Divisional Playoffs Value Plays Worth Adding To Your NFL Picks

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 6:21 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 6:21 PM UTC

Last week when I reviewed the NFL odds for the Wild Card clashes, three plays came up rather quickly. This week it is more of the same as we are down to the Elite 8 of the NFL playoffs.

Review How Sharp Action On NFC West Affects Your NFL Picks

One again was able to keep nailing winners for NFL picks for this article and video that will follow, taking us to eight winning weeks out of the last nine and making many of you following this as readers or viewers very pleased. Let's attack the NFL odds for this week and see if I can continue to stay hot.


Arizona (-7) Gobbles Up Green Bay
Don't count me among those sold on the Pack is back after beating Washington. No question the Packers played better than they had in some time from the second quarter on and looked relived to know they are still capable of playing very good football. While I would like to make a case for Green Bay, two factors prevent me from doing so. First is the rest factor, Arizona has been off for 13 days, while the Packers have only six (Kansas City has a full week), which I think matters with all the emotion needed for the postseason and traveling. Aaron Rodgers team would be more appealing if Arizona was off a win, but the Cardinals were slammed by Seattle and also having something to prove. Better team at home and Birds win by 10.

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Angry Carolina (-3) Sinks Seattle
A long time friend of mine is season ticket holder for Carolina and regularly speaks to people in their front office. He confided in me that everyone associated with the Panthers organization is very displeased with the outside world, believing if teams from bigger cities had posted a 15-1 record, people would regard them as one of the best in recent memory. Though most teams and it's players don't follow point spreads, coach Ron Rivera will bring up the fact to his team they are such a small home favorite after defeating the Seahawks in Seattle almost three months ago. Pete Carroll's club should have lost last week and with this their third consecutive road game, I will back the NFC's top seed and call for nine-point victory on an extremely motivated club.

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Denver (Pick) Great Value at Home
The opening line on Pittsburgh and Denver (-7) was with the expectation Ben Roethlisberger would not be playing or be severely limited. With the news he's day to day and likely to give it a go even with - sprained AC joint and torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder - as he confirmed. Unless Big Ben is trying to bamboozle us, I have a hard time with this adjusted line. Let's go by the numbers. These teams met in Week 15 and Pittsburgh was a seven-point home favorite with Brock Osweiler as Denver's quarterback. Four weeks later we change venues, which is worth six point flip and add in Peyton Manning, who should be forth four points compared is Osweiler, even with decay settling in. That to my way of thinking makes the Broncos a three-point favorite, even if Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are 100 percent. Yes, I am fully aware of Denver's problems in this exact game in recent history, yet still see a lot of value at this price.

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Update - Since this article was originally published, the numbers I saw from many sportsbooks and either gone back to what they were on Monday or vanished all together. On the presumption Denver is a seven-point favorite, this renders what was written useless. On the presumption this is accurate, I would look to total, which is published at about half the sportsbooks I checked. If you can still find a 48-point total or higher, take the UNDER, because Roethlisberger is injured, which changes Steelers game plan, which leads to less scoring.

In the end, if you find the Broncos at -7 and total around 40, just pass on this contest.

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