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2019 NFL Divisional Round Betting Odds and Game Previews, Saturday, January 12

Two games are all that separate the remaining eight teams between a trip to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The postseason field has already been trimmed down by four after an exciting Wild Card weekend and fans hope that this weekend’s matchups will live up to the same excitement. Four of the teams are coming into the weekend with a win and possibly some momentum while the other four will be well-rested following a bye in the first round and will have the added advantage of playing in front of their fans at home.

The Indianapolis Colts face off against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in the early Saturday game. The Colts are coming off a dominant 21-7 road win over the Houston Texans and are hoping to pull off another upset playing in enemy territory. The Colts defense was dominant against the Texans with Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Darius Leonard leading a dominant unit. Andrew Luck is also a force under center when he’s able to stay healthy, and with an offensive line that is doing everything to keep him upright, the quarterback is having one of his best years. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has had the Houston Texans number this season and Indianapolis will hope he can replicate his success this weekend against the Chiefs pass defense.

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The Kansas City Chiefs are well-rested heading into their first playoff game and after several seasons without a playoff victory (their last win came in January 2016 in the Wild Card round, and the last win before that occurred in 1994), the Chiefs are hoping to find some postseason success this year. If there’s one thing that’s different with this year’s Kansas City squad, it’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has put together a phenomenal season in his first full year as the starting quarterback. Running back Damien Williams has played solidly since becoming the lead again following Kareem Hunt’s dismissal and Spencer Ware’s injury, and Tyreek Hill is having another spectacular season both as a wide receiver and on special teams.

This clash will be a battle between one of the top offenses in the league versus one of the top defenses. The Chiefs are the favorites in this matchup according to Vegas, but the Colts have played as underdogs for most of the season and they relish the chance to spoil another frontrunner’s chances at the Super Bowl.

The Dallas Cowboys travel to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The Cowboys proved they weren’t one-and-done with their Wild Card round victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys offensive game plan at its core is simple – run the ball with regular season rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott to set up quarterback Dak Prescott to do damage either with his legs or through the air. The trade for wide receiver Amari Cooper was one of the best trades, if not the best, of this NFL season, and Cooper adds a threat through the air the Cowboys hope will expose the Rams defense. The defense has also held strong, and while there were things that the Seahawks were able to expose, for the majority of the game, the Cowboys dominated that side of the ball, even holding Seattle’s league-leading rushing attack in check.

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If the Cowboys want to have any chance of seeing their postseason hopes continue, they’ll need their rush defense to have a repeat performance, especially with Los Angeles star running back Todd Gurley taking the field coming off a week of rest. Gurley has led the Rams offense and quarterback Jared Goff has continued his growth under center, throwing for 32 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. The Rams defense has struggled against the run and could have problems keeping Elliott in check, but with a defensive front that includes Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald, the Cowboys won’t be taking the Rams defense for granted.

The game will be a showcase of two of the top running talents in the league and should be an offensive showdown, though both teams hope their defenses can hold the other in check. While the Cowboys will hope to win a divisional round game, something that has eluded the franchise since the glory days of the ‘90s, the Rams are favored by more than a touchdown.

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