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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) encourages teammates before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) encourages teammates before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)|Associated Press
NFL

Mike Kern's NFL Divisional Round Picks: He's teasing Ravens vs Titans, Texans vs Chiefs and Seahawks vs Packers and likes the AFC overs

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

OK, so it’s on to the NFL’s divisional-round weekend. Last week we lost the one teaser we threw out there (Saints with Eagles). But at least our leans to all of the underdogs went 3-1, with the Birds obviously being the lone miss. And we also went 3-1 on our over-under leans, with the lone blemish being the Saints-Vikings going just under the number.

Have to admit I’m really not in love with much this week. The underdogs did really well last week, for the third straight year in the wild card games. But in this round over the last eight years the home teams coming off a bye have won 25 times. That doesn’t of course mean they’ve covered 25 times. But the lines this week are mostly a lot higher, for all of the obvious reasons.

That being said, I’m going to go with a teaser. Mostly because there’s just something in me that hates laying a bunch of points in the postseason. Probably a character flaw. Anyway, I’m taking the Ravens (-.5), with the Chiefs (also at -.5) and the Seahawks (+13.5).

I’m not sure I want to lay nearly 10 with the team that had the best record in the league but lost its first playoff game, also at home, last year. But I do think Baltimore is good enough to at least get it done. I do, however, respect the Titans enough, especially coming off last week after what they did the second half of the season, to just move this down to a win situation. The same logic applies with Kansas City, which is in a revenge situation from week six when Houston beat them in KC. And Andy Reid’s playoff record, particularly at home, is not all that good. But I still think the two best teams in the AFC will be meeting next week for the right to go to the Supe. As for Seattle, I’m not sure it can win at Lambeau, but both these teams have played a lot of close games, so all I’m asking the Hawks to do is keep it within two touchdowns minus a conversion. I hope that’s not asking too much.

In the other game, I kind of like the 49ers giving a TD at home against the Vikes, but just enough to get too excited about putting too much real money on it.

As for the over-unders, I would lean – again, I say lean – toward the over in the two AFC matchups (KC-Houston is 51, Ravens-Tennessee is 47). In the NFC I’m not as sure. Weather turnovers could always play a part in Green Bay, especially at night, and the number is 46. Minny-SF, meanwhile, is 44.5. If you put a gun to my head I’d probably go under in the first and over in the second.

Here’s hoping the bounces go your way. And we’ll see you back here next week for some observations on the two championship tilts.