NFL Divisional Playoff Lines Posted

NFL-Betting-090411L_1Sports books have started posting next weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoff lines.  Three of the four games have a point spread of a touchdown or more.  The other game involves a road favorite.

New Orleans at Seattle (-8) – January 11, 2014 4:30PM ET

New Orleans travels to Seattle, the scene of a 34-7 blowout that saw the Seahawks easily cover the spread.  It was also the scene of a 2010 playoff game where the Saints were 10-point road favorites and lost outright to the 7-9 Seahawks.

The road has not been kind to the Saints, especially in the playoffs.  The Saints were 0-6 in road playoff games before winning in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Seattle is a tough team to beat at home.  The Seahawks lost their first home game in two years in Week 16 to the Arizona Cardinals, the first home loss since Week 16 in 2011 when the San Francisco 49ers pulled off a tough road win.

Indianapolis at New England (-7.5) – January 11, 2014 8:15PM ET

Indianapolis will travel to New England.  This would have been a spotlight game in the days when Peyton Manning was a Colt.  The Patriots have injuries on both sides of the ball.  The Colts will be without star wide receiver Reggie Wayne.  The two teams did not play during the regular season.

This line opened at seven and some betting shops have kept that number with a -120 lay, while others have moved it up a hook.

San Francisco (-1.5) at Carolina – January 12, 2014 1PM ET

San Francisco heads to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers.  The two teams squared off in Week 10, with the Panthers winning a defensive struggle 10-9.  Carolina’s defense did not give up a touchdown and held Colin Kaepernick to just 91 yards passing.  The 49ers were without Michael Crabtree in that game.  He has since returned.

The Panthers have not lost at home since Week 1 when they lost to the Seahawks 12-7.  The Panthers have won 11 of their last 12 games.  The 49ers have won their last seven games, including Sunday’s playoff win at Green Bay.

This game has shades of the 1996 playoffs when the underrated Panthers won the NFC West with a 12-4 record, went 8-0 at home with a 7-0-1 ATS record, but were home dogs to the Dallas Cowboys.  The Panthers won that game outright.  The Panthers were 7-1 this year with a 6-2 ATS record, failing to cover the Seattle loss and as a double-digit favorite against the New York Jets.

According to Spreadapedia, five teams have been home underdogs in this round of the playoffs.  Four of those five teams won outright, including the 1996 Carolina Panthers.

San Diego at Denver (-10) – January 12, 2014 4:40PM ET

The Denver Broncos (13-3) host the San Diego Chargers (10-7) in the late game Sunday.  The Broncos were 7-1 at home, covering the spread in five of those games.  The only loss was to the Chargers on Thursday Night Football in Week 15.  The Chargers have won five straight games, including the road playoff win in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Some critics have expressed concerns that Peyton Manning cannot win in the cold.  He was one-and-done last year after losing to the Baltimore Ravens, when the Broncos earned a first-round bye. Manning has not won a playoff game since 2009, when the Colts eventually lost to the Saints in the Super Bowl.

The Broncos have only won two playoff games since John Elway retired after the 1998 season.  Jake Plummer beat the New England Patriots in the 2005 playoffs.  Tim Tebow pulled off an upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 playoffs.

Philip Rivers has four playoff victories under his belt.  In addition to Sunday’s win in Cincinnati, he led the Chargers to victory twice in the 2007 playoffs and once in 2008.

There are only seven games left in the 2013 NFL season.  The lines for the remaining games may be found at Bovada.

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