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NFL divisional round capsules



This late-afternoon NFC matchup (4:35 p.m. ET) is shaping up to be a lopsided game in terms of ticket counts. The Cinderella Rams (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS) enter as the sixth seed, having upset the Seahawks 30-20 on wild-card weekend, winning outright as 3-point road dogs. Now they head to Lambeau Field to face the top-seeded Packers (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS). Green Bay has won six straight and enjoyed a week of rest. This line opened with the Packers listed as 7-point home favorites. The public is happy to fade Jared Goff and is rushing to the window to back Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. However, despite this lopsided support of the Packers, the line has dropped 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 last decade, with playoff dogs 64% ATS since 2017. Lead referee Ron Torbert has historically favored road teams (59% ATS). Some respected money has hit this Under, dropping the total from 46.5 to 45.5. The forecast calls for high 20s with 5- to 10-mph winds. The Rams are 12-5 to the Under this season. The Packers are 9-7 to the Over. 




This prime-time showdown (8:15 p.m. ET) between AFC heavyweights is the marquee game on Saturday’s two-game slate. The fifth-seeded Ravens (12-5 SU, 11-5-1 ATS) have won six straight and took down the Titans 20-13 in the wild-card round, covering as 3.5-point road favorites. Now they travel to western New York to face the second-seeded Bills (14-3 SU, 11-6 ATS). Buffalo has won seven straight, including a 27-24 win over the Colts in last week’s playoff opener, although the Bills failed to cover as 7-point home favorites. This line opened with Buffalo listed as a 3-point home favorite. The public is split and doesn’t know whether to take the points or lay them. Despite this split ticket count, the Ravens have moved from + 3 to + 2. Some shops are even down to + 1.5. This sharp line move signals respected pro money getting down hard on Baltimore plus the points. Pros really loved Baltimore + 3 as soon as the line opened. Over the last decade, playoff teams with a line move of one point or more in their favor have gone 58% ATS. Playoff dogs are 64% ATS since 2017. Lamar Jackson is 5-1 ATS in his career as a dog. The total has risen slightly from 49 to 50. The Ravens are 10-7 to the Under this season, but the Bills are 12-4-1 to the Over. Keep an eye on the weather. The early forecast calls for low 30s with 10-mph winds. The Bills enjoy a one-day rest advantage, having played Saturday while the Ravens played Sunday.




This Sunday afternoon matchup (3:05 p.m. ET) features the largest spread of any divisional-round game. The sixth-seeded Browns (12-5 SU, 7-10 ATS) 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-seeded Chiefs (14-2 SU, 6-9-1 ATS). The defending champions are favored 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 whom to back. They love Patrick Mahomes but are wary of laying double digits against a feisty Browns squad. This line hasn’t budged off the opener of 10, but some books have juiced 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 about 60% ATS over the last decade. Lead referee Clay Martin has historically favored road teams (70% ATS). The Chiefs enjoy a rest advantage as they’re coming off a bye. If this line drops to 9.5, it will be interesting to see whether 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 to the Over. The forecast calls for low 40s with moderate 5- to 10-mph winds. The Browns will get a boost with the return of coach Kevin Stefanski, who missed the wild-card game due to COVID-19. 




Bettors are in for a treat with this marquee Sunday evening (6:40 p.m. ET) grudge match between divisional rivals and future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The fifth-seeded Bucs (12-5 SU, 9-8 ATS) have won five straight and beat Washington 31-23 on wild-card weekend, though they failed to cover as 10-point road favorites. The second-seeded Saints (13-4 SU, 10-6-1 ATS) have won three straight, including a 21-9 victory over the Bears in last week’s playoff opener, covering as 11-point home favorites. This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Some shops opened closer to -4. Pros immediately pounced on Tom Brady and the Bucs getting the hook (+ 3.5), forcing oddsmakers to drop this line down to the key number of 3. The next move is critical. If you see this rise back to 3.5, it will likely indicate buyback on the Saints -3. If you see it stay the same or even creep down to 2.5, that will signal continued support for the Bucs. The Saints went 2-0 against the Bucs in the regular season, winning 34-23 in Week 1 and 38-3 in Week 9. Divisional-round dogs are about 59% ATS over the last decade. Pros have hit this Over, pushing the total up from 50 to 52. Playoff dome Overs are about 65% over the last decade. Both teams are 10-7 to the Over this season. Tampa is expected to get star linebacker Devin White back from the COVID-19 list. The Bucs enjoy a one-day rest advantage, having played Saturday while the Saints played Sunday.


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