Sunday NFL Divisional Round Betting Preview

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Three of the four road teams in the Divisional Round aren’t being given much of a chance to advance to their conference championship games next weekend. The Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, and Houston Texans are all hoping to win their first Super Bowl, but the oddsmakers have given them the highest Super Bowl betting odds of the eight remaining teams. However, Seattle is seen as a live dog. The Seahawks are only four-point underdogs per the NFL betting odds on the road against the Green Bay Packers, and they are a popular upset pick. Meanwhile, Tennessee and Houston are both double digit underdogs as of Wednesday morning, while Minnesota is a touchdown underdog on the road against San Francisco.

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Kansas City Chiefs -10 vs. Houston Texans, O/U 51

Houston upset Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium when these teams met in mid-October. Deshaun Watson was fantastic in that game, overcoming two interceptions to lead the Texans to 35 first downs and over 470 total yards of offense against the Chiefs’ defense. That led to Houston controlling the ball for nearly 40 minutes of game time, and Bill O’Brien wants to implement a similar game plan in the second meeting between these teams. The Texans have never made it past the Divisional Round of the playoffs, so the pressure is on.

Both teams are known for their sensational young quarterbacks, but both run defenses have been suspect. Houston and Kansas City are each ranked in the bottom five in the league in YPC allowed this year, so that could spell big games for Carlos Hyde and LeSean McCoy. Hyde registered his first 1,000-yard season in 2019, and McCoy is still elusive despite being a little long in the tooth for a running back.

Patrick Mahomes is expected to have all his weapons available in the passing game. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman make up a versatile foursome, and they all complement each other well. Houston is dealing with injuries to two of its top three cornerbacks, so Mahomes could exploit mismatches with young, inexperienced defensive backs in the Texans’ secondary.

The Texans are expected to have Will Fuller back for this weekend, and he is returning just in the nick of time. Houston has an excellent receiver in Deandre Hopkins, but Fuller stretches the field, allowing Watson to take the top off a defense. He was missed greatly in the first half of Houston’s Wild Card game with Buffalo, and Watson will certainly target him deep at least a couple times if he is healthy.

Mahomes and the Chiefs are likely to be too much for the Texans though. Houston has one of the worst offensive lines in the league despite going to great lengths to improve this unit, and Watson was sacked seven times last week. Kansas City’s defense has finally started to come on at the tail end of the year, and Frank Clark could have a big afternoon against Laremy Tunsil.


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Green Bay Packers -4 vs. Seattle Seahawks, O/U 47

This will be the fourth time in the last 16 years that the Packers and Seahawks have met in the playoffs. Two of those tilts went to overtime, and the first postseason game between these teams was one of the most memorable games in NFL history. Matt Hasselbeck famously proclaimed that Seattle wanted the ball and was going to score, but Green Bay had other intentions as Hasselbeck threw a pick-six to Al Harris to decide the game.

Green Bay and Seattle are both a little fortunate to be here. The Seahawks have been the luckiest team in the NFL, posting an 11-5 record despite having a +7 point differential, and they have an unsustainable record in one-score games. Russell Wilson was the best player in the NFC all year, willing his team to victories often, but Seattle just doesn’t have the talent it did at the start of the year. The Seahawks’ top three running backs all suffered season-ending injuries in the final month of the season, and Wilson is relying heavily on rookie receiver D.K. Metcalf.

Davante Adams is the only receiver that Aaron Rodgers has trusted the last few years, but another target may finally be emerging. Allen Lazard has come on strong in recent weeks, potentially giving Green Bay the secondary option to Adams it has lacked in recent seasons. The Packers can finally run the ball too with Aaron Jones grinding out tough yards, so Green Bay is the play at this price.

Check out the latest NFL betting lines.

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