Rams vs Cowboys

Rams vs Cowboys : Dak Prescott has earned a reputation for coming through in big moments, even if he has been uneven at times as a thrower. It will be interesting to see how he handles things here, even against a Rams defense that doesn’t clamp down in coverage. WR Allen Hurns is out, and Cole Beasley is dealing with an ankle injury. Maybe the young tight ends, including Blake Jarwin, can step up.

But as Dallas goes, it falls on the shoulders of RB Ezekiel Elliott. Backs have gashed Los Angeles for 4.9 yards per carry and 12 TDs this season, but they’ve been less effective in the passing game vs. this defense. Elliott’s receiving ability has been a sneaky-big part of this offense, especially when Prescott is hurried.

There are a few matchups worth the price of admission. The first is old friend Amari Cooper going up against Marcus Peters (and Aqib Talib). Trades have brought the old AFC West rivals together again, and they’ve traded off dominant performances against each other when they were with the Raiders and Chiefs (and Broncos), respectively. Peters has had a down season battling injuries, and Talib just returned to the lineup in December, but Cooper has sparked the Dallas offense tremendously.

The other is Cowboys OG Zack Martin vs. Rams DL Aaron Donald, a get-your-popcorn battle in the trenches. They’re two of the best at what they do. The Rams have 41 sacks — half from Donald — and are predicated on big plays defensively. They’ll give up chunks of yards but balance it out with sacks, turnovers and red-zone stops. Prescott and this Cowboys O-line have shrunk vs. good interior pressure.QB Jared Goff seemed to get his timing back late in the season after a tough stretch when pressure really seemed to get to him. Head coach Sean McVay did him a favor by using more tight ends and fewer five-man protections, and it led to fewer mistakes down the stretch, albeit vs. a few lesser defenses.

The Cowboys’ unit is strong against the run and has a good group of pressure players up front, so this Rams O-line must give Goff time. Like the Donald-Martin matchup, another good one here is LT Andrew Whitworth vs. Cowboys DEs Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.

The Rams like to let their pass patterns develop, and though things haven’t been as smooth since WR Cooper Kupp went down for the year, they still have ample weapons with Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods leading the way. The Cowboys’ secondary is big and athletic, but sometimes their ball recognition prevents them from making more turnovers.

Containing RB Todd Gurley is crucial. The Cowboys’ stout run defense might do its job vs. Gurley on the ground, but can they bottle him up as a receiver the way Dallas did against the Saints’ Alvin Kamara? That might be the difference.

Special teams: The Rams have pretty strong special teams all around, now that their kicking situation has settled down a bit. But their weakness is on the coverage units, and remember what Tavon Austin did last week — two long returns, with one called back — despite not being fully healthy. Cowboys rookie K Brett Maher has answered the bell with some big kicks.

Coaching: McVay has had an extra week to prep, but the Cowboys will have an interesting edge with defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard having faced McVay twice last season and being familiar with the Rams’ concepts and pace. Head coach Jason Garrett doesn’t have a great postseason mark, but then again McVay is 0-1 in the playoffs to date.

Prediction: The Rams might have some shaky moments in this one, but they should have just enough firepower to outlast the Cowboys. Prescott will have chances to get out of the pocket and create, but he also will be susceptible to some hits in this one. One or two turnovers could tilt this game.

Colts vs Chiefs

Colts vs Chiefs : The last time the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs faced off in the NFL postsesason, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck delivered a memorable second-half comeback.  Luck and the Colts came back from 28 points down to defeat Andy Reid’s team in the 2014 Wild Card Round.

While another double-digit point comeback is unlikely Saturday, the 2014 meeting serves as a good reminder of what Luck is capable of in the postseason.

Opposing Luck in the latest playoff showdown between the Colts and Chiefs is first-year starter and Most Valuable Player favorite Patrick Mahomes, who is attempting to make his own imprint on the playoffs.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria surrounding Mahomes going into Saturday, but we need to temper our expectations a bit.

After all, this is the first NFL playoff game for an up-and-coming star of the league, and he’s going to experience some nerves on his first few drives.

Once Mahomes settles into a rhythm in the pocket, he’ll be his normal self, but the Colts won’t make life easy for the second-year player.

Indianapolis comes into Arrowhead Stadium with the 16th-ranked passing defense in the NFL, but it’s only given up 21 passing touchdowns, which is tied for the third-best total in the league.

With the Colts secondary standing firm in and around the end zone, the Chiefs will have to rely on their ground game to put a few touchdowns on the board.

Mahomes will eventually throw for two scores in the air, but those will be on longer plays where Tyreek Hill can stretch the field and Travis Kelce exploits a mismatch.

Because his touchdowns will be of the longer variety, Mahomes comes close to hitting the 300-yard mark for the 11th time this season.

Luck will be the more successful quarterback in the offensive statistical categories Saturday, but that doesn’t mean he’s worlds better than Mahomes, it just means he’s facing a weaker defense.

Kansas City ranks 31st in the NFL in passing defense, with only the Cincinnati Bengals producing worse numbers in the regular season.

Luck should have an easy time spreading the ball around to his receivers against Kansas City’s below-average defensive unit.

Even if the Chiefs come up with a few early stops on third down, Luck will eventually find success because he’s been able to hit players other than T.Y. Hilton in the passing game over the last few weeks.

By relying on Hilton, Chester Rogers, Dontrelle Inman and Eric Ebron, Luck will rack up the fourth 300-yard performance of his playoff career.

Luck is 2-1 in the previous three playoff games in which he threw for over 300 yards, with one of those victories being the come-from-behind triumph over Kansas City in 2014.

The development of a balanced offense is one of the main reasons why the Colts are one of the eight teams still alive in the postseason.

In three of his last four games, running back Marlon Mack eclipsed the 100-yard ark, with his latest strong performance coming in the Wild Card Round against the Houston Texans.

Mack has also scampered into the end zone on five occasions in the last four games, and he’ll take the pressure off Luck in red-zone situations once again Saturday.

The combination of Mack’s terrific form and Kansas City’s brutal rushing defense, which is almost equally as bad as its passing defense, allows the Colts running back to produce another triple-digit showing.

Kansas City ranks 27th in rushing defense, as it gives up 132.1 yards per game and five yards per attempt.

In their five regular-season games in December, the Chiefs allowed an average of 164.2 rushing yards and conceded over 200 yards on the ground in their Week 16 loss to Seattle.

Since we don’t see the Chiefs cleaning up their defense by leaps and bounds before Saturday, we expect the Colts to put up impressive numbers that challenge Mahomes and Co. to match.

Cowboys vs Rams

Cowboys vs RamsWith just eight teams remaining in the 2019 NFL Playoffs, the Divisional schedule features matchups that pit some of the league’s hottest teams against each other. That’s the case on Saturday night when the Dallas Cowboys travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams for an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff, the second game on the NFL Divisional schedule.

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The Cowboys have won eight of their last nine, while the Rams went 13-3 this season with a prolific offense and a disruptive defense led by Aaron Donald. Los Angeles is a seven-point favorite, unchanged from the opening line, with the total at 49.5 in the latest Cowboys vs. Rams odds. Before you make your NFL playoff predictions for this bout, be sure to check out the top Cowboys vs. Rams picks from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

The advanced computer model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018-19, entering the Divisional Round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. It also went 170-84 on straight-up NFL picks during the regular season, ranking inside the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com. Additionally, it hit all four NFL against the spread picks on Wild Card Weekend. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now the model has dialed in on Cowboys vs. Rams (stream live on fuboTV) 10,000 times. We can tell you it’s leaning Over, but it’s also generated a strong point-spread pick that’s hitting over 50 percent of the time. You can only see that one at SportsLine.

The model knows that balance is key to the Rams’ offense. L.A. had the No. 2-ranked total offense and scoring offense, and ranked in the top five in passing and rushing in 2018. Rams head coach and play-caller Sean McVay has a number of weapons at his disposal at the skill positions and uses that versatility to catch opposing defenses off guard. Quarterback Jared Goff had a career-high 32 touchdowns and posted a QB rating of over 100 for the second straight season, while running back Todd Gurley was third in rushing yards with 1,251.

And against the Cowboys, McVay will lean on running back Gurley against a banged-up Cowboys defensive line. DT Maliek Collins, DE Tyrone Crawford and DL David Irving are all ailing heading into the Divisional round. Gurley has been limited in practice this week with a knee injury, but should be healthier after sitting the last two games of the regular season and using the bye week to continue resting up.

But just because L.A. has plenty of firepower doesn’t mean Goff, Gurley, and company will cover the Cowboys vs. Rams spread.

The model also knows that Dallas’ line, anchored by defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, has been the team’s strength all season. While Crawford has produced 5.5 sacks, Lawrence posted 10.5 and forced two fumbles. If the Cowboys can exert enough pressure from the outside to force Goff to step up in the pocket, freed linebackers should be able to bring him down.

The MVP of Dallas’ offense has been wideout Amari Cooper. Acquired from the Raiders in a midseason trade, the veteran has produced 725 yards on 53 receptions in nine games with Big D. He came up huge in the wild-card game, setting up three scoring drives with critical plays and leading the way with 106 receiving yards. Running back Ezekiel Elliott churned out plenty of first downs in that contest, going for 169 yards from scrimmage and a score.

Chiefs vs Colts

Chiefs vs Colts : odds, line 2019 NFL divisional round picks and best playoff predictions from model on 16-6 run .  SportsLine’s advanced computer model simulated Saturday’s Chiefs vs. Colts game 10,000 times…Considering that the Indianapolis Colts had to sneak into the 2019 NFL Playoffs on the last day of the season, while the Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the NFL’s best from start to finish,

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you’d think that Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round game between the Nos. 1 and 6 seeds might be one-sided. However, Indianapolis is red-hot and sports books are expecting a game. Kansas City is favored by 5.5, with the total at 57 in the latest Chiefs vs. Colts odds. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomesand Colts veteran signal caller Andrew Luck have been two of the best at their position, so expect plenty of fireworks in the first game of the NFL Divisional schedule at 4:35 p.m. ET. Before you make any Chiefs vs. Colts picks, be sure to check out the NFL playoff predictions from SportsLine’s Projection Model.

The advanced computer model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen massive returns. SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018-19, entering the divisional round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. It also went 170-84 on straight-up NFL picks during the regular season, ranking inside the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com. Additionally, it hit all four NFL against-the-spread picks on Wild Card Weekend. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now the model has dialed in on Colts vs. Chiefs (stream live on fuboTV). We can tell you it’s leaning under, but it has also generated a strong point-spread pick that’s hitting nearly 60 percent of the time. You can only see that one over at SportsLine.

The model knows that the Chiefs should benefit greatly from the bye week. Kansas City sprinted out to a blistering 9-1 start to the season, but looked more beatable down the stretch, losing three of its final six and two of the last three. Those losses came against playoff teams like the Chargers, Rams, and Seahawks.

Injuries were a big factor in that, and the week off should give several key players a chance to return at closer to 100 percent. Receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) has a chance to play for the first time since Week 11, while safety Eric Berry (heel) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) are also important players who will benefit from time off. A full strength Chiefs team will allow Mahomes to flourish in the NFL Playoffs 2019.

But just because Kansas City is getting healthier doesn’t mean it will cover the Chiefs vs. Colts spread on Saturday.

The model also knows that Luck is the heart and soul of the Colts, and his play has been impressive after battling through shoulder injuries the last two seasons. However, coordinator Matt Eberflus’ turnaround of the Colts’ defense is a major part of why they’ve made it this far as well.

After ranking 30th in the NFL in scoring defense and total defense in 2017, the Colts were 10th in points allowed and 11th in total defense in 2018. Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard has been at the center of it all, earning first-team All-Pro honors with 163 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Leonard was all over the field again during Wild Card Weekend in Indy’s 21-7 win over the Texans, making 13 tackles and deflecting a pass. Leonard’s ability to impact the game in coverage, as a run-stopper, as a pass-rusher and as a turnover-creator could be key to disrupting the high-powered Chiefs offense just enough to let Luck and the Colts outscore Kansas City on Saturday.

Who wins Colts vs. Chiefs? And which side of the spread hits in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Colts vs. Chiefs spread you need to be all over Saturday, all from the incredible computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors.