Last Updated: 2019-01-11
The 2019 NFL Playoffs continues with divisional round matchups set for this weekend and we are expecting to see four great games with plenty of thrilling action. Saturday brings Indianapolis at Kansas City and Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, while on Sunday, we’ll see the Los Angeles Chargers at New England and the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans, so let’s take a look at our best bets for the upcoming games.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-5, 57.0)
The Indianapolis Colts smashed the Houston Texans 21-7 on the road in the wild-card weekend and will travel to Arrowhead Stadium this Saturday to meet the Kansas City Chiefs as 5-point underdogs, while the game features the highest chalk on the totals at 57.0 points and there are a few good reasons for bookies’ decision.
The Kansas City Chiefs were the most efficient team in the league during the regular season, averaging whopping 35.3 points per game on 425.6 total yards per contest (also 1st). Patrick Mahomes has been playing brilliantly, tossing for 5097 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, and it will be interesting to see how he’ll cope with the pressure on his playoff debut.
On the other side, Andrew Luck has a 6-6 record in the post-season, and he’s been excellent this past regular season after missing the previous due to an injury. Behind the best offensive line in the league that allowed just 18 sacks in 16 games, Luck has thrown for 4593 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Now, he meets the Chiefs’ defense that was allowing 273.4 passing yards per contest (31st in the league) which seems like a perfect matchup for Luck.
If Indy’s defense continues with a strong performance, the Colts will stay close on this one, but it will be difficult to slow down Mahomes and the Chiefs. Hereof, I will take the over, hoping the Colts will take advantage of Kansas City’s poor secondary.
The Pick: Over 57.0 points (-110)
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (-7, 49.5)
The Dallas Cowboys escaped with a narrow 24-22 win to the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round thanks to another excellent defensive performance. The Cowboys allowed just 73 rushing yards to the Seahawks who had the best ground game in the league during the regular season, and they will need another strong performance when they visit the Los Angeles Rams Saturday night as 7-point underdogs.
The Rams ground game was tallying 139.4 rushing yards per game this season (3rd in the league), while Jared Goff has tossed for 4688 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. The Rams were the 2nd-most efficient team in the league with 32.9 points per contest, but they will have to justify these numbers against the Cowboys’ elite defense. Dallas was allowing just 20.2 points (6th in the league) on 329.2 total yards per game (7th), but the Cowboys’ offense was 22nd in the league in points per game (21.2).
The Cowboys will have to slow down the Rams’ rushing and then try to cope with Jared Goff and the Rams’ receiving corps. On the other side, Ezekiel Elliott will lead the Cowboys’ offense, and the Rams are allowing 122.3 rushing yards per game (23rd) which could be a big problem against Dallas. I think the Rams are a better team than the Cowboys, but the visitors can make a lot of damage with their style of play, so I’m backing them to stay close on this one.
The Pick: Dallas Cowboys +7.0 (-110)
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots (-4, 47.5)
The Los Angeles Chargers made it through the wild-card round with a brilliant 23-17 road victory over the Baltimore Ravens and opened as 4-point underdogs against the New England Patriots on this one with the total at 47.5 points. It was their seventh consecutive win on the road this season and the Chargers are 7-0 ATS during that span.
The Chargers earned some big wins on the road, beating Kansas City, Seattle, and Pittsburgh among the others, but they will have a tall task to overcome Tom Brady and the Pats who are 8-0 straight up and 6-2 ATS in eight home games this season. Likewise, the Patriots are 15-0 straight up and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games at Gillette Stadium and are 8-0 straight up and 6-2 ATS in their last eight playoff games at home.
Both New England and LA Chargers possess the top 10 defenses, while the Pats rely a lot on their ground game that is 5th-best in the league with 127.3 yards per game (Chargers are 15th with 117.1 rushing yards per contest). Hereof, I expect to see a close game and have to go with the under, as this could be the last chance for Philip Rivers to win the Super Bowl.
The Pick: Under 47.5 points (-110); Los Angeles Chargers +4.0 (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints (-8, 51.0)
The Philadelphia Eagles were pretty lucky to beat the Chicago Bears 16-15 this past Sunday and proceed to the divisional round, but the reigning champions completely deserved it with their brave performance, especially on the defensive end. The Eagles’ defense is finally looking good on the pitch, allowing just 65 rushing yards to the Bears, while Nick Foles had another big night, leading his team to the victory with 266 yards, two touchdowns, and a couple of picks.
In Week 11, the Saints thrashed off the Eagles 48-7 at home. However, the Eagles are 6-1 straight up and 4-2-1 ATS since that ugly defeat, while their offense is doing a great job with Nick Foles under center. On the other side, the Saints were the 3rd-most efficient team in the league with 31.5 points per game, but they were averaging just 19.0 points per contest over their last five outings.
Likewise, the Saints’ secondary was a big issue, allowing 268.9 passing yards per game (29th in the league) which is a chance for Foles to make some damage on this one. I think the Saints will beat the Eagles, possessing more quality offensive options, especially on the ground with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in the backfield. Still, I will take the Eagles to cover the spread, relying on their rush run defense (7th in the league with 96.9 yards allowed per game), while Nick Foles will have to step up once again.
The Pick: Philadelphia Eagles +8.0 (-110)
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