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Expert Picks: NFL Divisional Round

The 2016 NFL playoffs return for the Divisional Round this weekend. A week after all four road teams won in the Wild Card Round, the top two seeds in each conference are back in action following bye weeks, and are all favored.

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots (Line: NE -5)

The Chiefs have won 11 in a row straight up heading into this game, and have covered in their last five road games. The Patriots stumbled late, losing their final two games as favorites, costing themselves home field through the AFC playoffs. New England is expected to have Julian Edelman back on the field, but the Chiefs are going to give them a fight. I don’t think Kansas City will win, but this is going to be a close one.

Pick: Chiefs +5

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals (Line: ARI -7)

The Cardinals thumped the Packers 38-8 in Week 16, and this likely has influenced the public, with more money on the Cardinals than Packers. However, as we saw last week, we can’t quite count out Aaron Rodgers and that Packers offense. They stumbled into the game, and struggled in the first half, but turned things up in a big way. The Cardinals have a better defense than Washington, but Green Bay is playing well on the road, at 4-1 ATS in their last five games. Like the Chiefs game, I don’t know if they can get the win, but I think they’ll keep this competitive to the end.

Pick: Packers +7

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers (Line: CAR -2.5)

These two know each other well. The Panthers secured a narrow road win in Seattle in October, and Seattle beat them twice last season, including in a playoff game. Marshawn Lynch is practicing again this week, but as we saw last week, he very well could still be a weekend downgrade. The Seahawks are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games, and the Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. I think the return of Jonathan Stewart and Ted Ginn (never thought I’d say that!) will give Cam Newton the weapons he needs to cover this slim spread.

Pick: Panthers -2.5

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos (Line: DEN -7)

This line has changed drastically. It opened with the Broncos at -2.5 while we awaited injury news on Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger is expected to play, but is dealing with a separated shoulder with ligament damage. Antonio Brown is going through the concussion protocol, and reports are pessimistic about his availability. Add in no DeAngelo Williams, and it is tough sledding for Pittsburgh. This line is pretty significant in Peyton Manning’s first start since Week 10, but I think they can cover it.

Pick: Broncos -7

Editor's Note: David Fucillo is a member of Team OddsShark and the winner at the end of 17 weeks for our team in the Westgate SuperContest. Picking five teams a week (ATS) during the NFL regular season, Fucillo finished with 53 out of a possible 85 points (62 percent), and tied for 24th overall in the record field of 1,727 SuperContest entrants. Each week during the NFL playoffs, the SBNation writer will bring you his picks for the weekend’s action.

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