Divisional Round Opening Lines and Perceived Early Value

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 8, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

Let’s look at the opening lines and the early movement for the four games for this coming weekend’s NFL Divisional Round and offer up some early perceived value picks before these freshly baked numbers start to harden.

With the elimination of four teams and the advancement of four worthy others after the playing of this past weekend’s Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs, we now head on to the Divisional Round. On Saturday, it was the Road Underdogs who had their day with Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans (10-7) upsetting Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs (10-7) in the AFC Wild Card Game from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, 22-31 (KC -9, 44) in a game which saw the Chiefs lose their NFL-record 6th straight Home Playoff game, Mariota actually catch a TD pass from himself and Tennessee collect as high as +375 on the Moneyline (BetOnline). In the NFC Wild Card Game on Saturday, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) ousted the Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 26-13 (Rams -6, 49, Bovada), in the first Postseason game in Hollyweird in 39 years, quickly turning the mood from glad to sadness in a result which saw the defending NFC champ Falcons priced as high as +227 on the Moneyline (WagerWeb).

On Sunday in AFC Wild Card weekend action, Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) — a team that hadn’t made the NFL Playoffs in 10 years — faced Tyrod Taylor and Buffalo Bills (9-8), who were making their first Playoff appearance in 17 years at Everbank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday (JAX -9, 39, Bovada), and, after a scoreless 1st Quarter, the Jaguars found a way to pay the Bills in a 10-3 dogfight. In the NFC Wild Card Game later Sunday, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (12-5) hosted Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers (11-6) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans in the third meeting between the two NFC South sides this year. Underrated rising WR Michael Thomas and the host Saints defeated the Panthers, 31-26 (NO -7, 47½, Pinnacle), to advance to the Divisional Round, where Case Keenum, Stefon Diggs, Everson Griffen and the No. 2-seed Vikings — owners of the best Scoring Defense in the NFL, #2 in FPI, #2 in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, Football Outsiders) — await.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (13-3) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) earned bye weeks for the Wild Card Round and some valuable Rest in the AFC and will play at Home in this Divisional Round, while Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) and Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings (13-3) earned that same rest and site edge in the NFC.

Here are the opening odds from Offshore line originator Bookmaker for the four NFL Playoffs Divisional Round games, and, with Super Bowl 52 now just 26 days away, let’s also take a Monday morning look at fresh Futures odds for the Super Bowl as well as the AFC and NFC Championships. This year’s Super Bowl will be contested at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb. 4 (NBC, 6:30 pm EST)..

Saturday

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots -13½ (47)

(CBS, 8:15 pm ET)

Sunday

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers -7 (41)

(CBS, 1 pm ET)

Saturday

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (+3, 43½)

(NBC, 4 pm ET)

Sunday

New Orleans Saints 44½ at Minnesota Vikings -3½ (44½)

(FOX, 4:40 pm ET)

New England Patriots 7/4

Minnesota Vikings 4/1

Pittsburgh Steelers 11/2

Atlanta Falcons 10/1

New Orleans Saints 10/1

Philadelphia Eagles 10/1

Jacksonville Jaguars 18/1

Tennessee Titans 33/1

New England Patriots 3/5

Pittsburgh Steelers 9/4

Jacksonville Jaguars 8/1

Tennessee Titans 20/1

Minnesota Vikings 7/5

New Orleans Saints 13/5

Atlanta Falcons 7/2

Philadelphia Eagles 5/1

The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs opens with the strange and historic reality of having the rested and No. 1 seed (Eagles) opening as 2.5-point Home Underdogs to the Falcons for their game Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in The City of Brotherly Love And Perpetual Doubt, with a couple of shops (JustBet, Bookmaker) already hanging a (Atlanta minus) 3. Who knew after the meteoric season that rested Philadelphia has had that it would be a solid underdog to the Falcons in the Divisional Round? There has been little movement on the Side so far, but the Total in this game has been wagered down from its opening 44 to as low as 41 (BetOnline) with the absence of Eagles QB Carson Wentz, the frigid Mideast Weather and the performance the Falcons Defense put in against the high-powered Rams in the NFC Wild Card Round all possible factors in this 3-point move. The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots opened up as 13½-point Home chalks against Tennessee with no movement yet on the side in that AFC battle while the Total is also holding pat at 47 for their Saturday battle at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

In Sunday’s two games, Ben Roethlisberger and the the Steelers opened up as 7-point Home favorites and have already moved up to 7½ at most books, so expect that number to go higher and if you want to lay the 7, now is probably the time to act. The Total for that game at Heinz Field in The Steel City opened at 41 and hasn’t budged yet. And the Vikings opened up as 3½-point Home Favorites against the upstart Saints with the Total at 44½ and neither one of those lines have yet to significantly move.

Free NFL Picks: Falcons-Eagles Under, Steelers -7Best Lines Offered: Bookmaker
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