NFL Divisional Round: Opening Lines And Early Betting Value

cowboys packers

Matthew Jordan

Monday, January 9, 2017 2:54 PM GMT

The Wild Card Weekend of the NFL playoffs was rather boring in all honesty as every home team won by at least 13 points -- no drama at all. Will things be different in a chalk Divisional Round Weekend? Here's your opening line report.

NFC No.  3 Seattle Seahawks At No. 2 Atlanta Falcons (-4.5)

Saturday kickoff at 4:35 p.m. ET and this will be the final NFL game at the Georgia Dome unless the Falcons win and the Dallas Cowboys are upset at home Sunday by the Green Bay Packers. Atlanta is moving to a spectacular new stadium next season. The Falcons rested up this past weekend, and one interesting piece of NFL news saw Atlanta QB Matt Ryan be named first-team All-Pro. Not that it wasn't deserving, but many thought that honor would go to New England's Tom Brady.  So you would have to consider Ryan the favorite to win NFL MVP honors because the same 50 voters for All-Pro also handle MVP. That will be announced the night before the Super Bowl. Seattle handled Detroit 26-6 this past Saturday to advance behind 161 yards rushing and a TD from Thomas Rawls. Seattle also got out of the game  pretty healthy. In Week 6, Seattle came out of its bye week and beat the visiting Falcons 26-24. Atlanta dominated the third quarter to take a 24-17 lead into the fourth, but Steven Hauschka's 44-yard field goal with 1:57 left was the winning margin. Rawls was out injured back then. Ryan threw for 335 yards and three TDs in the loss.

NFL Early Pick: Falcons -4.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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AFC No. 4 Houston Texans At No. 1 New England Patriots (-16)

This has a Saturday kickoff of 8:15 p.m. ET. In the past 40 postseasons, a team has been favored by more than 14 points only four times. This is No. 5 and the biggest mark since the host Minnesota Vikings were -16 against the Arizona Cardinals in the Divisional Round following the 1998 regular season. The Vikings were 15-1 that year and one of the best offensive teams in league history, and they beat Arizona 41-21 before being upset in the NFC title game by Atlanta. While New England was off this past weekend, Houston beat visiting Oakland 27-14 in the Backup QB Bowl. That top-rated Texans defense made Oakland QB Connor Cook like a fourth-round rookie as Cook was just 18-for-45 for 161 yards and three interceptions. Brock Osweiler got his starting job back for Houston under center with Tom Savage out with a concussion and the best thing I can say about Osweiler in the game was he didn't turn it over. In Week 3 on a Thursday, Houston visited New England and lost 27-0. Rookie Jacoby Brissett, not Tom Brady, was the New England QB that night. Neither team reached 300 yards of offense. The Texans had three turnovers.

NFL Early Pick: Texans +16Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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 AFC No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers At No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5)

Sunday kickoff of 1 p.m. ET. Kansas City coach Andy Reid is an amazing 16-2 following a bye week in the regular season during his time with the Chiefs and prior to that with the Philadelphia Eagles. This is the fourth time in his head coaching career he earned a bye in the playoffs and he won the previous three, all with Philadelphia. The Steelers dominated the Dolphins on Sunday, 30-12. Le'Veon Bell rushed for 167 yards and two scores and Antonio Brown had two long TD catches and finished with five grabs for 124 yards. Ben Roethlisberger was 13-fo-18 for 194 yards, two scores and two picks. But he suffered an ankle injury late in the game and was seen in a walking boot afterward. He's obviously not going to miss a playoff game but that's certainly worth monitoring. The Steelers hosted Kansas City in Week 4 and rolled 43-14. Big Ben was magnificent, going 22-for-27 for 300 yards and five touchdowns. Brown caught two of them and Bell rushed for 144 yards on 18 carries.

NFL Early Pick: Steelers +1.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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NFC No. 4 Green Bay Packers At No. 1 Dallas Cowboys (-4)

A 4:40 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday, and this game should draw  monster TV ratings on Fox not to mention the most betting action at SBR Forum's top sportsbooks. Perhaps the only better matchup in terms of the teams' popularity we could see in these playoffs would be Patriots-Cowboys in the Super Bowl. Green Bay won its seventh straight game this past Sunday, 38-13 over the New York Giants. The momentum in that one totally changed when Aaron Rodgers hit Randall Cobb on a 42-yard Hail Mary TD to close the first half and give the Packers are 14-6 lead. Rodgers has been ridiculously good during the winning streak and threw for 362 yards and four scores against a great defense. However, No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson was knocked out of the game early with a rib injury and it's not clear yet if he can play here. Green Bay hosted Dallas in Week 6 and the Cowboys won 30-16. Rookie Dak Prescott threw for three touchdowns and fellow rook Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 157 yards on 28 carries. Rodgers threw for 294 yards with a TD and a pick.

NFL Early Pick: Packers +4Best Line Offered: Heritage

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