NFL Divisional Playoff Betting Preview: Luck and Mahomes kick things off

🏈 NFL Divisional Playoff Betting Preview: Luck and Mahomes kick things off in style

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Week two of the NFL playoffs has arrived and we welcome the four teams with the best regular season record to the party.

Wild Card Weekend produced upsets galore as three of the four lower ranked teams advanced to the Divisional Round and the unpredictability is likely to continue this weekend.

To help you make sense of it all, we’ve previewed all four matches and included plenty of tips for good measure.

Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs

Saturday, 12 January, 21:35

No two quarterbacks have been better this season than Andrew Luck of the Colts and the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes led the leagues in passing TDs with 50 and Luck wasn’t far behind in reaching 39 TDs after missing the entire 2017 season due to a shoulder injury. No playoff matchup has ever boasted more than the 89 combined touchdowns these two amassed in the regular season.

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Point scoring is exactly where to look when trying to put together an accumulator containing this fixture. The number one seed Chiefs led the league in scoring with 35.3 points per game (PPG) and the Colts were not far behind on 27.1 PPG. Those two combined for 62.4 points and you could back over 58.5 total points @ Evens and still be left with some points to play with.

Andy Reid’s Chiefs have also given up 24+ points in every one of their six regular season matchups against playoff teams. Four of those went over 30 points including giving up 54pts to the LA Rams and 43pts to the New England Patriots.

Since losing five of the opening six matches, the Colts have gone 8–1 to make Luck’s return the feel good story of the season. Combine this with Mahomes’ lack of playoff experience and you start to realise that backing the Colts @ 9/5 isn’t too big a risk.

For an accumulator it is too much of a risk and backing the match total over 55.5 points @ 5/7 is the way to start.

Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams

Sunday, 13 January, 01:15

America’s Team advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and go into this divisional matchup with plenty of confidence.

The strength of the Cowboys’ run game will be key. Ezekiel Elliott has been an absolute beast this season and led the league in yards (1,434). In the win over the Seattle Seahawks, Zeke averaged 5.3 yards per carry (YPC) and is facing a Rams ‘D’ that gave up 122.3 yards per game (YPG) in 2017 to rank number 23.

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As for the Rams, can we really discount a team that started the season 8–0? Only the Chiefs topped their 421.1 YPG and 32.9 PPG. Even during a poor run down the stretch where they went 5–3, the Rams still averaged 28.5 PPG.

Jared Goff has put together a decent 32 touchdown season and no one has more rushing TDs than Todd Gurley’s 17. Gurley is at 100% this week and will want to make an impression on the NFL playoffs.

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Unfortunately for the Rams, the ‘boys D is a fierce one and 20.2 points allowed per game was the sixth best of any unit in the NFL. That makes me think that backing the Rams under 28.5 total points @ 4/5 is one way to go.

The other is to opt for the Cowboys with a handicap. In what will be a close game, you can back the Cowboys +8.0 @ 5/7, which is good enough for any ACCA Insurance offer.

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots

Sunday, 13 January 18:05

January is not the same until Tom Brady gets involved and this weekend he kicks off a quest for a third successive Super Bowl trip.

It’s been over 10 years since Brady faced Chargers QB Philip Rivers in a playoff match and the Pats’ QB comes into the matchup off the back of a quieter season than usual. Rivers always struggles against Brady and has lost all seven clashes (two in the post season).

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The Chargers amassed the joint-best regular season record in the AFC and only missed the number one spot by virtue of losing a tiebreaker to the Chiefs. They are also 9–1 on the road this season and play well on both sides of the ball — 26.8 points scored per game (sixth) and 20.6 points allowed per game (eighth).

Bill Belichick’s team have won a perfect eight games at home this season and no visiting team has been victorious at Gillette Stadium since October 1, 2017. The Pats have scored 24 or more points in every home game this season and the Chargers have given up 26.1 PPG to playoff teams (including last week’s win over the Ravens).

New England’s seven successive Divisional playoff wins have seen Belichick’s team average 37.1 PPG and it makes backing the Patriots over 26.5 points @ 20/21 the one to go for.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints

Sunday, 13 January 21:40

Philly won five of their last six games to sneak into the playoffs and were a missed field goal away from being eliminated by the Chicago Bears.

The Saints and Eagles have previous this season, too. Drew Brees threw for 363 yards and four TDs in a 48–7 win in an embarrassing game for the Super Bowl champs. One big difference from that day is that playoff phenom Nick Foles is at QB in place of Carson Wentz. Since replacing Wentz, Foles has led the Eagles to four straight wins with nine TDs and six interceptions.

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New Orleans, led by Brees, averaged 31.5 PPG in the regular season and Brees put up a 115.7 passer rating that is the best of his 18-year career. On the defensive side of the ball they gave up 22.1 points per game and that might be enough against an Eagles team that scored only 22.6 points per game.

The Mercedes Benz Superdome has seen two games exceed 80 points this season and every single match apart from one has been over 40 points. It makes backing over 43.5 total points @ 4/11 an absolute no brainer.

Recommended Accumulator Summary

Back over 55.5 points in the Colts @ Chiefs @ 5/7

Back the Cowboys +8.0 @ 5/7

Back the Patriots over 26.5 points @ 20/21

Back over 43.5 points in the Eagles @ Saints @ 4/11

Total Accumulator Odds: 6.8/1

You can back this accumulator by downloading BetBull here.

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🏈 NFL Divisional Playoff Betting Preview: Luck and Mahomes kick things off was originally published in blog.betbull.com on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original source: //blog.betbull.com/nfl-divisional-playoff-betting-preview-luck-and-mahomes-kick-things-off-6106bc983f86?source=rss—-8f47704ae58f—4

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