Divisional Playoffs have Three Lines Over 7 points

The NFL Divisional playoffs are set for this weekend and the lines have been posted. Three of the four divisional playoff games have points spread of at least a touchdown, while the other games has a road team favored.

Saturday, January 11

New Orleans vs. Seattle (-8)

The Saints travel to the great northwest to take on the Seahawks in a rematch of their blowout loss to Seattle 34-7. In that game, the Seahawks easily covered the spread on sports books such as Bovada and topbet.

The Saints also played the Seahawks in 2010 in the postseason in Seattle. In that game, the Saints on sports books like betonline and sportsbook.com were 10-point favorites on the road and lost straight up to Seattle, which had a record of just 7-9.

New Orleans has struggled on the road, losing 6 of their past 7, but did beat Philadelphia on Saturday to advance.

Indianapolis vs. New England (-7.5)

New England will host Indianapolis on Saturday. The Patriots had a bye week, while the Colts overcame a 28-point deficit to defeat Kansas City 45-44. New England is banged up on both offense and defense. The teams did not play head to head this season.

The line opened on many sites at 7 but has since moved up a notch and could go higher as the week progresses.

Sunday, January 12

San Francisco (-1.5) vs. Carolina

The 49ers showed they can win in frigid cold Green Bay and have been given the status as road favorite in this matchup. The teams played head to head in San Francisco on November 10, with the Panthers prevailing 10-9. The Panthers however, were 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS at home this season. They did not cover in the loss to Seattle and as a favorite by double digits to the New York Jets.

Carolina is undefeated straight up at home since Week 1 and is 11-1 SU in its past 12 games overall. San Francisco is 7-0 SU in its past seven games overall. Only five home teams have been underdogs in this round of the postseason and four of the five won outright, of which one was the Carolina Panthers in 1996.

San Diego vs. Denver (-10)

Denver is 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS at home. Their only blemish was a Thursday night loss to San Diego in Week 15. San Diego is 5-0 SU over its past 5 games played, including their win on Sunday in Cincinnati 27-10 in inclement weather.

Critics have said Peyton Manning cannot perform in the cold, but sports book such as Bovada have still given the Broncos a 10-point favorite status.

Denver has won just 2 postseason games since the 1998 season when John Elway retired. Philip Rivers, the starting quarterback for San Diego has won four playoff games with the Chargers.

Monday Offers All Four Divisional Series in Action

Buchholz takes the hill looking to sweep Boston into the ALCS.

All four of Major League Baseball’s Divisional Series are on tap for today and in the National League, Pittsburgh and ________ have a chance to close out their respective series. To this point the action has been very good with pitching being dominant in some cases and offense rising to the forefront in others.

Regardless of the outcomes, the championship series’ in both leagues should bring some really good baseball among some of the game’s best franchises and fan bases.

Oakland at Detroit (series tied 1-1) – What a series this is turning out to be. After a sparkling performance by Max Scherzer in a 3-2 game one win, Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray matched zero for zero in game two before Oakland broke through in the bottom of the ninth for the 1-0 win.

Now the scene shifts to Detroit where Anabel Sanchez takes the hill for the Tigers. Since mid-July, he is 10-3 and has been arguably the team’s best pitcher. For the A’s, Jarrod Parker gets the call. He has lost three of his last five starts and in his most recent outing he gave up three home runs.

Everything points to Detroit in this one.

Boston at Tampa Bay (Sox lead 2-0) – The Red Sox have been nothing short of dominant as the scene shifts to Tampa where the crowd will be filled with as many Boston fans as Rays’ fans. Tampa Bay turns to Alex Cobb who was so good in knocking the Cleveland Indians out of the playoffs. He had a rough patch in late August and early September bu has things going in recent weeks.

The Red Sox will hand the ball to Clay Buchholz who enters with a 12-1 record and has been really good in his last few starts. Knowing he has a comfortable lead behind him as well as an offense that’s raking the ball I expect Buchholz to pitch well.

Cobb will pitch well too. He was in a similar spot less than a week ago but can the Rays score enough to keep in the game and series? I say no. Look for Buchholz to finsh the sweep.

Can Morton deliver and help the Pirates get to the NLCS?

St. Louis at Pittsburgh (Pirates lead 2-1) – Charlie Morton hasn’t factored in a decision since September eighth but has pitched fairly well and now gets the ball with a chacne to send to the Pirates to the National Championship Series. The problem for the Buccos who are somewhat offensively challenged is that they draw St. Louis starter Michael Wacha.

The 22-year old was last seen on the hill just one out away from a no-hitter in his final regualr season appearance. At 4-1 the youngster has shown he can pitch. The question of course now is can he do it with his team’s season in the balance and in front of a raucaos crowd in Pittsburgh?

I think Wacha will pitch well but this Pirates team just seems destined for something greater. Take the Bucs.

Atlanta at Los Angeles (LA leads 2-1) – The Dodgers scored 10 runs last night over the second, third and fourth innings to breeze to a 13-6 win. They now move to a game from advancing to the NLCS.

37-year old Freddy Garcia takes the mound for the Braves in Los Angeles while Ricky Nolasco takes the bump for the Dodgers. Both guys were brought in from other teams during the season for this exact purpose. Nolasco has been sharper during his time with his current team than has Garcia but the elder Garcia has more playoff seasoning. I like the Dodgers to close things out tonight.



Denver Remains Atop NFL Futures

Bookmakers currently expect Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to replicate John Elway's success in Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII.

Ahead of this weekend’s divisional round of playoffs, the Denver Broncos remain favorites with bookmakers to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy on Feb. 3.

Having enjoyed a bye week during the wild-card round of playoffs, Denver (13-3) has been given odds of 11/4 to win Super Bowl XLVII, marking the fourth straight week the side has seen its odds shorten.

Meanwhile, the Broncos are considered 11/10 to win the AFC, something they can achieve by defeating Baltimore this weekend and the winner of New England-Houston next weekend.

New England (12-4) is nipping at the Broncos’ heels on the NFL Futures list.

Having also enjoyed a bye last weekend, the Patriots have been given 7/2 odds of winning the Super Bowl. The number represents the team’s shortest odds since topping the list at 3/1 following Week 14.

The Patriots are considered 7/5 to represent the AFC in New Orleans on Feb. 3.

With Denver and New England topping the list, it is left to Baltimore (11-6) and Houston (13-4) to prop up the NFL Futures, where odds makers have little faith in the two sides.

Both the Ravens and Texans have been handed 18/1 odds of lifting the Lombardi trophy, and 9/1 odds of even making the big game.

What’s more, both opened as 9½-point underdogs ahead of this weekend’s divisional playoffs. The spread in both games has risen to 10 as bettors come down in favor of the home sides.

Over in the NFC, both Green Bay (12-5) and San Francisco (11-4-1) find themselves with 6/1 odds to win the Super Bowl.

Bookmakers prefer the 49ers chances this weekend though, giving Jim Harbaugh’s side a three-point edge heading into the two meeting on Saturday at Candlestick Park.

This advantage on the lines has translated to a marginal advantage on the NFC Futures list. San Francisco has odds of 11/5 to win the NFC, whilst Green Bay is considered 3/1.

This weekend’s other NFC clash features Seattle (12-5) and Atlanta (13-3), two teams that have been assigned 7/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl.

Atlanta opened as a three-point favorite on the game line, with 12/5 odds (second in the conference) of winning the NFC. Pundits haven’t exactly been silent in their support of the underdog Seahawks in this one, but Bovada is reporting that bettors are showing a slight lean in favor of the Falcons.

Bovada has also put together odds of the exact matchup that will take place in New Orleans.

Currently, based on Futures standings, the favorite Super Bowl matchup is Denver vs. San Francisco (11/2), a rematch of Super Bowl XXIV held in 1990 at the Super Dome in New Orleans. For the record, the Niners took that game 55-10.

Next on the list is a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIII, pitting Denver against Atlanta. Odds of this particular matchup currently stand at 6/1.

Other potential Super Bowl rematches include: Denver vs. Green Bay (Super Bowl XXXII), which sits at 7/1; and New England vs. Green Bay (Super Bowl XXXI), another game that took place in the Big Easy. That one ended 35-21 in favor of the Packers. Odds of this latter matchup currently stand at 8/1.

For a full list of odds on each potential matchup, see below.


Odds to Win Super Bowl XXXVII

Denver Broncos (11/4)

New England Patriots (7/2)

Green Bay Packers (6/1)

San Francisco 49ers (6/1)

Atlanta Falcons (7/1)

Seattle Seahawks (7/1)

Baltimore Ravens (18/1)

Houston Texans (18/1)


Odds to win the 2013 AFC Championship   

Denver Broncos (11/10)

New England Patriots (7/5)

Houston Texans (9/1)

Baltimore Ravens (9/1)


Odds to win the 2013 NFC Championship   

San Francisco 49ers (11/5)

Atlanta Falcons (12/5)

Green Bay Packers (3/1)

Seattle Seahawks (13/4)


2013 Super Bowl XLVII Matchup     

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers (11/2)

Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons (6/1)

New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers (13/2)

Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers (7/1)

New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons (7/1)

Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks (15/2)

New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers (8/1)

New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks (9/1)

Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers (30/1)

Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons (30/1)

Baltimore Ravens vs.  San Francisco 49ers (30/1)

Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons (30/1)

Houston Texans vs. Green Bay Packers (35/1)

Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers (35/1)

Houston Texans vs. Seattle Seahawks (40/1)

Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks (40/1)