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Picks for 2019 NFL Divisional Round – The Saints Continue to March

Alvin Kamara Saints RB
Alvin Kamara and the Saints will look to put an end to the Eagles' title defense on Sunday, January 13th. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
  • Underdogs were 4-0 against the spread in the Wild Card Round
  • Will the favorites bounce back in the Divisional Round?
  • What are the best bets for this weekend’s games?

Underdogs were barking on Wild Card weekend, covering all four games against the spread, winning three of them outright.

While it’s always fun to ride the hot hand, regression is coming, and I expect it to start in the Divisional Round’s first game.

Chiefs cover vs Colts

Team Spread Moneyline at Bovada Total
Indianapolis Colts +5.0 +180 O 57.0
Kansas City Chiefs -5.0 -220 U 57.0

*All odds taken 1/10

The Chiefs have lost their last six playoff games at Arrowhead, but those teams didn’t have Patrick Mahomes.

KC averages an NFL best 35.3 points per game, and while the Colts defense has been stellar over the second half, they’ve faced just one top-13 ranked offense per DVOA since Week 4.

The Chiefs are much better defensively at home, allowing 18 points per game, compared to 33 points per game on the road. They’re well rested and will relentlessly attack Indy’s vulnerable linebackers with Travis Kelce.

The Pick: Chiefs (-5)

Cowboys vs Rams goes Under

Team Spread Moneyline at Bovada Total
Dallas Cowboys +7.0 +255 O 49.5
Los Angeles Rams -7.0 -310 U 49.5

Dallas’ best bet to upset the Rams is to milk the clock with Ezekiel Elliott. The Rams allow a league worst 5.1 yards per carry, and no team is better suited to take advantage of that than the Cowboys.

On defense, Dallas matches up well with LA’s preferred intermediate in routes and deep crossing patterns, which should force more carries to Todd Gurley.

More running plays on both sides will grind the clock and limit the number of possessions for each team, making a shootout less likely.

The Pick: Under (49.5)

Chargers end the Patriots AFC reign

Team Spread Moneyline at BetOnline Total
Los Angeles Chargers +4.0 +171 O 47.0
New England Patriots -4.0 -196 U 47.0

The Chargers won more games during the regular season, are statistically better on both sides of the ball, and have more overall talent than the Patriots.

Their elite pass rush is fresh off a seven-sack performance and will be the key to pulling off an upset in New England.

Tom Brady struggled under pressure this season, completing only 45.3% of his passes, while throwing five interceptions.

Historically, New England is 13-21-1 (38.2%) versus the spread when Brady is sacked four or more times, and I think Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can lead LA to an outright win.

The Pick: Chargers moneyline (+171)

Saints march all over Eagles

Team Spread Moneyline at Bovada Total
Philadelphia Eagles +8.0 +270 O 50.5
New Orleans Saints -8.0 -340 U 50.5

We’ve seen this matchup before in Week 11 and it resulted in a 48-7 New Orleans victory.

The Saints are a juggernaut at home, averaging 36.6 points in games Drew Brees played in this season. They rank 3rd in passing offense DVOA, and out-rushed their opponents by an average of 47 yards per game.

The Eagles will need to match New Orleans score for score, but that’s no easy task.

The Saints recorded the fifth most sacks in the NFL, and should be able to generate enough pressure to force Nick Foles into some bad decisions. Even one turnover against the Saints is too many.

The Pick: Saints (-8)  

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