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How to Watch the NFL Divisional Round Games Without Cable

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The NFL Divisional Weekend is over. It features four games two AFC matchups and two NFC matchups. And now we are on to Super Bowl LVIII!

In a hurry? These live TV streaming services allow you to watch the NFL games from preseason, regular season, and postseason — and much more:

  • Fubo: The best streaming service for international sports also provides 150+ well-selected channels. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.
  • Hulu + Live TV: This total entertainment streaming service provides a great on-demand selection and all the essential live TV channels with a 3-day free trial.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Get a great channel lineup with the best selection of RSNs in the industry. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.

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After the Wild Card Round, six teams move on to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. These six teams are combined with the two conference winners (that got bye weeks) for a total of 8 teams competing in 4 football games — two on Saturday and two on Sunday afternoon.

The winners of these games compete the following weekend in the conference championships. And then there is the Super Bowl two weeks after that.

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Jacksonville Jaguars players #11 Marvin Jones, Jr. (WR), #16 Trevor Lawrence (QB), and #1 Travis Etienne, Jr. (RB) - Jaguars @ Washington Commanders, NFL Week 1 2022
Marvin Jones, Trevor Lawrence, and Travis Etienne (2022) by All-Pro Reels under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

Which TV Channels Are the Divisional Games On?

Last year, the divisional games aired on CBS (1), Fox (2), and NBC (1). Here is all the information we have for the Divisional Round games:

  • Sat Jan 20 : Houston Texans (10) at Baltimore Ravens (34) (ABC/ESPN)
  • Sat Jan 20 : Green Bay Packers (21) at San Francisco 49ers (24) (Fox)
  • Sun Jan 21 : Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23) at Detroit Lions (31) (NBC)
  • Sun Jan 21 : Kansas City Chiefs (27) at Buffalo Bills (24) (CBS)

These stations are over-the-air in most areas. That means you can watch it for free if you set up a digital antenna. But if you prefer to stream, see the section below.

Superpower Your Sports Streaming With a VPN

For the sake of privacy, security, and access, you should be using a VPN. They are low-cost and easy to use. We’ve been using them for years and our top pick is ExpressVPN. Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

i Our VPN Buyer’s Guide provides a complete introduction and all you need to know to choose the best VPN for your needs.

How to Watch the NFL Divisional Round Without Cable

Live TV streaming services allow you to watch the NFL games live even when you do not have cable. The one exception is Thursday Night Football, which is exclusive to Amazon Prime Video. But this does not apply to the 2024 NFL playoffs.

The playoffs will be airing live on local network affiliates CBS, FOX, and NBC along with ESPN. If you want to watch these games, see below for the streaming services that give you access to these channels.

  • Fubo (formerly FuboTV): There are 35+ sports channels out of the 140+ channels in the base package. The Pro plan channels lineup includes NBC and other local channels. There is also 1,000 hours of cloud DVR and the ability to stream on 10 devices home and away. The plan costs $79.99/mo. (Fubo review)
  • Sling TV: It offers the most affordable way to watch the NFL playoffs. Sign up for Sling Orange + Blue for $55.00/mo. With both packages, you can watch the matchups aired on NBC, Fox, and ESPN. (Sling TV review, Super Bowl on Sling TV)
  • Hulu + Live TV: It is well known for its on-demand service and diverse channel lineup. Disney+ and ESPN+ are included. The plan has 85+ channels, unlimited cloud DVR and you can watch on 2 devices at the same time. Try the Hulu Live free 3-day trial. (Hulu + Live TV review)
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Prices start at $79.99/mo. There are roughly 80 channels in the base package including local channels. You also get unlimited cloud DVR storage as long as you sign up online and unlimited simultaneous device use. New customers get a 5-day free trial with DIRECTV STREAM. (DIRECTV STREAM review)
  • YouTubeTV: Get lots of live and on-demand channels for $72.99/mo. NBC is available. (YouTubeTV review)

Peacock gives you access to NBC so you can watch all of Monday Night Football every week. Vidgo is the only streaming service that does not offer NBC, so if you already have a subscription, you can pair it with Peacock for an additional $4.99/mo. See our Peacock review for more information. (Black Friday deal details)

Devices For Streaming the Divisional Round Games

You can use most devices to watch the divisional games with the streaming services we’ve discussed above. They all support the following:

  • iOS Devices (eg, iPhone)
  • Roku
  • Samsung TVs
  • Web Browsers

Other than DIRECTV STREAM, all support a number of other devices including Xbox gaming systems.

Cincinnati Bengals - Baltimore Ravens
BJ Sams running the football during the November 5, 2006 Baltimore Ravens/Cincinnati Bengals game by KA Sports Photos under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Divisional Round Analysis

Thus far, we only know two of the teams that will be featured in the Divisional Round because they get a first-round bye and go directly to the divisional round. They also happen to be the top-ranked teams in the NFL — based on every major analysis we’ve seen:

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Francisco 49ers

During Week 16, these two teams played with the Ravens soundly defeating the 49ers, although the 49ers did show some signs of life late in the game. In Week 17, San Francisco defeated a weak Commanders team. But the Ravens overwhelmed a strong Dolphins team.

As we approach the Divisional Round, San Francisco fans are hoping the bye week will reinvigorate the 49ers as their regular season bye week did. And all the Baltimore fans can ask for is more of the same.

Here are the teams that survived the Wild Card Round:

  • Detroit Lions (#5)
  • Buffalo Bills (#6)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (#8)
  • Houston Texans (#11)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#14)
  • Green Bay Packers (#16)

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are widely considered the best team in the NFL — even if the 49ers are oddly the favorite to win the Super Bowl. But the Texans bring a lot to this game and they have one of the best special teams in the league.

The Ravens’ offense is strongest in its running game. But the Texans are good against the run. Just the same, the Ravens can pass and this may be what they do as the Texans have struggled against it.

On the other side, Houston has struggled to run the ball. They will be dependent on their passing game but the Ravens have a very good passing defense as we saw during their regular season defeat of the 49ers.

According to the professional handicappers, this game will see modest scoring with an over/under of 45.5 points. But the Ravens are expected to dominate and are favored by 8.5 points.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

As with the Ravens, the 49ers are expected to dominate this game. The opening line had San Francisco over Green Bay by 9.5 points with an over/under of 48.5 points.

The key to the 49ers’ success this season is that they pass and run the ball with equal success. The Packers defend well against the pass but have been weak on rushing.

The Packers too are consistent with their running and passing games. But they haven’t performed as well as the 49ers. But Green Bay may have a chance with their passing since the 49ers have been a little soft on defense against it.

Both teams struggle on special teams so that isn’t likely to be a major aspect of this matchup.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

The Lions barely got past the Rans in the Wild Card Round. And Tampa Bay crushed the Eagles. But the oddsmakers still see the Lions winning by six points in a game with an over/under of 46.5 points.

It isn’t hard to see why. The Lions have one of the best offenses in the NFL and the Bucs’ is in the bottom half of the league.

Like the 49ers, Detroit is excellent in passing and rushing. Tampa Bay is pretty good against the run but terrible at covering the pass.

On offense, Tampa Bay is weak — middling passing but ranked last for rushing. On the other hand, Detroit has a very weak passing defense even as they have one of the best rushing defenses in the league.

All this could mean that the Buccaneers have an opportunity with their passing game. But given that, the Lions will be able to focus on their passing defense and shut down the Bucs.

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills

This is the only Divisional Round game that is expected to be close. The sportsbooks opened with the Bills winning by just under a field goal (2.5 points). The total on the game is 45.5 points.

The Chiefs have a good passing game. Their rushing game is acceptable but not great. The Bills’ defense mirrors this: very good against the pass and middling against the run.

The offense, the Bills are good running and passing. The Chiefs have one of the best passing defenses but they struggle against the run.

The Chiefs also have a stronger special teams crew than the Bills. This could be important in a close game. And this looks like it could well be a close, hard-fought matchup.

Eliminated in the Wild Card Round

These teams were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs: Dallas Cowboys (#3), Miami Dolphins (#4), Cleveland Browns (#7), Philadelphia Eagles (#9), Los Angeles Rams (#10), and Pittsburgh Steelers (#15).

Eliminated in Week 18

The following teams came close but missed out in Week 18: Jacksonville Jaguars (#12), Indianapolis Colts (#13), New Orleans Saints (#17), Seattle Seahawks (#19), Minnesota Vikings (#21), and Atlanta Falcons (#24).

Eliminated Before Week 18

Before Week 18, we had to go all the way down to #20, the Chicago Bears, to find an eliminated team. The rest that were eliminated were: Denver Broncos (#22), Las Vegas Raiders (#23), New York Jets (#25), Tennessee Titans (#26), Los Angeles Chargers (#27), New York Giants (#28), Arizona Cardinals (#29), New England Patriots (#30), Washington Commanders (#31), and Carolina Panthers (#32).

Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and defensive end Nick Bosa (2019) by Joe Glorioso/All-Pro Reels under CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

Wrapping Up

The divisional round games can be streamed with all of the live TV streaming services we’ve discussed. Our top choice is Fubo, which will allow you to watch all playoff games, regular season games in your area, other sports, and general stuff.

Sign Up for a Free Fubo Trial


How can I stream the divisional playoff games for free?

All the divisional round games should be broadcast on CBS, Fox, or NBC. If you live relatively near an affiliate station, you should be able to watch it for free with an antenna. Modern over-the-air signals are digital and high-definition so they look as good as what you will get from streaming, cable, or satellite. See our antenna guide for more information.

What were the results of the 2023 NFL divisional round?

  • Sat Jan 21 : Jacksonville Jaguars (20) at Kansas City Chiefs (27) — NBC: Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analysis), Melissa Stark (reporting)
  • Sat Jan 21 : New York Giants (7) at Philadelphia Eagles (38) — Fox: Joe Davis (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (analysis), Pam Oliver and Kristina Pink (reporting)
  • Sun Jan 22 : Cincinnati Bengals (27) at Buffalo Bills (10) — CBS: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analysis, Tracy Wolfson and Jay Feely (reporting)
  • Sun Jan 22 : Dallas Cowboys (12) at San Francisco 49ers (19) — Fox: Kevin Burkhardt (play-by-play), Greg Olsen (analysis), and Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi, and Mike Pereira (reporting).

How do I stream other NFL playoff games?

The following guides provide details on watching the NFL playoffs:

Our article How to Stream NFL Without Cable has general information.

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