NFL Picks: Divisional Round Playoff 'Mixing Up Your Picks'

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 6:47 PM GMT

A great way to mix up your NFL Picks week to week is add a two-team parlay into the mix; but not just any two-team parlay. Much like I have done the entire season, I am releasing my playoff version of my two-team moneyline parlay.

While this week’s a much bigger reach play, it still holds great value as long as certain criteria are met. Follow along, because I think there is great value in both of these moneylines, even if you don’t choose to parlay them.

49ers vs. Panthers

The Panthers are +1 home underdogs this week in the NFL Odds, but their moneyline price of +100 is what I’m after. Considering the spread is so low, a wager on the Panthers’ moneyline is the only way to go if you’re on Carolina, and I certainly am.

While the Niners have gotten back some key pieces missing from their loss to the Panthers in Week 10, heading across the country even in the playoffs is going to be a challenge for the Niners. If the Panthers’ defense can stop the run in this game, that may just be the formula to winning it outright. The Panthers have been very good against the Niners throughout the last ten years, covering their last five games in a row against the Niners. The Panthers have also been very god overall against the Niners ATS, covering their last five games overall against them.

Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense is wildly undervalued both this season and in this game. Steve Smith looks to be returning from his PCL sprain this week, and as long as he puts in some practice this week, he should take the field. The Panthers are possibly one of the most balanced teams left in either conference when it comes to offense and defense, and I see it getting them to the NFC Title game.

[gameodds]16/254628/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Chargers vs. Broncos

The Chargers are the big underdog this week, but I think they have a great shot at going into Denver and upsetting the Broncos just like they did back in Week 15. For that to happen, the Chargers have to continue to play solid defense, and they will have to run the ball a lot.

The latter might be difficult if the injury that forced Ryan Matthews form the game is serious. Matthews was huge in the Chargers’ win in Denver a few weeks ago, and if he is unable to give the Chargers carries in this game, it really takes away from their value. However as long as he practices some this week, I feel confident in him playing this week against a weak Denver running defense.

Ten points is a lot in a divisional game, but it just continues the trend of the Chargers being undervalued over the final third of the season. San Diego has a better defense than the Broncos at this point in the season, and Phillip Rivers is more than capable of matching Peyton Manning. Make sure you track Matthews’ status during practices starting today, but either way it goes, the Chargers are undervalued at +335 in the moneyline odds. These divisional games are always closer, and I could see the Chargers doing exactly what the Ravens did to the Broncos last season. 

My Pick: 2-team parlay: Panthers +100 & Chargers +335 (+760)

[gameodds]16/254594/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]