Here are my Divisional weekend picks with confidence level selections.
For every week up until this one, my picks with a confidence level of 6+ that netted a 153-53-1 mark over the past two seasons and a 70-25-1 mark this year were only available to Pickward Pro subscribers.
Pickwatch Pro is a great service that allows subscribers to download the best expert data in the industry, see team-by-team winners for every expert, and provides access to Upset Watch, which has been the ultimate cheatcode to beat the sportsbooks over the last five years. Combine those elements with the top level of my weekly picks and it makes for a must-subscribe service for anyone serious about betting.
Because there are only four games on this week’s slate and none of them rate a 6+ confidence level, the Saturday games are in front of the paywall and the Sunday games will be behind the paywall.
With that caveat out of the way, let’s get to this week’s picks!
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
KC’s pick: Cincinnati | Confidence level: 2
There are a couple of ways to look at the Titans late season performance. The glass half full way is that Tennessee won four of its last five despite not having Derrick Henry in the lineup. The glass half empty approach is to note that they lost three out of four before notching wins a paper tiger Miami team and barely beating a Houston team that went 4-13. The reality is that the key to the Titans late season performance stemmed on offensive giveaways, as Tennessee had fourteen giveaways in those three aforementioned losses (with a minimum of four per game) and had zero in their wins. That is not a good trend against a Cincinnati defense that forced two or more giveaways in five of their last nine games and had at least one takeaway in seven of their last nine contests.
The Titans could benefit from the return of Henry this week, but the Tennessee also gave up 289+ passing yards in two of their last three games and thus could be in a bad way against Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and company. Add that to Cincinnati’s five game streak with zero giveaways and the Bengals look to have a few more paths to victory than Tennessee, so Cincinnati gets this pick.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
KC’s pick: Green Bay | Confidence level: 3
This article series often highlights the varied paths to victory teams can take in a contest and goes with the club that has more of those paths in its favor.
Since this game has two powerhouse offenses, there is a very good chance that this contest turns into a high scoring game. San Francisco has a combined 5-3 record in shootouts (games where each team scores 24+ points) or near shootouts (where one club posts 24+ points and the other team tallies 20+ points, so they fare well in high scoring games, but Green Bay has a 7-2 mark in shootouts/near shootouts and therefore is probably better suited for that type of matchup.
The big concern for the Packers is that in Weeks 14-16 they allowed 499 rushing yards to Chicago, Baltimore, and Cleveland and gave up 82 points in those games, including 30 points in consecutive matchups against very banged up Bears and Ravens offenses. That is a major concern versus a San Francisco offense that has tallied 479 rushing yards in its last three games that included matchups against the Rams and Dallas.
The 49ers defense also could present a challenge for the Packers, as San Francisco gave up only 41 combined points against the Rams and Dallas over the past two weeks (with the Cowboys scoring only one touchdown). The 49ers have also allowed fewer than 90 rushing yards in nine of their past ten games.
Having noted these potential advantages for San Francisco, the biggest concern for the 49ers is that Green Bay has posted two or more takeaways in 11 games this year and has at least one takeaway in ten games this year and the Packers undefeated when they get at least one takeaway this year. That is a potentially major problem against a 49ers offense that has posted at least one giveaway in five straight games and has a quarterback dealing with a thumb injury.
Add it all up and it says that while Green Bay is a flawed team with issues, they are at home and should get better much more consistent quarterback play, so the Packers get this pick in this one.