NFL Divisional Round Point Spreads: Best Picks Against the Spread

Ricky Rothstein | Updated Jan 09, 2017

seahawks vs falcons

In last season’s playoffs, all four road teams won on wild-card weekend for the first time ever. This past weekend, if you bet on the home favourites in the wild-card games then you cashed in as they all won and covered in games that had little drama. There should be plenty of drama this weekend in a chalk divisional round. Here’s a look at opening Sports Interaction NFL odds for each game, and you can look for individual in-depth previews later this week. All are regular-season rematches.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons, Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET

Point spread: Atlanta -4.5 Total: 50.5 This will be the final pro football game ever staged in the Georgia Dome unless the Falcons win and the Dallas Cowboys lose on Sunday — Atlanta’s moving to a new stadium for next season. The NFC South champion Falcons have the NFL’s best offense and were off on wild-card weekend. Quarterback Matt Ryan is the favourite to win league MVP honors after being named first-team All-Pro. NFC West champion Seattle had little trouble beating the visiting Detroit Lions on Saturday night, 26-6, behind a big game from running back Thomas Rawls. The Seahawks hosted the Falcons in Week 6 and rallied for a 26-24 victory. Rawls was out injured that day. Pick ATS: Falcons

Houston Texans at New England Patriots, Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Point spread: New England -16 Total: 45.5

The AFC East champion Patriots, the top seed in the conference, are the biggest NFL playoff favourites since the 1998 season when the Minnesota Vikings were -16 for a divisional round game against Arizona and won by 20. In the past 40 postseasons, a team has been favoured by more than 14 points just four previous times. The favourite covered three of those. Houston’s top-ranked defense dominated in its wild-card game with a 27-14 home victory over Oakland. The Raiders had to give fourth-round rookie QB Connor Cook his first career start and he was overwhelmed by that Houston defense. The Raiders had only 203 yards. To say there will be more of a challenge here with Tom Brady at the helm is the understatement of the year. Houston lost in New England 27-0 back when Brady was suspended. Rookie Jacoby Brissett started for the Pats that Thursday night in Week 3. Pick ATS: Texans

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET

Point spread: Kansas City -1 Total: 46.5

The AFC West champion Chiefs are looking to reach the AFC Championship Game for the first time since the 1993 season. It’s not wise to bet against Chiefs coach Andy Reid when he has a bye week to prepare for an opponent. Reid is 19-2 in this scenario dating to his Eagles days. He’s 3-0 coming off a bye in the playoffs, with all those wins coming in Philadelphia. The Steelers dominated the Dolphins this past Sunday, 30-12 behind big games from Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. However, Ben Roethlisberger injured his ankle late and was seen with a walking boot after. No question he plays here, but Roethlisberger will have limited mobility. Pittsburgh crushed the visiting Chiefs 43-14 in Week 4. Pick ATS: Chiefs

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys, 4:40 p.m. ET

Point spread: Dallas -4 Total: 51.5

NFC East winner and top-seeded Dallas is looking to reach its first conference championship game since winning its last Super Bowl in the 1995 season. Rookie QB Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott were fantastic in the regular season for the Cowboys, but there’s a reason no team has won a Super Bowl with a rookie starting quarterback. No club is playing better than Green Bay right now as it brings a seven-game winning streak into this one after beating the New York Giants — a team that was 2-0 vs. Dallas this year — 38-13. Aaron Rodgers torched one of the NFL’s best defenses for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers did lose No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson early in the game to a rib injury and his status for this one is TBA. Dallas went to Green Bay and won 30-16 in Week 6 behind three TD passes from Prescott, who outplayed Rodgers. This Packers team is way different. Pick ATS: Packers