Rag2gar previews the 4 matches in the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round and he likes the favourites to cover with the Patriots, Broncos and Cardinals all selected.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
The first of our playoff games this weekend is arguably our most intriguing too, as the Kansas City Chiefs look to make it 12 wins in a row against last season's World Champions. What also makes this game intriguing is that the defending Super Bowl champions have quite a question mark over them at the minute. Having suffered two painful defeats to end what had been an otherwise very good season, the Patriots now have to prove they are the force they have always seemed to be. With Julian Edelman coming back for the playoffs this adds yet another element of intrigue as to how well he can come back to the fray. The one plus the Patriots definitely have is the benefit of their home crowd and I think that could be the difference here.
The Chiefs may be high on confidence, but that could be quickly banished if the Patriots get their offence going early and the home crowd gets behind them. I expect the Patriots to bounce back to glory here and end the incredible Kansas City streak. The loss of Jeremy Maclin is a big one for the Chiefs and they will miss him. But overall it looks like the Patriots may just be too classy and score just too many points for the Chiefs to have a chance here.
3 pts win New England Patriots -4.5 to beat the Kansas City Chiefs at 10/11 with BetVictor and Betway
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
The obvious thing that comes to mind when you see this match up is the demolishing the Packers took in this same fixture less than three weeks ago. Can they possibly turn it around this time? Hard to know really. They did seem to really get going in the middle stages of their wildcard contest against the Redskins, but that was against a pass defence ranked 25th in the NFL. This time around they face the eight best defence in the league, not to mention the second best offence in the NFL.
This is a tough assignment for the road team, make no mistake about it. It just looks like the Packers are going to be beaten in every area of the field like they were just after Christmas. The Cardinals are a legitimate a Super Bowl contender and along with the Panthers are this season's franchise of the year. Expect them to get the crowd going early here and most probably make it a long, tough night for the travelling Green Bay Packers.
3 pts win Arizona Cardinals -6.5 to beat the Green Bay Packers at 10/11 with Sky Bet and Coral
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
If you thought the Seattle Seahawks were lucky to win their NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers last year, then their win over the Minnesota Vikings in the wildcard round this year was nothing short of miraculous. Missing a field goal from 27 yards to win the game is like being handed your first child, your birthday, Christmas and a kiss from that girl you fancy all at once. But now the Seahawks must build on it. And there's been a lot of support for them in the betting for this match this week. They still have the best defence in the NFL and this week sees the return of their star running back Marshawn Lynch. But the Carolina Panthers are no pushovers. In fact we waited most of the year to see them finally suffer a defeat (in a meaningless game against the Atlanta Falcons). This looks a really close contest with two excellent football teams. Again the home field advantage could be crucial and it could be what gives the Panthers the slight edge here. But for me this is a no bet. Just a titanic battle to embrace and enjoy.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
It looks almost certain that both Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and star wide receiver Antonio Brown will both be out for this one and with them most likely are Pittsburgh's chances. Just when it looked like the Steelers might have a say this postseason, it would appear almost certain that they will be eliminated here against Denver. The Broncos also have quarterback problems, but those are of a very different kind and revolve around which of their two starting quarterbacks to play. Brock Osweiler started off his campaign tremendously well, but will most likely take a backseat now that he has developed a slight knee injury and future hall of famer Peyton Manning is back. It's hard to see anything other than another home win here and probably a comfortable one at that with the loss of such key Pittsburgh players.