Expert Picks for NFL Divisional Round: Bookies Battle Contestants on Playoff Underdogs

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Ten of the 12 contestants competing for the $2,000 playoff prize in Bookies Battle 2022 are on Bengals +5, making the road underdog in Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round clash the top consensus pick among our experts.

The Cincinnati pick, though, goes against the betting market, which has pushed the Bills to -5.5 on most oddsboards as of Friday afternoon.

Two more underdogs come in tied as the second most popular picks for this weekend of NFL Playoff action, with eight of our 12 remaining bookmakers taking Jaguars +8.5 (at Chiefs) and Giants +7.5 (at Eagles). The consensus again appears to be on the wrong side of the line move in Saturday’s early game, as Kansas City is up to -9 at multiple bet shops. The Giants vs. Eagles line remains 7.5 across the marketplace.

Seven contestants – the smallest number for a majority – are laying 3.5 points with the 49ers over the Cowboys and are on pace for closing line value, with that spread sitting San Francisco -4 at most sportsbooks on Friday.

Consensus Expert Picks for Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs

PickContest lineFriday marketOpp.# of Picks (of 12)
CIN+5+5.5BUF10
JAX+8.5+9KC8
NYG+7.5+7.5PHI8
SF-3.5-4DAL7

A Peek at the Playoff Standings

John Lindheimer (Harrah’s Hoosier Park) and Kalen Carlisle (Wynn) jumped out to an early lead in the Bookies Battle 2022 playoff pool by picking four winners over the six-game Wild Card slate last weekend. John and Kalen, in fact, submitted identical sheets, correctly calling 49ers -10 (vs. Seahawks), Jaguars +1 (vs. Chargers), Giants +3 (at Vikings), and Bengals -6.5 (vs. Ravens), while missing on Bills -10.5 (vs. Dolphins) and Bucs +3 (vs. Cowboys).

Seven contenders went 3-3 last week and are just a game back.

Bookies Battle is an NFL picks contest among bookmakers throughout the legal US sports betting industry, including some of the top expert oddsmakers in the game. Of the more than 60 participants to begin the season, 12 advanced to the playoffs – the top 10 in the standings, plus anyone outside the top 10 who won one of the quarterly mini-contests.

Check out the Bookies Battle standings and picks right here.

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Rex Beyers, In the Bookmaker Spotlight

Rex Beyers, Head of Wagering at PlayUp US, spent some time on the phone recently with Gaming Today’s Kris Johnson and shared insight and stories from his illustrious career as an oddsmaker.

Rex, who finished tied for third in our contest this regular season and won the fourth-quarter mini-contest to advance to the playoffs, has had career stops all over the globe – from Gibraltar to Hawaii, from Costa Rica to England.

“His career carried him in a different direction, and Beyers has enjoyed stints at SportRadar, Caesars, SouthPoint, Westgate SuperBook, and many more during his journey,” Kris writes. “He’s a rarity in the industry after starting his career with an offshore book in Costa Rica and subsequently working for European, American, and Australian companies.”

In the Q&A, Beyers dishes on his primary career influence whose name he won’t mention, technological impediments to booking sharp players, and how he came to be known as “Rex.”

Check out the full interview here.

More Bookmaker Spotlight Q&As:  South Point’s Chris Andrews | BetMGM’s Jason Scott | Bally Bet’s Jay Rood  | Westgate’s Jeff Sherman | Golden Nugget’s Tony Miller |  Station’s Jason McCormick |  Circa’s Jeff Benson | Baldini’s Robert Kowalski | Westgate’s Casey Degnon | Rivers’ Kyle Wainscott | Aliante’s Socrates Cherry III

About the Author
Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto

Sr. News Editor
Marcus DiNitto is Senior News Editor for Gaming Today. He has been managing editor at national sports websites SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, and The Linemakers, as well as with licensed sportsbook operator USA Sports Gaming. Marcus graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

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