After not having a Wild Card spherical article, Aaron (@MisterMarkot) and I(@NotoriousKRO) are right here to make some NFL Divisional Spherical picks. Be sure to are following each of us on Twitter to get all of our ideas. We additionally received Mind (@grieserulz14) to provide a decide for this spherical as properly.
You’re not right here for pleasantries so let’s get into these picks. Be happy to comply with or fade all or any of our picks.
I’m so excited for this weekend of soccer as all of those video games must be superior in their very own approach. Saturday begins out with a possible shootout and concludes with a Cowboys-Rams recreation that would finish 10-Three or 35-38.
Sunday begins with an epic recreation between two of the perfect QB’s of the final 15 years going at it – one adorned, one who persistently falls brief within the postseason and ends within the Superdome with the reigning Tremendous Bowl champs taking over Brees and the SB-favorite Saints. Whether or not or not you’re a fan of the NFL, this weekend goes to entertain viewers the world over. I’m going to provide my tackle every recreation and spotlight the bets I will probably be hitting to start out this weekend.
Indianapolis Colts +5.5 @ Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
Indy may be the most well liked group within the NFL at this second. Luck and the offense is clicking behind a drastically improved O-line and their protection is stifling opponents proper now. Kansas Metropolis bolsters the league’s most potent offense behind potential NFL-MVP Patty Mahomes. He’s electrical, composed, a gamer, primetime participant, and so forth, and so forth. He’s obtained all of it and he’s not afraid of the highlight.
Kansas Metropolis’s protection has been beneath lots of ridicule this season and for good cause. They have been 2nd worst within the league (behind the Bengals) giving up 405 yds/gm. A part of this may be attributed to the offense completely going off each recreation forcing groups to air it out and achieve yardage in rubbish time. However anyone who watches them can see they’ve holes far and wide. Andrew Luck and surging Mack should not have any drawback shifting the ball right here.
That’s sufficient of my normal NFL commentary – the place’s the cash at? The full at present sits at 57 which is extraordinarily excessive. And I’m everywhere in the over. This feels just like the Rams-Chiefs recreation from earlier this yr… that was the simplest cash ever. We might not get a 100-point recreation like we did on that Monday night time, however this recreation goes to be electrical. When you have been asking me to select a aspect, I’d go Colts +5.5 seeing as they’re enjoying out of their minds proper now.
Decide(s): Over 57
Dallas Cowboys +7 @ Los Angeles Rams
The Cowboys within the 2nd half of the season, post-arrival of Amari Cooper, have been on one other degree. They went 7-1 to shut out the season with their solely loss coming to the Colts. The Rams began out the season, just like the Saints, wanting like the most effective all-time groups the NFL has ever seen. They “cooled off” a bit within the 2nd half however are nonetheless probably probably the most gifted staff on each side of the ball within the NFL.
The Rams are at present getting 7 factors at house. That looks like an insane quantity for 1) the NFL playoffs and a couple of) a staff nearly as good because the Cowboys. There’s completely no means that I might take the Rams at a landing line, however I’m not 100% assured in choosing the Cowboys.
I might undoubtedly lean in the direction of Dallas however gained’t be making a advisable decide right here. The most important factor that scares me is the Rams having 2 weeks to organize for this recreation. The remaining and preparation benefit of a strong, well-coached staff can’t be underestimated within the playoffs.
The entire is sitting at 49.5 in the mean time. This, just like the ATS line, is one I can be staying away from. My intestine tells me to hit the beneath, however the Rams are so explosive on offense that I might see them placing up 30+ with ease. Dallas’ offense is constant sufficient that it’ll confidently rating 18-24 factors regardless of who they’re enjoying, so math tells me the over is the play. I’m leaning over however once more, not making a proper decide right here.
Decide(s): no formal decide on this recreation – leaning Dallas +7 and over 49.5
Los Angeles Chargers +four @ New England Patriots
Brady is 27-10 within the postseason; Rivers is 5-5. Brady is 7-Zero towards Rivers, Rivers is Zero-7. These numbers are manifestly totally different, however these video games have been shockingly shut up to now 10-12 years. The Chargers are scorching because the solar proper now. This appears to be the story with all of the underdogs this week.
I beloved the Chargers final week and I really like them this week. It’s onerous to like a staff towards the Patriots within the playoffs, however hear me out. Tom Brady, fairly probably probably the most adorned QB in NFL historical past, is simply a four level favourite at house within the playoffs? How can that be? House-field benefit sometimes provides a workforce Three-5 factors. If we assume simply Three factors, meaning Vegas is setting this line at NE -1.
The general public opinion can simply be value one other Three-5 factors. The Patriots are in all probability the world’s most publicly opinionated group (don’t assume that’s an actual time period however humor me). That now places the actual line at LAC -2. Bear in mind that the Chargers are 7-1 on the street and winners of four out of their final 5, this feels just like the Chargers recreation.
It’s comprehensible when you’re hesitant to guess towards Belichick, Brady, and the Pats in January, however I really feel strongly that that is Rivers’ yr. It additionally looks like the beginning of the decline of the Pats. Not solely just like the Chargers +four however I shall be taking them straight as much as win this recreation.
The bottom complete of the weekend, at present sitting at 48, is one other guess I’m staying away from. I see this as a recreation the place the Chargers are up 24-13 going into the 4th quarter and I can see Brady scoring at the least a TD to make this a recreation. Finally, I see the Pats arising brief and dropping by a subject objective in a recreation that could be very near the 48 complete line.
Decide(s): Chargers +four or Chargers +160 should you’re feeling frisky
Philadelphia Eagles +eight @ New Orleans Saints
Our 4th and last recreation of the weekend retains the development of street canine alive when big-something-Nick heads to the Superdome to face the good Drew Brees & Co. Outdoors of botching their first recreation towards the Bucs 40-48, the Saints have seemed like an unstoppable drive. Their solely 2 different losses got here to Dallas (13-10 in week 13) and the Panthers (33-14 in week 17 the place Drew Brees & Co. didn’t play). The Saints boast the league-best +151 level differential. If we take away the week 17 recreation towards Carolina, that goes as much as +170 in 16 video games… which means they common 17 factors greater than their opponents. That’s absurd.
The Eagles however could be the most undeserving staff in the whole playoffs, but they discover themselves within the hunt for the Tremendous Bowl for the 2nd straight yr. They usually have the Tremendous Bowl 52 MVP main the best way. Nick Foles isn’t flashy, he’s not a young-gun, he’s not an old-timer like Brady, Brees, and Rivers, but he finds a approach to win and instructions the belief of his workforce. The Eagles didn’t need to beat the Bears final week, but they superior to the Divisional spherical.
It ought to come as no shock that my decide right here can be the Eagles +eight. As I discussed within the Cowboys write-up, more-than-a-touchdown strains within the playoffs are too good to move up. Positive, I might see the Eagles’ magic lastly operating out and the Saints clobbering them, however I feel it’s extra doubtless that the expertise of this teaching employees and workforce permits them to maintain this recreation nearer than it ought to be (talent-wise no less than). That being stated, the one wait Philly retains this shut is making this a low rating recreation. Should you’re shopping for into the Eagles +eight line, I recommend you hit the beneath 51.5 as nicely.
Decide(s): Eagles +eight and Underneath 51.5
Bonus decide: 6.5 level teaser (+135) – Rams, Chargers, Saints. This will get you Rams -Zero.5, Chargers +10.5, and Saints -1.5. This can be a digital lock for >1:1 odds.
Los Angeles Rams vs Dallas Cowboys Underneath 49.5
Of all of the performs for the Divisional Spherical this one is by far my favourite. The Rams haven’t appeared like themselves during the last month or so with out Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley banged up. Even when we assume Gurley is again and wholesome, the Cowboys rush protection has confirmed to be stout. They allowed the fifth fewest yards this season and shut down Chris Carson within the Wild Card spherical who had feasting on opposing defenses.
This recreation will fall squarely on the shoulders of Jared Goff, who has averaged 259 yards per recreation within the 6 video games with out cup. In 4 of the six recreation over that run, he had 1 or fewer TDs. The Cowboys protection has struggled towards the move of late so there will probably be alternatives to take benefit.
Regardless of feeling like a house recreation with loads of Cowboys followers in attendance, the Dallas offense has not traveled nicely all season. They averaged 16 level PPG in all their street tilts this season. I anticipate the Cowboys to be in 13-17 vary.
Whereas I anticipate the Rams to win and canopy I don’t assume they’ll go loopy. On this spot final yr Falcons beat the Rams 26-13. I anticipate this recreation to play out very comparable solely with the Rams popping out on prime, one thing like 31-17 or 27-13 feels proper.
Decide: Underneath 49.5
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs -5.5 vs Indianapolis Colts
The Divisional spherical is the spherical the place the general public tends to get killed. They’ll again the groups they final noticed achieve success and overlook concerning the ones who have been sitting at house. Be cautious of the Colts, Chargers and Eagles as common street favorites who’re getting north of 50% of the bets as of Friday afternoon.
The Colts appeared nice towards a Houston workforce that had a ton of issues go their approach even when accidents have been piling up. This week then might be on the street for his or her third straight recreation and fifth of their final 7.
Indianapolis will even be outside, a spot dome groups have sometimes not executed properly. Per Professional-Soccer-Reference, dome groups that play outside playoff video games are 12-44 straight up and 18-36-2 ATS. This doesn’t bode will for each street groups on Saturday.
It actually looks like Kansas Metropolis just isn’t getting a ton of affection contemplating they’re a 1 Seed. The Colts are garnering 58% of the bets and 72% of the cash as of Thursday afternoon.
Give me the house workforce minus something lower than a TD.
Decide: Chiefs -5.5
6 Level Divisional spherical tease: Colts +11, Rams -1, Saints -2
The teaser is usually a useful gizmo come playoff time. It will possibly assist deliver the favourite right down to a way more manageable quantity or offer you somewhat additional cushion with that underdog you need to again. (*Word: All three groups should win to win the guess) Additionally they offer you some pores and skin within the recreation with out large danger.
This week I’m rolling out a 6 level tease with the Colts +11, Rams -1 and Saints -2.
There’s loads of respect for the Colts this week and with good cause. Their offensive line has been vastly improved which is holding Andrew Luck away from defenders. It’s additionally serving to to open holes for the run recreation. The protection has additionally taken super strides thanks largely to Darius Leonard who’s an All-Professional as a rookie. Whereas I feel the Chiefs cowl this week, I anticipate it to be within the 6-10 vary. Thus, getting the Colts +11 seems like worth. It additionally provides you a approach to hedge if the Chiefs don’t cowl.
The opposite two legs are the Rams -1 and Saints -2. I really feel strongly about each groups profitable at residence this week even when they don’t cowl the large numbers. A 6 level tease ought to pay round +150.
Decide: 6 PT tease (Colts, Rams, Saints)
LA Chargers @ New England ML (-185)
One other yr and one other bye week for the New England Patriots. This yr’s divisional spherical opponent the San Di.. I imply the LA chargers, are driving excessive after defeating the Baltimore Ravens within the wildcard spherical. They’re additionally within the midst of a 7 recreation street win streak which embrace victories in Pittsburgh, Kansas Metropolis, and Seattle. LA will journey to Foxboro with hopes of reaching their first AFC title recreation since 2007. Sadly for them, New England is on a streak of their very own.
Since Dropping to the Jets within the 2010, The Pats have gained seven consecutive residence divisional spherical playoff video games. They’ve executed so by an Common margin of victory of 17 factors with Baltimore coming the closest in 2014 dropping 35-31. I anticipate this streak to proceed making Brady and firm my favourite decide of the week. Take LA with the factors till it reaches Three, however purchase that Cash line with the Pats til you run dry.
The Decide: New England -185