The NFL Divisional Playoffs are set. Not a single underdog hit it big during Wild Card Weekend. Will there be any upsets in the NFC Divisional Playoffs when Seattle heads to Atlanta and Green Bay heads to Dallas?
Football handicappers, in particular, are bullish on Green Bay. Close to 70% of football handicappers so far are backing Green Bay and their hot quarterback at +4 on the road against Dallas. There's no indication that the betting is going the other way. See what I'm counting on happening in this week's NFC Divisional Playoff games!
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
When: Saturday, Jan. 14 at 4:35 pm ET
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Betting Odds: Atlanta -4.5, Total 51.5
Analysis: Seattle isn't a bad team. The Seahawks' played well against Detroit in their 26-6 Wild Card win. If you're a Seattle fan, it was nice to see the Seahawks get the rushing attack going. Thomas Rawls ran the ball 27 times for 161 yards and a TD. He rushed the football with authority.
But although TR had a great game, it's hard for me seeing the Seahawks doing much against an improved Atlanta defense on Jan. 14. Atlanta's much-maligned defense gelled in the second half of the regular season. It held Arizona to a total of 19 points. It kept Carolina to only 16. It even held the Saints' number one ranked offense to 13 points for 3 quarters. Atlanta's D gave up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter after the Falcons had the game in hand.
Seattle's defense hasn't played well enough this season to stop Atlanta's offense. The Falcons, behind the arm of QB Matt Ryan, averages 33.8 points per game. Ryan and the Falcons should have no trouble scoring at will against a Seattle D that sorely misses its best player, free safety Earl Thomas.
This game could get out of hand. I think that Seattle loses by at least 10 points in this battle, but don't be shocked if they get pummeled by 20+.
Pick: Atlanta -4.5
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
When: Sunday, Jan. 15 at 4:40 pm ET
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Betting Odds: Dallas -4.5, Total 52
Analysis: Green Bay travels to Dallas with a ton of confidence. Dallas won't be easy to beat, but I'm calling the upset. There are reasons why.
Most importantly, Dallas' pass defense isn't very good. The Cowboys allow over 260 passing yards per game which is a bad sign when you're about to face a red hot Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has been on fire lately. He's thrown 12 touchdowns to 0 interceptions in Green Bay's last three games. He's also thrown for 1,009(!) yards in that same span. What's even more incredible is that Rogers completed over 73% of his passes versus Minnesota in Week 16. He completed over 69% of his passes in Week 17 versus Detroit.
What should really bother Cowboy fans is that Rodgers enters Arlington with a viable rushing attack with Christine Michael leading the charge.
No Jordy Nelson? No problem. Davante Adams caught 8 of 12 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay's win over the Giants. He scored a TD. Randall Cobb scored three TDs while catching five Rodgers' passes for 116 yards.
Dallas's offense is one of the best units in the NFL. Green Bay isn't going to stop the Boys from putting up points. But, although Dallas QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott are great, they're still rookies. I'll take the future hall of fame QB over the rookie QB any day in an NFL Playoff game.
Green Bay looks solid. I'll back the Packers on the moneyline.
Pick: Green Bay moneyline