The wild card round was mostly a bust, with some easy wins by all four home favorites, but now we are back with a chance at some better football. The 2017 NFL playoffs continue on Saturday with the divisional round. With all four high seeds advancing, maybe this will create some better quality football this weekend.
There is a significant change in the schedule already. The Kansas City Chiefs were set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 10:05 a.m. PT. However, inclement weather this weekend has resulted in the NFL pushing back the kickoff to 5:20 p.m. to give the city more time to clear roads.
The biggest favorite this weekend is the New England Patriots, who are laying 15 points against the Houston Texans. The Chiefs are a slim 1.5-point home favorite against the Steelers. Then you’ve got the Falcons and Cowboys as four- and 4.5-point favorites. All I’m asking for this weekend is two good games. Give me one good game each day, and I’ll be happy.
If I were to rank the likelihood of a competitive matchup in all four games, I’d rank them as follows (most competitive to least competitive):
A lot of gamblers are excited to bet on the Packers, particularly facing a rookie quarterback. I could see a Packers upset, but I really think Ezekiel Elliott helps the Cowboys roll to victory in this one. I pondered where to put Steelers-Chiefs, but I just can’t quite see either team running away with it. The Steelers offense is looking improved, but I think we see a strong display from the Chiefs defense against this group.
All times PT
NFL Divisional Round
Saturday, January 14
Sunday, January 15
Sunday, January 22
AFC: CBS, 12:05 p.m.NFC: FOX, 3:40 p.m.
Super Bowl XLIX
Sunday, February 5
NFC champion versus AFC champion (CBS, 3:30 p.m.)