The NFL Odds for the divisional round are out after a huge and very interesting Wildcard Weekend, and with only eight teams remaining, the stakes are even higher.
Ravens vs. Patriots
The Ravens pulled off a huge win on the road against the Steelers this past weekend, and without Le’Veon Bell to control the run game, the Ravens were able to play a very good defensive game. This week they have yet another trip to Boston on the schedule, and with a good playoff history against Tom Brady and the Patriots, the Ravens should feel confident. However the NFL Odds aren’t giving them much of a chance, as the Patriots are a -7 favorite, with a total of 47 ½. The rest for the Patriots probably served them well, as it gives their offense a chance at full health this week, but as an NFL Odds favorite, it’s hard to bet on them here against a team with such go history against them.
Panthers vs. Seahawks
The Panthers completely dominated the Cardinals in the wildcard round, and now they have to travel all the way across the country to play another NFC West foe. The Seahawks are huge -11 NFL Odds favorites in this game, with a total of only 40 ½ (available at BookMaker), and the question is will Cam Newton and the Panthers pull off an upset. I think their NFL Odds are solid at +11, but I understand if you are skeptical. However if the game is as low scoring as the total suggests, +11 might be the play. If Newton and the Panthers can control the clock against the Seahawks, and tire out their defense, they have a chance here.
Cowboys vs. Packers
As we move over to Sunday, one of my favorite games of the divisional round is the Cowboys and Packers. The NFL Odds have the Packers as -6 ½ favorites after the Cowboys squeezed by the Lions this past Sunday. The total is one of the highest of the week at 53, and a highs scoring affair is probable here. If the Cowboys have a similar start to this past week, the Packers are going to win by three touchdowns, however if the Cowboys can establish their running game early and Tony Romo can put some pressure on the Packers defense, this is going to be a close and very good game.
Colts vs. Broncos
The final game of the weekend is the Colts and Broncos, which should be an epic contest if the Colts can play well. Neither team has been great heading into the playoffs, so while the game preceding it might be a better game, no game is more interesting than this one. Peyton Manning’s health and the problems with the Colts’ run game have been documented well, and right now the NFL Odds have the Broncos as -7 favorites, with a total of 54 points. This game could end up 37-43 by the time the clock strikes zero, or it could end up 14-20. Either way, this one should stay close, but I am likely laying off the spread for this NFL playoff pick, because it’s the toughest number of any of the four games.