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  1. #1
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    Default NFL Trends and Indexes - Division Round ( Saturday, January 14 - Sunday, January 15)






    NFL Trends and Indexes

    Saturday, January 14 - Sunday, January 15

    Additional trends and information will be added as available.

    NOTE:
    As information becomes available, we will attempt to post the trends and indexes as soon as possible.
    Information is posted from what we believe are reliable sources.
    Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the posting member or BettorsChat.


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    NFL opening line report: Patriots open as massive favorites, line pushes higher

    “The Patriots are the highest power-rated team in the NFL, going up against the worst playoff team left. We figured we couldn’t make this line high enough."

    Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-4)

    Seattle had an up-and-down finish to the regular season, but looked the part of a playoff-tested team Saturday in the wild card game. The third-seeded Seahawks (11-5-1 SU, 9-8 ATS) coasted past Detroit 26-6 as an 8-point home chalk.

    Now, the vaunted Seattle defense will be tested by an Atlanta offense that led the league, averaging 33.8 points per game. The Falcons (11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS) earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye, finishing the regular season on a 4-0 SU run (3-1 ATS). Atlanta dropped New Orleans 38-32 in the finale as a 7.5-point home favorite.

    These two teams met at Seattle in October, with the Seahawks squeaking out a 26-24 win as a 7-point fave.

    “We posted Falcons -4 and 49.5. As expected, we’re seeing the public jump on the ‘dog in this game, as the bet count and money are on Seattle so far, which is fine,” Childs said Saturday night. “I really like this Falcons team, and I have no problem booking early Seahawks money here. The Falcons off a bye, they’ll be as healthy as they’ve been all year.

    “What the public is forgetting is how poorly the Seahawks finished their regular season, yet the betting public is willing to forget the Seahawks’ weaknesses after beating up a very bad Lions team at home. The same betting public that faded the Seahawks (on Saturday) is now backing them against the far superior team, the same team that should have beaten Seattle in Seattle if not for an awful missed pass-interference call in the waning moments of that game.”

    Childs said there was some Sunday support for the Falcons, pushing the number to 4.5.

    “Now we’re seeing some real nice two-way action.”

    Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-14.5)

    Fourth-seeded Houston may have won its wild card game with relative ease on Saturday, but it came against an Oakland team missing star quarterback Derek Carr, and the oddsmakers were not impressed. The Texans (10-7 SU, 7-9-1 ATS) posted a 27-14 home victory laying 4 points against the Raiders. Brock Osweiler, benched a few weeks back, had a serviceable game with no turnovers and will remain the starter this week.

    New England led the NFL both SU and ATS this season, at 14-2 and 13-3, respectively, earning the bye week as the AFC’s top seed. The Patriots won their last seven in a row (6-1 ATS), including a 35-14 bashing of fellow playoff team Miami giving 7.5 points on the road in Week 17.

    Patriots superstar Tom Brady, suspended the first four games of the season for Deflategate, has 28 touchdown passes against just two interceptions this season. Osweiler has 15 TD passes and 16 interceptions.

    “We opened the Pats -14.5, and that’s the highest playoff number that I can remember,” Childs said. “If memory serves me correct, you’d have to go back all the way to when the NFC was dominating Super Bowls to find an opening line in that range, and that was back in the 1990s. Bottom line, the Texans beat up on a third-string QB (Connor Cook) who was making his first career NFL start Saturday. It was an awful situation for the Raiders, and it showed.

    “The Patriots are the highest power-rated team in the NFL, going up against the worst playoff team left. We figured we couldn’t make this line high enough, and while we discussed opening 14, we wanted to err on the side of caution. If we happen to take early money on the dog, it would be welcomed.”

    What’s happened instead is the line has already shot up to New England -16.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5)

    Pittsburgh has now peeled off eight consecutive SU victories, going 6-1-1 ATS in that stretch. On Sunday in the wild card game, the third-seeded Steelers (12-5 SU, 10-6-1 ATS) blew past Miami 30-12 as a hefty 11-point home favorite. The Dolphins were without QB Ryan Tannehill, and Matt Moore was totally over-matched, throwing one INT, losing a pair of fumbles and taking five sacks.

    Kansas City (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS) nabbed the second seed and a bye week by winning the AFC West in a tiebreaker over Oakland. The Chiefs got out of the gate 2-2 SU and ATS, with the last of those four games a 43-14 beatdown at the hands of Pittsburgh, with K.C. a 3-point road ‘dog. However, Andy Reid’s troops went 10-2 SU (8-4 ATS) the rest of the way, topping San Diego 37-27 laying 5.5 points on the road in the regular-season finale.

    “The Steelers are fresh off a dominating win over the hapless Dolphins. Miami came into that game with all kinds of injuries, especially on the offensive line, and it showed. They couldn’t protect their second-string QB, and the game got out of hand early,” Childs said. “The betting public is going to be very impressed with the Steelers’ showing (Sunday), and while I personally made the game pick ’em, there’s no doubt in my mind that the public is going to back the Steelers in this game, so we opened them a bit inflated. I believe the sharps are going to back the Chiefs big time, taking the home dog and the points.”

    That’s precisely what happened early on. Sportsbook.ag opened Pittsburgh -2.5, and the line quickly flipped all the way to KC -2 before settling at Chiefs -1.5 Sunday night.

    “It’s going to be a game where the pros will be butting heads with the Joes, with sharps on the Chiefs and Joe Q. Public on the Steelers,” Childs said.

    Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5)

    Green Bay is nearly as hot as Pittsburgh, as it now owns a seven-game SU winning streak (6-1 ATS). The Packers rumbled over New York on Sunday, 38-13 as a 5-point home favorite in the NFC’s 4-5 matchup. Aaron Rodgers has 19 TD passes and no interceptions during the Packers’ surge, including three straight four-TD games heading into Dallas.

    The Cowboys (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS) claimed the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed, getting this past weekend off. After losing its season opener, Dallas ripped off 11 consecutive SU wins and beat the spread in the first nine of those games, riding rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott. In Week 17, with the top seed wrapped up, the Cowboys rested those two and more, losing at Philadelphia 27-13 as a 6.5-point pup.

    TheGreek.com opened Dallas a 4.5-point home chalk and decided to move to 4 within a few minutes, with Green Bay at a price of -115.

    “We took some money on the Cowboys, and now were at Dallas -4 (-115),” Kaminsky said. “It’s a great game. I don’t know how the number is gonna go. I know that I loved the Packers against the Giants, because I just like playing hot teams. But conversely, I like Dallas here.

    “I hate to go against Rodgers, because he’s point-blank one of the top three quarterbacks of my era. I just think the Packers are gonna have a tough time stopping Elliott, and if Dak plays a decent game, I think the Cowboys are gonna cover. The week off is a big factor, too.”

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    Wiseguys are advising that these NFL divisional round lines are going to move

    Atlanta’s offense is really good, especially at home where Atlanta averaged more than 36 in its final four regular season games.

    Game to bet now

    Houston at New England (-15.5)


    All playoff games are not created equal, and while the other three this weekend could reasonably go either way, there just seems to be no way that the Texans can hang in this one. Houston was not a good road team (2-6) this season, with one of the losses a 27-0 turtle job in New England in a game in which Tom Brady didn’t even play. New England has had two weeks of R&R time to get ready for this one, so it’s hard to see Houston making this one competitive. If Houston has any shot, it would be by pressuring Brady up with the gut and taking away the middle of the field (that worked for the Jets a few years back). Somehow the line which opened at 16 has melted down a half point as jubilant Houston fans celebrate the fact that Brock Osweiler did not spit the bit too much against the Raiders last weekend. It’s unlikely to move any more.

    Game to wait on

    Green Bay at Dallas (-4)


    On occasion fans tend to overreact to wild card round victories, and that might explain the heavy money placed on the Packers in early wagering. But Green Bay was dominant in a 25-point victory over the Giants on Sunday, and Packers fans hope that the great play of Aaron Rodgers, and tons of momentum, are enough to carry them past the Cowboys in Dallas. When Dallas is good – and the Boys haven’t been this good in a while – it always draws heavy national money, so the betting figures to level off. With so much action expected on this premier game, cautious bettors might want to hang on a bit and see if they can catch a line that might move a half-point in their favor as kickoff nears.

    Total to watch

    Seattle at Atlanta (51)


    The number on this one has already moved from 49 to 51, perhaps a sign that bettors are looking more closely at the Falcons and starting to realize that Atlanta’s offense is really good, especially at home where Atlanta averaged more than 36 in its final four regular season games. Matt Ryan’s rep has taken hits over the last several years as the Falcons couldn’t get any traction, but this season he’s the potential league MVP and has the best stats this side of Tom Brady. The Falcons won their last four games to earn the bye, and the key in each of those games was getting off to a fast start. If that happens again, the teams could easily blow past 51.

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    NFL
    Long Sheet

    Division Round


    Saturday, January 14

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    SEATTLE (11 - 5 - 1) at ATLANTA (11 - 5) - 1/14/2017, 4:35 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    ATLANTA is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
    ATLANTA is 30-49 ATS (-23.9 Units) off a win against a division rival since 1992.
    ATLANTA is 12-28 ATS (-18.8 Units) in home games after 2 or more consecutive wins since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    ATLANTA is 1-0 against the spread versus SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons
    SEATTLE is 1-0 straight up against ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
    1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    HOUSTON (10 - 7) at NEW ENGLAND (14 - 2) - 1/14/2017, 8:15 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    NEW ENGLAND is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) as a favorite of 10 or more points over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) in all games this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) in all lined games this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) as a favorite this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in home lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) against conference opponents this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) in home games against AFC South division opponents since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in home games in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 113-81 ATS (+23.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 79-53 ATS (+20.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    NEW ENGLAND is 2-0 against the spread versus HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
    NEW ENGLAND is 2-0 straight up against HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    Sunday, January 15

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    PITTSBURGH (12 - 5) at KANSAS CITY (12 - 4) - 1/15/2017, 1:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    KANSAS CITY is 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) in playoff games since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PITTSBURGH is 2-1 against the spread versus KANSAS CITY over the last 3 seasons
    PITTSBURGH is 2-1 straight up against KANSAS CITY over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    GREEN BAY (11 - 6) at DALLAS (13 - 3) - 1/15/2017, 4:40 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    GREEN BAY is 230-188 ATS (+23.2 Units) in all games since 1992.
    GREEN BAY is 230-188 ATS (+23.2 Units) in all lined games since 1992.
    GREEN BAY is 18-9 ATS (+8.1 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    GREEN BAY is 93-65 ATS (+21.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
    GREEN BAY is 70-41 ATS (+24.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    DALLAS is 2-1 against the spread versus GREEN BAY over the last 3 seasons
    GREEN BAY is 2-1 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    NFL
    Short Sheet

    Division Round


    Sat – Jan. 14

    Seattle at Atlanta, 4:35 PM ET

    Seattle: 19-8 OVER in road games after gaining 175 or more rushing yards last game
    Atlanta: 15-31 ATS off a home win against a division rival

    Houston at New England, 8:15 PM ET
    Houston: 4-8 ATS after a win by 10 or more points
    New England: 12-3 ATS as a favorite


    Sun – Jan. 15

    Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 1:05 PM ET

    Pittsburgh: 9-1 ATS after gaining 6.5 or more yards/play in their previous game
    Kansas City: 2-11 ATS in playoff games

    Green Bay at Dallas, 4:40 PM ET
    Green Bay: 14-3 ATS after allowing 99 or less rushing yards in 4 straight games
    Dallas: 1-6 ATS after having won 8 or more out of their last 10 games




    NFL

    Division Round


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    Trend Report
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    Saturday, January 14

    4:35 PM
    SEATTLE vs. ATLANTA
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Seattle's last 6 games when playing Atlanta
    Seattle is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games at home
    Atlanta is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games at home

    8:15 PM
    HOUSTON vs. NEW ENGLAND
    Houston is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 6 games on the road
    New England is 16-3 SU in its last 19 games at home
    New England is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games


    Sunday, January 15

    1:05 PM
    PITTSBURGH vs. KANSAS CITY
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Pittsburgh's last 7 games on the road
    Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Kansas City
    The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kansas City's last 7 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas City's last 6 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh

    4:40 PM
    GREEN BAY vs. DALLAS
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Green Bay's last 5 games
    Green Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    Dallas is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games
    Dallas is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Green Bay


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    NFL
    Dunkel

    Division Round


    Saturday, January 14

    Houston @ New England

    Game 303-304
    January 14, 2017 @ 8:15 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Houston
    131.260
    New England
    148.754
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    New England
    by 17 1/2
    38
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    New England
    by 15
    44 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    New England
    (-15); Under

    Seattle @ Atlanta


    Game 301-302
    January 14, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Seattle
    139.834
    Atlanta
    139.856
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Seattle
    Even
    46
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Atlanta
    by 5
    51 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Seattle
    (+5); Under



    Sunday, January 15

    Green Bay @ Dallas

    Game 307-308
    January 15, 2017 @ 4:40 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Green Bay
    134.050
    Dallas
    141.275
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Dallas
    by 7
    46
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Dallas
    by 4 1/2
    52 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Dallas
    (-4 1/2); Under

    Pittsburgh @ Kansas City


    Game 305-306
    January 15, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Pittsburgh
    142.593
    Kansas City
    136.017
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Pittsburgh
    by 6 1/2
    49
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Kansas City
    by 2
    44
    Dunkel Pick:
    Pittsburgh
    (+2); Over





    NFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Division Round


    Saturday's games
    Seahawks (11-5-1) @ Falcons (11-5)— Seattle (-7) held on to beat Falcons 26-24 in Week 6, thanks to no-call on blatant PI by Sherman on last play of game. Ryan passed for 310 yards but Atlanta was -2 in turnovers. Falcons had 362-333 edge in yardage. Seattle is 5-3 in Atlanta, winning 33-10 in last visit three years ago. Ryan is 1-4 in NFL playoff games; only win was 30-28 over Seattle here four years ago. Wilson is 8-3 in playoff games, 2-2 in true road games. Seahawks are 3-4-1 on road, 2-0 as a road underdog. Falcons won last four games, scoring 38.5 pts/game; they’re 5-3 at home, 2-5 as home favorites. Four of last six Seahawk games went over total; over is 5-0-1 in last six Atlanta games. #2 NFC seed won this game six of last seven years, but is 0-3 vs spread last three years.

    Texans (10-7) @ Patriots (14-2)— Houston (+1) lost 27-0 here in Week 3, Brissett’s first NFL start at QB during Brady’s suspension- Texans opened as a favorite that week, but were -3 in TO’s. Houston lost all four visits here, with average score 38-12. Texans are 2-6 on road with only wins at Jaguars/Colts; they’re 2-6 as road underdogs. Last week was Osweiler’s first playoff game; he is 14-9 an an NFL starter. Brady is 22-9 in playoff games, 15-3 at home. Patriots won their last seven games (6-1 vs spread); they won/covered six of eight home games. Under is 4-2-1 in last seven Houston games, 5-2 in last seven New England games. Patriots won in this round the last five years (3-1-1 vs spread) all at home. #1 seed in AFC is just 6-5SU in this round last 11 years, 2-4 vs spread the last six years.


    Sunday's games
    Steelers (12-5) @ Chiefs (12-4)— Steelers won last eight games (6-2 vs spread); this is first time they’ve been underdog since Oct 23 in Foxboro. Pitt is 5-3 on road, 0-1 as an underdog this year- they hammered the Chiefs 43-14 (-3.5) back in Week 4; game was 29-nil at half. Chiefs won five of last six games, are 6-2 at home; they’re 12-0 if they score more than 17 points, 0-4 if they score 17 or less. Steelers won four of last five series games, but lost three of last four visits to Arrowhead. Roethlisberger is 12-6 in playoff games, 4-2 on road, with both losses in Denver.- he hasn’t faced KC in playoffs. Steelers are Smith is 2-3 in playoff games, 1-1 at home; all three of his playoff games with Chiefs have been on road. Under is 9-4 in last 13 Steeler games, 2-4 in Chiefs’ last six. #2 seed in AFC won this game five of last six years.

    Packers (11-6) @ Cowboys (13-3)— Dallas (+5) beat Packers 30-16 in Lambeau in Week 6, snapping a 5-game skid vs Green Bay; Pack won 37-36 in its last visit here, three years ago- they beat Dallas 26-21 in a playoff game at Lambeau two years ago. Green Bay won its last seven games (6-1 vs spread); they’re 4-4 on road, 1-2 in domes (lost at Minn/Atl), 3-1 vs spread as an underdog. Cowboys are 7-1 at home (lost in Week 1 to Giants) 5-2 vs spread as a favorite. Rodgers is 9-6 in playoff games, 4-4 in true road games. This is rookie QB Prescott’s first playoff game. Green Bay played five of last six games in cold weather; they won 31-24 in dome at Detroit on Dec 26 to win NFC North. Four of last five Dallas games stayed under total; last five Packer games went over. #1 seed in NFC won this game last four years, but is 2-4 vs spread the last six years.

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    NFL Divisional Round Playoff lines that make you go hmmm...

    The Cowboys are 4-point home favorites versus the Packers. This veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker gives you his take on the NFL odds making him go "hmmm..." this weekend.

    Longtime Las Vegas oddsmaker Peter Korner sizes up this week’s NFL Divisional Round schedule and tells you why these postseason lines are making him go “hmmm…”

    Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-4.5, 51)

    These two played each other in mid-October where Seattle won at home by a 26-24 score alongside a 7-point spread. Looking at the game this week in Atlanta, the Falcons are enjoying a solid 4.5-point spread which may not move all that much from now until game time.

    Personally, I made around a field goal, either -2.5 or -3 (EVEN). To me, the Seattle win against Detroit was more than just going through the motions. I gave the Seahawks some props for ironing out some issues and keeping the machine rolling. Sometimes it does a team well to keep the routine going and gain momentum heading into the second round.

    Not every team reacts as well to a week off at this point than others. They say every player has some aches and pains at this juncture and getting a rest at this point of the season can do a body well. But when timing and routine are so important to players and teams, this downtime can be disruptive, particularly at the beginning of the game.

    If this line moves anywhere, it will move down, closer to the underdogs. My advice would be to get the Seattle bets in now for its best value and if you’re looking for the best number with Atlanta, wait until game day when this gets closer to my opener.

    Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-16, 45)

    I find it fascinating that most bettors and bookmakers make the 17-point difference a key number. I find it particularly galling that bookmakers move a line this high with half-point moves. Normally, this is an easy game to decipher as to who is feeding the machine and at what levels. The masses will back the Patriots at -16 or -16.5 while the wiseguys will hit the +17 if it gets there. However, I think the wiseguys may have to throw in the towel with their “value” and may support New England no matter what.

    Personally, I think there are more elements that may come to fruition that will keep this game closer than expected but I don’t think the line is going to move very much from where it is now. I agreed with the opening offshore number. I thought the offshore -14.5 was pretty good and was amazed as to how quickly this jumped to -16.

    I do know with four games going to the favorites this past weekend, that has left an indelible point in bettors’ minds for the games this week (three of the four games have pretty much been one-way action) but Patriot backers are asking a lot to keep this kind of distance right out of the chute in their first game of the playoffs.

    This one is more of a coin toss where a first touchdown score by Houston will go a long way into this game.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5, 44.5)

    I agreed with the offshores that Pittsburgh should be some kind of a favorite. And to my thinking, it will be by kickoff. The -1 on the Steelers was wiped clean and posted on Kansas City almost immediately after everyone saw Ben Roethlisberger’s foot in a walking boot.

    The line hit -2.5 on the Chiefs momentarily but has since dropped to -1.5 by midweek as the Pittsburgh QB has stated he’ll be fine to play. Rarely does a score get affected by a 1.5-point spread when the line is actually 1.5, but your mind gets a little snarled after you look at it for a while.

    You’re basically asking yourself to just pick the winner (Like last week. Wasn’t so tough was it?). I was agreeing with most football aficionados a few weeks ago that the best matchup for the AFC Championship game would be the Steelers and the Patriots and I stand by that. Don’t look at this number other than determining which is the better team? By all accounts, on a neutral field, the Steelers are. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers are. And in KC, they will likely still be come Sunday.

    Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-4, 52)

    It’s unfortunate that Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson will not play. That certainly has to be in the line purely by perception that for this one game, he’s better than the backups that will be in his place. But by how much?

    It’s tough to gauge the value of a wide receiver for one game. In actuality, the options did a good job. Also, it makes for a blurred defensive scheme now that you have to focus on a number of receivers rather than one key player. I made this game -3.5 Dallas on the basis of what Green Bay has been doing lately and what Dallas has done all year.

    At the -4 level, you’re admitting that these teams are basically even on a neutral field. The line will close around -4. I don’t see this surging towards the Packers on game day as there’s just too much money that backs the ‘Boys every week. This will never make -5 as wiseguys will be all over Green Bay at the higher number.

    With a total of 52 points, oddsmakers are expecting more touchdowns than field goals so between the difference of three or four, there’s a smaller chance that comes into play. But since we know how a number at three or four affects the bettors’ minds, this number is as good as it gets for this game.

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    NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Divisional Playoffs edition

    Roethlisberger was sacked just 17 times during the regular season; of all QBs to throw at least 500 passes, only Oakland's Derek Carr (16) was sacked less often.

    Each week, Monty Andrews breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, giving you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule, and the playoffs are no different.

    Here are the biggest betting mismatches for the NFL Divisional Playoffs weekend:

    Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-5, 51.5)

    Seahawks' road scoring woes vs. Falcons' fantastic home-field edge

    Oddsmakers are expecting the NFC divisional-round game between the Seahawks and Falcons to be a bit of a barn-burner - and that suits the Falcons just fine, as they rode one of the league's top offenses to the NFC South crown and a well-deserved first-round bye. The Seahawks still have an defense capable of disrupting even the most experienced quarterbacks, but the team's struggles producing points on the road could be its undoing this weekend.

    The Seahawks didn't exactly waltz into the postseason, lacking the offensive punch they showed in the second half of last season. Seattle ranked a dismal 25th in red-zone touchdown success rate at 48.33 percent - and that mark plummets on the road, where the Seahawks converted just 34.8 percent of their red-zone visits into six points. Things were particularly messy in the second half of road games; only the Chicago Bears managed fewer second-half road points than the Seahawks' 5.9.

    There won't be any room for error against the host Falcons, who turned Mercedes-Benz Stadium into their very own playground. Atlanta averaged an absurd 35 points per game at home this season, four more than the next-closest team; their 61.9-percent TD success rate in the red zone ranked 10th in the league, and only two teams had a better third-down conversation rate at home than the Falcons (48.0 percent). Atlanta is in good position to take home-field advantage one step further this weekend.

    Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-15, 44.5)

    Texans' recent third-down struggles vs. Patriots' long-drive proficiency

    The Texans will need plenty to go right if they hope to take down the mighty Patriots and advance to the AFC Championship - and oddsmakers aren't confident it will happen. Houston finds itself on the wrong end of one of the biggest spreads in NFL playoff history - and overcoming such long odds starts with making dramatic improvements in third-down conversion, where New England owns one of the biggest advantages between the teams coming into the weekend.

    The Houston offense struggled mightily over the course of the season, averaging a paltry 1.6 touchdowns per game. There are a handful of reasons for that, but one of the biggest was the Texans' inability to extend drives behind quarterback Brock Osweiler and backup Tom Savage. Houston ranked 24th in third-down conversion rate (36.7 percent) and has labored even more over its previous three games, converting at a 25-percent rate.

    That simply won't fly against a New England juggernaut that looks every bit like a Super Bowl contender. Led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots converted nearly 46 percent of their third-down situations into first downs or touchdowns - the fourth-best rate in the league. That number jumps to almost 49 percent over the previous three games - proof that an already-huge chasm between these two teams is even bigger going into Saturday night's tilt.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5, 44.5)

    Steelers' underrated O-line vs. Chiefs' struggling pass rush

    Ask anyone why the Steelers are among the final eight teams in the Super Bowl race, and they'll likely bring up the star triumvirate of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown. But there's much more to Pittsburgh's success than its three big-name skill players - starting with a robust offensive line that has earned rave reviews around the league, and matches up well against an underwhelming Kansas City pass rush.

    Roethlisberger has been blessed with one of the top O-lines in the NFL, at least from a Pro Football Focus perspective. All five of the base starters boast PFF grades above 80, led by LG Ramon Foster (87.1), RT Marcus Gilbert (87.1) and RG David DeCastro (86.5). They helped keep their star QB upright, as Roethlisberger was sacked just 17 times during the regular season; of all QBs to throw at least 500 passes, only Oakland's Derek Carr (16) was sacked less often.

    Oddsmakers expect the Chiefs' defense to give Roethlisberger a hard time, but there's evidence to suggest that may be a tall task. the Kansas City base defense features just two players with PFF ratings north of 80, while three sit below 71 - highlighted by LE Rakeem Nunez-Roches (43.2). The Chiefs' 28 sacks ranked 28th in the NFL, and even with Justin Houston back in action, Kansas City might be hard-pressed to put enough heat on Roethlisberger to pressure him into mistakes.

    Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5, 52)

    Packers' run-game deficiency vs. Cowboys' lock-down rush D

    Storylines abound as the streaking Packers face the upstart Cowboys with a berth in the NFC Championship game on the line. Both teams will be focused on stopping the opposition passing game; Dallas is tasked with subduing red-hot Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, while the Packers will need to figure out how to stymie rookie Cowboys signal caller Dak Prescott. But this one might be decided on the ground - and that's where the Cowboys have a sizeable advantage.

    The Packers have had to get creative in the backfield with Eddie Lacy out for the season, eventually settling on wide receiver Ty Montgomery as their primary rushing option. But Green Bay has been relying less on the running game of late, averaging a paltry 89.3 rushing yards over its previous three contests. The Packers averaged just 104.5 yards per game on the ground - good for 21st in the NFL - while Montgomery led the team with a modest 457 rushing yards.

    Much of the attention in Big D falls on the offensive rushing game - led by electrifying rookie Ezekiel Elliott - but the Cowboys' run defense was just as impressive. Dallas surrendered a league-low 83.5 yards per game on the ground, and was one of four teams to limit to foes to single-digit rushing touchdowns in the regular season. With the Cowboys outrushing opponents by nearly 80 yards per game at home, Dallas is well-positioned to dominate the ground game Sunday.

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    NFL

    Saturday, January 14


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NFC Divisional Playoffs betting preview: Seahawks at Falcons
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman averaged an impressive 4.8 yards per carry this season but was limited to 40 on 12 rushes by Seattle's stingy defense.

    Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-5, 51.5)

    Matt Ryan may be the quarterback of the NFL's highest-scoring offense and a legitimate candidate to reel in league MVP honors this season, but the 31-year-old has enamored the masses with his less-than-stellar postseason play. With a 1-4 playoff record in his back pocket, Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons look to advance to the NFC Championship game for the second time in five years when they host the Seattle Seahawks in a divisional-round tilt on Saturday.

    Ryan's lone postseason win came in a three-touchdown performance versus Seattle in January 2013, and he also threw for three scores three-plus years later - albeit in a 26-24 regular-season setback to the Seahawks on Oct. 16. Electric wideout Julio Jones made seven catches for 139 yards and a touchdown in the most recent encounter but was left searching for a pass interference call that never came against Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman that effectively ended the game. Thomas Rawls missed that contest with a fractured leg but showed his mettle in Seattle's 28-6 rout of Detroit in last week's wild-card game by finding the end zone while rushing 27 times for a franchise playoff-record 161 yards. Another effective performance on the ground against Atlanta's 29th-ranked run defense would keep the Falcons' top-ranked scoring offense (33.8 points) off the field while opening up avenues for Seattle's play-action passing attack.

    TV:
    4:35 p.m. ET, FOX.

    POWER RANKINGS:
    Seahawks (-2.5) - Falcons (-4.5) + home field (-3) = Falcons 5.5

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Falcons opened as 4-point home favorites and was briefly bet down to 3.5 Sunday morning, since it has been growing up to 5, where it currently stands. As for the total, it opened as 50.5 and has been bet up a full point to 51.5. View the complete line history here.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "In the NFC, the Falcons host a Seahawks team they had on the ropes in Seattle during the regular season. Can a Seahawks defense that's banged up, hold up on the road against the potent Falcons offense?"

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    "The Falcons are the strongest play from the sharps as of now, which as prompted the move from -3.5 to -5. We do expect to see some dog money at some point so doubtful this heads north much longer, but we will see when limits are raised this weekend. Right now, around 75 percent of the handle is on Atlanta."

    WEATHER REPORT:
    Dome

    INJURY REPORT:


    Seahawks - FB Marcel Reece (probable, foot), WR Paul Richardson (probable, foot), DB Jeron Johnson (questionable, knee), RB C.J. Prosise (questionable, shoulder), DT Tony McDaniel (questionable, concussion)

    Falcons - LB Vic Beasley (probable, shoulder), WR Julio Jones (probable, toe), CB Robert Alford (probable, knee), TE Austin Hooper (probable, knee), WR Taylor Gabriel (probable, foot), S Keanu Neal (questionable, concussion)

    ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (11-5-1 SU, 9-8 ATS, 9-8 O/U):
    Russell Wilson threw for only 224 yards in the victory against the Lions but was a perfect 11-of-11 for 104 yards and a touchdown when targeting trusted wideout Doug Baldwin. The 28-year-old Baldwin, who has a franchise-best 50 career postseason catches and five touchdowns in his last seven playoff games, was limited to four receptions for 31 yards in the first meeting with Atlanta. Tight end Jimmy Graham has been held to just 11 catches in his last five games but reeled in six passes for 89 yards in the first encounter with the Falcons.

    ABOUT THE FALCONS (11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS, 13-2-1 O/U):
    Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman averaged an impressive 4.8 yards per carry this season but was limited to 40 on 12 rushes by Seattle's stingy defense, which held opposing runners to a league-low 3.37 yards this campaign. Diminutive wideout Taylor Gabriel has been quite the complement to the 6-3, 220-pound Jones, using his considerable speed to find the end zone in six of his last eight games. Gabriel is expected to return from a toe/ankle injury and red-zone target Austin Hooper is making strides from an MCL sprain.

    TRENDS:


    * Seahawks are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
    * Falcons are 1-5 ATS in their last six playoff home games.
    * Over is 6-1 in Seahawks last seven Divisional Playoffs games.
    * Over is 5-0 in Falcons last five playoff home games.
    * Over is 8-0 in Falcons last eight home games.
    * Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

    CONSENSUS:
    Fifty-four percent of bettors are siding with the home favorite Falcons. As for the total, 58 percent of wagers from users are on the Over.


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    NFL

    Saturday, January 14


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AFC Divisional Playoffs betting preview: Texans at Patriots
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Patriots closed the season with a seven-game winning streak and have outscored Houston 54-6 in two matchups over the last 13 months.

    Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-15, 44.5)

    The Houston Texans visited the New England Patriots in Week 3 and were demolished 27-0, a loss that was more eye-opening given that they were up against a rookie third-string quarterback making his first career start. So it's hardly a surprise that the top-seeded Patriots are overwhelming favorites in Saturday night's AFC Divisional Round matchup against visiting Houston.

    The Texans won the AFC South with a 9-7 record and knocked off fifth-seeded Oakland 27-14 in the first round of the playoffs, but they are more than two-touchdown underdogs against New England. “It’s OK if we’re called the underdogs, I kind of like it,” Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus told reporters. “Definitely get to shock a whole lot of people, so we’re looking forward to that.” The Patriots closed the season with a seven-game winning streak and have outscored Houston 54-6 in two matchups over the last 13 months, but quarterback Tom Brady dismissed the idea that they are looking past the Texans. “I don’t see any letdown from us. That’s ridiculous to think that," Brady told reporters. "I’m preparing like this is the hardest game we’ve faced all season, which it will be, and it means the most."

    TV:
    8:15 p.m. ET, CBS.

    POWER RANKINGS:
    Texans (0.5) - Patriots (-7) + home field (-3) = Patriots -9.5

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Patriots opened as massive 16-point favorites and that has faded down a full point to 15. The total hit the board at 44.5 and briefly was bet up to 45, before returning to the opening number. View the complete line history here.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "There's no question that a lopsided affair is expected between the Texans and Patriots. Yet, Brock Osweiler and the Texans as a whole have experience of losing to New England earlier this season and zero expectations Saturday."

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    "Some bettors are certainly shying away from this one due to the large spread. We initially saw smart money on the big dog, moving the number to -15.5 and then -15, but that’s creeping back up as we speak. Most of the public bets are on the Patriots and the money handle is close to even but slightly favors Houston at this point. "

    WEATHER REPORT:
    The forecast for Gillette Stadium on Saturday night is calling for clear skies with a chance of clouds and temperatures in the mid-20’s at kickoff.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Texans - WR DeAndre Hopkins (probable, knee), CB A.J. Bouye (probable, groin), LB Whitney Mercilus (probable, knee), QB Tom Savage (probable, concussion), CB Johnathan Joseph (questionable, calf), DE Jadeveon Clowney (questionable, elbow), G Jeff Allen (questionable, ankle), LB Brian Cushing (questionable, ankle), LB John Simon (questionable, chest), S Quintin Demps (questionable, hamstring)

    Patriots - CB Cyrus Jones (probable, knee), RB LeGarrette Blount (probable, illness), TE Martellus Bennett (probable, ankle), QB Tom Brady (probable, thigh), WR Danny Amendola (probable, ankle), WR Malcolm Mitchell (probable, knee), QB Jacoby Brissett (questionable, thumb)

    ABOUT THE TEXANS (10-7 SU, 7-9-1 ATS, 7-10 O/U):
    Houston's top-ranked defense limited Oakland to 203 total yards and ranked second in the league with 193.3 passing yards allowed, but coach Bill O'Brien -- a former Patriots offensive coordinator -- admitted the unit won't show Brady "anything that he hasn't already seen." Former No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney had a sack in each of the final three regular-season games and added a pivotal interception in last week's playoff victory. Quarterback Brock Osweiler, who reclaimed his starting job when Tom Savage suffered a concussion in Week 17, threw for 168 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders and 196 yards in Week 3 at New England. Lamar Miller gained 80 yards on 21 carries versus the Patriots but managed only 73 on 31 rushes a week ago.

    ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (14-2 SU, 13-3, ATS, 6-10 O/U):
    With the untested Jacoby Brissett under center in the early-season matchup, New England leaned on the running game as LeGarrette Blount produced 105 yards and two scores, part of his NFL-leading 18 rushing touchdowns. Brady missed the first meeting while serving a four-game suspension, but he put up spectacular numbers upon his return with 28 touchdown passes against only two interceptions while averaging 296.2 yards per game. Julian Edelman made a team-high 98 catches for a receiving corps that has been bolstered by waiver-wire acquisition Michael Floyd and expects to have Danny Amendola back on Saturday. For all the talk about their offense, the Patriots permitted a league-low 15.6 points and held six of their last seven opponents to 17 or fewer.

    TRENDS:


    * Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
    * Patriots are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
    * Over is 4-0 in Texans last 4 games following a ATS win.
    * Over is 6-1-1 in Patriots last 8 Saturday games.
    * Home team is 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
    * Texans are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.

    CONSENSUS:
    The home team double-digit favorite Patriots are picking up 58 percent of the point spread action. The Over is getting 59 percent of the action from users.


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    Sharps flying with Falcons in Saturday's NFL playoff betting action

    "It's the only game of the four (this weekend) where the sharps have weighed in. They laid the Falcons.”

    The divisional round of the NFL playoffs gets underway Saturday, with games in the southeast and northeast corners of the country. We talk about action on those two matchups with Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology in Las Vegas, and Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.

    Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons – Open: -4; Move: -4.5; Move: -5; Move: -4.5

    Seattle is back in the playoffs for a fifth straight year, a stretch that includes winning the Super Bowl in the 2013-14 season, and losing the Super Bowl on the final play against New England the following year. The No. 3-seeded Seahawks (11-5-1 SU, 9-8 ATS) had a very uneven second half of the season, but rolled through their wild-card game last week, beating No. 6 Detroit 26-6 as an 8-point home favorite.

    Atlanta, which missed the playoffs the past three years after reaching the NFC title game in 2012-13, returns this year and as the No. 2 seed is coming off a bye. The Falcons (11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS) won their last four in a row SU (3-1 ATS) and five of their last six in the regular season, capped by a 38-32 home victory over New Orleans as a 7.5-point chalk.

    “This game has been pretty interesting because this is the only game of the four (this weekend) where the sharps have weighed in. They laid the Falcons,” Simbal said of action at CG books, including at The Cosmopolitan, M and the Venetian. “This game opened 4, it (went) up to 5, and that’s been pretty sharp money coming in on Atlanta.”

    Leading up to the 4:35 p.m. Eastern kickoff, Simbal said CG books could see a little more interest in the Seahawks, and in fact, the line ticked down to 4.5 on Friday afternoon.

    “I think that the public might take Seattle, specifically on the moneyline, because of the pedigree they have,” he said. “But I actually would anticipate us needing the Seahawks here, because even in victory last week, they didn’t look great.”

    Bookmaker.eu opened the game a tick lower and has also seen heavy interest in Atlanta.

    “The Falcons are the strongest play from the sharps as of now, which prompted the move from -3.5 to -5,” Cooley said. “We do expect to see some ‘dog money at some point, so it’s doubtful this heads north much longer, but we will see when limits are raised this weekend. Right now, around 75 percent of the handle is on Atlanta.”

    Indeed, Bookmaker.eu saw some Seattle cash Friday afternoon, dropping the line from Atlanta -5 to -4 over the course of an hour.

    Houston Texans at New England Patriots – Open: -14; Move: -15; Move: -16; Move: -15.5; Move: -16

    New England had the best record in the league both on the field and against the oddsmakers this year, going 14-2 SU and a stout 13-3 ATS to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Patriots finished the regular season with a 35-14 smackdown of fellow playoff team Miami laying 7.5 points on the road, and the bookmakers clearly feel the Pats could put a beating on Houston in this 8:15 p.m. Eastern clash.

    The Texans (10-7 SU, 7-9-1 ATS) scraped into the playoffs as the champion of the middling AFC South, then got a huge break in the wild-card round, facing an Oakland team missing star quarterback Derek Carr (broken leg). Houston posted a 27-14 home win giving 4 points to earn the trip to Foxboro.

    “As you would expect, all New England money, despite the huge pointspread,” Simbal said. “There’s been very little action on Houston at all. No sharp involvement at all, it’s all public on the Patriots. When this line first opened, we took $20,000 on New England before we even took $1,000 on Houston.”

    The early action at Bookmaker.eu took a different direction, though that’s beginning to shift.

    “Some bettors are certainly shying away from this one due to the large spread,” said Cooley, whose shop opened at Patriots -16. “We initially saw smart money on the big ‘dog, moving the number to -15.5 and then -15, but that’s creeping back up as we speak, at 15.5. Most of the public bets are on the Patriots, and the money handle is close to even, but slightly favors Houston at this point.”
    Last edited by Udog; 01-14-2017 at 11:19 AM.

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    NFL

    Sunday, January 15


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NFC Divisional Playoffs betting preview: Packers at Cowboys
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dallas was in cruise control down the stretch and it cost bettors going 1-5 ATS, while the Packers have won seven straight, going 6-1 ATS.

    Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5, 52)

    The Green Bay Packers painted themselves into a corner earlier this season on the heels of a four-game losing streak, prompting Aaron Rodgers to claim the club could "run the table" in order to gain its eighth straight playoff appearance. Six victories to end the campaign and a convincing rout in the wild-card game have the Packers surging into the NFC Divisional Round for Sunday's date with the well-rested Dallas Cowboys.

    "They were off last week, and they're hosting the game (Sunday), so there's extra pressure on them as the No. 1 seed to win," Rodgers told reporters. "And we're coming in with a lot of confidence and riding the streak. We're feeling good about the way we've been playing." With good reason, as Rodgers threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns - three to wideout Randall Cobb - in a 38-13 victory over the New York Giants last Sunday. While Dallas liberally has rested its stars dating back to a Week 17 loss to Philadelphia, its rookie Pro Bowl tandem of quarterback Dak Prescott and tailback Ezekiel Elliott (NFL-best 1,631 yards, 5.1 per carry) shredded Green Bay at Lambeau Field in a 30-16 victory on Oct. 16. Prescott threw for three touchdowns while Elliott gashed the Packers' then top-ranked rush defense for 157 yards in the win.

    TV:
    4:40 p.m. ET, FOX.

    POWER RANKINGS:
    Packers (-4) - Cowboys (-5.5) + home field (-3) = Cowboys -4.5

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Cowboys opened as 4-point home favorites and that line has been bet up half point to 4.5. The total hit the board at 51.5 and has inched up to 52. View the complete line history here.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "Much like the Steelers, the Packers carry a 7-game win streak into the Big ‘D’ where they will look to avenge a 30-16 home loss suffered to the Cowboys in mid-October. Should Aaron Rodgers' magical touch continue (19 TDs and zero INTs in current win skein) the Cowboys will need to rely on a defense that is 22 YPG better than Green Bay’s stop-unit. The loss of star WR Jordy Nelson could prove pivotal against a hungry Dallas squad that had dropped 8 of its last 10 playoff games."

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    "We opened Cowboys -4 and took some sharp action at that number on the Cowboys that pushed us up to -5. We have since came down to Packers +4.5 as we are seeing over 65% of the action coming in on the Packers to cover. I can see this line coming back to to the opening number of Cowboys -4 as we get closer to game time."

    WEATHER REPORT:
    Dome

    INJURY REPORT:


    Packers - LB Blake Martinez (probable, knee), WR Jeff Janis (probable, quadricep), WR Randall Cobb (probable, ankle), LB Clay Matthews (probable, shoulder), RB Ty Montgomery (probable, knee), G T.J. Lang (questionable, foot), C JC Tretter (questionable, knee), LB Jayrone Elliott (questionable, hand), CB Quinten Rollins (questionable, concussion), CB Josh Hawkins (questionable, undisclosed), RB James Starks (doubtful, concussion), WR Jordy Nelson (out, ribs)

    Cowboys - CB Morris Claiborne (probable, hernia), DE Demarcus Lawrence (probable, back), DL Cedric Thornton (probable, ankle), LB Justin Durant (probable, elbow), DT Tyrone Crawford (probable, shoulder), DT Terrell McClain (probable, ankle), OT Tyron Smith (probable, knee), OL La’el Collins (questionable, toe)

    ABOUT THE PACKERS (11-6 SU, 10-6-1 ATS, 11-6 O/U):
    Rodgers remains confident facing Dallas' 26th-ranked pass defense despite potentially playing without trusted wideout Jordy Nelson (NFL-leading 14 receiving TDs), who sustained a rib injury early in the wild-card game. Davante Adams set career highs with 75 catches, 997 yards and 12 touchdowns this season and had seven receptions for 117 yards and a score in a postseason encounter with Dallas two years ago. Cobb made eight catches for 116 yards in that playoff game versus the Cowboys and showed his ankle injury is a thing of the past with his performance last week, while his versatility to play in the slot or on the outside opens doors for promising rookie Geronimo Allison.

    ABOUT THE COWBOYS (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS, 6-10 O/U):
    While Prescott and Elliott have been the talk of the town this season, receiver Dez Bryant found himself taken back to January 2015 shortly after learning that he'd be facing the Packers in a divisional-round playoff game. "Everywhere I go, I still hear it 'til this day: It was a catch," the 28-year-old Bryant said of his overturned reception late in the fourth quarter in the Cowboys' loss. Bryant may find the sledding tough on Sunday as he is expected to be shadowed by cornerback LaDarius Gunter, who limited Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. to four catches and 28 yards last week.

    TRENDS:


    * Packers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
    * Cowboys are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Over is 5-0 in Packers last 5 games overall.
    * Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Dallas.
    * Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Dallas.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the road underdog Packers with 65 percent of the action and the Over is getting 71 percent of the totals wagers


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    NFL

    Sunday, January 15


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    AFC Divisional Playoffs betting preview: Steelers at Chiefs
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Steelers are rolling, winning eight games in a row, going 6-1-1 ATS in the process. They're currently 1.5-pt road pups vs. the Chiefs.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5, 43.5)

    The Pittsburgh Steelers flashed their offensive might last week in a drubbing of Miami in their wild-card game, but their best offensive performance of the season came in a 29-point thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. The Chiefs get a chance to exact some revenge - this time on their home field - when they host Pittsburgh in the AFC Divisional Round on Sunday.

    Kansas City fell into a 22-point hole after one quarter in the 43-14 loss at Pittsburgh, but it recovered to win 10 of its final 12 games to claim the AFC West title and No. 2 seed. “This team understands how far we’ve come from that game," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who acknowledged the Steelers will be "a big challenge," told reporters. Pittsburgh was in a similar position to Kansas City a week ago, avenging a lopsided loss at Miami during the regular season with a resounding 30-12 victory. "We have to understand that the same passion and dedication that we put in to beat Miami, that's how Kansas City is going to try to beat us," Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell told reporters.

    TV:
    8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.

    POWER RANKINGS:
    Steelers (-5) - Chiefs (-4.5) + home field (-3) = Chiefs -2.5

    LINE HISTORY:
    The lined opened as a pick’em and early in the week went up to Chiefs -2.5, before fading back to -1.5 late in the week. The total hit the board at 45 and has been bet down to 44.5. View the complete line history here.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "Steelers ride an 8-game win skein into this contest looking to replicate a 43-14 win over the Chiefs in Pittsburgh earlier this season. They will need to overcome the visiting team’s 1-8-1 ATS mark in Mike Tomlin’s playoff games, while Kansas City will look to win a home playoff game for the first time since 1994. The Chiefs will be banking on Andy Reid’s 18-0 SU and 14-4 ATS career mark in games with rest against sub .888 foes."

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    "We opened this line at Steelers -1 and with the lingering ankle injury of Big Ben from last weeks game against Miami we took enough action on the Chiefs at +1 for us to flip the line to Chiefs -1, where we currently sit (as of writing this). We are seeing solid two way action at this number with just over 50% coming in on the Steelers to cover."

    WEATHER REPORT:
    An ice storm forced the NFL to push the start of this game from Sunday afternoon to night. The forecast for kickoff at Arrowhead stadium is rain with temperatures in the mid-30’s.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Steelers - LB Vince Williams (probable, shoulder), QB Ben Roethlisberger (probable, foot), LB Bud Dupree (questionable, shin), S Sean Davis (questionable, shoulder), DE Stephon Tuitt (questionable, ankle), RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (questionable, concussion), S Robert Golden (questionable, ankle), DE Ricardo Mathews (questionable, ankle), LB Anthony Chickillo (questionable, ankle), CB Justin Gilbert (questionable, shoulder), TE Ladarius Green (doubtful, concussion)

    Chiefs - DB Eric Berry (probable, achilles), LB Tampa Hali (probable, knee), LB Justin Houston (probable, knee), RB Spencer Ware (probable, ribs), LB Justin March-Lillard (questionable, hand), WR Jeremy Maclin (questionable, ankle), LB Dadi Nicolas (IR, knee)

    ABOUT THE STEELERS (12-5 SU, 10-6-1 ATS, 6-11 O/U):
    Pittsburgh has ripped off eight straight victories, scoring at least 24 points in each, and showed how explosive it can be in the first postseason game with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Bell all on the field. Roethlisberger burned Kansas City with five touchdown passes and last week tossed a pair of scoring strikes to Brown, who became the first player with two TD receptions of at least 50 yards in the first quarter of a playoff game. Bell set a franchise playoff record with 167 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns last week and shredded the Chiefs for 144 yards on 18 carries in Week 4. Pittsburgh's defense feasted on Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, sacking him five times and forcing three turnovers.

    ABOUT THE CHIEFS (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS, 6-10 O/U):
    While the home-field edge obviously should make a huge difference from the first meeting, both of Kansas City's losses since the rout at Pittsburgh game at Arrowhead Stadium - a pair of 19-17 setbacks to Tampa Bay and Tennessee. Quarterback Alex Smith long has carried the tag of "game manager," but he takes care of the ball in the postseason, throwing for 11 touchdowns against only one interception in five playoff games. Smith's favorite target is tight end Travis Kelce, who made 85 catches for 1,125 yards and four TDs, while rookie Tyreek Hill is an emerging weapon in the return game, as well as at wide receiver and in the backfield. The bye week allowed running back Spencer Ware (rib) and linebacker Justin Houston (knee) to heal.

    TRENDS:


    * Steelers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
    * Chiefs are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 playoff games.
    * Chiefs are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Under is 8-2 in Steelers last 10 games following a ATS win.
    * Home team is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
    * Steelers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings in Kansas City.

    CONSENSUS:
    The public is siding with the road pup Steelers with 53 percent of the action and the Over is getting 52 percent of the totals wagers.


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