DATA DEPENDENT: Numbers, predictions, and upsets in Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoffs.

Los Angeles Rams vs Green Bay Packers

Jared Goff and his wonky thumb takes on Mr. Discount Doublecheck. Here’s the thing. Under normal circumstances, it would be the Packers all day, every day with the way Aaron Rodgers has been playing this season. He’s been posting career numbers. The fact that he’s been doing it this late in his career is nothing short of amazing. However, there are three pretty significant factors that make this matchup less lights out than it appears. First, Green Bay is coming off a bye week and they may have a bit of rust. That’s to be expected. On top of that, Los Angeles boasts the league’s best defense and its best defender, Aaron Donald. They’ll keep Rodgers under constant pressure, though how effective Donald will be with a rib injury remains to be seen. Lastly, if you combine the rust and Rams D, there’s a very good possibility that Green Bay falls behind early in the game. The most significant factor working against the Packers is the fact that historically, Aaron Rodgers has miserable numbers when playing behind. Rather than upping his game to meet the challenge, his pass completion percentage drops a whopping 10% from the mid-70s to mid-60s. That’s not exactly the recipe for a comeback. On the other hand, a lot will also depend on Jared Goff’s injured thumb and how consistent his throws will be. Still, we like Los Angeles’ changes here.

OFF STATS: Rams 377.0 YDS/G; 23.3 PTS/G | Packers 389.0 YDS/G; 31.8 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Rams 281.9 YDS/G; 18.5 PTS/G | Packers 334.0 YDS/G; 23.1 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Jared Goff, Cam Akers, and Cooper Kupp | Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Rams (+245/+6.5) | Packers (-300/-6.5)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Aaron Rodgers (23..49); Aaron Jones (19.70); Cam Akers (15.80)

PICK: Rams upset the Packers.


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Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills

If the Bucs-Saints game is the marquee matchup of the weekend (arguable), the meeting between the Ravens and BIlls isn’t far behind. After a mid-season rocky patch, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson ended the season on a tear. Not only does he lead his team in passing (he’s their QB so makes sense), he also leads in rushing. Forget the pocket. The whole field is his pocket. Bills QB Josh Allen had a rocky start to his career and since then he’s grown into one of the best field generals in the game. His pairing with WR Stefon Diggs is something special. The Ravens defense is probably the best they’ll have faced this season. Expect a tight and entertaining game.

OFF STATS: Ravens 363.1 YDS/G; 29.3 PTS/G | Bills 396.4 YDS/G; 31.3 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Ravens 329.8 YDS/G; 18.9 PTS/G | Bills 352.5 YDS/G 23.4 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Lamar Jackson and Marquis Brown | Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Ravens (+115/+2.5) | Bills (-133/-2.5)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Lamar Jackson (25.43); Josh Allen (30.31); Stefon Diggs (28.97); Antonio Williams (21.30)

PICK: Bills barely beat the Ravens.

WORDS: BRICE


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