NFL Playoffs: Best Picks Against the Spread  

Frank Doyle | Updated Jan 11, 2016

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers

Can Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers keep rolling into the NFL Conference Finals?

They say if you make it to the NFL Playoffs anything can happen. That much is certain after watching all four underdogs win last weekend with three underdogs covering the point spread.

Now, things get serious as eight teams battle for a berth in the NFL Conference Championships. Check out all of this week’s current NFL odds and point spreads here.

NFL Spreads Wild Card Playoffs: Best Picks Against the Spread

Live NFL odds

NFL Divisional Playoffs

Saturday January 16, 2016

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots

Point spread: Patriots -5.5 / Patriots -5

Total: 43.5 /42

The Chiefs have carved out a recipe for success: a quick, nasty defence that puts pressure on opposing offenses to go along with a strong running game and a veteran quarterback that takes care of the ball. Seems simple, doesn’t it? That recipe has Kansas City riding an 11-game winning streak during which the club covered the number eight times. Of course, the Patriots will likely have another excellent game plan for the Chiefs, but Brady’s weapons are limited due to a rash of injuries and weather could be a factor. Speaking of injuries, keep an eye on Jeremy Maclin’s status because if he can’t go, the Chiefs won’t have a deep threat to stretch the field. Still, this feels like it could come down to a kick on the last play.

Pick against the spread: Chiefs +5.5

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals

Point spread: Cardinals -7

Total: 50

The Green Bay Packers wouldn’t go down without a fight last weekend and managed to pull out of a hole to smoke Washington 35-18. The key to that win was Green Bay’s running game, which produced 141 yards on the ground and opened up passing opportunities for Aaron Rodgers. Don’t expect that to be the case this weekend in Arizona. The Cardinals own the No. 5 total defence in the NFL and won’t give Rogers time to run through his reads downfield. Really, it comes down to Arizona’s defence overmatching Green Bay’s offence and that’s without mentioning the fact that the Cardinals average better than 30 points per game from their own attack. The Packers may hang around for a while, but will struggle when their offensive line fades in the second half.

Pick against the spread: Cardinals -5.5

Sunday January 17, 2016

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

Point spread: Panthers -3 / Panther -2.5

Total: 44

After posting a 15-1 regular season, it seems as though the Carolina Panthers still have a lot to prove. A win here over the Seahawks will go a long way in convincing the naysayers. The Panthers and Seahawks are a lot alike – two strong defences with good running games and mobile quarterbacks. Cam Newton and the Panthers are a step above Seattle now though and the Seahawks’ flaws were exposed in a game they should have lost last weekend. Seattle produced just over 200 total yards on offence against Minnesota and will be hard-pressed to move the chains against Carolina. A week off will do the Panthers a lot of good too. Look for Newton to be the star of the show again Sunday.

Pick against the spread: Panthers -3

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

Point spread: Broncos -7.5

Total: 41

So Ben Rothlisberger will tough it out and start Sunday night, but he’ll be without Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams. That’s going to make it awfully difficult for Pittsburgh’s offence. If Denver plays it smart and doesn’t ask Peyton Manning to do too much, expect the Broncos to advance in a comfortable victory.

Pick against the spread: Broncos -7.5

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