NFL Playoffs Betting 2019 – Divisional Round Lines and Odds with Predictions and Picks
Published on January 07, 2019
The wild card round of the 2019 NFL playoffs went mostly as I expected it to.
The Cowboys defended their home turf, the Chargers got the last laugh in their second meeting with the Ravens, and the Colts edged out the Texans in their third clash of the season.
The Bears, well, that’s where things went wrong.
Chicago seemed like a fine play at -6 at home against the Eagles, but they fell behind late, and a last-second Cody Parkey field goal attempt clanged helplessly off both the left upright and the crossbar.
That gaffe sent the Bears packing and allowed Nick Foles and company to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, my actual picks from last week weren’t exactly flawless, either.
I didn’t fully back Indy to win (although I let you know I liked them), and that Colts vs. Texans showdown did not produce the points I thought it would.
The first round of the playoffs as a whole was pretty anticlimactic, with just the Bears vs. Eagles game offering any real intrigue.
The bets weren’t perfect, but the logic was there. Overall, I still started the playoffs with a respectable 2-2 mark, and we all can move onto the divisional round with confidence.
Well, kind of.
Things get absurdly tricky immediately in round two. I really did feel like I had round one pegged, and for the most part, I was right. I will be quite frank and admit I do not feel nearly as locked in as we approach this next slate of games.
Why? Because now we’re dealing with truly difficult upsets to call as well as four teams that earned first-round byes.
The Patriots, Chiefs, Rams, and Saints all should win their respective games. However, due to matchups, that week off that can give way to rust, and the momentum the wild card winners accrued, bettors should absolutely consider going hard at an underdog.
But where do you look this week? Not everywhere; that’s almost for certain. Join me as I dive into the divisional round betting lines and see if there is a monster underdog pick to be had.
Things get crazy from the jump as Andrew Luck and his Colts head into Arrowhead Stadium to battle arguably the most explosive offense in the NFL.
It’s official: Chiefs vs. Colts.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs)
Luck and company just got done waxing the Texans in Houston, pushing them into round two with some confidence and momentum.
Kansas City is a much easier matchup when you look at their defense, but the Colts will be tested in a likely shootout. The Chiefs boast the likely league MVP in Patrick Mahomes, who put up a whopping 50 touchdowns in guiding KC to the #1 offense in all of football.
It’s worth noting that the Colts are 4-0 against the Chiefs in playoff play and also have been quite good against the spread (4-2) as road underdogs. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have come up relatively small at times this year, going 4-4 against the spread when favored at home.
Ultimately, we’re getting a shootout, and I think the Colts make it competitive. The over is my favorite play involving Indy for the second week in a row, while the Colts to beat a +5.5 point spread is a nice secondary option.
Next up are the Cowboys, who survived the Seahawks at home this past weekend.
The ' quest for a Super Bowl title continues in LA vs the NFC West champion !
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC)
Ezekiel Elliott continued to be the driving force for their offense on the ground, but quarterback Dak Prescott keeps stringing together solid performances as well.
Dallas is not a lightweight, at least not on paper. They can defend, and they can grind out tough yardage on the ground. Amari Cooper gives their passing game an explosive component that just might allow for them to win any kind of game they’re asked to.
Normally, a visit to Los Angeles to battle the mighty Rams would equate to a quick exit for Big D. I’m not so sure that’s the case here.
Not only has Jared Goff been pretty bad down the stretch, but the Rams have not been elite defensively, and their best offensive player – running back Todd Gurley – hasn’t been at full strength.
With some teams, that week off can be a bad thing, but I have to think it helps the Rams. Gurley should be healthier, the defense can get things going, and Goff can snap out of his funk.
That’s all probably true, but the Cowboys are still good enough to beat this spread.
Dallas was not great on the road during the regular season, but they were a decent 4-3 against the spread as road dogs. The Rams, meanwhile, went just 3-4-1 ATS as home favorites.
This is a fairly big spread given how good Dallas has looked and how shaky the Rams were to close out the year. Look for a tighter-than-expected game, while the over and a Cowboys straight-up win (+255!) shouldn’t be taken off the table completely.
I have to say, watching Philip Rivers get past the Ravens to keep the dream alive for his first ever Super Bowl win was a treat. Of course, thanks to his undefeated record in the wild card round (now 4-0), I probably shouldn’t have been too surprised.
The Chargers were my pick this past weekend, but I’ll surely be a bit hesitant to go right back to the well. The main reason? Tom Brady and the Pats have Rivers’ number.
Rivers is 0-7 in his career against Tom Brady
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports)
While that’s a damaging statistic, it doesn’t have to tell us the whole story. In all fairness, Rivers has played on some pretty mediocre Chargers teams, while he’s routinely gone up against some stacked New England teams.
As fate would have it, this just might be Rivers’ best team yet, and this honestly could be the worst rendition of the Pats that we’ve seen in over a decade.
Can both collide in one shocking Chargers upset? Maybe, but it’s also worth noting that this is still the Patriots we’re talking about.
Not much data supports LA emerging as the winner in this spot, either, as the Pats are an impressive 4-0 against playoff teams this year and also have held strong (8-0) at home.
Just like I said last week, though, the Bolts are a battle-tested team that has proven time and again that they can win on the road. This past weekend’s road victory pushes them to 8-1 on the road this year, while bettors will be happy to hear they’re also a blistering 5-1 ATS as road dogs.
I’m not ready to call for a Chargers upset here. I want it to happen. I need it to happen. But the better play is probably the Bolts to beat this +4.5-point spread.
Lastly, the Eagles continue their wild ride with backup quarterback Nick Foles at the helm. I don’t know what it is about this guy, but Philly simply can’t seem to lose when he starts playoff games.
Everyone knows what Foles did last year en route to an improbable Super Bowl win, but he’s now a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs with these Eagles, and only a die-hard Saints fan hopes his torrid run ends.
Philly is impossibly once again a fun team to root for.
Never would I have thought that’d be possible for a team that just got done winning their first ever Lombardi Trophy, but here we are. The Eagles have somehow gone back to being the underdog, and if Nick Foles can push them past the Saints, it will be all kinds of magical.
The way the Eagles were able to grind out a win in Chicago against one of the best defenses in the league was pretty impressive. Going into New Orleans and out-dueling Drew Brees is a totally different task, though.
Bettors need to keep in mind that the Eagles were just 2-2 ATS as road dogs and 8-9 against the spread overall. They were also 4-4 on the road and got absolutely roasted versus this very Saints team earlier this season.
New Orleans, meanwhile, is borderline infallible at their home stadium.
They went 6-2 inside the dome this year and usually looked quite nasty in the process. Their lone two home losses on the year are a week one shocker to the rival Buccaneers and a week 17 clunker where they rested the majority of their starters.
Betting against the Saints in New Orleans just feels like a mistake. However, the Eagles have the talent, experience, and balance to keep this interesting. For one reason or another, the Saints were also just 3-4 ATS at home when favored this year.
It’s plenty possible Philly plays sound defense and Nick Foles pops off a bit against a bend-but-don’t-break New Orleans defense. I still love the Saints to win, and you can consider the over, but the Eagles and this sick +9 spread feel like the way to go.
After a relatively cakewalk wild card round (and also a ho-hum round in terms of offensive upside), the fireworks display should sound off this week.
Every single game has insane offensive potential, and with the lowest total being a healthy 47.5, that should be obvious. I don’t think we get shootouts everywhere, but at least a couple of these contests figure to be must-see television.
It’s very possible one or two of these turn into blowouts, but I actually like how these matchups play out. There are some compelling narratives, and perhaps outside of the Saints, I don’t even know if I’d give the home teams much of an edge based strictly on where the games are being played.
After all, week one of the 2019 NFL playoffs should have made it loud and clear that playing at home doesn’t guarantee you a thing (road teams went 3-1). Perhaps this week something similar will play out based on teams that enjoyed a first-round bye.
Either way, there is a lot to consider before you place any bets for the divisional round. Be sure to shop for the best lines at the online sportsbooks and do your research before finalizing any wagers. Here are three betting sites I recommend using.
Hopefully, I help you in your process, but whatever direction you end up going, I wish you luck!