It was good to have homefield advantage last weekend. Three of the four home teams won in the Wild Card round of the 2015 NFL Playoffs. The only road team that pulled out a victory was the Baltimore Ravens, which surprised Pittsburgh. The spread was a different story, though, as only the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers covered at home. That said, you can never predict what’s going to happen on the scoreboard in an NFL postseason game. But we’ll do our best below with the 2015 NFL Playoffs Divisional Round (all lines courtesy of GTBets.eu).
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (-7)
Baltimore is definitely a team that excels in the playoffs, thanks in large part to QB Joe Flacco’s postseason nerves of steel. Flacco and the Ravens proved as much last week, winning 30-17 at Heinz Field against a tough Steelers team. But their task this time around will be even tougher. Even at 37, Tom Brady is playing some of the best football of his career. And he has the league’s best tight end to throw to – Rob Gronkowski (1,124 receiving yards, 12TD). That said, we see offense winning out over defense in this one.
ATS Advantage: New England
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5)
This is a matchup of football’s hottest two teams, with Seattle having won 9 of their last 10, and the Panthers having won five straight games. Obviously the oddsmakers are expecting Seahawks to continue their hot streak. But a 10.5-point favorite!? These two met halfway through the season when Carolina was playing badly – a game that Seattle only won 13-9. Both teams are playing much better right now, however, this becomes a question of who’s playing THE BEST. Yes, 10.5 points is a lot to cover, but Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” and Russell Wilson’s passing game are firing on all cylinders.
ATS Advantage: Seattle
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers (-6)
If you’re looking for a home team that’s been great with the spread in the 2014 regular season, then the Packers are it. They were 6-1-1 ATS while playing at Lambeau, along with their undefeated 8-0 home record. Of course, this Cowboys team isn’t just some bump in the road since they boast three of the game’s best offensive players in Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. However, these three are going to have to be on their A+ game to stay with the Packers, who are averaging almost 40 points a game at home….and even an A+ might not be enough.
ATS Advantage: Green Bay
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (-7)
Many predicted the Cincinnati Bengals to steal one from the Colts on their home turf. However, Indianapolis completely controlled the game while holding the Bengals to just 10 points. Don’t expect the same as Indianapolis travels to Mile High Stadium to face Denver’s potent offense. But the Colts did prove that they can win the big playoff game, and their record ATS is 10-4-1 in their last 15 contests. We expect a Broncos victory here, however, not by a full touchdown. Andrew Luck is just too good, and the Colts’ defense is playing well enough to at least slow down Peyton Manning and company.
ATS Advantage: Indianapolis