The NFL season is reaching its climax!
We have finally hit January and the Divisional Playoff Round is here. Of the eight teams that remain standing, the predictive algorithms say that the Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the NFL with a 36.8% shot at winning the Super Bowl. The San Francisco 49ers are ranked No. 4 in the power-ratings but have the second-highest probability of winning the biggest game of the season at 21.4 percent. Kansas City, ranked 2nd, has the 3rd best chance to win the Super Bowl at 18.3% and the Packers are 4th in the percentage line at 7.7 but way back at No.10 in the power rankings … go figure.
Some of you still have survivor pools going or like to throw a few bucks out on your favorites teams every now and again. So, let’s scour the betting lines to see who are the favorites and see if there are a couple of games with value.
Sunday Night Football: Seattle @ Green Bay -4
The Seahawks have to go into Lambeau Field and face the Packers. The best sportsbooks around all have the Packers listed as 4-point favorites.
I would much rather see this number at -3 than -4, but I still feel like it holds a lot of value. Mostly because the Seahawks have been banged up for a while and I think their ride ends here. That said, they have managed to almost take the NFC West with a hamstrung roster, so they might surprise us, but their laundry list of outs and questionable is 19 players deep heading into Sunday and the fact that they have lost three of their last five shows their wear and tear.
These two teams match up quite well when it comes to scoring. The Seahawks are slightly better, scoring 24.82 per game while the Packers put up 23.5 points on average. But when we look at home vs. away numbers, it’s Green Bay who has the one-point advantage. They score 25.63 while up in Wisconsin while Seattle falls a smidge to 24.11.
The biggest difference comes on the defensive side of things. The Packers have a Top-10 D, (No. 9) that allows just 19.56 points per game. This will be countered by the Seahawks No. 20 defense which allows 23.94 points per game. But the Seahawks have played much better on this side of the ball while on the road. Their 19.78 points per game allowed on the highway are good enough to be sitting just outside the Top-10 at No. 11. Meanwhile, the Packers have been a measure of consistency, allowing just 19.5 at home, showing that they play defense at the same level no matter where they are.
In their last five games, the Seahawks have given up 23 points on average. They had a great defensive showing against the Eagles but let’s face it, Wentz is no Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are going to win this one and they will do it by 6 or more.
Take Green Bay as your Survivor and feel free to grab them ATS as well.
Saturday Night Football: Titans vs. Ravens -9.5
This one opened with the Ravens as 10-point favorites. Even 9.5 points is a lot in a playoff game. But I am confident that the Ravens are going to come out after a week of rest and play their best football. They have the No. 1 offense in the league, putting up more than 33 points per game and the No. 3 home offense averaging just under 30 at M&T Bank Stadium. Meanwhile, they only allow 17.6 points per game which is 3rd best in the league.
The Titans have had an epic run late in the season but they are about to hit a complete team that has walked over the best the NFL has to offer. The Titans do have a fantastic road defense, at just 17.1 points per game, but the Patriots No. 1 defense could slow down the Ravens. In the last 10 games, only Buffalo and San Fran didn’t lose by double-digits.
Take the Ravens to win for your Survivor Pools and to cover the 9.5 spread.