Divisional Playoff Picks: OVER the total
The Odds Shark NFL scores prediction engine picked four OVERs during Wild Card weekend and three of them came around (only the Giants 24-2 humbling of the Falcons went UNDER).
In the divisional playoff round, it is predicting four more OVERs – perhaps a reflection of the Year of the Quarterback where it seems every QB went over 5,000 yards passing.
If it happens, it would be the second straight year that the divisional round saw four OVERs as the 2011 games saw at least 49 points scored in every game. So much for defense winning championships.
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The computer has the Saints covering the 3-point spread at San Francisco in a 36.4 to 32.8 final. Our handicappers are predicting a lower-scoring game but there is still room to play OVER. [ Saints vs 49ers preview ]
The favorite is also predicted to cover when the Broncos (+13.5) visit New England. A 35-19 result is forecast, which would go OVER 49.5. [ Patriots vs Broncos Preview ]
In Baltimore, the computer picks the Ravens to win in a close one. Houston will cover as 9-point underdogs in 27-26 final. Again, Odds Shark handicappers pick a lower-scoring game but the total is set at 38. [ Ravens vs Texans Preview ]
And in the final weekend game, the Packers are predicted to continue their spread-covering ways by dumping the Giants 39-26. Of note, 6 of the past 7 meetings between these teams have played OVER the total. [ Packers vs Giants Preview ]
In past years, road teams have stolen victories in this round, with 11 of the past 16 road teams winning straight up. But the machine is picking three home winners on the Divisional Playoff odds menu for 2012.
Not surprising that the road angle has produced some unique betting lines over at Bovada:
How many road teams will win this weekend?
2012 NFL Playoffs - How many road teams will win this weekend?
Over 1½ (+160)
Under 1½ (-200)
2012 NFL Playoffs - Will any game go to Overtime this weekend?
Odds Shark Computer Predictions
The computer struggled against the spread in the Wild Card round. After getting a good start with the Texans covering at home against Cincinnati, the computer missed the next three games.
With eight teams remaining, the odds to win the NFC and AFC future odds are coming into sharper focus. The lines below are courtesy of Bovada.
Odds to win the 2012 AFC Conference
New England Patriots 5/8
Baltimore Ravens 2/1
Houston Texans 9/1
Denver Broncos 18/1
Odds to win the 2012 NFC Conference
Green Bay Packers 10/11
New Orleans Saints 21/10
San Francisco 49ers 13/2
New York Giants 8/1