If NFL playoff betting oddsmakers are correct, the 2017 AFC Divisional Round will consist of a pair of games expected to develop in contrasting manners. That’s because NFL picks experts are asked to choose between a game where the teams are separated by a single point, and another one where the current point spreads tally in the double digits.
Can you guess which game is which?
The first NFL betting matchup features the top seeded New England Patriots taking on the visiting Houston Texans in Foxborough, while the second game has the Pittsburgh Steelers going up against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead. Still can’t guess which is the competitive game and which one is expected to be a complete blowout?
(9-7) Houston Texans [+16] vs. (12-4) New England Patriots [-16]: Obviously, there’s no team in the National Football League that’s been able to sustain an assault on the rest of the league with the rage that Tom Brady and the Pats have this season. The fact that the league decided to suspend him for the first four games of the season has certainly lit a fire under the player that many consider to be the greatest quarterback to ever live. Clearly, this is bad news for a Texans team that may not have the necessary offensive weapons to keep up with Bill Belichick’s bunch on the scoreboard. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Houston will go into Gillette Stadium as underdogs by two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. In spite of this massive spread, betting action for this contest hasn’t been as close as one would think. As of Friday morning, the Pats account for 59 percent of the action versus 41 percent for the Texans. As difficult as it is to bet against the Brady-Belichick duo, one has to believe the Texans defense will do its part to keep things from getting completely out of control. Patriots win by 14 points or less in my book, and that’s a pretty safe bet to make against the spread. Opening kickoff is scheduled for Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. ET live on CBS Sports.
- 2017 AFC Playoff Picks: Houston Texans +16
(11-5) Pittsburgh Steelers [+1] vs. (12-4) Kansas City Chiefs [-1]: The second and final game on the 2017 AFC Divisional Round is expected to play out in an opposite fashion. After crushing the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Round, there’s concern regarding the health of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers venture into enemy territory to face the Chiefs’ stoic defense. As you can see, a PAT separates these teams in the ATS betting department, and with good reason given the projected weather conditions. Forecasts are calling for a sloppy, muddy game with rain and showers expected during this contest. That almost ensures defense and running will be the deciding factors. Quite frankly, I like Pittsburgh’s style a little bit better from an experience/execution standpoint than KC, particularly on offense. I would even go as far as stating that no one should be surprised if pro football odds makers are right on the money with this spread. In fact, have Big Ben and the Steelers winning by a field goal or less in what will be a very hostile environment at 1 Arrowhead Drive. For the record, betting action against the spread shows that 53 percent of the NFL betting population likes Pittsburgh on the road, while the rest, 47 percent, are betting on the home team to cover the spread. Opening kickoff is slated for Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on NBC.
- 2017 AFC Playoff Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers +1