With wins last weekend, the Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and Seattle Seahawks all advanced into this weekend’s divisional round. Awaiting them are some very formidable foes in the AFC and NFC’s top two seeds. Here are the picks for two of this week’s four big playoff matchups.
Denver -8.5 vs. Baltimore at 5Dimes
In Ray Lewis’ return last week, the Baltimore Ravens looked more like the defense we’ve seen over the last 10 years than the version that has taken the field this year. Baltimore took care of business in a solid 24-9 win at home over the Colts.
But this week’s opponent is a whole different ballgame. Denver finished the season with a 12-0 SU and 10-2 ATS record over its last 12 games and was by far the NFL’s most consistent team week in and week out. Denver scored at least 30 points in all but two of those games and held opponents to 17 points or less in eight of them.
The Broncos made quick work of Baltimore back in Week 15 with a 34-17 win on the road, and now they get the Ravens at home. Peyton Manning was 7-0 SU and ATS in his last seven games against Baltimore with the Indianapolis Colts. Expect business as usual for Peyton and the Colts this Saturday.
Seattle +1.0 at Atlanta at Pinnacle
The playoffs have not been kind to the Atlanta Falcons in recent years. Atlanta came out of its bye week with a 24-2 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants last season and lost 48-21 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers off their bye in 2010. Will this year be any different?
It doesn’t look that way. The Seattle Seahawks are red-hot, winners of six straight (5-1 ATS) and eight of their last nine (7-2 ATS). Russell Wilson has emerged as a star at quarterback, Marshawn Lynch is one of the league’s most reliable running backs, and this defense (allowing just 15.3 PPG) is nothing short of spectacular.
Sure, Atlanta had a great regular season (13-3 SU and 9-6-1 ATS), but that hasn’t helped the Falcons over the last two years. Atlanta’s weak rushing defense (allowing 123 rushing yards per game) and one-dimensional offense (281.9 passing yards per game to just 87.3 rushing yards per game) play right into Seattle’s hands, and point to an upset this Sunday.
In the other two playoff games this week, the San Francisco 49ers are -3.0 at home against the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots are -9.5 at home against the Houston Texans, both at Bet365.