Betting The Divisional Playoffs

Featured, Sports and Bets — January 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm by

After a great slate of games last weekend, it’s on to the final 8.  It’s the big time now baby, with the winners advancing on to the conference championship games.  Interestingly enough, three of the four games feature heavy home favorites who are all giving at least a touchdown.  The only game which doesn’t feature that large of a spread is the San Francisco/Carolina contest, which currently sits at a pick-em.  There’s usually one big upset winner in these divisional rounds, so let’s see if our prognosticators can find it.


Saints  at Seahawks (-8)   These two met in Week 13 up in Seattle and that game wasn’t close.  The Seahawks dismantled the Saints 34-7 and frankly, the game didn’t even feel that close.  But Seattle jumped on the Saints early that night, and the Saints let a few opportunities  uncharacteristically slip away from them on offense, including 2 dropped/overthrown balls by a wide open Jimmy Graham and a wide open backup TE, Josh Hill. On the other side of things, the Seahawks had receivers running free all day long, something that DC Rob Ryan probably won’t allow to happen again.  It’s tough to beat any team in the NFL twice, especially one with as good an offense as New Orleans.  Will the Saints be able to run the ball like they did against Philly and turn this thing into a slobber-knocker?  I doubt it, and with rookie Terron Armstead at O-Tackle it may be an adventure up front for New Orleans, but I still think they’ll play better than they did 5 weeks ago.  The Seahawks will win, but they’ll have to earn this one, I’ll take the Saints plus the 8 points.

Colts at Patriots (-7)  The Patriots sure do get a lot of respect from the betting public, especially come playoff time.  But the bottom line is the Pats don’t cover in the playoffs, going a woeful 2-10 against the spread in their last 12 playoff games.  This Pats team is an orthopedic surgeon’s dream, with starters galore sidelined with various serious injuries.  Yet somehow they managed to win a weak division in a down conference.  They did it with superior coaching, scheme,  quarterbacking, and luck.  Well now a different Luck comes to town (sorry babes) and he’s got some giant killers with him.  The Colts have beaten the Seahawks, Broncos, 49ers, and Chiefs, and now it’s time to slay the evil empire Pats.  Can they do it?  Maybe, or maybe not, but I know they bring enough to the table to keep it close and interesting.  I’ll take and I will make.  Gimme those 7 points, babes.

49ers at Panthers (Pick)  This line is all over the place.  I’ve seen it as high as 49ers (-3) and I’ve seen it where Frisco is getting a point.  So shop around depending on who you like. (If you have such a luxury.) The last time these two played in San Fran, the Panthers escaped with a 10-9 win.  To say is was a slug-fest would be putting it mildly, these teams beat the living shit out of each other.  Now the scene shifts to Carolina where one can expect more of the same.  But keep in mind that Colin Kaepernick didn’t have Michael Crabtree at all in that prior affair, and Vernon Davis sat out the second half with a concussion.  Both of these players are available Sunday.  Meanwhile on the teal and black side of things, Steve Smith is a question mark for a Sunday start.  That’s a big problem, especially in a game that will probably come down to one or two big plays.  All in all these teams are pretty even, and both are very capable of making it to New York, but with Crabtree and Davis back 100%, I’ll back the Niners here.

Chargers at Broncos (-9.5)  Remember last year when the Ravens went into Mile High?  Of course you do, and nobody gave them a chance.  Same here with the Chargers.  The Chargers are hot, and playing good defense and great offense.  They are physical and unafraid.  Sound familiar?  Throw in Manning’s one and done track record (he’s had 8 one and dones in his career) and there is no way I’m laying the 9.5.  Divisional opponents that know each other well, it’s gonna be a tough football game. Take the points that are being given.


They say this is the best weekend of football of the NFL season.  The divisional round is always tough to call because you inevitably will have at least one or two teams coming off the bye that can’t shake the rust off. That might explain why the last three Super Bowl winners all played on wild card weekend.  So while Denver, New England, and Seattle are all heavily favored, I predict one of them to come out flat and lose outright.  The fourth team who enjoyed a bye last week was the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton, who makes his playoff debut to a pick spread against the red-hot San Fran 49ers.
On Saturday’s first game out in Seattle, I’m going to back the Saints getting the seven and the hook.  Three trends favor the Saints. First, road playoff teams coming off a first round road win are 10-3 ATS the following week since 2005.  Secondly,as I alluded to earlier, teams coming off a first round bye are 16-24 ATS since 2003.  And third, try to follow this one, teams that are playing the same team for a second time at the same location that covered the first time are 13-26 ATS the second time, and teams that win the first matchup by more than ten points are a glaring 9-17 ATS the second time around.  So all these trends say bet the Saints.  Looking at the game, Seattle is usually dominant at home, but since that Monday night game against the Saints, they haven’t been exactly stellar, and they even dropped a game against Arizona.  Their offense has been suspect recently, and if the Saints can somehow handle their pressure packages, this game will come down to the wire.  Take them points babes.
In the late game the Pats take on the comeback kids in the Colts.  Everybody is all over Andrew Luck’s jock right now, but I don’t see it continuing.  The Colts defense is awful, and New England should pretty much score at will on them.  Of course the Pats are an embarrassing 2-10 ATS in their last twelve playoff games.  Their only victories against the number came against Matt Schaub and Tim Tebow.  But I’m ignoring this trend and rolling with the Pats minus the seven.  I feel they have overcome way too much this year to come up short at home again in this year’s playoffs.

On Sunday I love, love, love the Carolina Panthers.  They are getting a point at home against the Niners, a team they defeated at their house earlier this year.  The same trends don’t apply here as with the Sea/N.O. situation because the Panthers are underdogs again and it’s at a different location.  The public is all over San Fran but the sharps are pounding Carolina because of the line value.  Carolina and that stout defense match up very well with the Niners style, and although I think this game will be air tight the whole way, I like the Panthers to prevail at home.
Finally in the late game I’ll take the points on San Diego again visiting Denver.  I think Denver wins but by no more than a touchdown.  The Chargers have not lost a game by ten points all season, and they have proven they can win in Denver.  With outside linebacker Melvin Ingram back healthy, the Chargers are a much improved defense, however they are a little banged up on offense with Ryan Mathews and DJ Fluker both spending the better part of the week in a walking boot.  As far as the great one, Mr. Manning, his playoff history is very spotty to say the least.  Without listing six lines of numbers that don’t support his cause, Manning has been below average in the playoffs. Once again, I’ll take the points.

Good Luck and enjoy the games!


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