NFL Playoff Predictions: How Each Divisional Game Will Finish Against Spread

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 10: Donte' Stallworth #19 of the New England Patriots dives across the goal line to score a touchdown in the third quarter against the Houston Texans during the game at Gillette Stadium on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

It's not just the players who can gain financially from the playoffs.

Fans have plenty of opportunities to fatten their wallets by selecting how each team will perform against the spread.

Sports betting can be a lucrative business with a lot on the line, so it's necessary to do as much research as possible before you make your picks.

Here is how the games will finish in relation to the spread. The team covering the spread will be underlined. All the spreads are via


Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-10)

The Denver Broncos are rightfully big favorites against the Baltimore Ravens this Saturday. Baltimore is overmatched on both sides of the ball.

The Ravens defense is having a down year, and that's not a good thing going against an offense as potent as Denver's, led by Peyton Manning.

Although the Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts by 15 points in the Wild Card Round, they were far from dominant.

Going into the postseason, there wasn't a better team in the league than the Broncos. They struggled early on, as Manning was fully adjusted. Denver is in full stride now, having won its last 11 games.

The Broncos could very well hit Baltimore early and get the Ravens in a massive hole. Denver will easily cover.


Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3)

Colin Kaepernick remains an unknown quality to a certain extent. He's never played in the postseason. Playoff football is a much different beast than the regular season.

On the other side, Aaron Rodgers already has a Super Bowl ring on his resume. The problem is, finding enough on the Green Bay Packers offense to support Rodgers.

When these teams met in Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers prevailed, 30-22. Rodgers was the Packers' leading rusher, with just 27 yards.

Granted, this is a much different Green Bay team, the problem with the running game remains.

San Francisco is too good defensively for Rodgers alone to be enough to lead the Packers to a win.

This one is going to be close, with the 49ers just getting the edge.


Seattle Seahawks (+1) at Atlanta Falcons

This is the most intriguing matchup of the Divisional Round.

The Seattle Seahawks are the hottest team in the NFL right now. Beating the Washington Redskins on the road was a huge win.

Even if Robert Griffin III was able to stay in the game, the Seahawks likely would have come out ahead in the game.

The Atlanta Falcons might have the top seed in the NFC, but they've been far from an elite team lately.

They need to get a healthy John Abraham into the lineup as well. If he's out, the Falcons defense, which wasn't elite already, will have a massive hole.

This game offers the best chance at an upset and deservedly so. Expect Seattle to beat the spread and pull off the win.


Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-9.5)

The last time these two teams met the Houston Texans had a chance to solidify themselves as the best team in football. Instead, they were manhandled, 42-14.

Houston hasn't seemed to recover from that loss. The Texans lost to Indianapolis and the Minnesota Vikings to close out the season.

If Andy Dalton performed better, then the Cincinnati Bengals would have been playing this week. The Texans were better, but they didn't look as dominant as would have been expected.

On the other hand, the New England Patriots have been rolling. Their defense is a concern, but the same could be said of Houston.

The Patriots have the added bonus of getting to play at home.

Houston, much like the first meeting, won't have an answer for Tom Brady. New England will take this one by at least 10.