NFL Divisional Matchups – Part II
In yesterday’s column I spoke about the obvious teaser, taking the two biggest favorites – Baltimore and Kansas City – and teasing them down to the key number of 3. However, as I mentioned in that article, Vegas is not in the habit of giving the public layups and, more often than not, if the spot seems too good to be true, it usually is. That’s why I wanted to take a look at what the most profitable line-movement has historically been in the playoffs and see whether any of the games on tap for this weekend are perhaps better suited for a straight-bet or teaser play than the two ‘obvious’ ones listed above. Here’s what I found:
Over the past 17 seasons, teams that have seen 0.5 to 1 point added to their spread have gone an impressive 49-27-1 ATS in the playoffs, good for 26% ROI. In fact, looking at the divisional round over the past 3 seasons, teams in this situation has gone 2-0, 2-0, 2-0 for the stone-cold sweep. And although this is using the closing line – which we won’t know until either Saturday or Sunday – only one team is currently sitting on this all-important number: the San Francisco 49ers.
Taking on the upstart Vikings – who just dethroned one of the most high-powered offenses we’ve seen in recent years – the 49ers will have their work cut out for them. With that said, playing at home coming off a bye against a team playing on a short week seems like a good spot to be in, especially considering San Francisco will potentially be getting back two key members of their defense in Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander, opening things up for the rest of the unit, rookie sensation Nick Bosa in particular. And while Kirk Cousins got the ‘can’t win a big game’ monkey off his back last week, I’ll need to see a sample-size bigger than one before considering him a clutch playoff quarterback.
So whether you’re feeling brave enough to follow the ATS trend and ride the Niners -7, or prefer to use them as a replacement for one of the two teams mentioned in yesterday’s teaser (my instinct is to pair them with the Chiefs who had an immediate line-move in their favor as opposed to the Ravens who actually moved the opposite direction initially), the data is there to back up the play.
That’s it for today, bet safe and best of luck out there!
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