Previewing the NFL Divisional Round

The Kansas City Chiefs take the first step in their bid for a repeat when they face the Browns.

The Chiefs figure to take that step and beat the Browns, but the surprising thing is they’re 10-point favorites. This is a team that has posted its last seven wins by one score. And last year they had to come from behind in all three playoff wins.

You might think the oddsmakers would be wary of all their close wins and be concerned they could be vulnerable against an up and coming Browns’ team.On the other hand, they are not likely to overlook the Browns after the Browns upset the Steelers last week.

Still, Andy Reid had two weeks to prepare. Look for the Chiefs to advance to the AFC title game.

–The Saints-Bucs game is all about Drew Brees, who will likely retire at the end of the season, vs. Tom Brady. The Saints will be trying to beat the Bucs for the third time, which isn’t as difficult as one might thing. Since 2002, seven teams went for the three-game sweep and five of them pulled it off. Brady figures to return next year win or lose and the odds are that he will lose. Brees has the better matchup against the Bucs’ defense. The last three years the Saints have lost in the playoffs on the final play so the Saints fans will be nervous if it is close at the end.

–The Packers have a big advantage at home against a warm weather team in January. Although they are dealing with injuries in the offensive line, Aaron Rodgers also gives them an edge over the Rams Jared Golf. He is back practicing full time, but has an injured thumb. The Packers should advance to the NFC title game.

–The Bills-Ravens game should be the feature attraction of the divisional around with a lot of emphasis on both young quarterbacks. Josh Allen has taken a major stride forward this year while Lamar Jackson finally won his first playoff game last week and now wants to show he can take the team deep into the playoffs. The Bills have the edge with the home field advantage.

–The big question this week is whether there will be an upset with all four home teams favored.

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