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Bet The Game: Important Betting Notes for Each NFL Divisional Playoff Game

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

By: Zack Schlegel


[6] Minnesota Vikings @ [1] San Francisco 49ers | 1:35 p.m. on NBC

Opening Line: 49ers -7, o/u 46

Current Line: 49ers -7, o/u 44.5


  • Underdogs against Kyle Shanahan are 11-4-1 ATS during his time in San Francisco
  • Since Mike Zimmer took over as the Vikings head coach in 2014, Minnesota is 44-19-1 (69.8%) ATS when facing non-divisional opponents
  • Vikings are just 5-14 (26.3%) ATS in their last 19 games against teams with a winning record
  • 49ers are just 6-19-1 (24.0%) ATS in their last 26 games as a home favorite
  • This game has the lowest Total on the board of all the Divisional Round games
    • The Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these two teams
    • The Under has cashed 12 of the last 17 times that the Vikings have played a team from the NFC


  • Vikings
    • Adam Thielen sustained an ankle injury and has been limited at practice this week — this coming after his hamstring injury earlier in the season
    • Stefon Diggs missed back-to-back days of practice this week with the flu
  • 49ers
    • SF is the healthiest they have been in months
    • They return three key starters on defense — Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford, and Jaquiski Tartt
    • RG Mike Person also expected to return from a neck injury


[6] Tennessee Titans @ [1] Baltimore Ravens | 5:15 p.m. on CBS

Opening Line: Ravens -10, o/u 48.5

Current Line: Ravens -9.5, o/u 47


  • Tennessee is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the AFC — they have also covered each of their last five road games
  • Initial money came in hard on Titans +10, moving the line as low as +8.5 before there was some buy-back
    • Many bettors took advantage of the opportunity to cross four key numbers on a Teaser with the Titans (11, 13, 14 and 17)
  • Baltimore ranks first in points per drive, passing offense DVOA, and rushing offense DVOA in the NFL
  • Titans have the 21st ranked passing defense DVOA
  • Ravens have the second best Redzone offense, while the Titans have the 31st ranked Redzone defense
  • Action on the Total has come in heavy on the Under
    • Some believe that Lamar Jackson won’t be able to have the same success in the cold weather compared to what we have seen so far this season
    • The Under has cashed each of the last six times that the Ravens have been favored in the playoffs
    • Eight of the last twelve games head-to-head between these two teams have gone Under the Total


  • Titans
    • OLB Jayon Brown injured his shoulder during the first series of their game against the Patriots — he had light participation in practice most of the week
  • Ravens
    • RB Mark Ingram hasn’t practiced since suffering a calf strain on Dec. 22nd (his status us day-to-day)
    • Gus Edwards filled in for Ingram in the season finale, and rushed for a career high 130 yards


[4] Houston Texans @ [2] Kansas City Chiefs | 12:05 p.m. on CBS

Opening Line: Chiefs -9, o/u 49

Current Line: Chiefs -9.5, o/u 51


  • Kansas City is tied for the best record ATS this season at 10-5-1
  • Andy Reid is under a lot of pressure
    • Chiefs lost to the Texans 31-24 at home earlier in the season — a lot had to do with Reid abandoning the run game too early, while the Texans gashed them for nearly 200 yards on the ground
    • Reid has historically struggled in the postseason — 2-5 straight up in the postseason with KC
  • This is the only game with a Total in the 50’s
    • Opened at 49 and has jumped up to 51
    • Even with the action coming in on the Over — the Under is 4-1 in the Chiefs last five playoff games, and the Under has hit in seven of the Texans last ten games
  • The road team has covered in six of the last seven meetings between these two teams
    • Texans are 5-2-1 ATS on the road this season
    • Chiefs are just 2-8 ATS in their last ten playoff games
  • Kansas City has the 2nd ranked passing offense DVOA, while the Texans have the 26th ranked passing defense DVOA


  • Chiefs
    • TE Travis Kelce has been limited at practice this week with knee soreness, but expected to play
  • Texans
    • WR Will Fuller is still questionable for the game after missing last week against the Bills (Bill O’Brien said his status is still uncertain)
    • DE J.J. Watt played 50 snaps last week against Buffalo, and mentioned that was “more than expected” — he’s still dealing with a torn pectoral injury


[5] Seattle Seahawks @ [2] Green Bay Packers | 3:40 p.m. on FOX

Opening Line: Packers -3.5, o/u 46

Current Line: Packers -4, o/u 46.5


  • Seattle was the most popular bet on Wild Card weekend — 78% of bettors backed the Seahawks
    • They are the shortest underdog for the Divisional Round and once again the most popular bet
  • Seahawks are 34-16-3 (56.7%) ATS in their last 53 games as an underdog — they are also 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a road underdog
  • Green Bay has won the last eight times that Seattle has come to Lambeau Field
    • Seahawks have failed to cover the spread in the last six trips to GB
  • Packers have been solid against quality opponents this season
    • They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against teams with a winning record
    • Only game they didn’t cover was at San Francisco back in November
    • Packers beat the Vikings and the Chiefs on the road this season
  • Action on the Total was initially on the Over, bringing the number from 46 to 47
    • With news of possible snow storms, the number has ticked back down to 46.5
  • Packers rank 4th in rushing offense DVOA, while the Seahawks rank 26th in rushing defense DVOA
  • Seahawks strength of schedule ranks 2nd, while the Packers schedule ranks 17th


  • Seahawks
    • LT Duane Brown has knee surgery only weeks ago and wasn’t supposed to practice much, but Pete Carroll mentioned he was getting some decent work in and his status is encouraging
    • George Fant replaced Brown for two of the last three games — the problem is that this kept Seattle from using Fant as an extra tackle in heavy packages, which has been a staple of their offense
  • Packers
    • NT Kenny Clark is dealing with back issues and was seen on the exercise bike for the early parts of practice — he’s been a key for the Packers run defense and climbed to 3rd on the team in sacks (6.0)


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