Divisional Playoffs Opening Lines

Only eight teams remain in the quest for Super Bowl XLV and the NFL odds for the Divisional Playoffs are up already. On Saturday afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will butt heads in what should be a smashmouth affair. Bovada and Bovada both have the hosting Steelers favored by 3 points with the over/under at a miniscule 36.5 for these defensively sound squads.

For the second straight year, the Ravens dismantled the home team in their Wild Card game. This time it was a 30-7 victory over the Chiefs. NFL betting fans have to take them seriously on the road – especially when the away team won both meetings between these two teams during the 2010 regular season. One question that could affect the NFL odds on this game: will Ed Reed play for Baltimore? His brother is missing after a police chase and authorities fear the worst.

Also on Saturday, the Green Bay Packers look for another road upset when they visit the Falcons. Current NFL odds at Bovada and Bovada have the Falcons favored by two points at home and the total at 45 points. But bettors will have to think hard about taking the Green Bay Packers. Atlanta has been almost unbeatable at the Georgia Dome in the Matt Ryan era but the Packers did something almost no team had done last week: stop the mighty Eagles offense in Philadelphia. Their defense is for real.

On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks visit Chicago after pulling off arguably the year’s biggest NFL betting shocker last week when they beat the defending-champion Saints 41-36. Oddsmakers still give the Seahawks no chance to beat the Bears or reach Super Bowl XLV; Bovada and Sportsbook.ag favor Chicago by 10 points and have the over/under at 40. Is there upset potential at least against the spread there? If Seattle did it once . . .

Lastly, Rex Ryan will put his mouth to the test when his New York Jets battle Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the late game Sunday. The last time Gang Green visited Foxboro, the Pats humiliated them 45-3. It appears the sportsbooks expect another lopsided affair. Bovada and Sportsbook.ag favor the New England Patriots by 8.5 points. The total at both those books is 45.5

The Jets did a good job on Peyton Manning last week, but can they stop Tom Brady, the runaway MVP favorite? Brady threw for 3,900 yards with 36 touchdown passes and just four interceptions all season. He leads the league’s highest-scoring offense, which averages 32.4 points per game. No other team averaged more than 27 points this year.