Divisional Saturday: NFL Betting Preview

Divisional weekend gets off on the right foot Saturday with two highly-anticipated NFL betting matchups as the red-hot New Orleans Saints head out on the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers and Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos look to keep their Cinderella season alive against the New England Patriots.


Here’s a look at the most recent NFL line movement updates as well as some prop bets available at Bovada.

No. 3 New Orleans Saints at No. 2 San Francisco 49ers


Divisional Playoff Pick: Pats vs Broncos Odds

The last time these teams met, the Patriots stomped the mystique out of Tim Tebow, routing the Broncos in Week 15 at Denver.

Now after another Tebow miracle against the Steelers, the Broncos aim to avenge that loss in the other AFC divisional playoff game. Clearly online sportsbooks don't buy the hype, making the Patriots home chalk of 14 points.

The Broncos are 5-1 ATS in 6 trips to Foxboro since 1995 and the Patriots, despite their home dominance, are just 1-4 ATS in their past 5 playoff home games.

Denver has not packed much of a bite as a big underdog lately, going just 1-6 ATS when dogged by double digits, according to the Odds Shark NFL database. New England won and covered their final 7 games as a favorite and 6 of those games went OVER the betting total. (Check out the biggest Broncos point spread, available over at Bovada earlier.


NFL Betting: Weekend Opening Lines

For the first time since 2006 every home team won on Wild Card Weekend, eliminating all four Wild Card teams in one fell swoop. History tells us the home teams won’t sweep again in this week’s NFL betting action as no postseason since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990 has ever had the home teams go 8-0 in the first two weeks.


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.


Steelers vs Broncos Wildcard Odds Pick

Rashard Mendenhall is gone for the year and the cinch of winning the AFC Wild Card in Denver is longer so easy for the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.

Denver earned the AFC West title despite a lousy start and an 0-3 finish. Pittsburgh now gets the easiest Wild Card odds spot of 2011 and the trend that has seen AFC road teams win on Wild Card weekend will probably continue.


Giants vs Falcons NFC Wild Card Pick

The New York Giants eked into the playoffs and get a home Wild Card matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, a team that beat bad teams and lost to good teams during the season.

Are the 9-7 Giants good or bad? It depends on the week. However, Atlanta has historically dominated here in the Meadowlands, going 5-1 SU and 6-0 since 1982.

In total, these teams have met 12 times since 1982 and the UNDER has been the best bet, prevailing 10 times. The Giants were favored 9 times in 2011 and covered the spread just three times.


Wild Card Sunday: Betting Preview

Wild Card Weekend NFL betting wraps up Sunday as the New York Giants host the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here’s a look at some of the props available to bet on at Bovada for each of these games as well as NFL line movement updates on the spread and total.

No. 5 Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 New York Giants


Wild Card Saturday: Betting Preview

Wild Card weekend kicks off on Saturday with two intriguing NFL betting matchups as the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions visit the New Orleans Saints.

Here’s a look at some of the props for each of these games available to bet on at Bovada as well as NFL line movement updates. [ See the latest Wild Card props listings as well ]

No. 6 Cincinnati Bengals at No. 3 Houston Texans


Saints vs Lions NFC Wild Card Odds

Detroit couldn't beat Green Bay's backups in Week 17 and as punishment their first playoff action is many years is a tough road test against the red-hot New Orleans Saints in Wild Card betting action Saturday.

Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's passing yardage record and the Saints reeled off 8 straight wins (and ATS covers) to end the season. The opened as 10-point home chalk here against a Detroit team that may be happy just to make the playoffs.

The Lions lost 31-17 here a month ago and have lost the past 3 against New Orleans. Lions bettors should be wary of a recent trend that has seen NFC road teams going 10-4 ATS in the past 14 NFC Wild Card games.

The Saints however are 11-1 ATS at home recently, while Detroit is 0-4 ATS lately on the road. The Lions have been OVER machines on the road, going 9-1-1 past 11 trips away from Ford Field. [ See NFL playoff bonus offers and perks like free BCS bowl game wagers at TopBet ]


Bengals vs Texans AFC Wild Card Odds

An AFC Wild Card battle of two teams that limped into the playoffs kicks off Saturday when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Houston Texans.

Houston clinched the AFC South three weeks ago, then lost three straight while injuries hammered the roster. The Bengals meanwhile lost three of five to slump to 9-7 and needed tiebreakers to beat Tennessee for this Wild Card spot.

Houston is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings with the Bengals and opened as 3-point home chalk here on the NFL odds menu at most online sportsbooks. Watch the injury situation during the week for line moves.

Of note, AFC road teams are 5-1 ATS the past 3 Wild Card weekends and 6-2 SU overall. Check out our story on Wild Card betting trends this week and see the latest playoff bonus offers at Bovada.



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