasn’t over the last month of the season?

This is the same Bucs team that struggled to beat Carolina twice and needed a rally against the Falcons to keep their hopes alive. While they’re hot, winners of six of their last seven, so are the Lions, who will be playing at home once again.

This matchup wasn’t close in Tampa in Week 6, and I don’t think this game will be any different.

Pick: Lions -6.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Blewis: I’m having a really hard time picking a side in this matchup, as I’m not a believer in either team.

On one hand, the Buccaneers beat up on an Eagles team that quit on the season, as they looked completely disinterested in winning that game.

The Lions meanwhile, were outplayed by the Rams last week despite their 24-23 win. The Rams gained 91 more yards of offense and 1.6 more yards per play, but settled for field goals in their three red zone trips, and got the shorthand of the officiating, as the Lions got bailed out by a couple of non-calls defensively.

Having said all of that, the Lions are playing a worse team than they defeated last week, and I’m pretty confident they can beat the Buccaneers at home. The only issue is, that this spread is a little too for my liking, so I’m going to put the Lions in a 6-point teaser with the Chiefs. That way, all I need is for the Lions to win, and for the Chiefs to not lose by nine points or more.

Pick: Lions -0.5, Chiefs +8.5 (-120 at DraftKings)

Katz: Sam LaPorta suffered a scary-looking knee injury in the Detroit Lions’ Week 18 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Fortunately, he escaped with just a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise. He probably would’ve missed last week’s game had it been a random regular-season game, but in the playoffs, he played through the injury.

LaPorta wasn’t 100%, but he still played 80% of the snaps. Most importantly, he made it through the game without a setback.

Heading into the Divisional Round, LaPorta was already practicing fully on a Wednesday. I’m expecting him to be much more involved this week than he was last week when he caught just three passes for 14 yards.

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LaPorta saw 11 targets when these teams played back in Week 6. He only caught four passes but still reached 36 yards, more than his line for this week.

The Bucs allowed 63 receiving yards per game to tight ends this season, just one yard per game behind the Denver Broncos for the most in the league. The way to beat the Bucs is through the air. Jared Goff should be airing it out plenty, and when the ball isn’t going in Amon-Ra St. Brown’s direction, it is probably going to LaPorta. I think we win this in the first half.

Pick: Sam LaPorta over 34.5 receiving yards (-110 at BetMGM)

Katz: Rachaad White has gone over 15.5 rush attempts in 10 games this season, including last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. So, why are we on his under? Let’s look at what those 10 games have in common. The Bucs won nine of them.

In losses, White went over this number just once. That outlier game was Week 9 against the Houston Texans where the Bucs were leading for the first three quarters.

The Bucs are 6.5-point underdogs on the road against the Lions this week. Additionally, the Lions are a pass-funnel defense. They allow the second-most passing yards per game, but the fewest rushing yards per game. The Bucs are not going to run White into a wall over and over again.

This season, the Bucs registered a 58% neutral game script pass rate. They throw when the game is competitive and run to salt it away. Unless the Bucs surprise us all and take a lead into the second half against the Lions, I expect White to finish in the 10-12 carry range.

Pick: Rachaad White under 15.5 rush attempts (-110 at BetMGM)

Chiefs vs. Bills Predictions

  • Spread
    Bills -3
  • Moneyline
    Chiefs +130, Bills -150
  • Total
    45.5

Soppe: For his career, Mahomes is 8-1-1 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog with over tickets cashing in seven of those 10 contests.

In those 10 games, the Chiefs have cleared their team total by at least eight points eight times. I’m aware that #BillsMafia will point to their Week 6 meeting last season (the Bills covered as a 1.5-point road favorite and held the Chiefs 5.75 points under expectation), but that has proven to be the exception, not the norm.

So what wins out? The potential of these proven offenses or the form of these defenses (both top five in points allowed per game since Week 13)?

Over the past 20 playoff games, with a projected total north of 45 points and a spread of no more than a field goal (in either direction), road teams are 12-7-1 ATS (11-1 outright in those 12 covers).

Pick: Chiefs ML (+130 at ESPN BET)

Bearman: After a season of doubting both teams, we’re right back where we thought we would be with a Chiefs vs. Bills playoff game.

Kansas City might’ve won the previous two playoff games between them, but they were both at home. This is Patrick Mahomes’ first road playoff game, and Orchard Park would certainly not be his first choice.

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The Bills are playing better than anyone right now, especially the Chiefs, despite their win over a defeated Dolphins team in the Wild Card round. Against the Bills, they won’t win settling for field goals like they did last weekend.

Much like the previous meetings between these two teams, I expect this to be another close contest, but with Buffalo heading to their first AFC Championship Game since losing to the Chiefs in the 2021 postseason.

Pick: Bills -2.5 (-120 at DraftKings)

Blewis: This has all of the makings of a coin flip game, so it’s really difficult to pick a side in this one. Instead, I’m going to take the under in a game featuring the two best quarterbacks in the NFL.

These offenses aren’t nearly as explosive as they were when they last played each other in the postseason two years ago, when they combined for 78 points, with 25 of them coming in the final two minutes of regulation.

Although the Bills and Chiefs were each top-10 offenses by total yards during the regular season, they have each been led by their defenses in recent weeks. In the Bills’ five-game winning streak to end the season, they were the seventh-best defense in the NFL by EPA/play. Before that, in the seven weeks since losing several key defensive players to injury, they were 21st.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ offense has lacked the explosiveness we’ve been used to seeing from Patrick Mahomes and company. During the regular season, they scored just 21.8 points per game, which is more than a touchdown less than their worst scoring average in the Mahomes era. Given the high expectations for their offense, as well as their elite defense this season, unders have gone 5-13 in 18 Chiefs games this season, including last week in their win over the Dolphins.

When these teams last played each other a few weeks ago, they scored a combined 37 points and neither team had more than 350 yards of offense. Granted how familiar these two teams are with each other, I’m expecting a similar score this time around.

Pick: Under 45.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Katz: We hit on this bet last week. We’re going back to the well once more.

I understand why sportsbooks need to keep setting Stefon Diggs’ longest reception line at 20+ yards. It corresponds with Josh Allen’s passing yardage total and Diggs’ receiving yards total.

The same process I used last week applies this week. For those of you who may not have read last week’s blurb, or perhaps have forgotten, here it is again.

“On the season, Diggs has just 10 catches of 20+ yards. But here’s the kicker. Not one of them occurred in December (or January).

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In a game with a low projected point total in bad weather, this isn’t the spot where Diggs is suddenly going to break free for a deep one. If he takes a screen or breaks a tackle on a curl, so be it. That’s the only way I see us losing this.”

This week’s game doesn’t have a low point total or bad weather, but as it turned out, neither did last week’s. The game ended up being quite high-scoring and, while it was cold, the weather was not an issue.

When these teams met in Week 14, Diggs commanded a whopping 11 targets. He caught four passes for 24 yards. I am once again expecting a bunch of underneath stuff for Diggs, meaning even if he sees high target volume, he won’t catch a pass longer than 20 yards.

Pick: Stefon Diggs’s longest reception under 21.5 yards (-110 at DraftKings)

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