NFL Divisional Round Playoffs Key Stats and Betting Trends
by Dave Schwab - 1/8/2014
The race to Super Bowl XLVIII continues this Saturday and Sunday with the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. The top two seeds in both the AFC and the NFC will face off against the survivors of last weekend’s wild-card round. To get you ready for all the action, the following is a brief look at some key facts and figures for each matchup, with NFL betting odds provided by BetOnline.
Saturday, Jan 11
New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks (4:35 p.m. FOX)
Pointspread: Seattle -7.5
Total Line: 46.5
The Saints went 3-5 straight up on the road during the regular season while averaging just 17.8 points a game as opposed to an overall average of 25.9 points. One of those losses was a 34-7 beatdown at the hands of Seattle in Week 13 as 6.5-point underdogs on the road. They took a positive step towards reversing their fortunes with last week’s 26-24 victory in Philadelphia as three-point underdogs.
Seattle has been patiently waiting for its playoff run to begin after earning the top seed in the NFC with an overall record of 13-3 that included a 7-1 SU mark at home. The Seahawks are ranked ninth in the NFL in scoring with 26.1 points a game, but the real strength is a defense that is ranked first in the league against the pass as well as total yards allowed (273.6) and points allowed (14.4).
New Orleans is 2-7 against the spread on the road this season and 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games played in January. The Seahawks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven playoff games and 4-1 ATS in their last five postseason games played at home. The favorite in this matchup is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has stayed “under” in five of the last eight games.
Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
Pointspread: New England -7.5
Total Line: 53
The Colts found themselves in a 28-point hole at the half against Kansas City last Saturday but rallied for a dramatic 45-44 victory as 1.5-point home underdogs on the closing line. Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns, but he was also picked off three times. TY Hilton caught 13 balls for 224 yards and two scores in the winning effort.
New England won 12 of 16 regular season games to earn the second seed in the AFC. It had a balanced attack on offense with 255.4 passing yards and 129.1 rushing yards a game while averaging 27.8 points. The loss of linebacker Brandon Spikes, who was placed on IR this week, could have an impact on a defense that was already ranked 30th against the run.
The Colts are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring 30 points or more in their previous outing. New England is just 2-8 ATS in its last 10 playoff games at home. Head-to-head in this showdown, Indianapolis is 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings and 4-1 ATS in its last five trips to Foxborough.
Sunday, Jan. 12
San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers
Pointspread: San Francisco -1
Total Line: 42
Behind the legs of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers squeaked out a 23-20 victory over Green Bay last Sunday as 3.5-point road favorites. He ran for 98 yards on seven carries as part of a team total of 167 yards on the ground. San Francisco was ranked third in the NFL in rushing this season with an average of 137.6 yards a game, and its defense was ranked fourth in rushing yards allowed (95.9).
Carolina got some solid play from third-year quarterback Cam Newton this season on its way to an overall record of 12-4, but the main reason it comes into the playoffs as the second seed in the NFC is its play on defense. This unit finished the regular season ranked second in the NFL against the run as well as second in yards allowed (301.2) and points allowed (15.1).
The 49ers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games on the road and 4-1 ATS in their last five games in the divisional round of the playoffs. Carolina is 6-2 ATS in its last eight postseason games and 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven home games. San Francisco is just 2-8 SU and 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings between the two.
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
Pointspread: Denver -10
Total Line: 55
San Diego ran its current winning streak to five games with a stunning 27-10 upset of Cincinnati in the wild-card round as a seven-point road underdog. The Chargers are the only team in the NFL to go into Denver this season and get a SU win with a 27-20 victory in Week 15 as 10-point underdogs. They have outscored their opponents 144-81 during this five-game run.
The Broncos tied Seattle for the best SU record in the NFL this season at 13-3 behind Peyton Manning and an offense that averaged 37.9 points a game. This unit was ranked first in passing yards (340.2), and Manning set a new single-season NFL record with 5,477 yards while completing 450 of his 659 attempts. As an added bonus for this game, one of his favorite targets, Wes Welker, will be back in the lineup after missing time with a concussion.
The Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven playoff games and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games on the road. Denver is 6-2 ATS in its last eight postseason games played at home and 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games against the AFC West. The road team in this divisional rivalry is 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has gone “over” in six of the last eight games played in Denver.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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