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AFC Divisional Round NFL Odds + Previews

Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) at Tennessee Titans (-3.5)

Saturday 4:30 pm ET

Saturday’s pigskin playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans is going to be an old-school, smash-mouth, heavy hitting brawl. Both teams rely on a dominating defense to set the tempo of games and cause turnovers. Although each team’s QB wouldn’t admit to it, they are more or less asked to manage the game and not turn the ball over, relying on the ability to not have to put up a lot of points to win a game. The 2 teams met earlier this season in low-scoring, defense vs. defense game as Tennessee edged Baltimore 13-10 in week 5.

Tennessee plays with a huge four man front D-line, attacking both the QB and the running back in the backfield. DT Albert Haynesworth puts it one way, “I’ve been in hibernation for a month now, and the grizzly is hungry and he’s ready to eat.” Tennessee also gets good news as stud DE Kyle Vanden Bosch will return from an injury to face the Ravens on Saturday.

Baltimore has been able to do something that not a lot of defensive teams can brag about, they are exciting to watch. Baltimore’s defense is loaded with playmakers, from D-linemen to linebackers and through to the secondary. Safety Ed Reed is on a remarkable tear snagging 5 separate 2-interception games in the past 7. Linebacker Ray Lewis is the emotional leader of the team and is playing as well as he ever has. His game is rejuvenated under his new coach and with Joe Flacco, Ravens QB, managing the game and scoring some points, this has allowed Lewis and the defense to get rest on the sideline and have confidence in his offense.

Saturday will bring a well coached game and a will be a battle of field-position. Look for whichever team wins the turnover battle to move on to the conference championship.

San Diego Chargers (+6.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)

Sunday 4:45 pm ET

Sunday’s AFC game is one that simply cannot be missed. The San Diego Chargers are riding a wave of momentum into a cold Heinz field to face-off against the league’s toughest defense the Pittsburgh Steelers. San Diego has taken an unconventional route to the playoffs, starting the season off at 4-8 and left for dead, then storming back to seize the division title in the last game. The Chargers hosted the high-octane Indianapolis Colts in the wildcard weekend, and beat them in overtime on a long RB Darren Sproles touchdown run, entering this weekend in the most dramatic fashion.

Pittsburgh comes off a much needed bye-week after watching team leader and starting QB Ben Roethlisberger leave the final game of the season on a stretcher after suffering a concussion. The extra week off gave him time to heal and he will be ready to face the Chargers come Sunday. Pittsburgh is 6-2 at home this season and Heinz field is a true home-field advantage. The grass can be less than perfect at times and the weather in Pittsburgh is supposed to be a factor, something that Pittsburgh will relish. Under bitter conditions in week 11, the Steelers beat San Diego 11-10 marking the first time an NFL game has ended in that score in its long history. The game came down to the last minute and there is no reason to believe Sunday won’t be the same.

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