There are just seven football games left this season so I’m ready to make some hay while there’s still some light. It’s going to be a very dark time once the Super Bowl ends so I recommend soaking up every minute of the football that still remains.
Here are my favorite plays for the divisional round. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter @price_is_trites.
The Pick: Saints and Patriots 6-point teaser (-120)
The Stat: Individual legs on 6-point teasers have hit at an 81.3 percent rate in the divisional round since 2012.
I played around with almost every variation of a two-leg teaser for this weekend and this is the one I keep coming back to. In order for it to cash, the Steelers (-7) need to win by two and the Saints need to lose by fewer than 10. I like those odds an awful lot.
New Orleans lost only one game this season by more than 10 points and it was to New England before the Saints figured out their identity. As for the Steelers, I don’t see a version of this game where the Jacksonville offense scores enough points to win.
The Pick: Jaguars vs Steelers UNDER 41 and Steelers ML Parlay (+150)
The Stat: The temperature at kickoff is supposed to be 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pittsburgh is the best cold-weather team in the NFL (9-1 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 in temperatures below freezing) and is used to these kinds of conditions. The Jaguars, however, are not.
Blake Bortles, a Florida native, has played just one game in sub-freezing conditions since entering the NFL and he appeared not to like it. In that game, Bortles posted a 22.7 total QBR. Yikes.
Totals also go UNDER at an exorbitant rate in weather this cold and both of these defenses are damn good. I’m expecting the Sportsbook to score no more than 20 points here.
The Pick: Eagles +3 (-115)
The Stat: Home teams are 19-5 SU in the last 24 divisional round games.
I’ve flip-flopped on this game several times but the bird I’ll be flying with is the mighty-mighty Eagle. Philly may have to overcome a questionable quarterback in Nick Foles but this line is just too juicy to pass up.
That said, I’ll be looking to middle on the Falcons if the Eagles go up first, this should be a tight finish and we could win both bets if that’s the case.
The Pick: Patriots to record more first downs than the Titans -4.5 (-115)
The Stat: New England finished 2017 with 99 more first downs than Tennessee.
I’m no math wizard but 99 divided by 16 is a bigger number than five. The Patriots’ offense is – obviously – leaps and bounds better than the Titans’ and with an unleashed Rob Gronkowski running the seams, New England should be able to get first downs at will.
The Pick: Blake Bortles, Marcus Mariota and Nick Foles to combine for OVER 4.5 Interceptions (+135)
The Stat: These men combined for 31 interceptions in the regular season.
This one could be tough … or it could be really easy depending on what kind of day Bortles is having in Pittsburgh. Realistically, any one of these guys could toss three on their own so I like the odds here that they combine for five or more.
The Pick: 4-team Moneyline Parlay with all the Divisional Round underdogs
The Stat: A $100 insurance bet on this parlay pays out a whopping $16,864.10.
Before you jump down my throat for making conflicting picks, relax, this is just for fun and look at that payout. Last weekend, an all-underdog moneyline parlay began 2-0 and finished 3-1. If that happens again and I don’t bet it, I’ll never be able to forgive myself.
It would be nice if the Pats-Titans game was the finale on Sunday to give us a real shot at a sweat-out but at least if Tom and the boys kill the parlay on Saturday night we’ll be put out of our misery early.
This column is powered by stats and trends provided by the NFL Betting Primer.
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