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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Wildcard Round (Sat., Jan. 5 - Sun., Jan. 6)

  1. #16
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    Total Talk - WC Sunday
    Chris David

    Sunday’s betting festivities kick off early at 1:00 p.m. ET as the Ravens and Chargers will meet in a quick rematch, this time the venue will be a tad cooler in Baltimore than the friendly temperatures of Los Angeles. The last Wild Card matchup of the weekend is set for 4:40 p.m. ET as the Bears make their first playoff appearance since 2010 while the Eagles have their eyes set on repeating as Super Bowl champions.

    As mentioned in Saturday’s piece, the ‘under’ has gone 17-6-1 (73.9%) in the Wild Card round the last six seasons.

    For the playoffs, I’m going to break down every game and offer up my quick handicap and prediction for all the matchups. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Sunday, Jan. 6

    L.A. Chargers at Baltimore (CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET)


    The Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 in Week 16 as four-point road underdogs in a primetime game played on a Saturday from Los Angeles and the ‘under’ (42 ½) cashed easily. And if it wasn’t for a pair of 60-plus yard touchdowns by Baltimore, one from its defense, the final score would’ve been much lower.

    The rematch opened (41 ½) a tad lower and its been pushed down to 41 but most other shops are still holding 41 ½ as of Thursday.

    While Baltimore was fortunate to connect on two big plays in the first meeting, it clearly dominated the game in yardage (361-198) and it won the turnover battle (3-1) as well with the last mistake putting the game away in the fourth quarter. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked four times, picked off twice and only completed 23-of-37 attempts for 181 yards.

    Outside of the long touchdown pass, Ravens rookie QB Lamar Jackson wasn’t sharp from the pocket (12-of-22) but he contributed with 39 of Baltimore’s 159 rushing yards. Since Jackson took over for Joe Flacco as the starting QB in Week 11, the Ravens are averaging 229 yards per game on the ground and the team is averaging 25.1 points per game. That production has led to a 4-3 ‘over’ mark and the Ravens defense (17.9) has done its best to keep those ‘under’ tickets cashing.

    After losing at home to Baltimore, the Chargers finished the season with a lackluster 23-9 win at Denver and Rivers was far from sharp. He was picked off twice and only completed 14-of-24 (58%) of his passes against a Broncos secondary that featured more backups than starters. Rivers closed the season with two interceptions in each of his final three games. Which Rivers will show up on Sunday? I wish I knew but how you answer that question will obviously play heavily into your wager.

    Make a note that Los Angeles was tied with New Orleans with the best road mark in the NFL this season at 7-1 and it’s arguably 8-1 since it beat Tennessee from London in Week 7. Including that results, the ‘over’ went 5-4 in games outside of L.A. for the club and they did score more on the road (26.9 PPG).

    Some pundits believe that travel could play a factor for L.A. and it’s certainly not an easy trip. However, the Chargers went 3-0 in three games played in the Eastern Time Zone this season (Bills, Browns, Steelers) and they averaged 34 PPG in those wins. The ‘over’ went 3-0.

    Prior to the recent encounter on Dec. 22, the pair split two regular season games from Baltimore in 2014 and 2015 and the outcomes were decided by a combined four points (29-26, 34-33).

    As mentioned above, both clubs haven’t been in the playoffs in a few years but Baltimore’s 10-5 SU and 11-4 ATS postseason record under head coach John Harbaugh is very impressive and only two of those games were at home. The totals were a wash (7-7-1) in those contests but in the lone pair from Maryland, the ‘under’ cashed easily in both as the Ravens allowed 11 PPG in the victories.

    The Chargers have gone 4-5 in the playoffs under Rivers but he’s 3-0 in the Wild Card round and the ‘under’ has gone 3-0 in those games.

    Fearless Prediction:
    While the Chargers have put up some crooked numbers on the road, this Ravens defense is legit and I can see them making a run similar to what San Francisco did in 2012 when they handed the ball over from veteran QB Alex Smith to the upstart Colin Kaepernick. Coincidentally, that team was run by Harbaugh’s brother Jim. For those that put stock into playoff trends, make a note that the first game (1:05 p.m. ET) on Sunday in the Wild Card round has watched the ‘under’ cash the last eight years. I’m going to ride the Under (41 ½) for the game and expect another grinder, this time on the East Coast.


    Philadelphia at Chicago (FOX, 4:40 p.m. ET)

    Of the four Wild Card matchups, this one is expected to be the most lopsided with the Bears listed as six-point favorites over the Eagles. The total (41) could likely be the lowest as well and as of Thursday evening, the number has held steady since it opened.

    The best unit on the field will be the Bears defense, which is ranked first in scoring (17.7 PPG) and third in total yards (299.7) allowed. The group also led the league with 36 turnovers, which included a league-high 27 interceptions and nine fumbles. They were tied for third in sacks (50) and all of that production led to six defensive touchdowns.

    Despite that domination, the Bears saw their total results (8-8) break even this season but it did close the season with four straight winning tickets to the ‘under’ and both the defense (10.5 PPG) and lack of offense (19.3 PPG) helped that cause.

    Chicago’s offense remains a mystery but I believe what we’ve seen in the last quarter is what the unit is and not the one that posted 28.6 PPG in its first 12 games. The benefit of extra possessions and great field position from the defense helped the offense a lot and the numbers prove that. The unit was ranked 21st in total offense (343.9 YPG) yet they managed to convert well on third downs and in the red zone, which led to plenty of points. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky isn’t going to dice up any secondary but he’s efficient and makes a lot happen with his legs.

    The Eagles defense (23 PPG) hasn’t been as strong on the road and the ‘over’ went 5-3 in those games, with one of the ‘under’ tickets taking place from London in a 24-18 win over Jacksonville in Week 8. The unit did shutout the short-handed Redskins 24-0 last Sunday in D.C. but they allowed 33.3 PPG in their three previous away games, all coming to playoff teams too (Saints, Cowboys, Rams).

    The X-factor for this total and the game comes down to Eagles QB Nick Foles, who’s up to his old tricks again. Since taking over for the injured Carson Wentz in Week 15, the Birds closed the season with three straight wins and the offense posted 28.6 PPG in the wins. As a starter in second stop for Philadelphia, Foles has gone 9-2 and that includes a 3-0 playoff mark last year.

    Are we going to witness another Foles run this January? The ‘over’ went 2-1 for the Eagles in last year’s championship push and he was fortunate to have the Birds defense step up at home (8.5 PPG) against the Falcons and Vikings. In the Super Bowl, he played outplayed QB Tom Brady and the Patriots for the 41-33 win.

    Fearless Prediction:
    The ‘under’ on this game is the most popular total wager of the weekend and it’s hard to argue against it based on the form for the Bears. They enter this game on a 4-0 ‘under’ run and they’ve also covered all four of those games too. My lean on the side is to Philadelphia and when the Bears lose, only four times, they’ve allowed 30.1 PPG and the ‘over’ went 4-0. I'm going to fade the public for the late game and play Over (41) and the Eagles Team Total Over (17 ½) as well.

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    WC - Chargers at Ravens
    Kevin Rogers

    For the second time in three weeks, the Chargers and Ravens are meeting up. The first matchup took place in Los Angeles in Week 16, but the venue shifts to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday. The two teams combined for 22 regular season victories, marking the most of any of the four Wild Card matchups this weekend.

    HOW THEY GOT HERE

    The Chargers (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS) had high expectations entering their second season in Los Angeles following a 9-7 campaign. The Lightning Bolts ended 2017 by winning nine of their last 12 games with plenty of momentum heading into 2018, but L.A. stumbled to a 1-2 start. From there, the Chargers ripped off six consecutive victories, while limiting five straight opponents to 19 points or less.

    Los Angeles had an opportunity to capture the AFC West title with a late surge after shocking Kansas City in Week 15 to improve to 11-3. However, the Chargers lost at home to Baltimore in Week 16, opening up the door for the Chiefs to grab the division title and eventually the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Interestingly enough, the Chargers didn’t lose a road game outside of Los Angeles this season as the Bolts fell to the Rams in Week 3 at the Coliseum.

    The Ravens (10-6 SU, 8-8 ATS) went through their share of ups and downs this season en route to their first AFC North title since 2012 (the same season they won Super Bowl XLVII). Baltimore began the season with Joe Flacco starting at quarterback and won four of its first six games. The Ravens then hit the skids with three consecutive losses in the favorite role, including home defeats to New Orleans and Pittsburgh.

    After the bye week in November, Flacco was sidelined with a hip injury and replaced by first-round pick Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Jackson brought a running dynamic to the offense as he led Baltimore to a 6-1 record down the stretch with the lone defeat coming at Kansas City in overtime. The Ravens failed to cover as a favorite three times in wins, including in the Week 17 triumph over Cleveland to vault Baltimore into the playoffs and kick out rival Pittsburgh.

    WHO TO WATCH

    Philip Rivers put together another spectacular season for Los Angeles by eclipsing the 30-touchdown mark for the fourth time in six seasons by tossing 32 touchdown passes. Six of Rivers’ 12 interceptions on the season came in the final three weeks, including two against Baltimore in Week 16. Melvin Gordon finished shy of his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season by racking up 885 yards in 12 games, as the Chargers’ tailback missed three games down the stretch. Wide receiver Keenan Allen accumulated 1,196 yards through the air, while picking up five catches for 58 yards against the Ravens.

    Jackson’s highest passing performance came against the Chargers by throwing for 204 yards, which included a 68-yard touchdown pass. The Heisman Trophy winner didn’t toss an interception in his last five games, while rushing for 695 yards and five scores this season, which includes two touchdown runs in the Week 17 victory over Cleveland. The Ravens didn’t have a player rack up over 750 yards rushing or receiving, as wideout John Brown’s numbers went significantly down after Flacco was hurt. Brown racked up 114 yards in six games with Jackson at quarterback, compared to 601 yards in the first nine contests with Flacco.

    HOME/ROAD SPLITS

    Two teams finished with 7-1 road records this season, the Saints and the Chargers. Los Angeles never owned a real home-field advantage at StubHub Center, but the Lightning Bolts closed the season with six consecutive away victories. The Chargers swept their AFC West counterparts on the highway, while winning four games in the underdog role against the Chiefs, Steelers, Seahawks, and Browns.

    The Ravens won six of eight games at M&T Bank Stadium, while Baltimore hasn’t lost at home with Jackson at quarterback in four contests. Baltimore hit the OVER in four home games, while Los Angeles drilled the OVER in five of eight road contests.

    SERIES HISTORY

    The Week 16 matchup in Los Angeles was an interesting situation for both teams. The Chargers were coming off the incredible rally at Kansas City nine days prior, while the Ravens brought in a 3-1 ATS record as an underdog. The Ravens and Chargers combined for three field goals in the opening half as Baltimore led, 6-3. Los Angeles went right down the field to start the second half, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Gordon as the Chargers grabbed a 10-6 lead.

    The Ravens struck one minute later on a Jackson 68-yard connection to Mark Andrews to give Baltimore back a 13-10 lead. The Chargers wouldn’t score again as the Ravens recovered a fumble late and ran it back for a touchdown to cap off a 22-10 victory as four-point underdogs. The game easily finished UNDER the total of 42 ½, while Rivers finished under 200 yards for the first time this season with 181 yards.

    Baltimore has captured four of the past six matchups with Los Angeles since 2009, while the Chargers are making their first visit to M&T Bank Stadium since 2015. Justin Tucker kicked the game-winning field goal in the final seconds to give Baltimore a 27-24 victory, but the Chargers covered as 4 ½-point underdogs.

    PLAYOFF HISTORY

    Following a three-year absence, the Ravens are back in the playoffs. Baltimore qualified for the postseason six times in a seven-year span from 2008 through 2014, while never getting knocked out in its first playoff game. The Ravens are hosting a Wild Card game for the second time since 2008, as Baltimore beat Indianapolis, 24-9 in 2012, while John Harbaugh’s squad owns a perfect 5-0 mark in the Wild Card round.

    The Chargers are in the playoffs for only the second time since 2010, as Los Angeles advanced to the divisional playoffs in 2013. The Bolts routed the Bengals in the Wild Card round that season, while Rivers is 3-0 in the Wild Card round in his career. Los Angeles and Baltimore are meeting in the playoffs for the first time ever, as the Ravens will have faced all four AFC West teams in the postseason since their move from Cleveland in 1996.

    HANDICAPPER’S CORNER

    NFL expert Joe Nelson weighs in on this matchup, starting with the defenses, “The Chargers have an above average run defense allowing 4.3 yards per carry and just 11 rushing touchdowns this season, but Baltimore is near the top of the league in run defense with just 3.7 yards per carry allowed. Surprisingly these teams were not built on turnover success this season with the Chargers only finishing +1 in turnover margin while Baltimore was actually -3 in turnovers. Despite a rookie quarterback playing nearly half the games for the Ravens, only five NFL teams threw fewer interceptions than Baltimore and the Ravens were near the middle of the league in pass attempts.”

    Is this the year for Rivers to finally break through? “The Chargers have never won a Super Bowl and this may be one of the last opportunities for Rivers who recently turned 37. Rivers had a great statistical season finishing 7th in the NFL in QBR and 5th in QB Rating and this was a big play offense with Rivers posting nearly 8.5 yards per attempt, second only to Patrick Mahomes among regular starters. Baltimore surrendered 6.3 yards per attempt on the season for the third best mark in the NFL as this will be a difficult matchup for the Los Angeles offense,” Nelson notes.

    FUTURE ODDS

    There hasn’t been much movement on this line all week, which started with Baltimore laying 2 ½ points at the Westgate Superbook. The Ravens currently sit between a 2 ½-point and three-point favorite at most books with the total between 41 ½ and 42. The Chargers are listed at 12/1 odds to win Super Bowl LIII, while the Ravens are 14/1 to capture the title.

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    WC - Eagles at Bears
    Tony Mejia

    Philadelphia at Chicago (-6.5, 41.5), 4:40 pm ET, NBC

    The defending champions have already defied the odds by getting to this point.

    Reaching the playoffs sounded like a silly fantasy after Carson Wentz was shut down for the season after throwing three touchdowns in a Week 13 OT loss to Dallas where everything conspired against the Eagles to seemingly end all realistic hope for finishing among the NFC’s top six. Incompetent officiating, bad bounces and an inability make plays in order to get off the field made it seem like fate just wasn’t interested in seeing Philadelphia make back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since following a Wild Card loss in 2009 with one in 2010.

    Reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles would be back in the saddle, but it would surely be a short ride. The Eagles were 6-7. They went from 30-to-1 to win the NFC and 60-to-1 to repeat as champs at the Westgate Superbook to 150-to-1 and 300-to-1 after losing Wentz.

    They then upset the Rams in L.A. as nearly-two touchdown underdogs, won a wild game against the Texans at home and then blanked the overmatched Redskins while getting help from their opponent in this unexpected NFC Wild Card matchup. The Bears went into Minnesota and upset the Vikings and have now won nine of 10, including four straight.

    A Cinderella repeat bid is on the line with Foles running up against the NFL’s most feared defense. He’s beaten some solid units over the years, but this will be the best group he’ll face, having to do so on the road. For that reason, Philadelphia is the heaviest underdog

    Chicago, making its first playoff appearance since 2010, led the NFL in fewest points allowed (17.7 ppg) and allowed the third-fewest yards per game (299.7). They had the most sacks and scored the most defensive touchdowns. Over the last 10 games, the Bears have surrendered 17 or fewer points seven times.

    Linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, safety Eddie Jackson and corner Kyle Fuller all made the Pro Bowl, while a couple others were arguably deserving. This is the only matchup of the weekend that hasn’t taken place this regular season, though there is a series history to be aware that you can check out below.

    The biggest name who is an injury concern is Jackson, who has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. He has gotten props from Pro Football Focus for securing the top coverage grade they’ve ever given a safety, beating out Ravens icon Ed Reed. He’s scored five touchdowns and has been the cherry on top of the sundae as far as making Chicago’s defense elite goes.

    If Jackson plays, which he should, Foles will have his work cut out for him stretching the field and spreading it around in the manner that has helped spark the Eagles’ attack. He comes into this game with sore ribs, which means that taking any type of hit could leave Philly with Nate Sudfeld under center.

    Left tackle Jason Peters is the Eagles’ biggest injury concern and is also likely to play through a nagging quad issue. Although he’s no longer the force he once was, his experience will be crucial and his effectiveness will likely end up being a key x-factor in the outcome of this one. Check out the injury report below for more on who’s in and out of this weekend’s final playoff game.

    Philadelphia will try and stay hot by riding proven weapons like tight end Zack Ertz and receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Foles has a different stable of backs than he had at his disposal to take pressure off him this time last year, so we’ll see if a healthy Darren Sproles, Josh Adams and Wendell Smallwood can replicate the production of Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement and LaGarrette Blount.

    There are a number of names back from a Super Bowl-winning defense, but it hasn’t exactly been championship-caliber at all this season. Fletcher Cox remains a force up front, but the Bears are well equipped to keep him from being a major factor due to a short passing game that utilizes the speed of weapons like Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and rookie Anthony Miller. Although there are some bruises to read about below, Chicago has Trubisky back from the shoulder injury that cost him multiple games and forced the offense to struggle with backup Chase Daniel.

    The former No. 2 pick has thrown 24 touchdown passes and over 3,200 yards, but this will be his first playoff appearance after largely struggling as a rookie last season. Working at home should help, but the Eagles will certainly be looking to rattle his cage.

    Chicago has won seven of eight at Soldier Field, falling only against the Patriots on Oct. 21 in a game where it allowed a season-worst 38 points. The Bears have covered the number seven of eight times. The Eagles are 4-4 away from home this season but have won their last two, beating the Rams and ‘Skins. They’re 1-2 SU and ATS as road underdogs.

    Trubisky lost to Philadelphia 31-3 in Week 13 of last season, getting intercepted twice. Running back Jordan Howard picked up just six yards on seven carries. Chicago will have a healthy respect for the Eagles defense as a result, but it’s an entirely different show with Matt Nagy running things than it was with John Fox, especially since Trubisky has blossomed and gained experience.

    The Bears led the league in yards per play at home and averaged over 28 points per game, so we’ll see if they get comfortable enough to be as aggressive as you can be sure their defense will be.

    Philadelphia Eagles
    Projected season win total: 10.5 (Over +130, Under -150)
    Preseason odds to win NFC East: 5/7
    Odds to win NFC (Preseason/Current): 7/1 to 15/1
    Odds to win Super Bowl (Preseason/Current): 14/1 to 30/1

    Chicago Bears
    Season win total: 7.5 (Over +115, Under -135)
    Preseason Odds to win NFC North: 8/1
    Odds to win NFC (Preseason/Current): 25/1 to 9/2
    Odds to win Super Bowl (Preseason/Current): 50/1 to 9/1

    FUTURES OUTCOMES/LINE MOVEMENT

    If you bet on the Bears to have the type of the season they've enjoyed, you've likely profited handsomely. The numbers above are all provided by the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. The Bears paid out +800 in winning their division, but Dallas cashed at +350 over the favored defending champion Eagles (5-to-7).

    Playoff props at Westgate paid out +240 on the Bears reaching the postseason. The Eagles were -280, so the Bears really came through for chalk-eaters with a bailout by defeating the Vikings, spoiling a big payday for naysayers who were set to collect at a +230 rate. Buy a friend a beverage if you were on the winning side.

    As far as this matchup is concerned, the Bears opened at -5.5 to -6 before and is right there in that area currently with -6.5 the most common number out there.

    The Bears opened at -250 on the money line and are available at -260 at the moment. If you like the home 'dog outright, a payout on a Eagles win will get you +210 to +220 depending on the shop.

    INJURY CONCERNS

    A late development on Saturday night saw Bears starting tight end Trey Burton unexpectedly land on the injury report with a groin injury that has him considered 'questionable.' Burton has scored six touchdowns and made 54 catches so if he's gone, Trubisky will be without one of his favorite targets and will have to make due with unproven Ben Braunecker and Daniel Brown. Receivers Robinson (ribs), Gabriel (ribs) and Miller (shoulder) have all been cleared to play. Chicago defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (knee) is expected to play, but safety Bryce Callahan (foot) has been ruled out and LB Aaron Lynch (elbow) isn't likely to go.

    The Eagles are without multiple starters in their secondary, but that's not a new issue. Corner Sidney Jones (hamstring) has been ruled out, joining the likes of Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, who have been out for a while already. WR Mike Wallace (ankle) is also sidelined.

    TOTAL TALK

    Sunday’s afternoon's total opened at 41 and has been bet up to 41.5. Temperatures in Chicago are expected to be in the low 40's with wind gusts likely to be in the teens. The 'under' has prevailed in the last four Bears games to get to 8-8 in their games this season. The 'under' was 9-7 in Eagles' games.

    Weekly “Total Talk” writer Chris David provided his thoughts on this matchup and both Sunday contests here:

    RECENT MEETINGS (Philadelphia 7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS last 10; OVER 7-6)

    11/26/17 Philadelphia 31-3 vs. Chicago (PHI -14, 43.5)
    9/19/16 Philadelphia 29-14 at Chicago (PHI +3, 42.5)
    12/22/13 Philadelphia 54-11 vs. Chicago (PHI -3, 53.5)
    11/7/11 Chicago 30-24 at Philadelphia (CHI +8, 47.5)
    11/28/10 Chicago 31-26 vs. Philadelphia (CHI +3.5, 43)
    11/22/09 Philadelphia 24-20 at Chicago (PHI -3.5, 47)
    9/28/08 Chicago 24-20 vs. Philadelphia (CHI +3, 39)
    10/21/07 Chicago 19-16 at Philadelphia (CHI +5.5, 43)
    10/3/04 Philadelphia 19-9 at Chicago (PHI -8.5, 40.5)
    11/3/02 Philadelphia 19-13 at Chicago (CHI +7, 37.5)
    1/19/02 Philadelphia 33-19 at Chicago (PHI +3, 32.5)
    10/22/00 Philadelphia 13-9 vs. Chicago (CHI +6.5, 41)
    10/17/99 Philadelphia 20-16 at Chicago (PHI +6.5, 35)
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-06-2019 at 01:11 PM.

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    2018 FINAL Season Passing Leaders:

    Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) 452/*675-5129 yds-34TD

    Patrick Mahomes (KC) 383/*580-5097 yds- 50TD

    Matt Ryan (ATL) 422/*608-4924 yds- 35TD

    Jared Goff (LAR) 364/*561-4688 yds-32TD

    Andrew Luck (IND )430/*639-4593 yds-39TD
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    AFC Divisional Notes

    Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019

    Indianapolis at Kansas City (NBC, 4:35 p.m. ET)


    Line Movement:
    BookMaker opened Kansas City -4 and the number was quickly pushed up to 5 (-115). The Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook sent out the Chiefs -5 ½ and the number has held steady at their property. Both outfits opened the total at 55 ½ and early ‘over’ wagers have pushed it up to 56.

    Indianapolis Road Record: 5-4 SU, 6-3 ATS
    Kansas City Home Record: 7-1 SU, 4-4 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The last meeting between the pair took place in the 2016 regular season when Kansas City captured a 30-14 road win over Indianapolis as a 2 ½-point underdog. Prior to that outcome, the Colts had won three straight games over the Chiefs which included a 45-44 comeback victory at home in the 2013-14 AFC Wild Card round. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck owns a 3-1 all-time record versus the Chiefs and that includes a pair of wins at Arrowhead Stadium, when Indy stifled Kansas City in the 2012 (20-13) and 2013 (23-7) regular seasons.

    Playoff Notes:
    The Colts improved to 4-3 in the playoffs with Luck under center after the club defeated the Texans 21-7 in last Saturday’s Wild Card win. Indianapolis has played five road games during this span and it’s gone 2-3 while averaging 16.6 points per game.

    Going back to the 1994 postseason, the Chiefs are 1-10 both straight up and against the spread in their last 11 playoff matchups. During this span, Kansas City is 0-6 in its past six home playoff games dating back to a Wild-Card win in the 1993 playoffs against the Steelers. Last season, they dropped a 22-21 decision to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card round, failing to cover as 8 ½-point home favorites.

    Chiefs head coach Andy Reid owns an 11-13 all-time record in the playoffs. He went 10-9 during his 14-year run with the Philadelphia Eagles but is just 1-4 in five games with the Chiefs, and the lone win came on the road. Colts head coach Frank Reich is 1-0 in the playoffs, the first win coming last Saturday.

    Total Notes:
    Including last week’s result versus Houston, the Colts have watched the ‘under’ go 5-4 on the road this season. The defense has only allowed 12.8 PPG during this span and that’s resulted in a 3-1 lean to the low side. The Colts have seen the ‘under’ go 5-2 in seven playoff games during Luck’s tenure.

    Kansas City watched the ‘under’ go 5-3 at home this season despite solid numbers from its offense (32.4 PPG). Those results were helped by the Chiefs defense, which allowed 34.6 PPG on the road and just 18 PPG at home. The Chiefs have watched the ‘under’ go 4-2 in their last six playoff games, dating back to 2011 and that includes a 3-0 mark at Arrowhead.


    Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019

    L.A. Chargers at New England (CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET)


    Line Movement:
    After the Chargers went up three scores on the Ravens in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Wild Card game, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook sent out an opener of New England -4 ½ with a total of 48 ½. Soon after, BookMaker sent out the Patriots as five-point favorites with the total listed a point lower at 47 ½.

    Los Angeles Road Record: 8-1 SU, 8-1 ATS
    New England Home Record: 8-0 SU, 6-2 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The pair met in the 2017 regular season from Foxboro and New England defeated Los Angeles 21-13 as a 6 ½-point favorite. Including that outcome, the Patriots have won seven of the last eight meetings against the Chargers while going 6-2 versus the number. The lone win for the Bolts came in the 2008 regular season from San Diego.

    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers hasn’t had much success against New England in his career, going 1-7 all-time in eight meetings. The signal caller on the other side, Tom Brady, has gone 8-2 all-time versus the Chargers and that includes a 7-0 head-to-head record versus Rivers. The aforementioned win by the Chargers in 2008 featured Matt Cassel at QB for New England, who lost Brady in Week 1 of the regular season to a knee injury.

    Playoff Notes:
    Sunday’s 23-17 win over Baltimore in the Wild Card round pushed the Chargers to 5-5 all-time in the playoffs with Rivers under center. Los Angeles has gone 4-0 in the Wild Card round during this span but are 1-5 combined in the Divisional Playoffs and Championship rounds.

    New England has won its last two postseason meetings against the Chargers, the most recent game taking place in the 2007-08 AFC title game. New England won 21-14 at home but Los Angeles covered as a 14-point underdog.

    Head coach Bill Belichick and Brady have gone 27-10 in the playoffs with the Patriots. At home, the club has gone 19-3 SU and 12-9-1 ATS and that includes a run of eight straight wins headed into this matchup. Of those eight wins, five have come by double digits.

    Total Notes:
    Including the ‘under’ result against the Ravens in Sunday’s Wild Card matchup, the Chargers have seen the ‘over’ go 5-4 on the road this season. Los Angeles (26.9 PPG) has averaged slightly more points as a visitor this season and the offense has also traveled well too. In four trips to the Eastern Time Zone, the Chargers averaged 31.3 PPG and that led to a 4-0 mark. Los Angeles also defeated Tennessee 20-19 at Wembley Stadium from London in Week 7 and the ‘under’ (46) connected in that matchup.

    The Patriots were a solid ‘under’ bet (11-5) this season and most of the winning tickets to the low side came at Gillette Stadium. Despite averaging 32.9 PPG at home, New England saw the ‘under’ go 6-2 and it was largely due to its defense. The unit only surrendered 16.6 PPG at Foxboro, ranked second-best in the league. Make a note that New England faced three playoff teams at home and those clubs scored 28 PPG compared to 9.8 PPG versus clubs not in the postseason.

    The ‘over’ has gone 6-2 in New England’s last eight playoffs games and during its eight-game playoff winning streak at home, the high side is also 6-2 in those games.

    Going back to the 2008 playoffs, the ‘under’ has cashed in five of the last six encounters between the Chargers and Patriots and five of the outcomes saw a combined score of 43 points or less.

  6. #21
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    NFC Divisional Notes

    Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019

    Dallas at L.A. Rams (FOX, 8:15 p.m. ET)


    Line Movement:
    The Westgate Las Vegas Super Book sent out Los Angeles as a 6 ½-point home favorite with a total of 49 ½. The early money pushed the Rams quickly up to -7. BookMaker.eu also opened the Rams -6 ½ and they moved up to -7 as well. The offshore outfit sent out a total of 50 before quickly dropping to 49 ½.

    Dallas Road Record: 3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS
    Los Angeles Home Record: 7-1 SU, 3-3-2 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The pair met in last year’s regular season and the Rams defeated the Cowboys 35-30 as five-point road underdogs. The ‘over’ (50 ½) cashed easily. Prior to that matchup, the previous meeting took place in the 2014 regular season when the Rams still played in St. Louis. Dallas won that game, a 34-31 decision as a 1 ½-point road favorite while the ‘over’ (45) connected.

    Playoff Notes:
    The Cowboys improved to 1-1 in the playoffs under QB Dak Prescott on Saturday as it defeated Seattle 24-22 as a 2 ½-point home favorite in the Wild Card matchup. Under head coach Jason Garrett, Dallas has gone 2-2 and the two wins came at home. During this span under Garrett, all four outcomes were decided by five points or less.

    The Rams lost to the Falcons 26-13 in last year’s Wild Card round as a six-point home favorite. Prior to this result, the franchise’s previous trip to the postseason came in 2005.

    Total Notes:
    Dallas has watched the ‘under’ go 9-8 this season and could easily be 10-7 if Seattle didn’t score a late touchdown in last Saturday’s playoff matchup. On the road, the Cowboys saw the ‘under’ go 6-2 and the offense (17.2 PPG) didn’t travel well. If you take away the 36-35 meaningless win at the N.Y. Giants in Week 17, Dallas averaged 15.5 PPG. Against playoff teams on the road, the Cowboys averaged 12.4 PPG and the ‘under’ went 4-1 in those games.

    The Rams saw their total results end in a stalemate (8-8) this season but they produced a 6-2 ‘over’ mark at home. The offense averaged 37.1 PPG in Los Angeles, which was the top mark in the league for all hosts.

    The defense for Los Angeles (28.1 PPG) struggled at the Coliseum this season and it was diced up by quality opponents. Versus playoff teams, the Rams allowed 33.8 PPG and the ‘over’ cashed in all four of those games.


    Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019

    Philadelphia at New Orleans (FOX, 4:40 p.m. ET)


    Line Movement:
    The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened New Orleans as a nine-point home favorite with a total of 51 ½. BookMaker opened the Saints -7 ½ and pushed the number up to 8, while their opening total was 51 ½.

    Philadelphia Road Record: 5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS
    New Orleans Home Record: 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS

    Head to Head:
    The Saints blasted the Eagles 48-7 on Nov. 18 as a seven-point home favorite in Week 11. The 41-point loss was the worst setback of the season for Philadelphia, who had Carson Wentz starting at QB. Before that game, the most recent meeting came in 2015 as Philadelphia dropped New Orleans 39-17 at home.

    Playoff Notes:
    The Eagles improved to 4-0 both SU and ATS in the playoffs under head coach Doug Pederson and QB Nick Foles on Sunday as the club nipped Chicago 16-15 on the road int the Wild Card round. Philadelphia has been listed as an underdog in all four of these games.

    The last playoff loss for Philadelphia came in 2013-14 postseason, coincidentally it was a 26-24 Wild Card loss to New Orleans at home when Chip Kelly was the coach for the Eagles.

    Drew Brees owns a 7-6 career record in the playoffs, 7-5 with New Orleans. During that span, the Saints have played five home games and they’ve gone a perfect 5-0 while outscoring opponents by just under 12 PPG (35.8 to 24). Despite the hot run, the Saints are just 2-3 ATS during this span. Last season, New Orleans stopped Carolina 31-26 but it was clipped late as a 6 ½-point home favorite.

    Total Notes:
    Including Sunday’s result from the Wild Card round, the Eagles have seen the ‘under’ go 10-7 this season. On the road, the ‘under’ is 5-4. The Eagles have watched the total split 2-2 in their last four playoff games.

    The ‘under’ went 9-7 for the Saints this season but the ‘over’ produced a 5-3 mark at the Superdome behind an offensive unit that posted 34.1 PPG. Defensively, New Orleans was better on the road (18.5 PPG) than at home (25.6 PPG).

    Even though New Orleans scored 48 points against the Eagles in their earlier encounter, the ‘under’ (57) ended up connecting because Philadelphia couldn’t muster up more than seven points.

    In the 12 playoff games for Brees, the ‘over’ has gone 9-3. Dating back to 1988, New Orleans has watched the ‘over’ cash in 10 straight postseason games played at the Superdome and that includes a 5-0 mark with Brees under center. Against playoff teams, New Orleans scored 31, 48 and 45 points.

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