The home teams all are betting favorites for the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, with the New England Patriots the biggest chalk by far as they entertain the Houston Texans on Saturday night. The Patriots are steady as lopsided 16-point favorites against Houston at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Patriots were without Tom Brady when they pounded Houston 27-0 as one-point home favorites back in Week 3, and they have won by double-digit margins on five occasions during their current seven-game SU win streak.
Last weekend, the Texans topped the hobbled Oakland Raiders 27-14 as four-point favorites, but they are 1-3 SU and ATS in their past four games on the road. Houston also is 0-2 SU in road playoff games, including a 41-28 loss at Gillette Stadium as a 9 1/2-point underdog four years ago.
The Atlanta Falcons will look for just their second win in six playoff games with quarterback Matt Ryan when they host the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday as 4 1/2-point favorites, up slightly from the opening of -3 1/2 at the sportsbooks.
Ryan has been outstanding while tossing 11 touchdowns in his past four games ahead of Saturday afternoon’s matchup at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons pivot sits atop the NFL MVP odds at -350 but has led Atlanta to a middling 1-4 straight-up playoff record, failing to cover in each of those contests.
The Seahawks are coming off a dominant 26-6 win over the Detroit Lions as eight-point chalk but have stumbled on the road this season, going 3-4-1 SU overall and 1-4 ATS in their past five.
Seattle also has amassed a feeble 3-10 SU postseason road record since 1983, including a 30-28 loss in Atlanta as a 2 1/2-point underdog four years ago, which marks the Falcons’ lone playoff victory with Ryan at the helm.
On Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs vie for their first home playoff victory since 1994 when they welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers as narrow 1 1/2-point chalk in a game that opened as a pick’em. The Chiefs finished on a strong 5-1 SU and ATS run but are winless SU in four straight postseason games at Arrowhead Stadium, going 0-6 ATS in their past six.
The Steelers are on an eight-game SU tear, 6-1-1 ATS, and have claimed outright victories in two of their last three games as playoff road underdogs. However, the Steelers are 1-3 SU and winless ATS in their past four visits to Kansas City.
The weekend then wraps up with the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Green Bay Packers as 4 1/2-point favorites on the updated betting lines late Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys led the NFC with a 13-3 record this season, including a perfect 8-0 home mark, 5-2-1 ATS. They’ll face a Packers squad that has won seven straight games SU and are 6-2 ATS in their past eight games as road underdogs.
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