NFL Divisional Playoffs Betting

NFL Divisional Playoffs Betting

The NFL’s version of the Elite 8 kicks off this weekend with a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday. A total of seven Super Bowl championships have been won between the eight starting quarterbacks. The list includes would-be Hall of Famers Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Andrew Luck. However, there is concern over Rodgers, who is nursing a partially torn calf muscle that has prevented him from practicing at full for the last two weeks. He will definitely play, but could be limited against the road warrior Cowboys. Also, the defending champs Seahawks begin their title defense versus the visiting Panthers, and the Broncos-Colts and Ravens-Patriots renew rivalries. Here are previews and predictions for the Divisional Playoffs.

BALTIMORE AT NEW ENGLAND -7

The Ravens never look pretty, but their punishing grind-it-out style is effective in the postseason, and has given Tom Brady fits in recent years. Baltimore wore down the hated Steelers in the Wildcard round by battering Ben Roethlisberger and a backfield missing the injured Le’Veon Bell. On offense, Joe Flacco was accurate and efficient. The challenge on Saturday will be more difficult against an improved New England secondary led by Darrelle Revis. The Pats’ offensive line must give Brady time to attack the Ravens’ vulnerable back four. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs have been terrorizing opposing quarterbacks all season. Ravens won at Foxborough 28-13 in the 2012 AFC Championship. Pats are 5-4-1 ATS in the last ten meetings in the series. Baltimore is 5-0 ATS in its last five road playoff tilts.

Bet Baltimore +7

CAROLINA AT SEATTLE -10.5

The Panthers were fortunate to be at home and facing Ryan Lindley in their Wildcard victory over Arizona. The defense was stifling, holding the putrid Cards’ offense to 78 yards. But the offense was less than impressive as Cam Newton once again resorted to sloppy footwork and mechanics. Newton cannot repeat the same mistakes against the league’s most dominant defense inside the league’s loudest stadium. Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis will be tasked to stop Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson; the Seattle duo was held to a combined 97 yards on the ground in their Week 8 win at Carolina, but won’t have to contend with run-stopping tackle Star Lotulelei, who is out with a fractured foot. ‘Hawks’ defense has allowed a total of three touchdowns during their six-game win streak. Carolina is 5-1 ATS in its last six road playoff games. Seattle is 4-1 ATS in their last five at home. Lot of points here, but these teams are in a different class.

Bet Seattle -10.5

DALLAS AT GREEN BAY -5.5

The injury to Rodgers has caused this line to be bet down over the last few days. Normally Rodgers in Lambeau is a slamdunk win and cover, especially this season. He hasn’t thrown an interception at home since 2012 and faces a Cowboys defense that is better than advertised, but still suspect in the secondary. Moving Rodgers off his spot and making him scramble on his bum calf will be key to Dallas’s hopes. The formula for the ‘Boys on offense remains the same: run DeMarco Murray up the gut and on the edge, then take shots to Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. If Murray can exploit Green Bay’s shaky front seven and keep the tempo in the Cowboys favor, this will be a tight one. Packers need to start fast and not forget about their own workhorse back, Eddie Lacy, who’s been a beast since Week 12. Green Bay is 3-0 ATS in the last three in the series. Dallas is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight on the road.

Bet Dallas +5.5

INDIANAPOLIS AT DENVER -7

Despite some inconsistent play, the Colts were one the league’s best ATS, going 11-5-1, including last week’s home cover against Cincinnati. Andrew Luck led the NFL in touchdown passes with 40. Right behind him with 39 was Peyton Manning. This has become a decent little rivalry in the last two years with the teams splitting the two previous meetings. Offensive firepower aside, this matchup comes down to which defense can apply pressure and force turnovers. Luck tossed two costly interceptions in the Week 1 loss at Mile High and was sacked three times. The Broncos backfield was a MASH unit all season until C.J. Anderson took over; it’s been him, not Manning, that’s led the offensive charge down the stretch. That said, containing Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Julius Thomas is still the key to beating Denver. Indy is 2-5 ATS in its last seven road playoff games. Denver is 4-2 ATS in its last six at Mile High.

Bet Denver -7