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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends

NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #529275

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Monday 1/11/21 free thread for handicapping and expert predictions for NFL, NBA, NCAAF & NCAAB games.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #529276

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NFL Divisional Round Betting Tips: Bet Now or Bet Later
Jason Logan

Early money thinks Buffalo was lucky to escape the Colts in the Wild Card Round and is taking the Bills down from -3 to -2.5 vs. Baltimore. If your money is on Bills Mafia in the Divisional Round, wait and see how low this spread with go.

The NFL playoffs are down to four final matchups for Divisional Round betting and the spreads and totals for those games still have that new car smell after hitting the board late Sunday night.

These will be some of the toughest NFL lines to beat all season, as bookies and bettors know the remaining eight teams inside and out. That makes getting the best of the number all that more important and remains the sharpest NFL betting strategy for the Divisional Round games.

These are our best NFL betting tips for which Divisional Round odds to bet now and which ones to bet later.

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers (-7): Bet Now

The Packers earned one of the exclusive postseason byes into the Divisional Round, giving them time to rest up and study their potential opponents. Aaron Rodgers & Co. finished the schedule on a six-game winning streak, averaging 33.5 points per game during that red-hot run (4-2 ATS)

The Rams defense will put that scoring attack to the test. Los Angeles smothered the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round and has limited its last five foes to 14.6 points per contest. However, L.A. does have some injury concerns entering the next round of the playoffs. Pass rush god Aaron Donald is nursing tender ribs, top WR Cooper Kupp is cutting on a sore knee, and QB Jared Goff is still healing up from thumb surgery just three weeks ago (remember, he didn't get the start in the Wild Card Round). All three are expected to suit up, however.

Some books are dealing the Packers as touchdown chalk while others are at Green Bay -7.5. The weather in Wisconsin is going to be cooler than a polar bear’s toe nails this weekend and the Pack are 4-2 SU and ATS at Lambeau Field in the postseason since Rodgers took over the QB1 gig. If you’re taking a big bite of Cheese this weekend, make sure you get it now at -7 and avoid having that half-point hook stuck in your throat.

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (-3): Bet Later

Even before the Browns and Steelers were at halftime, some online books had this AFC Divisional Round spread on the board. Buffalo opened as a field goal fave at home but the vig was giving back +106, indicating that any early money on Baltimore could bump this under the key number of a field goal.

Buffalo edged Indianapolis by three points as touchdown chalk at home in the Wild Card Round, despite the Colts purely outplaying the Bills, out-gaining them 472 yards to 397 yards and dominating time of possession to the tune of 34:17.

All the Ravens did this past weekend was go into Tennessee and earn their sixth straight win and cover with a solid two-way effort, most notably limiting the Titans’ fourth-ranked scoring attack to just 13 points. Momentum is worth its weight in gold during the postseason.

Some offshore books have already taken this spread down a half-point tick, dealing Buffalo -2.5 (-120). If your bookie is still hanging Bills -3 and you like the home side in this AFC Divisional Round war, wait it out. This one could fall even further before kickoff this weekend.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (Under 51.5): Bet Later

To quote San Diego news legend Ronald Burgundy, “Boy that escalated quickly.”

The total for this NFC South trilogy hit the board as low as 49.5 points at some books and within minutes bounded as high as 51.5 (Over -115). Even after the Saints slow-played the Chicago Bears to a 21-9 win in the Wild Card Round, bettors are backing a fireworks display in the Big Easy this weekend.

This will be the third time these divisional foes have faced each other this season, with the teams going Over the 48.5-point total at NOLA way back in Week 1 and staying Under the 51 in Tampa in Week 9. The Saints won both games with scores of 34 and 38 points—the two highest point totals allowed by the Buccaneers this season.

But, besides all the offensive weaponry on both depth charts, we also have the No. 2 versus No. 5 defenses in DVOA at Football Outsiders butting heads in the Superdome. Neither team can afford the other to build momentum, so expect some offense on defense and a slower, plodding pace as they each try to ice their respective rival future Hall of Fame QB.

The Brady vs. Brees hype could continue adding points to this total, so if you like lower-scoring football, see if it goes 52 or higher before coming back on the Under.

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (Under 54.5): Bet Now

How quick do you have to be to get the best of the NFL odds? Well, as of this writing the Browns are still working on the Steelers and some online books have already hung a line on Cleveland-Kansas City. For our purposes, we’re looking at the opening total of 54.5 points.

Cleveland just swamped Pittsburgh with plenty of points, however, some of that scoreboard work came from the defense. The Browns benefitted from a nightmare first half from Ben Roethlisberger and received plenty of extra reps with the football, so we’re not as smitten with this scoring attack as we are with Cleveland’s defense.

Kansas City, on the other hand, is Kansas City. Points could fall from the skies over Arrowhead this Sunday. But so could snow. The extended forecast in Missouri is calling for a chance of the white stuff this weekend. The Chiefs stop unit has snoozed a bit in the second half of the schedule but allows just 22 points per home game and can find another gear in the postseason, coming into the Divisional Round rested and ready off the bye.

If you like the Under, I’m going to say grab it now. The Browns offense isn’t as good as it looked in the Wild Card and staying ahead of possible bad weather is a smart move. Start following those Kansas City meteorologists on Twitter.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #529317

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NFL Divisional Odds: Opening Lines, Sharp Money & Line Moves
Patrick Everson

Tom Brady and the Bucs are 0-2 SU and ATS against the Saints this season, but they'll get a third crack in the NFC divisional round. The SuperBook opened New Orleans -5.5 and very quickly went to -3.5.

NFL divisional playoff betting is on deck, and NFL divisional round odds are on the board and getting action for the four matchups. Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the surprising Cleveland Browns, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints meet for the third time this season.

The SuperBook's John Murray provided insights on NFL divisional playoff opening lines and early line movement, sharp money and public betting.

NFL Divisional Round Odds


Rams at Packers Odds
Opening line
Packers -7, Over/Under 46.5

Why the line moved
Los Angeles and its banged-up quarterback corps somehow went to Seattle on Wild Card Weekend and knocked out the third-seeded Seahawks 30-20 Saturday. Jared Goff didn't start for the Rams against Seattle, due to his thumb injury, but backup John Wolford suffered a neck injury in the first quarter, and Goff had to jump in. On Sunday night, both were questionable for the Saturday night divisional game.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and top-seeded Green Bay had a bye week and got some rest this weekend.

"Not much action to report there," Murray said Sunday night, noting the line was stable at Packers -7. "We were happy to see this game in the first time slot of the weekend. If that was the last game of the weekend, every parlay would've gone to the Packers, and it could've been a huge-exposure game."


Ravens at Bills Odds
Opening line
Bills -2.5, Over/Under 49.5

Why the line moved
Josh Allen and No. 2 seed Buffalo stemmed Indianapolis' late comeback bid to claim a 30-27 victory Saturday, the Bills' first playoff win since the 1995-96 season. Fifth-seeded Baltimore went to No. 4 seed Tennesee on Sunday and dug itself a 10-0 first-quarter hole, but didn't give up another point until the fourth quarter in a 20-13 victory.

"The Bills are still at -2.5. That's gonna be a huge-handle game," Murray said. "The public loves both teams right now. Great two-way volume."


Browns at Chiefs Odds
Opening line
Chiefs -9.5, Over/Under 54

Why the line moved
Cleveland punched No. 3 seed Pittsburgh in the mouth by taking a 28-0 first-quarter lead, largely aided by three turnovers, then held the Steelers enough in check to notch a 48-37 victory Sunday night. Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, meanwhile, rested up for the divisional round, getting a bye week as the AFC's No. 1 seed.

"The Chiefs are up to -10 from -9.5, but that could come down," Murray said. "I think the Browns will be a very square 'dog on Sunday."


Buccaneers at Saints Odds
Opening line
Saints -5.5, Over/Under 49.5

Why the line moved
Tom Brady and fifth-seeded Tampa Bay got more than they could've expected from backup Washington QB Taylor Heinicke, but prevailed 31-23 on Wild Card Saturday. On Wild Card Sunday, No. 2 seed New Orleans slogged to a 21-9 win over Chicago, setting up the third meeting this season between these NFC South rivals.

The Saints won both regular-season clashes, opening the season with a 34-23 home victory, then posting a 38-3 rout at Tampa on Nov 8. But early action was swift on the underdog Bucs.

"We opened Saints -5.5 and the sharp guys flooded us with Bucs bets, so that disappeared quickly," Murray said Sunday night. "We moved down to -3.5."

The total was also on the move Sunday night, jumping up two points to 51.5.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #529318

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301LA RAMS -302 GREEN BAY
GREEN BAY is 13-1 ATS (11.9 Units) in home games vs. poor punt coverage teams, allowing >= 12 yards per return in the second half of the season since 1992.

303BALTIMORE -304 BUFFALO
BALTIMORE is 7-0 ATS (7 Units) in road games vs. winning teams over the last 2 seasons.

305CLEVELAND -306 KANSAS CITY
KANSAS CITY is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) vs. poor passing defenses - allowing a comp. pct. of 61% or worse in the second half of the season in the current season.

307TAMPA BAY -308 NEW ORLEANS
NEW ORLEANS are 18-7 ATS (10.3 Units) with <=6 days rest in the last 2 seasons.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #529319

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NFC Divisional Round Cheat Sheet, Odds, Trends

The road to the NFC Championship continues this weekend in the NFL Divisional Playoff Round as four teams will look to advance to the conference championship game.

A pair of division winners (Washington and Seattle) has been eliminated, while Wild Card teams Tampa Bay and Los Angeles picked up road wins.

After losing in the NFC Championship last season, the Green Bay Packers own home-field advantage in the NFC as they are the top seed at 13-3.

NFC Matchups

1 Green Bay vs. 6 L.A. Rams
2 New Orleans vs. 5 Tampa Bay

Odds to Win NFC Championship

Green Bay Packers +135
New Orleans Saints +200
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +360
Los Angeles Rams +800

Matchup - L.A. Rams vs. Green Bay

Date: Saturday, January 16
Venue: Lambeau Field
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV-Time: FOX, 4:35 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Packers -7, Total 46

L.A. Rams Road Record: 5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS, 5-4 O/U
Green Bay Home Record: 7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS, 4-4 O/U

Head-to-Head

The Packers and Rams last met in 2018 at the Los Angeles Coliseum as L.A. edged Green Bay, 29-27 as 7.5-point favorites. It marked the first win for the Rams over the Packers since 2006, but Green Bay has covered six consecutive matchups between the two teams.

Playoff Notes

This is the third ever meeting between these clubs in the postseason as the St. Louis Rams and the "Greatest Show on Turf" bounced Green Bay in the 2001 Divisional Round, 45-17.

The Rams are 3-2 SU/ATS under head coach Sean McVay in the playoffs after L.A. eliminated Seattle in the Wild Card Round, 30-20. That marked only the second 'over' in McVay's five playoff appearances.

The Packers are 10-8 with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback in the playoffs since 2009, which includes a 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS mark at Lambeau Field. Green Bay is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in the Divisional Playoffs when having the bye, but the two victories came by exactly five points apiece.


Matchup - Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans

Date: Sunday January 17
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
TV-Time: FOX, 6:40 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Saints -3, Total 52

Tampa Bay Road Record: 7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS, 6-3 O/U
New Orleans Home Record: 7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS, 6-3 O/U

Head-to-Head

It's Round Three between these NFC South rivals as the Saints took care of the Buccaneers in each of the first two matchups by double-digits apiece. New Orleans topped Tampa Bay in Tom Brady's debut with the Buccaneers in Week 1 at the Superdome, 34-23. The Saints returned a Brady interception for a touchdown and won as four-point favorites in spite of gaining 271 yards of offense.

In the second matchup at Raymond James Stadium in early November, the Saints wrecked the Buccaneers as three-point underdogs, 38-3 for their fifth straight win in the series. New Orleans outgained Tampa Bay, 420-194, while the Saints held the ball for 40 minutes.

Playoff Notes

New Orleans and Tampa Bay are hooking up for the first time ever in the postseason, while the Saints look to improve on a 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS record under head coach Sean Payton at home in the second round.

The Buccaneers picked up their first playoff win since 2007 after edging Washington last week, 31-23 as 10-point favorites. Brady is undefeated in his last eight divisional round appearances, although they all came at home as a member of the Patriots. The last time Brady played on the road in the divisional round came at San Diego in 2006 as New England escaped with a 24-21 victory.

The last time Tampa Bay played in the divisional round was back in 2002, when the Bucs rolled the 49ers, 31-6 and eventually captured their first and only Super Bowl in franchise history.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 2 weeks ago #529320

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AFC Divisional Round Cheat Sheet, Odds, Trends

The road to the AFC Championship goes through Kansas City as the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs will take the field for the first time in the postseason.

The top-seeded Chiefs host the Browns, who shocked the Steelers in the Wild Card round to win their first playoff game since 1994.

The Bills last won a postseason game in 1995 prior to their victory over the Colts on Saturday. Buffalo advances to host Baltimore, who knocked out Tennessee in the Wild Card round.

AFC Matchups

1 Kansas City vs. 6 Cleveland
2 Buffalo vs. 5 Baltimore

Odds to Win AFC Championship

Kansas City Chiefs -125
Buffalo Bills +280
Baltimore Ravens +400
Cleveland Browns +1200

Matchup - Baltimore vs. Buffalo

Date: Saturday, January 16
Venue: Bills Stadium
Location: Orchard Park, New York
TV-Time: NBC, 8:15 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Bills -2, Total 50

Baltimore Road Record: 7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS, 3-6 O/U
Buffalo Home Record: 8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS, 6-3 O/U

Head-to-Head

These squads did not meet this season, but Baltimore won at Buffalo in 2019 as 6.5-point favorites, 24-17. Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes in the victory, marking the fifth straight win for Baltimore over Buffalo since 2010.

Playoff Notes

The Ravens improved to 6-1 in the Wild Card round under head coach John Harbaugh with the 20-13 triumph over Tennessee, avenging last season's loss to the Titans in the divisional round.

However, Baltimore owns a 2-3 road record in the divisional round during Harbaugh's tenure with the two wins coming at Tennessee in 2008 and at Denver in 2012, which ultimately led the Ravens capturing Super Bowl XLVII over the 49ers.

Buffalo won its first playoff game in 25 years against Indianapolis, ending a six-game postseason skid dating back to 1995. The last time the Bills picked up a victory in the divisional round of the playoffs came way back in 1993 against the L.A. Raiders, as Buffalo owns a perfect 4-0 record in franchise history at home in this round.

The Ravens and Bills have never faced each other in the playoffs, as Buffalo will have now faced every current team in the AFC North in the postseason at some point in franchise history.


Matchup - Cleveland vs. Kansas City

Date: Sunday January 17
Venue: Arrowhead Stadium
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
TV-Time: CBS, 3:05 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Chiefs -10, Total 56

Cleveland Road Record: 6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS, 5-4 O/U
Kansas City Home Record: 6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 O/U

Head-to-Head

This is the second meeting on the pro level between these former Texas Tech quarterbacks as Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs past Baker Mayfield and the Browns, 37-21 as 7.5-point road favorites in 2018.

Kareem Hunt scored three touchdowns for Kansas City, but the running back is now with Cleveland, making for an interesting storyline. The Chiefs and Browns are hooking up in the playoffs for the first time ever, while Cleveland is making its first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since 2015.

Playoff Notes

The Browns clinched their first postseason berth since 2002, when they ultimately lost to the rival Steelers in the Wild Card round. Fast forward 18 years later, Cleveland jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead to bounce Pittsburgh from the playoffs in a 48-37 triumph as five-point underdogs.

The Chiefs are fresh off their first Super Bowl title in nearly 50 years when they rallied past the 49ers last February. Kansas City is 4-1 in the playoffs with Mahomes as their starting quarterback, including a 3-1 mark at Arrowhead.

AFC top seeds won six consecutive divisional round games from 2013-18 before Baltimore was tripped up by Tennessee in 2019. Kansas City's four postseason victories under Mahomes' guidance have all come by 11 points or more.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 1 week ago #529388

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Long Sheet

Division Round

Saturday, January 16


LA RAMS (11 - 6) at GREEN BAY (13 - 3) - 1/16/2021, 4:35 PM
Top Trends for this game.
LA RAMS are 79-109 ATS (-40.9 Units) in games played on a grass field since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 122-88 ATS (+25.2 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 207-150 ATS (+42.0 Units) in games played on a grass field since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 49-30 ATS (+16.0 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 78-51 ATS (+21.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.
LA RAMS are 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
LA RAMS are 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) off a division game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
GREEN BAY is 1-0 against the spread versus LA RAMS over the last 3 seasons
LA RAMS is 1-0 straight up against GREEN BAY over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


BALTIMORE (12 - 5) at BUFFALO (14 - 3) - 1/16/2021, 8:15 PM
Top Trends for this game.
BUFFALO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 this season.
BUFFALO is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins this season.
BALTIMORE is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 31-16 ATS (+13.4 Units) as a road underdog of 3 points or less since 1992.
BALTIMORE is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) in road lined games over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 35-18 ATS (+15.2 Units) against AFC East division opponents since 1992.
BALTIMORE is 14-4 ATS (+9.6 Units) in road games in playoff games since 1992.
BALTIMORE is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
BALTIMORE is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
BALTIMORE is 2-0 against the spread versus BUFFALO over the last 3 seasons
BALTIMORE is 2-0 straight up against BUFFALO over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


Sunday, January 17


CLEVELAND (12 - 5) at KANSAS CITY (14 - 2) - 1/17/2021, 3:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
CLEVELAND is 3-10 ATS (-8.0 Units) against conference opponents this season.
KANSAS CITY is 26-14 ATS (+10.6 Units) against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
KANSAS CITY is 1-0 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
KANSAS CITY is 1-0 straight up against CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


TAMPA BAY (12 - 5) at NEW ORLEANS (13 - 4) - 1/17/2021, 6:40 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ORLEANS is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 20-9 ATS (+10.1 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ORLEANS is 5-1 against the spread versus TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
NEW ORLEANS is 5-1 straight up against TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
4 of 6 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 1 week ago #529389

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NFL

Division Round

Trend Report

Saturday, January 16

LA Rams @ Green Bay
LA Rams
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Rams's last 6 games when playing on the road against Green Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Rams's last 5 games
Green Bay
Green Bay is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Rams
Green Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

Baltimore @ Buffalo
Baltimore
Baltimore is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Baltimore is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Buffalo
Buffalo is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Buffalo is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home


Sunday, January 17

Cleveland @ Kansas City
Cleveland
Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Cleveland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
Kansas City
Kansas City is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games
Kansas City is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games at home

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
New Orleans
New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 1 week ago #529390

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Armadillo's Write-Up

Division Round

Saturday’s games

Rams (11-6) @ Green Bay (13-3)
— LA scored a defensive TD in five of their last seven games; they scored one in each of their last four wins.
— In its last three games, Rams’ offense has two TD’s on 34 drives.
— In their six losses, Rams were outscored 96-31 in first half.
— Rams covered five of seven games as an underdog this year.
— Rams’ last five games stayed under the total.
— Under McVay, Rams are 3-2 SU in playoff games, with wins in New Orleans/Seattle.

— Packers had last week off; last seven years, #1 seeds are 11-3 ATS in this round.
— Green Bay won six in row, eight of last nine games overall.
— Packers scored 33.1 ppg in their last seven games,
— Last four times they were in playoffs, Packers won their first playoff game that season, scoring 31.8 ppg, winning by 5-17-25-5 points.
— Four of last five Green Bay games stayed under the total.
— Packers were outscored in 2nd half in nine of their last 13 games.

— Green Bay won five of last six series games; Rams won last meeting 29-27 (-7.5) in Coliseum two years ago.
— Rams lost their last two visits to Lambeau, both in the Jeff Fisher era; their last win here was in 2006.
— Green Bay coach LaFleur was Rams’ OC in 2017.

Baltimore (12-5) @ Buffalo (14-3)
— Baltimore won its last six games, scoring 34.3 ppg.
— In their last four games, Ravens allowed 10.8 ppg.
— Baltimore scored 25 TD’s on their last 55 drives.
— Ravens covered their one game as a dog this year, December 1st at Pittsburgh.
— Baltimore is 2-3 in playoff games since they won the Super Bowl eight years ago; last week was their first playoff win in six years.
— Ravens covered their last seven games overall.

— Bills won 10 of its last 11 games, covered eight of last nine.
— Buffalo outscored last seven opponents 166-77 in first half.
— Bills were only 2-9 on third down LW; Colts were 9-17.
— Buffalo is 5-2 ATS as a home favorite this season.
— Over is 7-3 in their last ten games.
— Last week was Buffalo’s first playoff win in 26 years;

— Ravens won last three series games, by combined score of 84-27; they won 24-17 here LY.
— Baltimore lost two of last three visits to Buffalo.
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NFL Divisional Round Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 1 week ago #529391

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Hot & Not Report - DP Angles
Matt Blunt

Divisional Playoff Betting Angles

Last week's stuff found some nice winners with the data from here and here, as the 'under' in the Baltimore/Tennessee game had more than one reference point and was never really in question.

The Ravens bucked the trend of the shortest WC favorite losing outright, as the Saints did against the number as the biggest favorite.

Fading Buffalo was also an option as the team that had the best ATS record during the regular season, and the playoff team with the worst – the Cleveland Browns – put together the most shocking performance of the weekend to push that run to 7-1-1 ATS the past nine years now.

Handicapping Cleveland is interesting this week because how much of last week do you throw out of the memory bank with head coach Kevin Stefanski back? Considering how many turnovers Cleveland benefited from in that Pittsburgh win, it almost makes the question a little harder.

The Browns do occupy a rather neat 16-game sample size dating back to realignment that I'll get to a bit later, but first it's a nice angle that comes from a reader's theory (thanks Jay) I was asked to look into before the Wildcard games even kicked off.

After doing the digging, I just hoped it would come up this week or beyond, and it only took the Bills game to go final for it to be applicable.

Therefore my apologies go out to Bills Mafia once again (although we both were happy last week with a Colts cover and Bills SU win), but if Buffalo's playoff run ends this week, I hope for their sake the saying “misery loves company” has some truth to it.

And Buffalo’s old pal Tom Brady could join them on the same ship.

Who's Hot

Since realignment, fading NFL playoff teams that won SU but fail to cover ATS (any round) is 25-8 SU and 15-17-1 ATS since realignment of 2002.

This is quite the angle to grasp but when you boil it down it does make a lot of sense to consider. And the SU and ATS disparity in numbers makes sense as well with it having enough times where it's a possible suspect Wildcard team going on the road against a team off a bye in the Divisional round.

But for it to hold true for all of the final three rounds is still pretty impressive, and quite the memory bank of plays to keep it in consideration every season, especially with it not being applicable once in last year's playoffs.

Teams to win SU but not cover the number could be victimized by lofty expectations on a number that's a TD or bigger like say the Bills and Buccaneers were last week. They could be a -4 favorite that squeaks out a late kick to break a tie/come back to win, or anything in between.

Either way there are some leaks in the games of those squads, and in scenarios where they are either on the road in the Divisional round, up against another very good team with a Super Bowl berth on the line, or in the Super Bowl itself, you advance in the NFL playoffs these days without an ATS win, your playoff run tends to not last much longer.

Who could you follow?

Baltimore
New Orleans

The duality of the SU and ATS numbers does create a few more puzzle pieces in the puzzle this week with the spreads in Buffalo and Tampa both being in the FG or less range.

Only one time in the last nine tries has a NFL team in this spot won the game outright though – 45-42 Jacksonville over Pittsburgh in 2017 – and 2018 saw the Rams make it all the way to the Super Bowl as the beneficiaries of the other end of this trend, beating Dallas after they failed to cover, and getting by New Orleans (won't say “beat” after the no PI) the following week after the Saints failed to cover.

The double-revenge spot for the Bucs is another layer to that cake in the other applicable game, especially with the latter loss being as ugly as it was (38-3 on SNF). Brady has been rather ruthless in his career when he's on a quest for another championship, and maybe that cutthroat nature returns in being the guy to retire Drew Brees.

After all, as great as these two future Hall of Fame QBs have been in their careers, this is also probably the closest thing we get to a WWE-style, “loser retires” matchup in the NFL, although who knows, Brady might go the George Blanda-route and transition to a kicker soon to play until he's 48 as well.

But one of these two may end up showing their age a little bit, in this matchup or beyond (for the winner), and even with this great historical angle suggesting it won't be the end for the Saints, a double revenge angle off the ugliest of losses for the Bucs isn't a spot that's fun to stand in front of either.

Understandable how it's hard to be confident in either side for this game.

Who's Not

Since realignment in 2002, backing NFL playoff teams to allow 30 or more points and win you are 6-10 SU and 7-9 ATS. Those games are also 8-7-1 O/U

Cleveland put on quite the performance in that 48-37 win over the Steelers, as it was like everything that went against the Browns the entire week without practicing and coaches missing flipped to good luck all at the same time.

The huge early lead allowed Cleveland to play a soft shell much earlier than they ever would have expected, but the 30+ points they gave up in a win isn't the best omen for thinking they can take down Goliath aka Kansas City.

Who could you fade?

Cleveland Browns

Benefiting from five turnovers won't happen again for the Browns, but getting 10 points can look like a lot when you just saw the team nearly put up 50.

If there ever was a team that would be capable of winning a football game 60-50, it would be a Patrick Mahomes-led KC Chiefs team, and with only one team in each conference getting the bye this year, the positive effects of that time off could easily be amplified.

Yes, there have been plenty of bye teams laying an egg and going the one-and-done route each year, but those games also accounted for 100% of the action during the Divisional Weekend, as opposed to just 50% this season.

Cleveland is still a very bad defense against the pass – Ben Roethlisberger's numbers are considered slightly inflated because of game situation – and now they are going up against the QB who's the future of this game in that regard.

The basis behind this trend is generally that these teams have very leaky defenses (to give up that many), had a way above their head effort offensively to still win with 31 or more, and/or took full advantages of turnovers, special teams returns, shock plays etc, all of which can't particularly be counted on to happen again. It's tough to trust either of those likely offensive scenarios to duplicate themselves a week later, and now that leaky defense is going up against a far better offensive team.

But laying the -10 with Kansas City does come with concerns as well, as to how you grade a coach returning after a week off.

Players get healthy after a game and it's known what to expect from them, but with bias already naturally coming from what's been seen last, how does the coaching return/switch completely overshadow it. It should, but you can see why Cleveland + the points has been gaining some attraction in the market.

What peaked my interest about those numbers though was looking at the 'over' results being slightly ahead, and that being the side of the total that does have some attraction to it.

Cleveland may not benefit from all those turnovers again, but they don't even need half of what they put up a week ago to do more than enough to see an 'over' ticket cash here if the Chiefs are sharp and decide to keep their foot on the gas for the full 60 minutes with it being the playoffs now.

The run the Chiefs had going of winning SU games but failing to cover the spread was absurd this year (maybe that earlier angle applies to KC next week), and eventually that's got to flip one way or another.

At 6-10 SU for teams in the same spot as Cleveland this week, it suggests that flipping to a KC outright loss may not be the most likely (don't get me wrong, as does the -10 spread), and if KC does continue letting their foes hang around and finish inside the number, in that case, I'd rather be holding an 'over' ticket for the full game.

Cleveland's defense isn't likely to have tremendous success holding QB Mahomes and company down, and Browns QB Baker Mayfield is never shy about going down swinging if the game calls for it, as the Baltimore Ravens from a few Mondays ago can surely attest too.
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