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п»їNFL odds, lines, spreads, picks, predictions for Divisional Round, 2021: Go Over in Buccaneers vs. Saints.
SportsLine's computer model simulated every NFL game during the 2021 Divisional Round 10,000 times with surprising results.
The Kansas City Chiefs were the top team in the AFC during the regular season and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFL playoff bracket. While they're the 2021 Super Bowl favorites, the latest trends suggest you might want to avoid including them in your NFL bets and NFL picks this weekend. Since 2003, No. 1 seeds are just 12-20-1 against the spread in the Divisional Round.
The Chiefs are the biggest favorites of the week, laying 10 points against the Browns on Sunday with the over-under at 57. according to the latest Divisional Round NFL odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Meanwhile, the Saints are three-point favorites against the Buccaneers, according to the current NFL spreads, with the total at 52. All of the 2021 Divisional Round NFL lines are listed below, and SportsLine's advanced computer model has all the NFL betting advice and predictions you need to make the best 2021 Divisional Round NFL picks now.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 24-14 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs on an incredible 120-78 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
Additionally, the model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch in three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, it has examined the latest 2021 Divisional Round NFL odds and NFL betting lines from William Hill, simulated every snap, and its predictions are in. Head to SportsLine now to see them all.
Top NFL predictions for the Divisional Round.
One of the top Divisional Round NFL picks the model recommends: Saints vs. Buccaneers goes over the total of 52. New Orleans began the season as four-point favorites over Tampa Bay in Week 1 and covered comfortably in a 34-23 win. That game also cleared the over (48.5) with plenty of room to spare.
Then, the Saints throttled the Buccaneers 38-3 as three-point underdogs in Week 9. That game went under the total (51), but the lack of offense from Tom Brady and the Buccaneers likely won't be duplicated. The trends point strongly to this game going over as well. In fact, these teams are a combined 20-14 to the over this season.
The model predicts that Alvin Kamara will put up over 100 yards of total offense and scores, while Brady will throw for almost 300 yards. The teams combine for 53 points, providing value on the over.
How to make Divisional Round NFL picks.
The model has also made the call on every other game on the NFL Divisional Round schedule and says one team covers in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get every pick for every game here.
What NFL picks can you make with confidence during the 2021 NFL Divisional Round? And which team is a must-back? Check out the latest NFL odds from William Hill below, then visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are covering in more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up nearly $7,900 on its top-rated NFL picks.
NFL odds, matchups for the Divisional Round.
Sunday, Jan. 17.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints (-3, 52)


Bills-Chiefs picks, schedule, odds, injuries, predictions, more for AFC Championship Game.
The conference championship games of the NFL playoffs have arrived. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers have already kicked off in the NFC Championship Game, and the No. 2-seeded Buffalo Bills will play the No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. The winners advance to Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7.
Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to the games, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score picks. Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Chalk's Dave Bearman hands out helpful nuggets, and NFL analyst Matt Bowen points out a key matchup to watch as well. It's all here to help get you ready for an exciting weekend of NFL playoff football.
AFC Championship Game: (2) Bills at (1) Chiefs.
6:40 p.m. ET | CBS Matchup rating: 92.5 | Spread : KC -3 (54.5)
What to watch for: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he has cleared concussion protocol and is set to play on Sunday, a huge boost to the Kansas City offense. But the Chiefs' run game will also be something to keep an eye on. Kansas City rushed for a season-high 245 yards against Buffalo in Week 6, when the Bills played their safeties deep on many snaps and were determined not to let Tyreek Hill and other receivers beat them deep. They will certainly change strategies this time, but at what cost? The Chiefs got just one pass play of more than 22 yards against the Bills the last time around. Can the Bills effectively slow the Chiefs' running game while still limiting the number of big pass plays? -- Adam Teicher.
Bold prediction: Bills quarterback Josh Allen will surpass 350 passing yards and wide receiver Stefon Diggs will turn in his third straight game with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. And a little bolder, the Bills will not only win but also thoroughly outpace the Chiefs in their own backyard, punching Buffalo's first ticket to the Super Bowl since the 1993 season. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques.
Super Bowl LV: Chiefs vs. Buccaneers.
Stat to know: The Bills have dropped back to pass 73% of the time this postseason, and only one team has ever reached a conference title game passing more often -- the 2015 Patriots (83%), who lost in the AFC Championship Game that season. Buffalo won last week with just 32 rushing yards -- the fourth fewest ever in a playoff win, per the Elias Sports Bureau -- and Allen currently leads the team on the ground with 57 yards over two postseason games. The Bills averaged 64.0 rushing yards per game this season, fewer than all but one team to ever reach the Super Bowl; the 1999 Rams averaged 41.0.
Bowen's matchup key: Watch for the Chiefs' defense to show pressure and spin late to play Cover 2 "robber," with safety Tyrann Mathieu as the middle-hole defender. This allows the Chiefs to make Allen work post-snap with late movement, but it also allows Kansas City to play zone coverage with Mathieu lying in the weeds as a middle-of-the-field presence, in position to steal an in-breaker. Read more .
What's at stake: The Chiefs are aiming to become the first repeat Super Bowl champs since the 2003-04 Patriots, ending the longest stretch in NFL history without a repeat champion. They are the 12th defending Super Bowl champion to host a conference championship, and the prior 11 teams went 10-1 (only loss was by the 1990 49ers). The Bills, meanwhile, are trying to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since losing four straight across the 1990-93 seasons. They haven't won a title of any kind since the 1965 AFL Championship, and their 0-4 record in Super Bowls is tied with the Vikings for most appearances without a win.
Betting nugget: The Chiefs are 1-8 against the spread in their past nine games (8-1 outright), and they're 0-5 against the spread in their past five at home. Read more .
Louis-Jacques' pick: Bills 31, Chiefs 28 Teicher's pick: Chiefs 27, Bills 22 FPI prediction: KC, 61.1% (by an average of 3.7 points)
Home crowd: The Chiefs have kept their attendance numbers at or below 22% capacity at Arrowhead Stadium (76,416 total capacity) this season, with their biggest crowd coming last week against the Browns (16,730). Expect a similar number at the AFC Championship Game.
ALREADY KICKED OFF.
NFC Championship Game: (5) Buccaneers at (1) Packers.
3:05 p.m. ET | Fox Matchup rating: 96.2 | Spread : GB -3 (53.5)
What to watch for: If there has been anything to gripe about in Matt LaFleur's highly successful two-year run as the Packers' coach, perhaps it is being a step slow to adjust. When these teams met in Week 6, the Bucs played zone coverage on 61% of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' dropbacks, and Rodgers had his only multi-interception game this season. And in general, the more teams have played zone against Rodgers over the past two years, the better they have fared. LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett know what's coming in terms of coverage, and how they plan for it will dictate their level of success against a tough Tampa Bay defense. -- Rob Demovsky.
Editor's Picks.
First look at Bucs-Packers, Bills-Chiefs: Matchup previews, X factors, big questions, more.
Game plans for Bucs-Packers, Bills-Chiefs: How each team could win -- and lose.
Answering the biggest injury questions for NFL conference championship playoff teams.
Bold prediction: Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady's game-winning touchdown pass will not be thrown to wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown (out) or Scotty Miller, tight ends Rob Gronkowski or Cameron Brate, or running backs Ronald Jones II or Leonard Fournette. Nope, it will go to wide receiver Tyler Johnson. The rookie fifth-round pick out of Minnesota had just one catch last week against the Saints, but that 15-yard spinning grab on the perimeter was masterful. The only reason we aren't talking about Johnson more is the depth chart he's buried on. He has a knack for making difficult catches in high-pressure situations, and he'll do again on Sunday. -- Jenna Laine.
Stat to know: The two biggest factors in Brady's performance all season have been pressure and the vertical game. In 13 wins over the course of the season (including playoffs), he averaged 1.1 sacks per game, saw pressure on 14% of his dropbacks and posted an 82 QBR. But in five losses, sacks jumped to 2.2 per game, his pressure rate climbed to 27% and his QBR nearly split in half (44). And as far as the deep ball goes, consider this: On passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield over that 18-game span, he has hit on 45% for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in wins, but just 21% for a single score and five picks in the losses.
Bowen's matchup key: How will Tampa Bay keep Packers wide receiver Davante Adams in check? It's going to start at the line of scrimmage in Cover 1, with Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis trying to use his length and physical traits to disrupt Adams' release. If he can't, Davis' lack of recovery speed versus Adams' sudden ability to separate will spell trouble for the Bucs. Read more .
What's at stake: A win for the Buccaneers would mark the first non-division champion to reach the Super Bowl since the 2010 Packers. It would also bring Brady's 10th Super Bowl appearance, spanning three decades. Rodgers, however, has played in only one Super Bowl. And after losing his past three NFC Championship Game appearances and going 1-3 over his career in this game, Rodgers is attempting to avoid becoming just the third QB to have fewer than two wins and more than three losses in conference title matchups (Ken Stabler and Donovan McNabb are both 1-4).
Betting nugget: Brady is 9-4 straight up and 6-7 against the spread in conference championship games. The under is 8-5 in those matchups, including 7-2 in his past nine. Read more .
Laine's pick: Buccaneers 26, Packers 24 Demovsky's pick: Packers 31, Buccaneers 17 FPI prediction: GB, 53.2% (by an average of 1.1 points)
Home crowd: Last week's playoff game at Lambeau Field had an attendance of 8,456. With potentially more guests of players and coaches from both teams in the stadium this week, expected attendance is in the ballpark of 8,500-9,000. That's roughly 10-11% of the 81,441 capacity at Lambeau.


USA TODAY Sports staff picks for the college football bowl season.
The College Football Playoff selection committee chose Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame to compete for the National Championship and the most recent Amway Coaches poll tells a similar story. USA TODAY.
The longest, weirdest and unexpected college football season is finally coming to a close.
The bowl season originally was expected to be 43 games. Due to COVID-19 cancellations, it was shortened to just 28.
After 16 weeks, the College Football Playoff field emerged, with Alabama and Notre Dame heading to the Rose Bowl, which has been moved to Arlington, Texas due to COVID-19 considerations, and Clemson and Ohio State facing off in the Sugar Bowl.
The Crimson Tide and Fighting Irish meet for the first time since the BCS championship game after the 2012 season. This will be the third semifinal matchup between the Tigers and Buckeyes in the last five years. The former has won the previous two showdowns.
Clemson running back Travis Etienne breaks free to scores a touchdown against Ohio State during the 2019 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. (Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)
There's other interesting matchups with unbeaten Cincinnati getting an opportunity to face traditional power Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Oklahoma and Florida will square off in what should be a high-scoring Cotton Bowl.
Outside the New Year's Six, a couple of Big Ten-SEC clashes are worth watching as Northwestern faces off with Auburn in the Citrus Bowl and Mississippi challenges Indiana in the Outback Bowl.
Here's the picks for all the game, starting on the first weekend of the postseason.


MMQB Staff Divisional Round Picks.
There are only eight teams left in the playoffs, and there's an interesting divide between the conferences. The AFC is full of fresh faces, as all four of the teams on that side of the bracket are quarterbacked by players drafted in 2017 or later (Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield). The NFC, meanwhile, is home to three of the most decorated QBs in NFL history (Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady) and a guy who played in the Super Bowl just two years ago (Jared Goff).
If you think Goff is at a disadvantage in the NFC, you're not alone. Packers-Rams was the only game picked unanimously by our staff, with top-seeded Green Bay favored to take care of business at Lambeau Field. Even the Browns drew the support of one of our writers against the defending champion Chiefs. The other two games of the weekend resulted in a 4-2 split, with the Bills picked to win at home and the Buccaneers selected to beat the Saints for the first time in three matchups this season—which would possibly mark the last game of Drew Brees's career.
Want more NFL picks against the spread? SI Fantasy PRO members get real-time betting alerts whenever information comes in.
Over the course the 2020-21 NFL season and postseason, the "Vegas Whispers" sharp plays have gone 70-49-1 against the spread.




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