Before the next round of the 2015 NFL playoffs kicks off, I thought we'd have some fun by looking at the spreads for this week's edition of Championship round games. Here are my suggestions when trying to beat the spread. You can find all of today's NFL betting lines and more at the SB Nation odds page via OddsShark. Click here for a complete schedule of this weekend's games.
I finished the regular season with a record of: 104-124-6, which is pretty bad. On the bridge side, however, I'm 6-2 in the playoffs after going a perfect 4-0 last week. I'm heating up when the games matter most.
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 2015
First, some trends: the Packers are 1-8 SU and ATS in their last 9 games as road underdogs. The Seahawks have won eight straight as playoff favorites, while going 5-2-1 ATS. The Seahawks have gone 7-0 SU in their last 7 games (6-0-1 ATS).
History seems to favor the Seahawks. I do as well. This is a game that I fully expect the Seattle to not only win, but dominate. The Packers just aren't the same team on the road that they are in the confines of the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field. While Green Bay looked invincible at home in 2014, they looked very mortal in away games. The Packers finished with a 4-4 record on the road. Green Bay's four road wins came over teams that didn't make the playoffs: the Buccaneers, the Vikings, the Dolphins, and the Bears. Wins over Minnesota and Miami came only by three point margins.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have been dominant at home. They only lost one game in 2014. The Seahawks are scoring an average 26.7 points and only allowing an average of 15.5 in their last nine games. That's an 11.2 margin.
Aaron Rodgers didn't look close to 100% against the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional round last week until late in the game. A full-healthy Rodgers only managed to put up 16 points in Seattle in Week 1. I have a hard time seeing an injured Rodgers doing much better. I like the Seahawks to win and cover here.
Pick: Seahawks -7.5
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7):
Just like I said last week, it's never a very smart idea to bet against the New England Patriots at home. The Patriots are 17-1 SU in their last 18 home games. The one loss came when the Patriots pulled their starters in a meaningless Week 17 game at the end of 2014.
The Colts are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games as road underdogs (4-6 ATS). They went 5-3 on the road in regular season along with beating the Broncos in Denver last week. Tom Brady will be a much tougher test than an injured Peyton Manning.
By comparison, I do think the Colts have a better chance of beating the Patriots than the Packers do beating the Seahawks. I just don't think Indianapolis has what it takes to beat New England. The Patriots stomped the Colts in their house earlier in the season. They did it using a running back no one had ever heard of (Jonas Gray!) and no one has heard from since. They can do it again.
Pick: Patriots -7
Who are you taking?