The sportsbook has lines up for Saturday’s NFL divisional games, and we look at the teams laying points to give sports betting insight and NFL picks on whether or not the favorites will cover the number.
Green Bay Packers
|Game: Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Location: Lambeau Field
Time: 4:35 p.m. ET
Finishing off the regular season, the Green Bay Packers clown hammered the Chicago Bears on their way to a 13-3 season record and the top seed in the NFC. The contentious fight for the single bye week, a change from previous years, proved to be a successful change in terms of making the full season competitive. The Packers still had to fight for the entitlement of top seed and managed to avoid the NFL Wild Card round altogether. They enter this game after a week of rest and extra preparation.
Spread: Green Bay -7, -110
Betting markets opened the Packers as touchdown favorites, and early bettors are coming with support for the Los Angeles Rams. Los Angeles covered 4-2 in the position of NFL point spread underdog this season. The Packers posted an 8-5 ATS record while laying points.
Despite a slew of NFL injuries to the Rams — namely defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s ribs and whatever happened to poor quarterback John Wolford’s neck — they are still getting support among bettors.
We’d lean with the Packers here. We fully expect that this number will fall to 6½. And that’s if it hasn’t by the time you read this. You should wait until then to grab it. In keeping with what’s currently on the board, we’ll make the pick at a full touchdown.
Saturday NFL Divisional Pick: Green Bay to cover -7
|Game: Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Buffalo Bills (14-3)
Location: Bills Stadium
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Heading to the postseason, the Buffalo Bills stomped the Dolphins in their season finale hard enough to knock Miami out of the Super Bowl Odds playoffs. The sportsbook installed the impressive-looking Bills as touchdown favorites in their Wild Card Round against the Indianapolis Colts. Some bettors took the touchdown with Indianapolis. However, when the point spread dropped to 6½, it was largely Bills’ money hitting the sportsbook.
In the end, the Bills won but failed to cover the number against a Colts team that took them to the wire in a 27-24 finish. Buffalo did cover for a decent chunk of the fourth quarter in the NFL matchup, but gave up a comeback touchdown to the Colts with 6:13 left, leaving them trailing by only three points. That’s the margin on which the game ended, with neither side able to score on their final possession.
Spread: -1½ -110
For an instant, this point spread opened with the Bills laying a field goal (although at even odds). That didn’t last long before early bettors pounced all over the Baltimore Ravens and took that line down through two, and currently at 1½.
Baltimore only played two games this season in which it was the underdog and covered both. The Bills as favorites this season are 7-5 against the number.
Bets on the Ravens seemed as though they might keep up long enough to flip the favorite. But, as the number got closer to a pick, support came back for the Bills. One good reason for this is the loss of Bills’ running back Zack Moss who injured his ankle in last Saturday’s wild-card game.
Even so, we’d lean to the Bills here now that the number is this low. Expect the point spread to climb back up in favor of Buffalo, not barring some kind of new incident, outbreak or other unfortunate midweek NFL news.
Buffalo will be inviting 6,700 fans to attend their game again this week, as they did last Saturday.
Saturday NFL Divisional Pick: Bills to cover -1½