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Divisional Round NFL Totals Betting Analysis

NFL Divisional Playoffs- Totals Analysis

Offense may have led the way in the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs, but defense took center stage in the divisional round. Three out of the four games stayed under the total as the losing teams combined for a total of 34 points. Just like last week, the first three games of the weekend were never really close and final game’s outcome was not decided until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

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Here is a brief recap of all four games.

Arizona Cardinals@ New Orleans Saints            
Over/Under 57 Result 59 OVER

New Orleans quickly put aside any concerns about their end of the year slide with an impressive 45-14 victory over Arizona. Their offense came out firing on all cylinders scoring five touchdowns on six first half possessions. QB Drew Brees ended the day completing 23 of 32 attempts to six different receivers for 247 yards and three TD’s. RB Reggie Bush turned in an all around performance with 84 rushing yards, 24 receiving yards, and another 109 yards on three punt returns. After giving up a 70 yard rushing touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, the Saint’s defense put the clamps on QB Kurt Warner and Company for the rest of the game. Warner was harassed all day long and ended with only 205 yards on 17 completions and no TD’s. After suffering a vicious hit from Saint DE Bobby McCray on a turnover, this very well could have been his final game in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens@ Indianapolis Colts                
Over/Under 44 Result 23 UNDER

While it was not always pretty, Indianapolis got a few monkeys off their back in a 20-3 win over Baltimore. First they answered all the questions about how resting their players the final two weeks of the season would affect their performance in the playoffs, and second about how they were 0-3 when having a first round bye. League MVP Peyton Manning actually had an average day completing 30 of 44 attempts for 246 yards and 2 TD’s. It was the Colt’s defense that deserved most of the credit for the win, holding the Ravens to 270 total yards and most importantly, three points. Baltimore ended with only12 first downs and was a dreadful 5 for 13 on third down conversions. RB Ray Rice was held to 67 yards on 13 carries and QB Joe Flacco ended the day completing 20 of 35 for 189 yards with zero TD’s and two interceptions.

Dallas Cowboys@ Minnesota Vikings                   
Over/Under 45.5 Result 37 UNDER

While much of the talk heading into this game was all about how well that Dallas’s defense had been playing, it was Minnesota’s defense that was the shining star of the day. They completely derailed the Cowboy’s game plan by stuffing the run and making QB Tony Romo run for his life on more than one occasion. Romo was sacked six times and turned the ball over twice on fumbles and once with an interception. RB Felix Jones was held to 69 yards on 14 carries and Marion Barber gained 14 yards on eight carries. In the 34-3 romp, 40 year old QB Brett Favre threw 4 TD passes including an 11 yarder to backup TE Visanthe Shiancoe with two minutes left to play just to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind as to which was the better team.

New York Jets@ San Diego Chargers                    
Over/Under 42 Result 31 UNDER

With the exception of New York head coach Rex Ryan, there were very few people who thought that the Jets were a better team than San Diego. Well after grinding out a 17-14 upset win over the Chargers, there are a few more believers out there now. This game played right into the hands of the Jets as they were able to use their #1 ranked running game to win the time of possession battle and their #1 ranked defense to thoroughly frustrate Charger’s QB Philip Rivers. Rivers did throw for close to 300 yards but the Jet’s secondary did not give up any deep balls for TD’s, holding most of his completions to short gains. On offense New York stayed with the game plan that got them here, rushing for 169 yards while passing for only 93.

The NFL’s Final Four is now set as we have the top three teams in the league and one party crasher set to square off next week in what should be two really good battles in the Conference Championships.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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