NFL Divisional Round betting: A trio of exotic wagers for Saturday’s playoff action

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith vs. Jets, December 2019 (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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The NFL Divisional Round gets underway Saturday with two favorites laying at least a touchdown at home, and books are offering a bevy of wagering opportunities in derivative betting markets.

As the first kickoff approaches, bettors can look beyond point spreads and game totals to find value. Here are a handful of exotic bets to consider for Saturday’s postseason action.

Betting previews: 49ers-Vikings | Ravens-Titans

49ers/Vikings longest field goal made UNDER 46.5 yards

San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould finished the regular season ranked No. 27 in field-goal conversion percentage (74.2%), and with the 49ers expected to be leading late in this game, the prospects of coach Kyle Shanahan trusting the 37-year-old veteran with a long attempt are low. Gould went 0-for-4 from 50+ yards in 2019.

Vikings kicker Dan Bailey went 5-for-7 from the 40-to-49-yard range in the regular season, and his longest make was from 50 yards. Gould went 6-for-8 from that range with a long of 47. But with 14 mph winds in the Santa Clara forecast, it is difficult to envision either coach trotting out their kicker for a long attempt unless it comes at the end of the first half or in an end-game scenario.

Ravens/Titans 1st Half UNDER 23.5

Everyone knows about Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense, but the Baltimore defense has been a different unit since they acquired cornerback Marcus Peters from the Rams in late October and their other stud CB, Jimmy Smith, returned from injury in early November. Since both have been starting, the Ravens defense has surrendered just 14 points per game (best in the NFL), with no opponent posting more than 21 points.

Expect the Titans to continue feeding the ball to running back Derrick Henry early in this one, doing what they can to keep Jackson and the potent Ravens offense off the field. Baltimore’s starters may need to shake off some rust, as they have been off the field for three weeks after resting Week 17 and during their playoff bye week.

If this number hits 24, then this becomes an even stronger play. At the time of this Friday publication, there are some rogue 24s in the marketplace at -130 juice. If bettors can find 24 at -125 or better, then that is the optimal path from a math perspective.

Player props: 49ers-Vikings | Ravens-Titans

Ravens/Titans total punts OVER 7.5

Since we like the UNDER, it stands to reason that we also like OVER 7.5 punts in Baltimore on Saturday. These are two run-first offenses, and Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel figures to pound the rock early in order to slow down the game. His team ranked in the top 10 in opponent third-down conversion percentage (36.41%) during the regular season, but more impressively, they were No. 2 on the road, allowing opponents to convert on third downs just 29% of the time. On offense, Tennessee has averaged 5.7 punts per game on their own over their last three contests.

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