Round 2 of NFL Playoff betting kicks off Saturday and I’m building off a big opening week, where I was 6-4 (60%) including a 3-1 record with Max Plays.
The new NFL playoff betting format features just two teams off a bye in Round 2. The Chiefs and Packers are well accustomed to this role and as you might expect, the oddsmaker has each of them laying hefty lines this weekend.
Buffalo and New Orleans are the 2-seeds, but the big surprise is that all four road teams this weekend are also coming a road win. Think of it. For that to happen any time prior to 2020-21, it would have taken all four Wild Card road teams to win straight up in the opening round.
Wild Card road teams have been gaining momentum in recent years but they only went 4-0 once since league realignment in 2002. That was in 2015, and three of four winners were road faves. Their record in the Divisional Round was 0-4 straight up, losing by an average of 6.8 points per game (PPG).
- The straight up record for Round 2 NFL playoff road teams off a win is 10-26 (.278).
Pointspreads can do marvelous things, however, and 56% of those road warriors cashed a ticket. Getting a big chunk of points was a different story, however.
- Round 2 playoff road dogs of +7 points or more off road win are 13-6 ATS (68%).
Everyone remembers the latest team to pull such a feat. It was the Tennessee Titans, one year ago in Baltimore when the Titans (+9.5) were fresh off an upset road win in New England. No one saw Tennessee keeping pace with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens that day and this week, the dog of all dogs is none other than the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland doesn’t have one running back like Derrick Henry that can bulldoze a defense. The Browns do rank third overall in rushing yards, though, with 147.1 per game. In case you were wondering, in 2019-20 the Titans were third in rushing with 143.5 yards per game.
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Playoff dogs in the past 10 seasons have dubious 3-10 ATS record after allowing 30 points
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(6) Los Angeles at (1) Green Bay
Saturday, 01/16, 4:35 PM Eastern
Line: Packers -6.5 and O/U 45.5
The Rams improved to 46-23 under Sean McVay, charging into Seattle for a 30-20 victory. They also won in Week 17, 18-7 over Arizona, and this is the fifth time in 2020-21 McVay’s squad has won back-to-back games. Their record in the the third game of each series is 0-4 SU/ATS.
McVay is 3-5 ATS away off a road game, covering both times as a big dog. Overall, he’s done well in this role going 8-7 SU and 9-6 ATS as a dog of any number. The OVER is 10-5 in those games and his offense has put up 30-plus points four of the past six times as a road dog.
- The Rams are 9-1 OVER as a road dog of +3 to +7 points since 2014.
Green Bay is rested off the bye and their only real injury concern is on the offensive line. LT David Bakhtiari tore his ACL a couple weeks ago and Jared Veldheer, signed from Indy’s practice squad, tested positive for Covid. Veldheer is out for at least a week.
- Saturday home teams off a bye are 16-2 SU and 13-5 ATS in Round 2 of NFL playoff betting.
The Packers come into this game on a streak of six consecutive wins. When riding the hot hand, the Packers have played OVER seven straight times since 2016.
- Green Bay’s record off a 4-plus win streak is 24-10 OVER (71%).
Aaron Rodgers is 61-35-4 ATS (64%) in his career at Lambeau Field and 20-11 ATS when hosting non-divisional foes from the NFC. He’s also 10-5 ATS off a bye week, but only 2-2 ATS off a playoff bye.
(5) Baltimore at (2) Buffalo
Saturday, 01/16, 8:15 PM Eastern
Line: Bills -2.5 and O/U 50
Considering the Ravens’ success since John Harbaugh took over in 2008, it’s a little surprising that they’ve played only four home playoff games in that span. Their record in those four is 1-3 ATS. Meanwhile, the Ravens are 11-3 away from M&T Bank including a current streak of seven straight covers since 2011.
When the line is within +/-3 points of Pick em, the Ravens won all three playoff road games, and overall Harbaugh is 28-20 ATS (58%) in these tight matchups. But Baltimore was heavily reliant on their defense during that era. Now, it’s up to Lamar Jackson to get things done.
- QB Jackson rushed for 136 yards in the win over Tennessee. His career road record off a 50-plus rushing yard performance is 13-2 ATS (87%).
The Bills have built a strong foundation under coach Sean McDermott, going 22-11 (.667) at home. They’ve won nine in a row as home chalk, going 7-2 ATS.
- As a home favorite, the Bills scored 32.5 points per game this season (4th).
When Baltimore rushes for 125-plus yards, they are 11-2 ATS on the road. But when the Ravens allow more than 21 points and Jackson rushes for 50-plus yards, they are 2-10 ATS. One of the covers was Week 14 in Cleveland, the other was in 2018. That’s 10 straight losses in-between.
The OVER when Jackson gets going against tough offenses is 7-3-2. Keep an eye on the weather in this one. Buffalo is known for some pretty nasty, windy days in January and the Bills Mafia wouldn’t have it any other way.