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Bodog Sportsbook NFL Football Betting: Divisional Round Preview

NFL Football Betting Lines & Odds: Divisional Playoff Round

The weather’s been pretty nasty across much of the United States, but it’ll be warm and toasty for all four of this weekend’s NFL Divisional Round games. Three of them will take place indoors; the fourth is in San Diego, where the football odds are very much on the side of the home team.

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Saturday: Arizona at New Orleans (4:30 p.m. ET, FOX)

At least we know Arizona’s offense is working at full speed. The Cardinals (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS) dumped 45 points on the Green Bay Packers (+1) in their Wild Card battle, but they still needed one more touchdown in overtime to win 51-45. That last major – a 17-yard fumble return by linebacker Karlos Dansby – was just about the only thing the Arizona defense did right on Sunday.

This Divisional matchup poses similar problems for the defending NFC champs. New Orleans (13-3 SU, 8-8 ATS) has one of the best offenses in the league, led by the golden right arm of quarterback Drew Brees (109.6 passer rating). The Saints, however, aren’t quite as good at defense as Green Bay. That obviously didn’t do the Packers any good last week, but Arizona is still getting sharp action on the NFL betting lines as a 7-point road dog.

Saturday: Baltimore at Indianapolis (8:15 p.m. ET, CBS)

Of the two former undefeated teams, the Colts (14-2 SU, 10-5-1 ATS) are the ones getting more love from bettors in the Divisional Round, showing 68 percent support on the consensus sheets at press time compared to 37 percent for New Orleans. But look again: Indianapolis moved from -7 (-105) at the open to -7 (EVEN), which suggests that the sharp money is on Baltimore (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS).

And why wouldn’t it be after that 33-14 Wild Card win over the New England Patriots (-3.5 at home)? The Ravens steamrolled over New England’s defensive line in that contest, and the Colts ranked No. 29 in the league in run blocking efficiency during the regular season, three spots behind the Patriots.

Sunday: Dallas at Minnesota (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX)

The Cowboys (12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS) are the smallest underdogs on the board at -3 (-130), just barely holding off from dropping down to -2.5. Late-season momentum is in favor of the Dallas defense; the Cowboys have allowed just four touchdowns in their last four games combined, going 4-0 SU and ATS. The Vikings (12-4 SU, 9-6-1 ATS) have allowed at least three passing touchdowns in three of their last five games, going 2-3 SU and ATS.

Part of the reason for Minnesota’s recent ineffective play on defense: the injured right foot of CB Antoine Winfield. He’s played hurt the past four weeks, prompting coach Brad Childress to use Winfield only in nickel packages against the New York Giants. It worked, at least according to the 44-7 final in favor of Minnesota (-9). Childress told reporters Wednesday he planned on at least occasionally putting Winfield in his usual spot on the outside versus the Cowboys. Dallas QB Tony Romo (97.6 passer rating) will be happy to hear that.

Sunday: N.Y. Jets at San Diego (4:40 p.m. ET, CBS)

The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and temperatures around 60 degrees when the Jets (10-7 SU and ATS) fly out West to visit the Chargers (13-3 SU, 8-7-1 ATS). San Diego has won 11 straight games at 7-3-1 ATS, enough to be the biggest favorites on the board this week at -8 (EVEN). That’s down from –9 (+110) at the open as the Jets start to pull in the action following last week’s impressive 24-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5). New York is 6-1 SU and ATS in its last seven games.

The Jets have the combination of defense (best in the league) and rushing (No. 11) that any value-conscious handicapper would appreciate. But they also have a first-year QB in Mark Sanchez (63.0 passer rating) who can either look great, like he did against the Bengals, or as awful as fellow first-year pivots Matthew Stafford (61.0 passer rating) and Josh Freeman (59.9). San Diego QB Philip Rivers was third in the league with a 104.4 rating, but the Chargers rank No. 25 in efficiency against the run.

Maybe Rex Ryan was right when he said the Jets should be favored to win the Super Bowl. Instead, they’re tied with Arizona at the bottom of the futures barrel with a 14-1 price tag. The favored Super Bowl XLIV matchup is Saints-Colts at 11-3; the Saints are 5-4 favorites to take the NFC, and the Colts are nearly even at 11-10 to advance from the AFC.

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