Early NFL Betting Rundown For These Weekend's Playoffs Games

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 11, 2016 2:42 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 2:42 PM UTC

Let’s look at all four games and supply some first-instinct NFL picks for these Divisional Games which will all be played in warmer Weather than last weekend.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots
Point Spread/Total: Patriots -5½, 43½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Money Line: Patriots -220, Chiefs +197 (Pinnacle)
Best Super Bowl Odds: Patriots +450 (Betway), Chiefs 12/1 (William Hill)
Site: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Weather: Intermittent Rain and Snow, 39°, Winds NE 7 mph, 30% chance Precipitation
Time: 4:35 pm EST/1:35 p.m. PST [21:35]
Radio: SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Online: NFL Game Pass
Chiefs SU, ATS Record Seed: (12-5 SU, 9-8 ATS, #5 seed—Wild Card)
Patriots SU, ATS Record Seed: (12-4 SU, 7-7 ATS, #2 seed—AFC East Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Andy Reid (3rd year) vs. Bill Belichick (16th year)
QB Matchup: Alex Smith vs. Tom Brady
WR Showdown: Jeremy Maclin vs. Julian Edelman (Questionable) and/or Danny Amendola
Chiefs Defense: #7, 5,269 yards, 329.3 ypg, 17.9 ppg (Regular Season)
Patriots Defense: #9, 5,431 yards, 374.4 yards, 19.7 ppg
Chiefs Offense: #27, 5,299 yards, 333.2 ypg, 25.3 ppg
Patriots Offense: #6, 5,991 yards, 374.4 ypg, 29.1 ppg
TO Differential: Patriots #5, +7, Chiefs #2, +14
Last Meeting: 2014 Regular Season, Week 3, @ Chiefs 41 Patriots 14 (NE -3, 45½)
The Chiefs have now a mind-boggling 11 straight games after a 1-5 start; Kansas City averaged 25.3 ppg despite having the 27th ranked overall Total Offense in the Regular Season; RB Jamaal Charles (Torn Right ACL) has been and is Out for the Chiefs while RBs LeGarrette Blount (Hip) and Dion Lewis (Knee) have both been on the Injured Reserve List and that puts a significant production dent in this Offense although Belichick finds a way to overcome everything and this team’s forte has historically been the Pass. The Pats signed Free Agent and former Rams RB Steven Jackson to help fill the void left by the Injuries to these two.
The Big Thing Here: For the Patriots, Doubt, for the Chiefs, the fact the game is on the Road in New England and the Patriots had a week to Rest...and that 11-game Win Streak. You can’t play like Kansas City has and not believe you’re going to win that 12th straight and that you almost expect to be victorious after not losing in such a long time. Habits are hard to break. The Patriots have L2 straight—scoring a total of just 30 points against the Dolphins and Jets, (although Uncle Bill had the power turned down), New England has L4 of 6 and hasn’t won in the calendar year 2016 while the Chiefs haven’t lost since Oct. 18—before you even bought your Halloween candy, sister—and may have forgotten how to lose and could very well win the Super Bowl (11/1 to win Super Bowl, Sky Bet) this campaign. Seriously. Look for an in-depth preview of this game later this week at this website.

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NFL Picks: Chiefs +5 & Chiefs Money Line +197 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Point Spread/Total: Cardinals -7 -115, 50 (bet365)
Money Line: Cardinals -275, Packers +226 (Sky Bet)
Best Super Bowl Odds: Cardinals +450 (William Hill), Packers 14/1 (Boylesports)
Site: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Playing Surface: Grass
Weather: Mainly Sunny, High 62° Fahrenheit, Winds ESE 4 mph, Humidity 55%
Time: 8:15 pm EST/5:15 p.m. PST [Sunday 00:15]
Radio: SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Online: NFL Game Pass
Packers SU, ATS Record Seed: (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS, #5 seed—Wild Card)
Cardinals SU, ATS Record Seed: (13-3 SU, 9-7 ATS, #2 seed—NFC West winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Mike McCarthy (10th year) vs. Bruce Arians (3rd year)
QB Matchup: Aaron Rodgers vs. Carson Palmer
WR Showdown: Randall Cobb vs. Larry Fitzgerald
Packers Defense: #15, 5,547 yards, 346.7 ypg, 20.2 ppg (Regular Season)
Cardinals Defense: #5, 5,147 yards, 321.7 ypg, 19.6 ppg
Packers Offense: #23, 5,5353 yards, 334.6 ypg, 23.0 ppg
Cardinals Offense: #1, 6,533 yards, 408.3 ypg, 30.6 ppg
TO Differential: Packers Tied #10, +5, Cardinals #4, +9
Last Meeting: Dec. 27, 2015, (Week 16), @ Cardinals 38 Packers 8 (AZ -6, 50)
Green Bay Unders 11-6, Cardinals 3-5 ATS at Home; Arizona is really good now. 
When you average over 400 ypg and 30 ppg and you’re not an Arena Football League team, the basically your Offense is like a Defense in that it puts pressure on opposing Offenses by always being better than them and always wearing opposing Defenses down by Land or by Sea or by Air. Arizona also has the two Browns. John and Jaron, not Bad, Bad LeRoy and UPS. The Two Browns are a perfect Postseason pair of speedsters to compliment future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald (and Michael Floyd) at the WR position. And the Cheeseheads are without WR Jordy Nelson. Without Nelson, Green Bay just isn’t the same team on Offense (#23 in NFL, 23.0 ppg) although QB Aaron Rodgers (36-30 ATS on Road, 6-3 ATS this season) does have WRs Randall Cobb, James Jones and Davante Adams, RB Eddie Lacy and TE Richard Rodgers at his disposal and the Packers did look pretty good on Sunday, routing the Redskins in the Wild Card Round, 34-17 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland as Cobb, Adams, Lacy and RB James Starks all had TDs in the Win. Another thing here is that the Packers lost handily to the Cardinals less than a month ago on this same field, 38-8, a game in which QB Rodgers was sacked 9 times and also that the Cardinals will be rested and have as good a Roster overall and as good of a team while Green Bay is definitely down some as the numbers indicate. But still, they’ll play with heart and try to make this a game and should score 22 points or more (Cardinals #32 in NFL in Total Tackles), but Arizona should top the 30 points mark in this spot, with so many great Skill Position guys including RBs David Johnson (8 TDs) who has filled in nicely for the injured Chris Johnson. With Johnson and Andre Ellington (Toe), the temperate Phoenix Winter Weather, that familiar soft Grass playing surface at UoP Stadium and the thought that the Cardinals will be getting WR Michael Floyd (Knee), DT Frostee Rucker (Ankle), OLB Markus Golden and DT Josh Mauro back in the fold seems like way too much for this fading packers team to overcome. The rested Cardinals should roll as the NFL pick.

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NFL Picks: Cardinals -7.5 & Over 50 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers
Point Spread/Total: Panthers -3 -105, 44 (bet365)
Money Line: Panthers -155, Seahawks +135 (bet365)
Best Super Bowl Odds: Panthers +450 (Boylesports), Seahawks +550 (William Hill)
Site: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Playing Surface: Grass
Weather: Partly Cloudy, High 51° F, Winds WNW 10-15 mph, Humidity 58%
Time: 1:05 pm ET/10:05 a.m. PT [18:05]
Radio: SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Online: NFL Game Pass
Seahawks SU, ATS Record Seed: (11-6 SU, 8-8-1 ATS, #6 seed—Wild Card)
Panthers SU, ATS Record Seed: (15-1 SU, 11-5 ATS, #1 seed—NFC South Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Pete Carroll (6th year) vs. Ron Rivera (5th year)
QB Matchup: Russell Wilson vs. Cam Newton
WR Showdown: Doug Baldwin vs. Ted Ginn Jr.
Seahawks Defense: Seattle #2, 4,668 yards, 291.8 ypg, 17.3 ppg
Panthers Defense: #6, 5,167 yards, 322.9 yards, 19.3 ppg
Seahawks Offense: #4, 6,058 yards, 378.6 ypg, 26.4 ppg
Panthers Offense: #11, 5,871 yards, 366.9, 31.3 ppg
TO Differential: Seahawks Tied #6, +6, Panthers #1, +20
Last Meeting: Week 6 (Oct. 18), Panthers 27 @ Seahawks 23 (SEA -7, 41)
The Laces of the football facing Vikings K Blair Walsh probably helped the Seahawks into this wonderful position; RB Marshawn Lynch didn’t even travel with Seattle to Minneapolis in Sunday’s freaky 10-9 win as Seattle’s unwillingness to let opponents score TDs continues; Russell Wilson is 12-12-1 against the NFL odds on Road after Sunday’s frigid non-cover in the Wild Card Round, 4-4-1 ATS on the Road this season; Game temperatures on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis were the third Coldest ever for an NFL Playoff game (-6°Fahrenheit at Kickoff) with Wind Chills plunging to -25°; Free Agent-signee (New Orleans Saints) TE Jimmy Graham (Knee) is Out for the season; LB Bobby Wagner and Seattle’s Defense ranked #1 in Points Allowed (17.3 ppg), #1 in Rushing Yards allowed (81.5 ypg), #2 in Passing Yards allowed (210.2 ypg) and #2 in Total Yards allowed (291.8 ypg) in the Regular Season; Seattle has W7 of 8 and the Seahawks have covered 6 of their L8; Cam Newton is 24-18-1 ATS at Home, 6-2 ATS this season); Carolina’s +20 Takeaway/Giveaway Margin (39 takeaways - 19 Giveaways =).
The Big Thing Here: The Seahawks Defense. And the Seahawks will glad to be playing in a warmer clime. And if you look closely at Carolina’s schedule, the Panthers really played a Soft Schedule, with the meeting (and upset Win) against these Seahawks in Seattle (27-23) and the 37-29 Win over Green Bay here at Home in Charlotte being the only real tests. By contrast, Seattle’s two meetings with NFC West rival Arizona were harder matchups than Carolina encountered this season. So the +20 TO Margin may be a byproduct of playing the Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers twice along with the Jaguars, Texans, Eagles, Colts, Titans, Redskins, Cowboys and Giants, all of whom had disappointing seasons save for NFC East champs and not spectators like you and I, Washington. With RB Thomas Rawls filling in nicely for Lynch and WR Doug Baldwin having a breakout year and Wilson displaying the kind of athletic footwork and split-second needed to get teams on to the next Round in the NFL Postseason, is seems the Cats have truly drawn the wrong opponent at the wrong time no matter how Confident they will be after winning the Regular Season meeting or being at Home or playing so well this year. Seattle played a bad game in awful weather on Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Frozen Lakes and still won. So with that piranha-like Defense, scoreless TD streak, better Weather—by only about 52°, 77° including Wind Chill—and Wilson working his QB magic, expect the defending NFC Champion Seahawks to stop the Panthers Crazy Train on Sunday in a fairly low-scoring affair where TDs may be like Gold.

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NFL Picks: Seahawks +3 -115, Seahawks Money Line +135 & Under 44½ 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos
Point Spread: Broncos -7 (Pinnacle)
Money Line: Broncos -290, Steelers +235 (bet365)
Best Super Bowl Odds: Broncos 6/1 (Betway), Steelers 16/1 (William Hill)
Site: Sports Authority Field, Denver, Colorado
Playing Surface: Desso GrassMaster
Weather: Intervals of Clouds and Sunshine, 35°, Winds NE 4 mph, Humidity 42%
Time: 4:40 pm EST/1:40 p.m. PST [21:40]
Radio: SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Online: NFL Game Pass
Steelers SU, ATS Record Seed: (11-6 SU, 9-7-1 ATS, #6 seed—Wild Card)
Broncos SU, ATS Record Seed: (12-4 SU, 8-8 ATS, #1 seed—AFC West Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Mike Tomlin (9th year) vs. Gary Kubiak (1st year)
QB Matchup: Ben Roethlisberger/Landry Jones vs. Peyton Manning/Brock Osweiler
WR Showdown: Antonio Brown vs. Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers Defense: #21, 5,809 yards, 363.1 ypg, 19.9 ppg (Regular Season)
Broncos Defense: #1, 4,530 yards, 283.1 yards, 18.5 ppg
Steelers Offense: #3, 6,327 yards, 395.4 ypg, 26.4 ppg
Broncos Offense: #16, 5,688 yards, 355.5 ypg, 24.3 ppg
TO Differential: Broncos Tied #19, -4, Steelers Tied #15, +2
Last Meeting: Week 15 (Dec. 20,. 2015), @ Steelers 34 Broncos 27 (PIT -7½, 45½)
Denver is the only team alive in the Postseason with a negative TO Margin (-4); HC Gary Kubiak announced last week that 39-year-old veteran Peyton Manning would get the start at QB here; the Broncos came down to a Week 16 game against San Diego here in Denver where a Loss would have eliminated them from the Playoffs while a Win (they got) would give them the AFC’s #1 seed for the Playoffs; the Broncos have the #1 Defense in the NFL; Pittsburgh is really beat up with QB Ben Roethlisberger (Shoulder), WR Antonio Brown (Head), RB DeAngelo Williams (Ankle), WR Sammie Coates (Illness) and CB Doran Grant (Groin) all listed as Questionable for Sunday and star starters RB Le’Veon Bell (Knee) and C Maurkice Pouncey (Ankle) on the Injured Reserve List for the bulk of the season. it will be hard for Pittsburgh to beat Denver in the Altitude of the Rocky Mountains with Landry Jones at QB, Jordan Todman and Fitzgerald Toussaint (Concussion Protocol Passed when re-entered game Saturday) at RB and WR Martavis Bryant and WR Markus Wheaton. The Steelers will do everything in their power to get Big Ben and Brown to play and likely at least one of them does. But Pittsburgh is very, very beat up and will also be losing 2 Body Clock Hours traveling from Pennsylvania (EST) to Colorado (MST). Luckily for the Steelers, Denver is a bit beat-up and also a gambling on starting the Old Man and then bringing The Kid in if things go wrong whereas it seems it would be smarter to try it the other way around.
The Big Thing Here: The Big Thing Here is that the Steelers were Lucky to win on Saturday as Cincinnati fumbled at a time in the game you just can’t fumble and he hosts Denver are maybe Lucky it’s playing Pittsburgh and not Cincinnati (again). And The Other Big Thing here is Manning the Elder starting and how well he plays. The way he’s thrown this year isn’t promising and may be worth making the Under worth consideration when the Total comes out. But Pittsburgh having to travel and play in frigid Temperatures for a second straight week after seeing their star QB and star WR get banged up again seems a bit too much and Denver seems to be living a charmed Life these days. Expect RBs Ronnie Hillman (863 yards, 7 TDs) and CJ Anderson (720 yards, 5 TDs), former Steeler WR Emmanuel Sanders and fellow WR Demaryius Thomas and TE Owen Daniels to feature heavily here as Denver tries to use all of its Offensive weapons to try to slowly outscore the limping Steelers in the Mile High City. And they should.

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NFL Picks: Broncos Money Line -290 & 1st Quarter Under 7½
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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