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NFL Playoffs Picks Against the Spread: Divisional Round


A betting preview of every game (against the spread) in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Lock of the Week
These two teams played in prime time six Sundays ago in Week 14 of the regular season, with New England beating Houston, 42–14. Expect another blowout this weekend.

Patriots (-10) vs. Texans
Tom Brady has a 16–6 career playoff record — one win shy of taking sole possession of first place (Joe Montana has a 16–7 postseason mark) on the all-time playoff wins list. At home, Brady carries a 10–2 playoff record at home, winning six of those contests by double-digits.

Straight Up Upset
The West Coast bias ended last week, when Seattle flew to D.C. to knock out RG3. The Dirty Birds are up next for the soaring Hawks, who are in Beast Mode at the moment.

Seahawks (+3) at Falcons
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown just 11 TDs and nine INTs at home this year. Matty Ice has been ice cold in the playoffs, failing to throw for over 200 yards, while tossing a combined three TDs and four INTs, while losing two fumbles and taking 10 sacks en route to an 0–3 record.

Backdoor Cover
This may be Ray Lewis’ last game — a fitting end with a matchup against all-time great and generational peer Peyton Manning. But don’t expect it to be a double-digit blowout.

Ravens (+10) at Broncos
Manning is 2–0 against Baltimore in the playoffs, with both wins coming as a member of the Colts. But he has struggled against the ball-hawking Ravens, throwing three picks to center field safety Ed Reed. With a healthy defense containing Manning, it will be up to Joe Flacco to survive Von Miller and the Mile High D.

Sucker Bet
Steer clear of this matchup unless you’re a degenerate or don’t feel right unless you’re wearing a Cheesehead or gold body paint — and have to have hometown playoff action.

49ers (-3) vs. Packers
San Francisco took down Green Bay, 30–22, at Lambeau Field in the Week 1 season opener. Alex Smith has since been replaced by Colin Kaepernick, who will be making his first career playoff start. Double-checking the other side, Aaron Rodgers has a 4–2 mark in the playoffs and is tough to bet against.