Here's a total outlook for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, a game-by-game breakdown followed by respective over-under NFL picks. Find out which side of the coin we are backing on our NFL picks.
Ravens vs. Patriots O/U 47.5
Patriots are amongst the highest scoring teams in the NFL this season, third after the Packers and Broncos actually with an average of 29.25 points per game. At home, that average increases perceptibly to 33-points per game this season. Add to that a 7-1 SU record which includes a 16.2-point margin of victory, it's understandable why NFL betting trends at early doors reveal a decisive lean (52% of public money) towards the OVER 47.5 on the NFL trading floor.
It's interesting to note, however, several key trends that tip the scale towards the opposite result, UNDER the 47.5-point total trading on the NFL odds board. The total has cashed on the UNDER in six of the last eight games between these two teams at Gillette Stadium. As well, both sides have cashed on the UNDER more frequently in recent weeks than one initially would expect. The Ravens have cashed on the UNDER in four of their last five games while the Patriots have cashed on the UNDER in five of their last six games. What's more, two of their last three postseason meetings have cashed on the UNDER; the only exception was a 33-14 win by the Ravens in 2010 which sported a 44-point total across most sportsbooks.
We've gone back and forth on this NFL pick, the evidence on both sides of the coin pretty compelling. On one hand, there's Tom Brady and Company that are the best version of the Patriots this side of the decade and more than capable of lighting up against one of their most ardent of AFC foes. On the other hand, past and recent trends suggest otherwise. After some deliberation, we're hanging out hat on a veritable shootout between the Patriots and the Ravens at Foxboro.
Free NFL Picks: Over 47.5
Panthers vs. Seahawks O/U 39.5
Earlier this season, the pair were mired in a battle of the trenches that resulted in a 13-9 score, an outcome that's probably made an impression on NFL bettors. Trends reveal a decided leaning towards the UNDER. As it stands, 64% of public money coming down the wire over the first couple of days has gone towards the UNDER. The upshot of which bookies have brought down the total from 41-points to 39.5-points across several betting platforms, which could be good news for OVER bettors.
Keep in mind, the regular season is one side of the story. The playoffs another entirely. It's important to avoid overindulgence in the hype, such as the legion of boom and Panthers' various woes this season. Case-and-point: last weekend, the Panthers and Cardinals were similarly nestled on a 38-to-39-point total only for the Panthers to take the 27-16 win and bust UNDER backers.
Defense is going to be in full play between these two teams, undoubtedly; they are built for trench warfare on that side of the coin. What's more, both defenses come into the postseason brimming with confidence behind stingy play. Yet, both quarterbacks are undeniable threats on the ground and in the air, two qualities that could propel an offensive side to this game few are expecting. Heck, the Seahawks put up 55 points in their last two games of the season while the Panthers put up 61 points in their last two games. Certainly, this game could go either way, but a 39.5-point total is a low total in the broad spectrum of NFL betting and that's just something OVER bettors like on their NFL picks. Just sayin.
Free NFL Picks: OVER 39.5
Cowboys vs. Packers O/U 53.0
The Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers collide in an NFC showdown that is being billed a shootout, tipped on a 53-point total across sports betting exchanges. Understandably so, seeing as both Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers topped the QBR charts this season a smidgen apart at 113.2 and 112.2 ratings respectively.
Overall, the Cowboys have put up 467 points this season and conceded 352 points. They capped a stellar December, during which they outwrestled the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East title and over the last four games of the regular season Tony Romo emerged as the best quarterback in the league. He's also furthered his claim on that accolade with a 90 QBR rating in the second half, a considerable distance ahead of the competition in performance in the second half of a game.
Packers put up the most points the league with 486 points, countered by 348 points conceded. They capped their season with an NFC North winning win over the Detroit Lions, all while Rodgers hobbled around on one foot in a 30-20 win. Speaking of the injury, it's still touch and go with Rodgers left calf injury, but news coming from the Packers' camp is auspicious enough. The injury notwithstanding, the team is supremely confident in Rodgers' abilities. So they should because Rodgers is one of the most consistent performers, nowhere more so than at Lambeau where he hasn't lost since shoulder pads and velour were in style, or something of the like.
In any event, with one of the thinnest defenses in the league coming to call at Lambeau a supreme football artist as Rodgers is should find the holes easily enough. And if Romo lives up to his month of December and QBR rating, he could make a game of it.
Free NFL Picks: OVER 53.0
Colts vs. Broncos O/U 53.0
The Colts and Broncos are matched on the highest total on the NFL odds board in the Divisional Round. At face value it makes sense considering both teams have been consistent OVER performers. The Colts finished the season with a 9-7 in over-under betting, which included a 5-3 over-under record on the road. The Broncos finished the season 10-6 in over-under betting, which includes a 6-2 over-under record at home.
Recent trends paint a different picture. The Colts are riding a five game stretch of cashing on the UNDER with totals ranging from 46-to-54. Similarly, the Broncos have cashed on the UNDER in three of their last five games, all sporting a narrow range of 47-to-49 on the total NFL odds board.
All things being considered, this game could go either way. There's no doubt that both quarterbacks are capable of putting up points, a fact that most NFL bettors are hanging their hat on (57% of the market is backing the OVER, which has upped the total from 53 to 54-points at some sportsbooks already). It's quite possible the sharp NFL pick is the UNDER on this game, certainly if the total goes any higher. The way it stands, it's right on the money, in line with their previous 30-24 meeting. Take the OVER 53-points on your NFL pick.
Free NFL Picks: OVER 53