With Saturday’s pair of NFL Divisional Round matchups having served up a heaping helping of exciting football action, the bar has been raised for Sunday’s two contests.
The Seattle Seahawks will travel to take on the NFC’s top-seeded Atlanta Falcons, while the New England Patriots will host the Houston Texans in the rematch of a late-season battle.
If you are looking to make these two games even more thrilling, you might decide to put down a friendly—or massive—wager down on the action. If you decide to go in that direction, we’re here to help you decide which way to lean.
Let’s take a look at each game and aid you in picking winners against the spread.
*Point spreads via ScoresAndOdds.com, home team in CAPS.
Seattle Seahawks (+3) over ATLANTA FALCONS
We’re simply taking the better team here.
The Seahawks are clicking at the right time and have a vastly superior squad—despite only earning a wild-card spot to Atlanta’s No. 1 seed. They have all the pieces in place to make a Super Bowl run, and the Dirty Birds won't stand in their path for long.
With Marshawn Lynch running like a beast, Russell Wilson rounding out into a Pro Bowl-caliber signal-caller in his rookie year, the offensive line blocking well and the defense as a whole looking dominant, it would be foolish to bet against Seattle.
While the Falcons did put together a nice regular season, Matt Ryan and Co. have repeatedly failed to execute in the playoffs, and history will repeat itself against on Sunday.
Expect a back-and-forth matchup that ends with the ‘Hawks advancing to face divisional-rival San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-9.5) over Houston Texans
As mentioned earlier, this is a rematch of Week 14’s Monday Night Football contest—a game in which the Patriots absolutely crushed the Texans and wound up winning 42-14.
Expect a similar result on Sunday, as New England is a superior squad in all facets of the game, and the Patriots will have no problem displaying the sheer dominance that led them to a lopsided victory back in early December.
Tom Brady is on top of the world once again as a QB (especially with Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers dismissed from the postseason), Bill Belichick is still a mastermind of a coach and the rest of the supporting cast understand their roles and do their jobs.
The Pats even have Rob Gronkowski back, the superstar tight end who missed five games (including the Texans contest) with a broken forearm. He’s bound to find the end zone at least once, and it will further pad what should be a massive New England victory at the end of this one.
While Houston will put up a fight (any team with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson will be tough to stop), the Pats will win by at least 14 and roll into the AFC Championship Game.