One Reason Each Team Is Too Risky To Bet In Divisional Round

ben roethlisberger

Thursday, January 12, 2017 4:24 PM GMT

Instead of focusing on two games in the NFL's divisional round that might be too risky to bet either way, we will switch up and provide one reason that should give you pause for betting each club in the four games in chronological order.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-5)
  • Why Not Seahawks: Have you seen Russell Wilson's home/road splits this season? In Seattle during the regular season, Wilson completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,181 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions for a rating of 103.5. On the road, he completed 62.4 percent for 2,038 yards, eight TDs and eight picks for a rating of 82.1. Seattle is just 1-4 ATS on NFL picks in its past five road games.
  • Why Not Falcons: Quarterback Matt Ryan probably wins the NFL MVP Award for his regular-season performance as he broke numerous franchise records. But Ryan has a history of underperforming in the playoffs. The Falcons are 1-4 in his five playoff games, with Ryan throwing two interceptions three times and seven overall. Ryan is 1-2 in three home playoff games with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

 

Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-16)
  • Why Not Texans: Houston was easily the worst road team among all of this season's playoff clubs with a 2-6 record (same ATS mark). QB Brock Osweiler looked even more lost than usual when he wasn't playing in front of the home crowd. The Texans also are 0-4 ATS in their past four trips to Foxboro.
  • Why Not Patriots: Look, I can't argue that the Patriots might lose this game. It would be an upset along the lines of the Jets beating the Colts in Super Bowl III (which, by the way, was 48 years ago the day of this posting). But did you know that the Pats have covered only three of their past eight games as at least a 16-point home favorite? NFL teams that are more than two-TD underdogs cover more often than not in NFL betting.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5)
  • Why Not Steelers: Will that foot injury Ben Roethlisberger suffered late last week in the win over Miami (pictured above) affect him? Pittsburgh's high-powered offense has been noticeably worse on the road this year as it is, averaging about a touchdown fewer than at Heinz Field. Opponents averaged only 15.8 points at Arrowhead during the season.
  • Why Not Chiefs: Kansas City has won only two playoff games at home in its history and has lost four straight home playoff games, three of them in the divisional round. Overall, Kansas City is just 1-7 ATS in its past eight postseason games.

 

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-4)
  • Why Not Packers: There's no question that the Packers will miss No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson, who is expected to sit out with broken ribs suffered last week. He led the NFL with 14 TD catches to go with 97 receptions and 1,257 yards. Aaron Rodgers has completed 80.4 percent of passes thrown to Nelson during the Packers' current seven-game winning streak. Also keep in mind the road team has lost the past six playoff meetings between these two.
  • Why Not Cowboys: Have you seen how hot Rodgers has been playing of late? In Green Bay's last eight games, he has thrown for 22 touchdowns with no interceptions. It's the second-best streak of its kind since 1950. The only one better was in 2010 when Tom Brady over an 11-game run had 26 touchdowns and no interceptions.