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2011 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Betting Odds and Preview

Eddie AdamsContributor IJanuary 11, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Rex Ryan of the New York on November 22, 2009 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 31-14. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Hopefully your Wild Card betting weekend was a success like mine was. Four games, four NFL picks, four winners. Online betting giant Sportsbook.com released the NFL Divisional Round betting lines; let’s take an early look and try to analyze any potential line movement.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Saturday at 4:30 PM ET

Buckle up as two of the most physical teams in the NFL and heated AFC North rivals get the Divisional Round playoffs underway Saturday afternoon.

The oddsmakers currently have the Ravens vs. Steelers betting odds at Pittsburgh -3 points with the total at 36.5.

These teams split the season series both straight-up and against the spread (ATS). Oddly enough, the visiting teams won the game outright and covered the point spread. Not many points were scored in either of the games; 31 points were scored in Pittsburgh in October, while only 23 points were tacked on the scoreboard in Baltimore in early December.  The game was decided by exactly three points in each of their last four meetings.

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons, Saturday at 8 PM ET

For a team that finished with the top seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record, the oddsmakers aren’t giving the Falcons much respect. Sportsbook.com currently has the Packers-Falcons point spread at Atlanta -2 while the total is 45.5.

These teams previously met in the Georgia Dome; Atlanta was victorious, 20-17. Only one of Atlanta’s last seven opponents was able to score over 18 points. While only one of Green Bay’s past 10 opponents was able to score 20+. I got some more digging to do, but the Under might be the play. Interesting to note, the Falcons are 6-0 ATS in their last six games versus the NFC North. Meanwhile, the Packers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games versus the NFC South.

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears, Sunday at 1 PM ET

Despite their miraculous win over the defending Super Bowl champion Saints Saturday, Seattle still isn’t getting much love from Vegas. For the second week in a row they are double-digit dogs as Sportsbook.com has the Seahawks-Bears betting lines at Chicago -10 points, while the total is 41 points.

It’s hard to blame the oddsmakers for making Seattle a big dog again. Whereas they are always a decent bet at home, they are just the opposite on the road. The last 24 times they played away from Qwest Field, Seattle covered the point spread just seven times. However, one of those seven covers came in October when they went into Soldier Field to beat this very Bears team, 23-20.

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, Sunday at 4:30 PM ET

What a way to end the NFL betting weekend, with this bitter rivalry. Sportsbook.com currently has the Jets vs. Patriots betting odds at New York +8, while the total is 45. The Jets opened as nine-point dogs, word on the street is some big sharps jumped New York early.

The Jets won the first meeting between these teams by the score of 28-14; however, New England got their revenge later in the season, embarrassing Rex Ryan’s crew 45-3. The Patriots currently have an eight-game win streak in which they are a money-making 6-2 ATS. New York is 10-3 ATS over the last three seasons when avenging the loss against an opponent.

Ok, folks, there is a very early look. Remember to come back later in the week for my NFL betting free picks on each of the four games. Let’s get four more winners this week.

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