Early Divisional Round Sharp Report for Rams-Packers and Browns-Chiefs

January 12, 2021 11:57 PM

Happy Wednesday! Today we welcome the return of the NHL, alongside 8 NBA games and 25-plus college basketball games. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m. ET to offer a market update. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET.

In yesterday's newsletter, we discussed sharp action for the Ravens-Bills and Saints-Bucs. Now let's discuss where the money is flowing for the other Divisional Round playoff games this weekend...

Saturday 4:35 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers

This late afternoon NFC matchup is shaping up to be one of the lopsided games of the weekend in terms of ticket counts. The Rams (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS) enter as the Cinderella 6-seed, having just upset the Seahawks 30-20 on Wild Card Weekend, winning outright as 3-point road dogs. Now they head to Lambeau to face the top-seeded Packers (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS). Green Bay has won six-straight and enjoys a bye week of rest. This line opened with the Packers listed as a 7-point home favorite. The public is happy to fade Jared Goff and is rushing to the window to back Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at home. However, despite this lopsided support in favor of the Packers, we've seen the line tumble from Green Bay -7 to -6.5. This signals some sharp reverse line movement on the road dog, with respected pro bettors grabbing the Rams + 7. This line movement is eerily similar to what we saw last week with the Colts falling from + 7 to + 6.5 despite heavy betting on the Bills. Divisional round dogs are 59% ATS over the past decade, with playoff dogs 64% ATS since 2017. Ron Torbert, the lead ref, has historically favored road teams (59% ATS). We've also seen some respected money hit this under, dropping the total from 46.5 to 45.5. The forecast calls for high 20s with 5-10 MPH winds. The Rams are 12-5 to the under this season. The Packers are 9-7 to the over. 

Sunday 3:05 p.m. ET: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

This Sunday afternoon matchup features the largest spread of any Divisional Round game. The 6-seed Browns (12-5 SU, 7-10 ATS) just shocked the Steelers 48-37 last week, winning outright as 5.5-point road dogs. It marked the first playoff win for the Browns since 1994. Now they travel to Kansas City to face the top-seed Chiefs (14-2 SU, 6-9-2 ATS). The defending champions are the favorites to repeat and win the Super Bowl (+ 220 at BetMGM). This line opened with Kansas City listed as a 10-point home favorite. The public is split and doesn't know who to back. They love Patrick Mahomes at home, but are also wary of laying double-digits against a feisty Browns squad. This line hasn't budged off the opener of 10, but we are seeing some books juice up the Browns + 10 (-115), signaling some liability on the dog and a possible drop to 9.5. Divisional round dogs getting 7-points or more are roughly 60% ATS over the past decade. Clay Martin, the lead ref, has historically favored road teams (70% ATS). The Chiefs enjoy a rest advantage as they're coming off the bye. If this line drops to 9.5, it will be interesting to see if the books take in any Chiefs buyback (-9.5) below the key number of 10. We could also be looking at a higher scoring game, as this total has risen from 54.5 to 56. The Browns are 10-7 to the over. The Chiefs are 8-8. The forecast calls for low 40s with moderate 5-10 MPH winds. The Browns will get a boost with the return of head coach Kevin Stefanski, who missed the Wild Card game due to COVID-19. 

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