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NFL picks: Will Bucs top Lions in Divisional Round? Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen in Buffalo? editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Brooke Cersosimo, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr will predict every game of the 2023 NFL season, using the unbeatable combo of football analysis and excessive punctuation. Check out their picks for the Divisional Round below.

Table inside Article
Analyst Record (straight) Record (ATS)
Ali 174-104 (62.6%) 139-127-11 (52.3%)
Brooke 176-102 (63.3%) 137-130-11 (51.3%)
Dan 179-99 (64.4%) 152-115-11 (56.9%)
Gennaro 172-106 (61.9%) 159-108-11 (59.6%)
Tom 175-103 (62.9%) 133-134-11 (49.8%)
Consensus Picks 114-45 (71.7%) 35-20-1 (63.6%)


  1. The lines provided by Caesars Sportsbook are current as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 18, unless otherwise noted below.
  2. * -- Pick flipped after publishing.
  3. ** -- Final score prediction changed after publishing.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No. 4 seed · 10-8
Detroit Lions
No. 3 seed · 13-5
  • WHERE: Ford Field (Detroit)
  • WHEN: 3 p.m. ET | NBC, Peacock, Universo, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Buccaneers +235 | Lions -292
  • SPREAD: Lions -6.5 | O/U: 48.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Buccaneers 23-22
Lions 26-22
Lions 27-23
Lions 31-17
Lions 27-22

Why Tom is taking the Lions: The Bucs are in a much better place than they were in Week 6, when they lost to the Lions in Tampa -- but so is Detroit. Amon-Ra St. Brown did the heavy lifting in that October bout, with Jahmyr Gibbs out and David Montgomery logging six carries before getting hurt. Since then, Gibbs and Montgomery have gotten their 1-2-punch act down, and tight end Sam LaPorta has truly broken out. Presuming the Lions can handle their business on offense, this comes down to Baker Mayfield's ability to keep up. And while he could make things interesting against a defense that ranked 27th against the pass in the regular season, I think Detroit's knack for heating up opposing quarterbacks (they posted a pressure rate of 39.2 percent, seventh-best in the NFL, per NGS) could make the difference. (Having Brian Branch and C.J. Gardner-Johnson on the field for this one won't hurt, either.)

Kansas City Chiefs
No. 3 seed · 12-6
Buffalo Bills
No. 2 seed · 12-6
  • WHERE: Highmark Stadium (Orchard Park, N.Y.)
  • WHEN: 6:30 p.m. ET | CBS, Paramount+, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Chiefs +122 | Bills -145
  • SPREAD: Bills -2.5 | O/U: 45.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Chiefs 25-22
Chiefs 26-23
Chiefs 24-21
Chiefs 24-21
Bills 24-22

Why Gennaro is taking the Chiefs: Fewer games means fewer narratives, inherently promising one subplot will be repeated so frequently this week that your eyes might just roll out of their sockets. So be careful out there, but … DID YOU HEAR THAT THIS IS PATRICK MAHOMES' FIRST TRUE ROAD PLAYOFF GAME?!?! It's true. I checked. (By stepping outside and cupping a hand to my downwind ear.) Yes, the Bills have home-field advantage. But the Chiefs have the better defense, the healthier roster and two extra days of rest. Not to mention, Kansas City's much-maligned offense just enjoyed its most prolific, balanced effort since October. Oh, and I'm thinking that maniacal competitor in the No. 15 jersey is slightly motivated by the underdog label and still a bit aggrieved over the ending to last month's home loss to Buffalo.


Green Bay Packers
No. 7 seed · 10-8
San Francisco 49ers
No. 1 seed · 12-5
  • WHERE: Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | FOX, FOX Deportes, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Packers +345 | 49ers -455
  • SPREAD: 49ers -9.5 | O/U: 50.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
49ers 28-21
49ers 30-22
49ers 31-21
49ers 34-20
49ers 30-20

Why Brooke is taking the 49ers: What Jordan Love and the Packers did last week -- knocking off the overconfident Cowboys with a near-50-burger in Dallas -- was shocking. But can they do it again? I believe the offense will put up its fair share of points, even against a defense as good as San Francisco's. Love, who leads the NFL in a number of passing categories since Week 11, is on a hot streak. So is Aaron Jones. And Love's group of young pass catchers has really come into its own. All that said, Green Bay's defense feels outmatched. Kyle Shanahan has an experienced, loaded offense that ranked in the top four in scoring, total, passing and rushing offense during the regular season. With the extra week off, the 49ers will be fresh and out to prove they won't be the latest contender to fold under pressure.

Houston Texans
No. 4 seed · 11-7
Baltimore Ravens
No. 1 seed · 13-4
  • WHERE: M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)
  • WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET | ESPN, ABC, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Texans +345 | Ravens -455
  • SPREAD: Ravens -9.5 | O/U: 43.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Ravens 24-20
Ravens 28-21
Ravens 26-20
Ravens 23-20
Ravens 24-17

Why Dan is taking the Ravens: Maybe C.J. Stroud is on the type of heater that makes some of the conventional wisdom/metrics obsolete. I'm one more Texans win away from feeling confident we've reached that place, and maybe I'll be late to the party. For now, though, I'll say the phenom will meet his match in Baltimore. The Ravens' defense ranked first in completion percentage, pass yards per attempt, pass TD-to-INT ratio and passer rating allowed on deep passes during the regular season, per Next Gen Stats. But that's only slightly better than the Browns' marks in those categories, and Stroud just obliterated them. The bigger difference is Houston will be on the road on Saturday and its defense will be lining up across from the likely league MVP instead of on-his-last-legs Joe Flacco. After three weeks of rest, Lamar Jackson outduels his young counterpart and slays the Divisional Round demons that have haunted him for years.

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