When the March Madness picks are set each season, it's never surprising to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the shortlist of potential NCAA Tournament champions.
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NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions 2017
Who will win the Divisional playoff games?
By Angelo Montilla
Here are some betting options for this weekend’s Divisional Championships games, with odds courtesy of BetOnline.
A well-rested Falcons team, which won the NFL South Division with an 11-5 record, will host the Seahawks in a highly anticipated matchup Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
It’s a rematch of a Week 6 game when the Seahawks gutted out a 26-24 victory in Seattle.
The Falcons enter Saturday’s contest as -225 favorites at home, where the club was average during the regular season. The Seahawks head to Atlanta on the heels of a huge wild-card victory over the Detroit Lions. Pete Carroll’s club are enticing +195 underdogs.
In their Week 6 matchup, Matt Ryan outduelled Russell Wilson, going 27-for-42 with three touchdown passes. In comparison, Wilson was 25-for-37 with no TD passes. This game will once again come down to which quarterback will perform better and more importantly, turn over the ball less.
The Seahawks have defeated the Falcons six times over their last 10 meetings, including two of the last three games between the two clubs. If you’re considering an over/under wager, BetOnline has set the total points projection at 51.5. The Falcons led the league in points this season with 540, but watch for the Seahawks’ defense to keep this a lower-scoring match.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks (+195) and the Under
The Patriots have been waiting patiently for their opening opponent. Their time will come on Saturday when the AFC East Division champion Patriots host the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium.
As previously mentioned, the Pats enter the game as the largest lopsided betting favorite in NFL playoff history. New England is a convincing -1300 favorite on home field, where the Patriots only dropped two games all season long. The Texans, who boast the league’s top-ranked defense, head to Foxborough as +875 underdogs.
Tom Brady is in for a busy day against Houston’s potent pass defense, but it’s nothing the Patriots’ QB hasn’t seen many times before. Even after missing the opening four weeks serving a suspension, Brady still passed for more than 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns while only throwing two interceptions.
The Pats have defeated the Texans the last three meetings, including a dominating 27-0 victory over Houston in Week 3.
The million-dollar question is, will the Pats cover the 15-point spread? Expect the Patriots to advance to the AFC Championship, but it will be a tighter game than you may think.
Pick: New England Patriots (-1300)
The Kansas City Chiefs love playing in the confines of Arrowhead Stadium, where they’ve been nearly unstoppable this season. The Chiefs will look to keep that success intact on Sunday when the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers roll into town for what is sure to be a heated AFC Divisional playoff.
The Chiefs enter the contest as -127 favorites on home field, where they’ve posted an incredible 6-2 record this season. The Steelers, who are coming off a dominant wild-card playoff victory over the Miami Dolphins, are appealing +107 underdogs heading to Kansas City.
This will be a battle between a strong Steelers offence against a stingy Chiefs defense, which allowed the seventh fewest points against this season. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell jumped out of the gate strong in these playoffs, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs will have a tough time keeping Bell in check on Saturday.
The Steelers have won two of the last three meetings between the two clubs, including a dominating 43-14 win over the Chiefs in Week 4.
The projected points total has been set at 52.5 — a mark these two clubs should surpass in what is expected to be a shootout.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (+107) and the Over (52.5)
Aaron Rodgers is playing like a man possessed. The Packers’ quarterback will look to make the top-ranked Dallas Cowboys his next victims on Sunday when the two powerhouse clubs meet in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
The well-rested Cowboys return to the field after winning the NFC East with a 13-3 record. Dallas enters the highly anticipated matchup as -210. The Packers, who haven’t lost a game since Nov. 20, head to Dallas as very enticing +180 underdogs.
Rodgers dissected the New York Giants’ top-rated pass defense in their NFC wild-card victory, throwing for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Expect Rodgers to do much of the same against a Cowboys team that ranked 26th overall in pass defense.
The projected total points for this match is set at 52.5 and bettors should once again jump on the over as the Packers are primed for another huge performance.
Pick: Green Bay Packers (+180) and the Over (52.5)
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