The NFL’s wild card weekend is now Super-sized.
And the league’s opening weekend is always highly anticipated with renewed hopes for 32 fan bases.
But many believe — yours truly included — that the best weekend on the annual NFL calendar is the coming weekend.
Yes, the divisional round of the playoffs is at hand. And it will feature a quartet of games with the final four teams in each conference squaring off in the AFC and NFC semifinals.
The bye weeks are over, and the top seeds are in action. Championship game berths are on the line, and two more wins punches a ticket to the Super Bowl.
The divisional-round weekend schedule is as follows (kickoff times MT):
- Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans, 2:30 p.m., Saturday (CBS)
- San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers, 6:15 p.m., Sunday (FOX)
- Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Sunday (NBC)
- Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:30 p.m., Sunday (CBS)
Even if you don’t still have a dog in the hunt, several Colorado online sportsbooks are offering inviting promotions to help fans get in on the wagering action. These include a tasty promo from the Centennial State’s top-rated DraftKings Sportsbook.
DraftKings paying $280 for a winning $5 moneyline wager
DraftKings Colorado Sportsbook has an enticing welcome offer for new customers.
It’s a minimal initial commitment. But the potential payday is certainly worth the while.
Namely, 56-1 odds worth the while.
Sign up and deposit at least $5 into your DraftKings account.
Then, with your initial wager, place a pre-game moneyline bet of $5 or more on any NFL postseason contest through Feb. 13 (Super Bowl LVI).
And if that bet wins, you’ll receive $280 worth of free bets. And that’s in addition to any cash winnings on the original wager.
Here’s an breakdown of the key promo details:
- Your first settled NFL moneyline wager of $5-plus after signing up will count as the qualifying wager.
- The $280 bonus will be paid as seven free $40 bets.
- Those seven $40 bets will be valid for seven days, and failure to use them during that span will void any remaining award.
- The free bets are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable and non-refundable.
- The limit is one qualifying wager per new customer and excludes odds boosts, live bets, parlay wagers, free bets cash-out bets and voided wagers.
That’s the easy part.
Given the short pointspreads, the tougher decision will be choosing which of the eight teams to bet on.
Championship game rematch highlights AFC slate
Saturday afternoon’s game between the fourth-seeded Bengals (11-7) and top-seeded Titans (10-7) kicks off the weekend festivities.
Led by promising second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati is the underdog darling of the postseason. The Bengals advanced with a 26-19 wild card win over the Las Vegas Raiders, ending the league’s longest drought without a playoff victory at 31 years.
Tennessee stud running back Derrick Henry, though, is expected to be back after a nine-game foot injury absence. And, as of late Thursday morning, DraftKings had the host Titans slotted as 3.5-point favorites (-170 on the moneyline).
While the Bengals-Titans tilt has ample intrigue, Sunday’s Bills-Chiefs clash is the AFC headliner.
It’s a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game, won handily by host K.C., 38-24.
Now, third-seeded Buffalo (12-6) is back at Arrowhead Stadium for the third time in the last 13 months after beating the second-seeded Chiefs (13-5) 38-20 in a Week 5 Sunday night contest in early October.
There should be no shortage of fireworks in this one. Not with QBs Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes at the helm.
Allen and Mahomes combined for an eye-popping 817 total yards and 10 passing touchdowns last weekend as the Bills and Chiefs advanced with wild card-round romps.
And, yes, “romps” are accurate. Buffalo and Kansas City outscored the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers by a combined 89-38.
The Chiefs were short DraftKings favorites of 2 points (-125 ML) as of Thursday.
Rodgers-powered Packers, Brady-led Bucs host NFC games
Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (13-4) are the NFC’s top seed for the second straight season.
The Pack also is looking to get back to the NFC Championship Game for the third consecutive year.
But first, they’ll have to get past the sixth-seeded 49ers (11-7), who advanced with a 23-17 road upset of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Green Bay won the Week 3 road meeting 30-28 on Mason Crosby’s final-play 51-yard field goal.
San Francisco, however, boasts one of the league’s most potent and versatile weapons in do-it-all wide receiver Deebo Samuel. And QB Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. will be looking for their second postseason win over the Packers in three years after romping 37-20 in the 2019 NFC title game.
The Packers, though, are DraftKings’ biggest favorite of the weekend, laying 5.5 points (-250 ML).
Sunday’s NFC divisional matchup features the fourth-seeded Rams (13-5) visiting the second-seeded Buccaneers (14-4).
Tom Brady and the Bucs are the defending champs, of course. And they looked every bit the part last Sunday in walloping the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, 31-15, to advance.
But the Rams have prevailed in head-to-head meetings in each of the last two regular seasons, including a 34-24 Week 3 home triumph in September.
L.A. QB Matthew Stafford is fresh off his first playoff win in four career chances, totaling 224 yards and three TDs in Monday night’s 34-11 demolition of the Arizona Cardinals.
Still, the Bucs are the DK favorite Sunday at home, laying a field goal while priced at -145 on the moneyline.