The Falcons and Patriots have taken much different paths back to the postseason this year, but both are favored to advance to their respective conference championship games again as they play the role of chalk in this Saturday's divisional playoff matchups.
The Atlanta Falcons (11-6) and New England Patriots (13-3) have taken much different paths back to the postseason this year after squaring off in Super Bowl 51 last February. But both are favored to advance to their respective conference championship games again as they play the role of chalk in this Saturday's divisional playoff matchups.
The Falcons qualified as a Wild Card this year and managed to upset the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 last Saturday as 6-point road underdogs behind a balanced offensive performance.
Now Atlanta will visit the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) as a postseason road favorite. The Falcons are listed as consensus 3-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com while the Eagles are home dogs in the playoffs for the first time since 2000 when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-3.
Philadelphia has won seven of the past eight home meetings with Atlanta to go along with a 6-1-1 mark against the spread. However, the Eagles look to have a disadvantage at quarterback with backup Nick Foles getting the start over the injured Carson Wentz.
The Falcons are hoping that the experience of reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan and his teammates will be the difference and help them earn their second straight road victory.
Later on Saturday, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots are 13.5-point home betting favorites against the Tennessee Titans (10-7) following their bye week as the top seed in the AFC. New England has not lost in the divisional round since January 16, 2011 at home against the New York Jets, which is also the last time quarterback Tom Brady won the regular-season MVP award.
The Patriots are an impressive 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games as favorites, with three of the covers coming as double-digit chalk.
The Titans are coming off a stunning 22-21 upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs last Saturday after trailing by 18 points at halftime. Tennessee got great efforts from quarterback Marcus Mariota (205 passing yards and two touchdowns) and running back Derrick Henry (career-high 156 rushing yards and one touchdown), as the two former Heisman Trophy winners handed the Chiefs their sixth straight home loss in the postseason.
The Titans have not fared well in the divisional round recently though, going 2-7 SU in their previous nine appearances. They are also just 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 games following a victory and have failed to cover four of five at Foxborough, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.