Best Upset Picks of the Divisional Round

Max Staley
Best upset picks of the Divisional Round.
Best upset picks of the Divisional Round. / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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Super Wild Card Weekend was anything but "super." Four of the six games were absolute blowouts, and the favorites all took care of business. Well, except for the Dallas Cowboys, who fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 23-17.

But don't expect a repeat in the Divisional Round. All four favorites are on serious upset alert this weekend. Here are the three best upsets to bet on in the Divisional Round.

3. Buffalo Bills (+114) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Josh Allen
The Buffalo Bills are the third best upset pick for the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round. / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

The headlines will understandably focus on the matchup between Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, but this game will come down to much more than just the two star passers. This Buffalo defense is built to give Kansas City fits. The Bills own the league's best pass defense by DVOA, and they're a top-12 unit against the run as well. They're not going to outright stop Mahomes, but the NFL's best pass defense should be able to at least slow him down. And the Bills suddenly possess a dangerous rushing offense as well, thanks to the emergence of Devin Singletary. Singletary is averaging 80.8 rushing yards per game over his last five. Mix in the threat of Josh Allen's legs, and Buffalo's offense should be able to grind it out and keep Kansas City off the field for long stretches at a time. That could force Mahomes into playing hero ball, where he's made more mistakes than usual this season. If he makes a few more against the NFL's best secondary, Buffalo has a shot to advance to its second straight AFC title game.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (+168) vs. Tennessee Titans

Joe Burrow
The Cincinnati Bengals are the second best upset pick for the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round. / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans might be the AFC's No. 1 seed, but you'll be hard pressed to find many people who think they're the AFC's best team. That honor belongs to the Bills or Chiefs. And the No. 1 seed has a real chance of losing this weekend. Tennessee generates pressure at a below-average rate, pressuring opposing QBs on 24.0% of their drop-backs (T-No. 21 in the NFL). Joe Burrow is unstoppable if he has time to sit in the pocket and dissect the defense. When kept clean, Joey B has the highest PFF grade in the league (96.3) and he also owns the NFL's third-best passer rating (113.9). If Tennessee can't make Burrow uncomfortable, this upstart Bengals team could be advancing to the AFC Championship.

1. San Francisco 49ers (+198) vs. Green Bay Packers

Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo
The San Francisco 49ers are the top upset pick in the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round. / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

The largest spread of the weekend just so happens to be my favorite upset pick on this slate. The San Francisco 49ers are a nightmare matchup for the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay's defense has improved mightily this season, but it's still a sneaky-bad unit against the run. The Packers are a bottom-five run defense by DVOA and surrender 4.7 yards per carry, which is tied for the third-worst mark in football. That's not where you want to be against the 49ers. Led by Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel, San Francisco has the league's fifth-best rushing attack by DVOA. We saw this play out back in the 2019 NFC Championship, when Jimmy Garoppolo attempted just 8 passes en route to a blowout victory. The 49ers have a very real shot at pulling this off and this bet is juiced all the way up to +198.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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