We are in for a treat this weekend with four fantastic NFL Divisional round matchups. The betting markets are tight, but we are still hunting for the best value bets of the weekend.
Below, I compiled a handful of trends that can help you get set for this weekend’s slate. While trends are not the only thing a bettor should base their wagers on, this is a great way to learn how team’s in specific situations have performed in recent years.
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers (-6.5, 45.5), Saturday 4:35 EST
No. 1 seeds have struggled to cover the spread in the Divisional Round, going just 9-17 against the number.
— Aaron Rodgers is 11-6-1 ATS as a postseason quarterback.
One of the game’s best has been money when it matters most. Rodgers is covering the spread more than 61% of the time in the postseason.
— Playoff games with temperatures 32 degrees or below are 26-27-2 to the under since 2004.
Temperatures in Green Bay on Saturday have a high of 32 and a low of 18, fitting into this criteria. Some may feel that cold weather equals low scoring, which may be true, but oddsmakers are wise to it and adjust the total accordingly. There is no indication that cold weather makes for a surefire under.
— Jared Goff is 0-2 ATS (1-1 straight up) in games with temperatures 32 degrees or below
Goff is from California and has little experience playing in the cold, he is just 0-2 against the number in freezing temperatures, both coming in 2018.
However, what is more important is that he is still working his way back from thumb surgery on his throwing hand, which looked swollen last Saturday. I’m not sure the cold weather is going to make that feel any better. Goff completed just nine of his 19 passes in the win over the Seahawks.
Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (-1.5, 50), Saturday 8:15 EST
— Ravens coach John Harbaugh in the postseason: 12-6 ATS as coach, 10-3 on the road.
Harbaugh has been as good as advertised in the playoffs, cashing out for bettors since taking over in Baltimore.
Another staple of a Harbaugh playoff game is lower scoring affairs. The Ravens have a game plan and tend to stick to it, with those 18 games going under the total 12 times. Baltimore played an under game last week, and a similar run heavy game script can be in store Saturday night.
— Road underdogs of 3 points or less are 24-12-1 since 2004.
Baltimore opened as a three-point underdog in this game, but quickly moved inside of two points. The line isn’t likely to go back towards the Bills as we get closer to kickoff. Lamar Jackson and co. looked impressive in the 20-13 victory over the Titans and bettors are believing in the road team to take care of business again.
— Teams with 6 days off (Ravens) are 5-5 in the Divisional Round since 2007.
While the Bills played Saturday and will be playing again on Saturday, the Ravens had one day less rest after playing on Sunday. However, there is no trend to show that Baltimore can’t perform to expectations with one less day to prepare.
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-10, 56), Sunday 3:05 EST
— Playoff totals that open 55 or higher are just 5-6 to the over since 2005.
Just because there is a high total doesn’t mean it’s going to be a shootout. Blind betting high totals in the playoffs have been a losing wager.
— Andy Reid is 16-12-1 to the under as a playoff coach.
While Reid is known for his offensive philosophies, his playoff games typically go below the expected scoring output. More than 55% of his playoff games have gone under the total.
— Postseason road underdogs that are coming off an outright win as an underdog are 19-25 ATS since 2004.
Could the Browns be in for a letdown after winning their first playoff game since 1994? Historically, teams that are in Cleveland’s situation have struggled the following week after pulling an outright upset.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3, 51.5), 6:40 EST
— Underdogs are 12-8-1 ATS when it is a divisional matchup in the postseason, 11-9-1 to the under.
It doesn’t happen very often, but underdogs have been profitable in this spot. This is likely due to familiarity between opponents, which also has proven to produce slightly lower scoring games.
— The team trying to sweep a three-game series against an opponent in the postseason is 12-5 at home straight up and 9-8 ATS.
New Orleans is trying to beat Tampa Bay three times in a season, typically thought of as difficult, but actually not as hard as it appears. Matter of fact, there has been resounding success for the team with the brooms in their hands.
On the ATS mark, it is worth noting that in four cases where the line was under four points, the home team has covered each time. The Bucs are currently +3 and that number isn’t expected to get to 4 by game time.