The 2023 NFL Playoffs roll on into the divisional round with just eight teams still standing in the hunt for Super Bowl 57. Six of the top eight postseason seeds remain alive, as do six of the seven teams that entered the playoffs with the best regular-season record. It should be a wildly entertaining weekend and another great opportunity for us to make our best spread, moneyline, over/under, and prop bets.
All season, we have carefully selected bets from BetMGM that not only strike us as intriguing but also seem like the best value for our money. We dive deep into split stats, betting trends, and advanced data to find angles and edges to attack. This is the time of year when truly strong teams deliver and the less efficient squads go home.
We cleaned up last week, hitting on five of six of our favorite bets. Take a look at our successes from wild-card weekend:
|Cowboys||@ Bucs||-2.5 (-110)||DAL 31-14|
|49ers||vs. Seahawks||-9.5 (-110)||SF 41-23|
|Cowboys||@ Bucs||ML (-145)||DAL 31-14|
|Chargers||@ Jaguars||O 47.5 (-110)||JAX 31-30|
|Bengals||vs. Ravens||CIN by 7-12 (+340)||CIN 24-17|
Talk about a successful round. If you bet $100 on every bet we recommended last week, you would have walked away with a profit of nearly $500. If you had parlayed the five hits, you would have crushed the sportsbooks for over $5,000!
Let’s keep the good times rolling and ride into the second stage of the postseason with the confidence of the Bills at Orchard Park. Here are our best bets for the divisional round of the 2023 NFL Playoffs.
Best NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Bets: Against the spread
All odds are courtesy of BetMGM.
Bengals (+5.5) at Bills
Look, we get the consternation shown by the betting public when it comes to backing Cincinnati at Orchard Park. The Bengals will be missing multiple offensive linemen, and Buffalo has lost just one home game since the start of the 2022 season. However, we must also consider the fact that Joe Burrow has helped Cincy cover 19 spreads over his past 24 starts. He went on an improbable run in the Bengals’ blitz to the Super Bowl last season, cementing his “Joey Brr” legacy as a cool, calm, collected QB at home or on the road. Remember, we don’t need a win here — we just need Zac Taylor’s guys to lose by less than a touchdown. Considering the Bengals have covered in each of the past three games they were 5.5-point underdogs or greater, we’re going with the 70 percent of sharp bettors and backing Cincinnati here.
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Giants (+7.5) at Eagles
Giants head coach Brian Daboll deserves a ton of credit. Plenty of us questioned whether his QB guru skills would translate to success for Daniel Jones and the Giants. Well, now that Daboll has led the G-men to their first playoff victory since the year Eli Manning led the organization to its last Super Bowl win (2011), it’s safe to say he’s the real deal. Many similarities actually exist between that 2011 squad and this current one: Good but not great QB, solid running game, no Pro Bowl receivers, feisty defense, great coaching, and relatively easy postseason path. Sorry, Eagles fans, but let’s face it: Jalen Hurts (shoulder) is ailing. After starting the season 13-1, Philly closed out the campaign losing to Dallas and New Orleans, then barely eking by this same Giants squad 22-16 to retain the No. 1 seed. Now we expect Hurts to all of a sudden be 100 percent and help the Eagles blow out the Giants? Nah, I don’t see it happening. Philadelphia could easily win this game — Nick Sirianni’s squad has gone 7-2 at home this season — but the Eagles have also failed to cover in four of the past five games in which they were favored by seven-plus points. Buy some points if you want some extra insurance, but we’re backing Daboll and his feisty ‘dogs this weekend.
Other divisional-round spreads we’re considering: Cowboys +4 at 49ers; Chiefs -9 vs. Jaguars
MORE PLAYOFFS: Power Rankings
Best NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Bets: Moneyline
Bills (-190) vs. Bengals (1st half)
You’re reading this right — I just picked Buffalo to lead at the half of a game in which I already told you to bet against the Bills on the full-game spread. Hear me out: Buffalo has scored 15.8 points per first half this season, the second-most in the NFL, and just put 20 on the Dolphins in the first 30 minutes of its wild-card win over Miami. Conversely, the Bengals have averaged just 11 first-half points in away games this season, and just put up nine points across the first two frames of their wild-card win over the Ravens. Burrow and company are a second-half squad, scoring the sixth-most points per second half in the NFL, and I expect the Bengals to mount a close-but-no-cigar comeback against the high-flying Bills.
Other divisional-round moneylines we would entertain: 49ers -165 1H vs. Cowboys; Giants +275 at Eagles (modest wager)
Best NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Bet: Over/under
Cowboys at 49ers: OVER 46 (-110)
In my Cowboys-49ers betting preview, I ultimately picked the Niners to win 27-24, and while I wouldn’t go betting the deed to my brand-new house on an OVER of 50.5 here, I would feel pretty comfortable putting my certified pre-owned Camry on the OVER of 46. San Francisco has averaged a whopping 34.6 points per game since the Legend of Brock Purdy began in Week 13, and the Cowboys have averaged a nearly-as-impressive 32.3 points per game since getting Dak Prescott back from his hand injury in Week 7. Both Dan Quinn’s Cowboys D and DeMeco Ryans’ Niners D are great units, so we can understand why much of the betting public is on the UNDER, but we’ll go with the 72 percent of sharp money and bet on this one being more of an offensive firefight than a defensive battle.
Chiefs vs. Jaguars: UNDER 53 (-110)
The Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence-led Jaguars have been one of the best storylines in the AFC this season. What a difference good coaching makes, huh Urban Meyer? However, I think this projected total reveals that the oddsmakers are giving the Jags a little too much credit while not giving the Chiefs’ defense enough respect. The Chiefs have surrendered just 15.6 points per game over their past three games, and Dec. 11 was the last time a Kansas City opponent exceeded 200 passing yards. The Jags’ good times might come to an end at Arrowhead, where KC has won by an average of 25.1-19.4 since the start of 2022, but the future looks bright for Lawrence and company.
Other divisional-round over/under bets worth a look: Bengals-Bills OVER 49 (-110); Giants-Eagles UNDER 48 (-110)
Best NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Bet: Prop
Chiefs vs. Jaguars: Travis Kelce anytime TD (-135)
Still one of the most clutch offensive players in the NFL, Kelce deserves even more MVP consideration as many gave Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill this season. Patrick Mahomes did not skip a beat this year, and will very likely take down MVP honors in large part because of Kelce’s dominating presence. All said, the All-Pro hauled in 12 TDs, second in the NFL behind the Raiders’ Davante Adams. Expect more prime-time greatness from the stud tight end this weekend. Jacksonville allowed the fourth-most receiving yards and ninth-most TDs to the tight end position this season and won’t have an answer for Arrowhead’s finest.