Welcome to the second weekend of the NFL playoffs, also known as the Divisional Round! With the Wild Card Round in the books, the field has been narrowed from 12 to eight. All eight teams will be in action this weekend, with two games on Saturday, January 14th, and two more on Sunday, January 15th. The last of those games will be held at 4:40 pm EST on Sunday, and will see the Green Bay Packers travel to Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys. The Packers enter the contest as the four seed in the NFC, following a victory at home last week against the New York Giants. Their opponents, the Cowboys, hold the one seed and had the luxury of having last week off.
Now this one is going to be fun. And it sets up to be a shootout in Texas. Both clubs have plenty of offensive ammunition. Aaron Rodgers is playing at an extremely high level right now, and he seems determined to make it to the Super Bowl. Rodgers playing the way he is right now has to be scary to any opposing defense, even if they are a respectable unit like the Cowboys. Rodgers will likely be without Jordy Nelson, who fractured a few ribs early in the Giants game. But do not worry, Rodgers still has plenty of weapons at his disposal, and he showed last week that it does not matter who is on the receiving end, as the man throwing the ball is one of the in the NFL.
On the other side, we have the team that showed themselves to be the best team in the NFL this season. Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are both right in the mix for Offensive Rookie of the Year and many are pushing for Elliott to be the MVP as well. Behind one of the best offensive lines in football, the Cowboys seems unstoppable this year. But they are the Cowboys, and whenever everyone expects them to be Super Bowl bound, they find a way to mess it up. Just ask Tony Romo. But this team just has a different feel about them. I really want to pick the Packers here, but there is something about the Cowboys that screams complete team and I cannot see myself going against them right now.
This one sets up to be a back and forth contest that sees a lot of points. Conventional wisdom would tell me to pick Rodgers over a rookie quarterback in such a game. But I am going against that logic, and I know I will likely regret it. I am rolling with Dallas in terms of winning the game, but when it comes to the betting side of things, I will take Rodgers and the four and a half points.
The winner of this game will face the winner of the Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons game. If the Cowboys win, they will host the winner of that game next week. Meanwhile, the Packers would once again be on the road, as they are the lowest remaining seed in the NFC.
Line: Dal -4.5, O/U: 52.5
Prediction: Cowboys 31- Packers 28, Packers and the over