Gary | Wed 11/01/2017 - 18:18 EST

NFL Divisional playoff predictions

Best NFL Divisional playoff bets 

By Bob Duff

Analysis and predicted outcomes of NFL second round playoff games, with point spreads provided courtesy of Bovada.lv:

Seattle Seahawks (+5) at Atlanta Falcons (-5)

seaWhen it comes to locks, this might be it. The Seahawks have never, ever won a playoff game as a road underdog, going 0-8 in that scenario. They could be exactly what the doctor ordered to quell the playoff maladies that have for so long affected Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

Don’t get overly excited about Seattle’s lopsided win over Detroit last week. Lions QB Matthew Stafford couldn’t throw the ball well with an injured finger and Detroit couldn’t run the ball whatsoever. No one has been able to slow Atlanta’s potent offense, as Ryan hooked up with Julio Jones and company for an average of 38.5 points per game over the last month.

Pick: The Falcons (-5)

Houston Texans (-16) at New England Patriots (+16)

bradyA 16-point spread in a playoff game? Wow, that’s a lot. And you know what? The Patriots will still cover. Any way you measure it, the Patriots are overwhelming favorites to win the Super Bowl and using any sort of analytics, New England grades out as the NFL’s best team this season.

nfl-4The Texans, meanwhile, stumbled around all season long and likely only reached this stage because the Oakland Raiders, their first-round playoff opponent, were without injured QB Derek Carr. Tom Brady was suspended when the Patriots and Texans met in Week 3 and New England still won 27-0.

Pick: The Patriots (-16)

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) at Kansas City Chiefs (-1)

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Much like they did to Miami in the opening playoff round, Pittsburgh destroyed Kansas City 43-14 when the two teams met during the regular season. Pittsburgh is riding an eight-game winning streak and the Steelers are 4-0 both straight up and against the spread on the road during this run of success. If Pittsburgh’s young defense can force Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to have to win the game, it bodes well for the Steelers’ chances.

Providing Andy Reid with an extra week to prepare is generally a recipe for failure. Reid-coached teams are 16-2 straight up and 13-5 against the spread following a bye week. In the playoffs, Reid’s teams are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS after a first-round bye. And it should be noted that the Chiefs were missing top pass rusher Jason Houston when they faced the Steelers in regular season play. 

Pick: The Steelers (+1)

Green Bay Packers (+4) at Dallas Cowboys (-4)

dallasSince a 4-6 start the Packers have rattled off seven successive victories and people are starting to draw parallels between this team and the 2010-11 Packers who won Super Bowl XLV. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tossed 22 touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his past eight games. The Packers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as a road underdog in the playoffs, but Green Bay will be without receiver Jordy Nelson, Rodgers’ No. 1 target, who is out with broken ribs.

The Cowboys are virtually invincible at home this season, owners of seven straight home-field triumphs since a season-opening loss to the New York Giants. Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott went off for 157 yards rushing and a 5.8 yards per carry average when Dallas beat Green Bay during the regular season. But the Packers have gone four straight games without allowing 100 yards rushing. If rookie QB Dak Prescott needs to be the hero through the air, the edge swings to the Packers.

Pick: The Packers (-4)

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Category : Sports Betting News

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