The 2019 NFL playoffs move on to the Divisional Round, and it’s time for another round of picks against the spread. The Wild Card Round saw all four underdogs cover the spread, and three of them win outright. I am concerned about recency bias, but I’m taking three underdogs to cover this week. All lines are courtesy of OddsShark.
This is my most confident pick (fade accordingly). The Colts have a significantly better defense and an offense that is not that far behind the Chiefs. The Colts rushing attack is coming off a big game against a great Houston defense, and now gets the league’s worst rushing defense. I’m taking the points, and am considering a moneyline wager on Indianapolis. I also like the over, even at 57 points.
The Rams did not impress to close out the season, but Todd Gurley should be close to fully healthy at this point. The Rams run defense is concerning against Ezekiel Elliott, but I am comfortable betting against Jason Garrett this week. If you can tease this down to 6.5 points, go ahead, but even at a full touchdown, I’m laying the points with LA. As for the point total of 49, I would take the over in this one.
The Patriots have been strong at home off the first-round bye under Bill Belichick, but this Chargers team is simply a better squad. They are better in offensive and defensive efficiency metrics, and have shown an ability to do well in the early 1 p.m. ET starts even as a West Coast team. I’m taking the points in this one. That being said, I will take the under with the point total sitting at 47.5 points. I expect a decent showing from both defenses.
I really don’t like this game. The Saints are objectively the better team, but that Nick Foles narrative inspires fear. If not for that I would lay the points with the Saints. But I just can’t do it. I have to take the points until Foles and the Eagles prove otherwise. I don’t enjoy the pick, and I would make a minimal wager, but that’s the pick. I expect a high-scoring game, however, and would take the over on the point total of 51.