We are down to just eight teams left in the NFL playoffs. And just like the NFL season, you are short on time and you need winners.
We’re entering the divisional round, to help you cap the divisional round games in lightning time instead of going with that gut of yours, use the numbers below to help with your picks.
There’s some key historical trends from recent divisional round games to keep in mind. In the last three years, the visiting team is 7-3-2 ATS. Going back a bit further, the favored team has gone 14-2 SU over the last four years.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ATLANTA -5, 51.5
This line opened at -3.5 and moved to -5 by Thursday. Seattle isn’t at home. The first meeting was close. And the Falcons have the bye advantage along with the NFL favorite to win MVP, Matt Ryan. Those are the biggest market factors why the early money is on Atlanta. No surprise the total moved up after opening at 49.5. The Falcons were the biggest OVER bet ever this season at 14-2 OVER/UNDER and the first meeting this season went over by 4.5 points.
Atlanta had the No. 1 scoring offense and the 27th ranked scoring defense. They were held to 24 points only once all season so it’s hard not to think Seattle will need to score if it hopes to cover this spread as opposed to winning with defense.
The Seattle offensive line has been all over the place this season from one game to the next and Chris Collinsworth’s Pro Football Focus actually rated it in the worst in the NFL in 2016. The other factor to worry about for Seattle is that Richard Sherman might be shadowing Atlanta’s do-everything man, Julio Jones. Jones had a big game in the last meeting but he only had three catches for 40 yards when Sherman guarded him man-to-man. If Seattle goes this route, it could leave the secondary exposed that’s already missing Earl Thomas. Ryan is playing his best football this year and will find the receivers.
HOUSTON VS. NEW ENGLAND -16, 44.5
New England opened as the biggest favorites (-15) they’ve ever been in the playoffs and the biggest favorites we’ve seen in the NFL since 1999. They moved up to -16 but some books have bet them back down to 15. Tom Brady has far and away the most wins by an NFL are 14-16-1 against the spread with Tom Brady in the playoffs so that could be a consideration for bettors here. The total dropped from 46 to 44.5 and it could go lower. It’s going to be below freezing in Foxborough on Saturday and this is a matchup of the No. 1 total defense (Texans) vs. the No. 1 scoring defense (Patriots).
This one is all about whether the Pats are gonna win by at least 17. Taking Houston on the money line might make sense.
New England bettors destroyed the books this year to go 13-3 against the spread and they’re also the heavy Super Bowl favorites. The Pats clobbered Houston 27-0 when they met earlier this season and Houston enters this game just 2-6 against the spread in its last eight. Find the best NFL Playoffs picks at Heritagesports.eu.