NFL odds: Divisional round matchups figure to produce fewer blowouts
After all four betting favorites won by double digits at home last week in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs, bettors will see the real games begin on Saturday with an NFC divisional round matchup between the Falcons and Seahawks.
The NFC South champion Falcons (11–5) edged the NFC West champion Seahawks (11-5-1) for a first-round bye, and they are listed as 4.5-point home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in a rematch of a regular-season meeting from Week 6.
The Seahawks won the first matchup between the teams this season 26–24 at CenturyLink Field but did not cover the spread as 6.5-point home favorites. The Falcons surged to a 24–17 lead heading into the fourth quarter after outscoring Seattle 21–0 in the third, but the Seahawks scored nine points in the final 4:43 to pull off the win.
Atlanta has gone just 1–4 against the spread in its past five home meetings with the Seahawks, who will be looking to end an eight-game postseason skid straight up as road underdogs though.
Saturday’s second game is the biggest mismatch of the divisional round, with the Patriots (14–2) sitting as 16-point home favorites against the Texans (10–7), who have lost the last five meetings. Houston is also 1–6 ATS in the past seven head-to-head matchups and 2–5 ATS in its last seven games as a road underdog.
The Patriots are strong +180 favorites (bet $100 to win $180) to win Super Bowl LI, followed by the Cowboys (+475), Packers (+550), Steelers (+725), (+800), Chiefs (+900), Seahawks (+900) and Texans (+5000).
On Sunday, the Chiefs (12–4) host the Steelers (12–5) in what is expected to be the most competitive game of the weekend in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Kansas City is only a two-point favorite and lost the first meeting with Pittsburgh 43–14 as a 3.5-point road underdog back in Week 4.
The Steelers are coming off a dominant 30–12 rout of the Dolphins last Sunday to easily cover the spread as 11.5-point chalk, and they have won four of the past five meetings with the Chiefs, who are 1–9 straight up and against the spread in their previous 10 playoff games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
The Packers (11–6) visit the top-seeded Cowboys (13–3) to close out the divisional round, taking their seven-game winning streak into AT&T Stadium. Like the other three games, this too is a rematch from the regular season. The Cowboys won 30–16 as 5.5-point road underdogs at Lambeau Field in Week 6.
However, the Packers are a much different team now behind the stellar play of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, crushing a Giants team that swept Dallas in the regular season 38–13 last week. Green Bay had won the previous five meetings with Dallas.