- Will road underdogs continue their success from the Wild Card Round?
- Which team stands the best chance to pull off an upset?
- Will there be over or under 1.5 road team wins?
Three road underdogs won last week in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Bookies aren’t expecting a repeat performance from the road teams, however, as the betting odds favor only one road team winning this week.
Odds for Number of Road Teams to Win Divisional Round
|How Many NFL Road Teams Will Win A Game in the Divisional Round?||Odds at Bovada|
Is the AFC the Best Bet for Upsets?
This week’s AFC matchups are priced at slightly closer odds when compared to the NFC and something has to give between the LA Chargers and New England Patriots.
New England is 8-0 at home this season and Tom Brady has never lost to Philip Rivers in the playoffs.
Tom Brady is 7-0 against Philip Rivers including the playoffs.
That's tied for the 3rd-best record in quarterback matchups in the Super Bowl era. pic.twitter.com/sbg2KUYHq1
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 7, 2019
The Chargers, though, are now 8-1 both straight up and ATS on the road this season. Given their lack of home-field advantage at Dignity Health Sports Park, you could argue they are the most well prepared road team this week.
Rivers is also 21-7 ATS as a road dog of four points or more throughout his career. The Chargers have already taken money with the opening number of +4.5 now down to +4.
89 TDs between the two of them this season, the most ever by 2 QBs meeting in the playoffs. On Luck, Mahomes and the future of the AFC: https://t.co/1QdGOKaGtY
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) January 8, 2019
Then you have the league’s hottest team in the Indianapolis Colts who are 10-1 in their last 11 games and may stand the best chance to pull off an upset. The Colts will make a tough trip to Arrowhead Stadium where the Chiefs are 7-1.
However, the Colts allow the least sacks in the league with 18, and if given time Andrew Luck and the Colts’ seventh-ranked offense could have a big day against KC’s 31st ranked defensive unit.
History on the Side of Home Teams
The Under paying -230 is backed up by the fact that since 2010 home teams in the Divisional Round are 23-9 straight up.
Over/Under Number of Road Teams to Win in the Divisional Round
|Over/Under||Odds at Bovada|
Extend that out one more year for a 10-year history and the average improves slightly as during the 2008-09 season, three road teams won in this round. The 2009 playoffs were an anomaly as the only such time three road teams were victorious in that time frame.
ViewFromVegas of #NFL playoffs: with Eagles' road/underdog/under result, road teams & underdogs both 4-0 ATS on wild-card weekend, unders 3-1; first-half dogs went 3-1 ATS, first-half unders went a perfect 4-0; second-half faves were 3-1 ATS, second-half overs went 3-1 @VSiNLive
— Dave Tuley (@ViewFromVegas) January 7, 2019
But according to Pro Football Reference, it’s actually the only time three road teams have won since the 1993 playoffs.
This prop is set at 1.5 wins though, and two road teams cashing in has also only happened twice in the past 10 seasons. However it has happened eight times since 1993.
Road Team Wins in Divsional Round Since 2009
|Playoff Year||Number of Road Team Wins|
I believe the 2019 playoffs could be one of the most wide-open in recent memory. It wouldn’t surprise me if at least two upsets came from the AFC alone.
However, neither the New Orleans Saints or LA Rams have been in perfect form the past few weeks.
All 3 times Nick Foles has led Eagles into playoffs, he took over for the starter during season
Since 2013, he is 23–7 as Eagles starting QB
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 31, 2018
Despite the Dallas Cowboys having the longest average odds to win the Super Bowl, the Rams’ most important player, Todd Gurley, has been dealing with a knee injury and could be limited. While the other NFC matchup sees Nick Foles giving the Eagles belief in another Super Bowl run. The value is on the OVER.
As far as betting an exact number, I think betting two road team wins at +300 offers the best value. But a smaller payout, yet safer option, may be to bet both the “1” and “2” road team win bets individually with each paying plus-money.