Just eight teams remain in the NFL playoffs and have their dreams of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy alive. As we turn the page from Super Wild Card Weekend to the divisional round, the No. 1 seeds are emerging from their bye week, injecting even more talent into the remaining pool of clubs. This weekend features a number of great quarterback matchups, including Patrick Mahomes playing in his first-ever road playoff game on Sunday night against Josh Allen, so you won’t want to miss a second of the action.
As we do every week, we’ve collected all of the best picks and gambling content from CBSSports.com and SportsLine and put them in one place, so you can get picks against the spread from our CBS Sports experts as well as additional feature content for each game, including plays from top SportsLine experts and the SportsLine Projection Model, best bets from our staff, survivor picks and more. Ready? Let’s jump in.
All NFL odds via SportsLine consensus odds.
Which picks can you make with confidence in the divisional round? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine, as its incredible model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and is up well over $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception.
Texans at Ravens
Time: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/ABC), stream on fubo (try for free)
Open: Ravens -9.5, O/U 46
SportsLine NFL expert Mike Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. He is also an amazing 48-18-2 on his past 68 picks involving the Ravens, returning a whopping $2,810. With that in mind, you’ll certainly want to see where he is leaning in this playoff matchup. That’s particularly true given that Tierney has found a key X-factor that has him backing one side of the spread. We can tell you he’s leaning Over the point total, but to see his spread pick you’ll have to go to SportsLine.
“I’ll be honest, besides the Cowboys and Chargers, there’s no team in the NFL that I have less faith in to win a playoff game than the Ravens. Since Lamar Jackson took over the starting job, the Ravens have gone 1-3 in the playoffs and they were favored to win in two of those three losses. For whatever reason, the Ravens offense has basically no-showed in their four playoff games with Jackson: They’ve averaged just 13 points per game in his four starts. I keep telling myself there’s no way that can happen again this season, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s at least possible.
“… The Texans played 10 games this season against teams that finished the year with a winning record and they went 7-3. In those games, Stroud averaged over 300 yards passing while also throwing 21 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions. Stroud has essentially been at his best against good teams. Yes, one of those three losses did come to the Ravens, but that was back in Week 1 in a game where Stroud was making the first start of his career. Although the final score ended up being 25-9, it’s worth nothing that the score was only 7-6 with 10 minutes left to play in the third quarter. The Texans have never made it to a conference title game, they’ve never won a road playoff game and I never pick their games correctly, so this seems like a good time for all three of those streaks to end.” — CBS Sports NFL writer John Breech on why he has the Texans upsetting the Ravens, 23-20. To see the rest of his picks, click here.
“The Texans are coming off an impressive home victory over the Browns, while the Ravens are coming off a bye. The rest could be good for the Ravens, but the starters haven’t played in three weeks. That might matter. This will be the first road playoff game for Texans rookie passer C.J. Stroud, which can be a challenge. It can be even tougher against the Ravens stout defense. They will throw a bunch of different looks at Stroud. How he handles those will be key. Lamar Jackson will be the league MVP, but he has to go out and show he can do it in a playoff game. The pressure is on. But I think in this offense he will respond. Look for a lot of points as both quarterbacks play well, but the Ravens will win a close one behind Jackson. ” — CBS Sports Senior NFL Analyst Pete Prisco on why he has the Ravens pulling out a slim 30-29 victory over Houston. To see the rest of his picks, click here.
“The Browns weren’t very successful when it came to scoring points against the Texans last weekend. In fact, the Texans defense actually scored the same number of touchdowns as the Browns offense, thanks to some Joe Flacco pick sixes. The Browns moved the ball decently, compiling 324 yards, they just whiffed on fourth down (0-fer on four attempts) and turned it over a ton. The Ravens are a much better offense than Cleveland — they have about-to-be two-time MVP Lamar Jackson, who actually replaced Flacco in Baltimore, as if you needed a reminder how old Flacco is — and should be able to move the ball through the air with relative ease. The return of Mark Andrews would’ve helped matters (he reportedly won’t be activated), but Houston being a pass funnel will. I expect the Ravens to come out of the gates hot and score early. Houston’s potent offense might keep them in the game, but there’s a chance Baltimore pulls off a repeat of Week 1 in which they limited C.J. Stroud to just nine points with their potent defense. We might be sleeping on the Ravens in terms of where they slot historically.” — Pick Six Podcast host Will Brinson on why he has the Ravens covering the Texans as one of his divisional round best bets. To see the rest of his picks, click here.
Packers at 49ers
Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (FOX), stream on fubo (try for free)
Open: 49ers -9.5, O/U 49.5
“The Packers really looked good in beating up the Cowboys last week on the road. Winning a second straight road game against the NFC’s best team won’t be easy. The 49ers will be rested coming off the bye. Will there be rust? Jordan Love has been special the last eight weeks and showed up in a big way last week against the Cowboys. I think that carries over. The 49ers defensive front is tough, but the Packers offensive line is playing well. If you block them, you beat them. The Packers will have a big day throwing it. The 49ers will score as well, as Brock Purdy also has a big day. This will be a shootout. In the end, I am calling for the upset. The Packers pull off a stunner.” — CBS Sports Senior NFL Analyst Pete Prisco on why he sees Green Bay pulling off the upset. To see his other picks, click here.
SportsLine senior analyst R.J. White consistently crushes against-the-spread picks and went 535-450-30 on his ATS picks from 2017-22, returning more than $3,500 to $100 players. He’s also been fantastic when it comes to betting the Packers, owning a 66-27-2 (+3457) record on his last 95 against-the-spread picks involving Green Bay. For this playoff matchup, we can tell you White is leaning Over the point total, but to see his ATS pick you have to check out SportsLine.
“Jordan Love has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league as of late. He’s thrown 21 touchdowns compared to one interception over the last nine games while going 7-2 in those contests, and absolutely decimated the Dallas secondary last weekend. A different test awaits him in San Francisco, though.
“The 49ers are 18-1, average 32.7 points per game and have a +16.0 points per game differential with a healthy Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel. In my opinion, that offense is not going to have a problem against Green Bay’s defense. It’s the Packers offense that’s going to have to keep up on the scoreboard, but it all starts with keeping Love upright and not rattled. The 49ers have a 60% pressure rate with Nick Bosa, Chase Young, Javon Hargrave and Arik Armstead all on the field this season. Ramping up the pressure against this young quarterback is the name of the game this week for Steve Wilks.
“The 49ers are 4-0 SU and ATS in home playoff games under Kyle Shanahan, and three of those victories came by at least 17 points. It’s a large spread, but I’ll take it. I say the 49ers are a team on a mission.” — CBS Sports NFL writer Jordan Dajani on why he has the 49ers covering against the Packers. To see the rest of his picks, click here.
Buccaneers at Lions
Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (NBC), stream on fubo (try for free)
Open: Lions -6, O/U 48.5
“Cards on the table, this is the game I’m least confident in. I’m laying the six-point spread with the Lions, but bettors should proceed with caution as the Bucs were the best road team in the NFL this season, owning an 8-1 ATS record. However, my gut says that Detroit rolls in this spot. The Lions got the monkey off of their back, earning their first playoff victory since 1991 and doing so in an emotional back-and-forth against Matthew Stafford. The Lions defense was stellar in the red zone in that winning effort, not allowing the Rams to score a touchdown on any of their three red zone trips. And there’s reason to believe that’ll continue here against Tampa Bay after the Bucs were the third-worst red zone offense in the league this year, scoring touchdowns on just 44.9% of their trips. Going on the road in what is likely going to be a bonkers environment at Ford Field and facing a highly motivated team in the Lions is effectively the polar opposite of what the Buccaneers faced this past week at home against Philadelphia, and I believe that will be extremely apparent.” — CBS Sports NFL writer Tyler Sullivan on why he has the Lions covering against the Buccaneers. To see his other picks, click here.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and is up well over $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception. It is also on a 37-21 roll on top-rated NFL picks since Week 7 of last season and has nailed seven straight top-rated picks entering the 2024 NFL playoffs, which is what you’re getting here. For this weekend, the model has revealed two A-rated picks that are a must-back! To see those selections, head over to SportsLine.
“These two NFC foes faced off in Week 6, with the Lions winning handily, 20-6. It was actually the fewest points the Buccaneers scored in any game this season, but maybe they created some momentum for themselves with that huge win over Philly. In that game, Baker Mayfield became the third quarterback to throw three or more touchdowns and zero interceptions in a playoff victory for two different teams. The other two quarterbacks? Brett Favre and Tom Brady.
“As for the Lions, they just snapped the longest losing streak in playoff history against the Los Angeles Rams, while Jared Goff misfired on just five passes vs. his former team. Amon-Ra St. Brown is nearly impossible to stop and Sam LaPorta is probably feeling healthier after injuring his knee in Week 18. Stopping the loaded Lions offense is the key for the Bucs. Since Week 13, Tampa Bay’s defense has allowed 15.3 points per game, and 86.7 rushing yards per game. Both rank second in the NFL in that span. The Lions are the better team on paper, but Mayfield may be creating a bit of a narrative for himself. He’s 3-0 ATS in the playoffs in his career. I’m not bold enough to call for an upset like I did last week, but I’ll take the 6.5 points.” — CBS Sports NFL writer Jordan Dajani on why he likes the Bucs to cover in Detroit. To see his other picks, click here.
Chiefs at Bills
Time: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS), stream on Paramount+ (click here)
Open: Bills -2.5, O/U 46
“Fading the Chiefs as an underdog in the playoffs doesn’t feel great! But this isn’t quite as much about Kansas City as it is about Buffalo and it sort of being THEIR TIME. Gabe Davis, Taylor Rapp, Christian Benford and Baylon Spector were all ruled out Friday so we could see this moneyline dip towards the Chiefs a little bit more. I think this is an incredible game between the two best teams in the AFC over the last five years, the third installment of an intense playoff battle between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. I’m not saying the Bills are “due” or anything but they’re getting Mahomes on their own turf this time and this defense has been playing substantially better. I guess I’m a little worried they feel like they *have* to win this game, but Buffalo has been in playoff mode for over a month now. They get the job done in a close, epic game (on CBS and streaming on Paramount+).” — Pick Six Podcast host Will Brinson on why he is taking the Bills to beat the Chiefs. To see his other divisional round best bets, click here.
SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein has been the go-to source when it comes to betting Chiefs games. He is 31-20 (+875) on his last 51 against the spread picks in games involving Kansas City, so anyone who has been following him as been way up. As for this game against Buffalo, Hartstein is leaning Under the point total, but has a strong opinion on the spread, which you can find on SportsLine.
“I said before the playoffs started that folks are sleeping on the Chiefs and I’m not shying away from that here as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Andy Reid’s team is getting great play from its defense that effectively shut out the high-flying Dolphins outside of a lone deep touchdown to Tyreek Hill in the first half. Offensively, Patrick Mahomes continues to be smart with the football, they are getting a stellar rushing attack from Isiah Pacheco, and the emergence of Rashee Rice could be the biggest X factor of the playoffs in the AFC. They continue to do things that are conducive to playoff success but aren’t exactly being looked at with the same terror as former Chiefs teams, which I believe is a mistake. Buffalo has played well down the stretch, but the Bills also let teams hang around a bit. Even though they beat the Steelers by double digits, it was a one-possession game early in the fourth quarter. Sure, Mason Rudolph couldn’t fully spring Pittsburgh to a win in that setting, but Mahomes is an entirely different animal even if he is playing on the road for the first time in his playoff career. Also, the issues Buffalo had in the kicking game last week — a blocked field goal and a missed 27-yarder by Tyler Bass — are also on my radar. I think K.C. guts out a close win and advances to the AFC Championship.” — CBS Sports NFL writer Tyler Sullivan explaining why he sees the Chiefs pulling off the upset in Buffalo. To read his other picks, click here.
“The crazy thing about these two teams is that the Bills have actually beaten the Chiefs pretty regularly, but no one remembers those wins, because they always happen in the regular season. The Bills have won three straight regular season game against Kansas City, but they’ve lost two straight playoff games to the Chiefs.
“So is this finally going to be the year where they get over the hump? Ever since the 13-second game, it seems like the Bills have been building their roster with one purpose only: To beat the Chiefs. Everything the Chiefs do well, the Bills are built to neutralize it. When it comes to stopping the pass, the Chiefs defense surrendered the fourth-fewest yards in the NFL this year and a big reason for that is because they racked up 57 sacks, which was the second-highest total in the league. The problem there for Kansas City is that Josh Allen is good at avoiding sacks, he can run if he has to and he thrives when he’s forced to go off-script.
“… Another layer of drama here is that this will be the first true ROAD game of Mahomes’ career.
The past five meetings between these two teams have been played in Kansas City, but this one is being played in Buffalo and I think that’s going to be the difference. In a city where the fans jump off snow drifts on to flaming tables, they might set the entire stadium on fire if the Bills win. Please don’t set your stadium on fire, Bills fans, because you might need it to host the AFC Championship, at least if my Texans-Ravens prediction turns out to also be true.” — CBS Sports NFL writer John Breech explaining why the Bills will take down the Chiefs to advance to the AFC Championship. To see his other picks, click here.