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Winners Club: Breaking Down the NFL Divisional Round

After Wild-Card Weekend, eight teams remain. Who’s taking home Super Bowl LVI?

Good morning! Super Wild-Card Weekend brought more blowouts than drama, though there was still plenty of both. The divisional round is set with matchups that appear more enticing than watching No. 7 seeds get beat up by No. 2 two seeds.

Before getting into the four games this weekend, a programming note: Winners Club did not go out on Monday morning due to the holiday and will not publish this coming Friday or Monday. Be sure to follow @SI_Fantasy and @SI_Betting to stay up to date on all of my colleagues’ NFL playoff content.

Now, let’s talk football and more.

NFL Divisional Round Matchups

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans

Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET | CBS

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Joe Burrow and the Bengals earned a trip to Nashville following the franchise’s first playoff win in 31 years. The Titans, who earned the sole bye in the conference, hope to get star running back Derrick Henry back against the Bengals. Henry has not played since Week 8 and is expected to be activated from injured reserve this week. Tennessee is a 3.5-point favorite at home, where the Titans went 7-2 in the regular season with wins over the Bills and Chiefs.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

Saturday 8:15 p.m. | FOX

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Aaron Rodgers’ 0-3 postseason record against San Francisco is well-documented. The most recent playoff meeting came in the NFC Championship Game in 2020—the Raheem Mostert game that sent the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV. Green Bay beat San Francisco on the road in Week 3 on a last-second field goal and has been the most complete team in the NFL since Week 1. The Packers expect reinforcements on both sides of the ball for this game and were installed as 6-point favorites with freezing temperatures projected at Lambeau Field.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday 3 p.m. ET | NBC

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The Rams and Buccaneers were on the right side of lopsided wins in the wild-card round, which set up a rematch of their Week 3 meeting in L.A., a 10-point Rams victory. Months later, both teams’ rosters are dramatically different – Tampa Bay arguably for worse and Los Angeles for better. But the Bucs are still the defending Super Bowl champions with Tom Brady at the helm. They’re 3-point favorites at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

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Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday 6:30 p.m. ET | CBS

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The Bills pitched a perfect game in their demolition of the Patriots. After a quarter-and-a-half of hanging around with – and even trailing – the Steelers, the Chiefs followed suit and won handily. The first rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game between these teams came in Week 5 and Buffalo won, 38-20. Kansas City regained its Super Bowl form as the season went on, ensuring that this game would be at home by locking up the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Chiefs are 2.5-point favorites, the closest line of the weekend.

Fantasy Football and Betting

2021 Fantasy Football Fabby Awards

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Michael Fabiano dishes out superlatives for the longest fantasy football season managers have ever endured. See which players propped teams up this season and earned MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sleeper of the Year and more.

NFL Spread Breakdown: The oddsmakers at SI Sportsbook are predicting close games for the divisional playoffs. Green Bay is the only team favored by more than 3.5 points.

Wild Card Bad Beats and Big Payouts: The good, the bad and the ugly from this past weekend include player props narrowly cashing, surprising unders and Cowboys confusion.

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Fabiano sorts through the best and worst of the remaining postseason players to help decide who to plug into your fantasy lineups and who’s best left on the bench.

NBA Action

All-Star Starters

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Chris Mannix explains the difficult decisions that went into picking five All-Star starters from each conference ahead of the due date for his ballot.

Power Rankings: The Warriors fall a few spots in the latest ranking, in which Rohan Nadkarni also weighs in on what each team should do before the trade deadline. Buy? Sell? Hold? See what each team ranked 1-30 should do.


That’s all for today. I’ll be back in your inbox a week from today. Enjoy the rest of your week and the Divisional Round!