NFL Sunday Divisional Round Betting Breakdown: Odds, Plays and Predictions

SI Gambling Insider Frankie Taddeo breaks down how sharp bettors are wagering Sunday’s divisional round matchups
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The NFL divisional round concludes on Sunday with two highly anticipated matchups. Looking for an upset, Baker Mayfield and the Browns head to Arrowhead looking to knock off Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. In the nightcap, two of the greatest quarterbacks in league history face off when Tom Brady and the Buccaneers battle Drew Brees and the Saints.

Over the entire 2019 NFL postseason the Vegas Whispers sharps crushed the sportsbooks; going 7–0 against the spread (ATS) that culminated in a win with Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV. The sharp information, 9–2 ATS overall the last two NFL postseasons, will look to cash once again on Sunday when the divisional round concludes.

The Vegas Whispers information has stood out in NFL wagering, going 70-49-1 overall. The betting plays, supplied only to Sports Illustrated, have continued to win consistently in NFL, college basketball and college football wagering. The information straight from Frankie Taddeo, Sports Illustrated’s Gambling Insider, is currently on a 13–5 ATS (72%) run on all football plays.

Following Alabama’s 52–24 win over Ohio State in the College Football Championship game, the respected information finished the 2020 season at 32-21 ATS (60%) - including an impressive 7–2 ATS (78%) on all Bowl selections. UFC bettors, courtesy of Casey Olson’s information, finished 2020 at 210-87-6 ATS (71%) on all wagers for all SI PRO members.

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Let’s break down the Sunday slate.

NFL Sunday divisional round betting breakdown

No. 6 Cleveland (12-5 SU, 7-10 ATS) at No. 1 Kansas City (14-2 SU, 7-9 ATS)

Moneyline: Cleveland: (+400) | Kansas City: (-500)

Spread: CLE: +10 (-112) | KC: -10 (-109)

Total: 57 – Over: (-110) | Under: 57 (-110)

Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Game Info: January 17, 2020 3:05 pm ET / 12:05 pm PT | CBS

According to my Vegas sources, nearly 58% of all wagers to come in on the game have come in support of Browns. The line opened at 10 points in favor of Kansas City on Sunday at DraftKings Sportsbook and has held firm with the original offering. The total, which opened at 55, has risen two full points to 57 following strong support to the over (74%).

The Browns (12–5 SU, 7–10 ATS) pulled off the biggest upset of the wild card round defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 48–37, as 5.5-point road underdogs. Cleveland has won seven of their nine games (7–2 SU), but have only cashed in four of those games against the spread (4–5 ATS). Expect the Browns to lean heavily on their ground attack led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in an attempt to own time of possession and keep Patrick Mahomes and the high powered Kansas City offense on the sidelines.

On the other side, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (14–2 SU; 7–9 ATS) head into the divisional round with the best overall regular-season record (14–2 SU), and winners of nine of their last 10 games (9–1 SU). The Chiefs’ only loss in that span came in Week 17 when resting nearly all of its starters—including Mahomes. However, the more concerning trend is Kansas City’s poor record against the spread (7–9 ATS)—covering only three of their last 10 games (3–7 ATS). If the Chiefs from last year’s postseason show up this game has blowout potential with star tight end Travis Kelce exploiting a suspect defense against superior players at the position. However, if the Kansas City club that seemingly did just enough to ‘get by’ in the last 10 games shows up Sunday, the potential for a back door cover of a hefty double digit spread could easily factor in.

The Browns have played five of their last seven to the over, while the Chiefs have gone over the posted total by oddsmakers in three of their last four games. This has not gone unnoticed by bettors in early wagering as the total has moved two points from 55 to the 57 currently being offered. The oddsmakers posted this game with the highest total on the board and bettors seem to be in agreement expecting the scoreboard to light up.

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No. 5 Tampa Bay (12-5 SU, 9-8 ATS) at at No. 2 New Orleans (13-4 SU, 10-7 ATS)

Moneyline: Tampa Bay: (+143) | New Orleans: (-162)

Spread: TB:+3 (-112) | NO: -3 (-109)

Total: – 51.5 – Over: (-113) | Under: 51.5 (-108)

Location: Mercedes Benz Stadium, New Orleans, LA

Game Info: January 17, 2021 6:40 pm ET / 3:40 pm PT | FOX

My Vegas sources indicate that bettors are closely split on this matchup as 52% of all wagers on the game are in support of New Orleans. The line, which opened at 3.5 points in favor of the Saints on Sunday at DraftKings Sportsbook, has dropped in early wagering, now reflecting a line of New Orleans as a field goal (-3) home favorite. The total, which opened at 51.5, has held steady despite strong support to the over (71%) and currently stands at 51.5 at DraftKings.

The Saints (13–4 SU, 10–7 ATS), led by Alvin Kamara and Drew Brees, closed out the regular season strong—going 8–2 SU and 7–3 ATS over that span. The NFC South champions improved those numbers to 9–2 SU and 8–3 ATS following last week's 21–9 victory over the Bears as 11-point home favorites in the wild card round. Star wide receiver Michael Thomas finally made an impact last week with five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Shockingly, it was the first time this season that Thomas has scored, but perhaps the biggest takeaway should be the impact he had on another wideout—Deonte Harris. The second-year wideout posted a career high in receptions (7) and yards (83) as Thomas’s presence on the outside opened up the middle of the field for the speedy Harris.

Led by the ageless Tom Brady, Tampa Bay (12–5 SU, 9–8 ATS) closed out the regular season with a streak of 4–0 SU and 3–1 ATS over the final month of 2020. However, the Bucs came up short for their backers at the betting windows in the wild-card round when they defeated the Washington Football Team by a score of 31–23 as 9.5-point road favorites. 

The x-factor for Tampa Bay, as with Harris for the Saints, will not focus on any of the top options in the Buccaneers offense (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin or Rob Gronkowski). I believe all DFS and proposition bettors should focus on Antonio Brown in this game. DraftKings has Brown’s total receptions set at 4.5 (-112) and his receiving yards at 54.5 (-112). The talented wide receiver, who we know has a strong relationship with Brady, is starting to carve out a vital role with the club hauling in 30 receptions for 315 yards and five touchdowns over his last four games. More importantly, the rapport with Brady is becoming more evident by his posting of at least one touchdown reception in each of those last four games—thus making his “Anytime Touchdown” market of +225 being offered by DraftKings very attractive.

FREE Vegas Whispers Play: Antonio Brown “Anytime Touchdown” +225

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For any official Vegas Whispers plays, as well as any other player proposition wagers that could emerge, be sure to subscribe to SI Fantasy PRO!

Over the last two NFL postseasons here at SI Gambling, the Vegas Whispers sharps have dominated the sportsbooks going 9–2 ATS and the information is currently 70-49-1 overall in 2020 on released NFL plays. The information straight from Frankie Taddeo, Sports Illustrated’s Gambling Insider, finished the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) at 79-60-0 +16.66 units with NCAA College Football plays wrapping up with a 32-21 ATS—7-2 ATS on Bowl selections—for all SI PRO members.

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Be sure to check back all week long for the BEST Sharp Betting information shared here only at SI Gambling! You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy and subscribe to SI Fantasy PRO to subscribe to his "Vegas Whispers" betting information.

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