NFL Picks: Examining Divisional Playoffs False Favorites & Top Dogs

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 9:24 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 9:24 PM UTC

Last week I did my best to come up with three selections for this article and video and while they were not necessarily my favorite choices other than Minnesota, went for top results.

***ATS NFL Picks For Divisional Playoffs***
***ML NFL Picks For Divisional Playoffs***
O/U NFL Picks For Divisional Playoffs***

Turns out I was undermined by a number of factors starting with the weather in Cincinnati, which took away any chance for Over total. I looked to be on the right side of the Bengals with the money line, but was undone by knuckleheads Vontaze "less than" Burfect and Adam "Donkey Kong" Jones.

It happens, but with so few choices for NFL picks, there's not much wiggle room and this week I will have just two offerings.


False Favorite - New England (-5.5) a Touch High Over Rollin' Kansas City Crew
Going to get this out in the open, this is more an opinion than a strong play at this time. Andy Reid is leaning on his unbelievable defense, which is permitting only 11.6 points a game during their extended winning streak and forcing 2.5 turnover a game. Some will say that because New England almost never fumbles and Tom Brady does not make many mistakes with interceptions, that this will negate a large chunk of Kansas City's success, I understand that. But when teams become used to creating turnovers and are so focused on them, along with how sound the Chiefs are playing strong defense, it becomes contagious.

On offense, Kansas City is going 1970's retro, averaging 143.5 yards a contest rushing in this period and Alex Smith is making enough big plays in the passing game to Jeremy Maclin (status unknown) and TE Travis Kelce. As long as Reid does not get too conservative, the Chiefs know they can hang with New England and I can see this as a three-point outcome either way.


Top Underdog - Calling for Betting Public to Have Total Wrong in the Desert
The NFL odds show the total on Green Bay and Arizona about the same as it was when they met almost three weeks ago, at 49.5 or 50, depending on the sportsbooks. Early in the week, roughly 90 percent of bets placed were on the OVER, yet the books did not budge, because this almost certainly was all public money and the oddsmakers understood this.

My guess is sharp bettors want wagering outlets to raise the total when looking at the numbers from the last contest. There is an assumption, which is probably accurate, that Green Bay will be better offensively and score more than eight points this time. And when you realize that 14 of Arizona's 38 points were scored by the defense on touchdowns, that, at least figuratively, brings the Cardinals points in the range of what they average per game and what Green Bay allows (30.6 vs. 20.1 PPG). I do not think that all the Packers offensive concerns are fixed and this is a team which is 8-2 UNDER after one or more victories.

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