The NFL Divisional Round continues on Sunday with two intriguing matchups as the best teams in the league step up to the tee box.
- Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs (spread: -9.5 | over/under 51.5)
- Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (spread: -4.5 | over/under 45.5)
Additionally, the CFP Championship Game takes place on Monday in New Orleans with LSU currently a 5.5-point favorite over Clemson.
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Texans at Chiefs
This line opened at Chiefs -9 and has been bet up to Chiefs -9.5 with the majority of the bets and action coming in on Kansas City. I think this line could steam up to double-digits by game time on Sunday. This is also the biggest coaching mismatch of the weekend, as Andy Reid has a distinct advantage over Bill O’Brien. Reid coached teams are 36-25-1 ATS when they’ve had more than one week to prepare for a game, which is the case here as the Chiefs are coming off the first-round bye.
Reid is also 7-2 ATS when favored by at least one touchdown and coming off 11 or more days of rest. Meanwhile, O’Brien is 3-8-1 ATS as an underdog of seven points or more. I really like the matchup of the Chiefs high-powered offense, led by reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, against the porous Texans defense ranked 23rd according to DVOA. Even more specifically, speedster Tyreek Hill will have a favorable matchup against slot corner Vernon Hargraves III, who is allowing a 77.5% catch rate.
PICK: Click here for our full prediction
Seahawks at Packers
This line opened at Packers -4 and was bet down slightly to Packers -3.5 before being pushed back up to Packers -4. I can’t see it getting any higher than Packers -4 and wouldn’t be surprised if it went back down to Packers -3.5 by game time on Sunday night, with the majority of the public backing Seattle. Aaron Rodgers has been a surprisingly mediocre quarterback this season, posting just a 7.0 YPA (17th out of 32 qualifiers).
Meanwhile, the Seahawks have a myriad of injuries to overcome on offense, including left tackle Duane Brown (knee), center Justin Britt (ACL), and running backs Chris Carson (hip) and Rashaad Penny (knee) who are all sidelined. Russell Wilson compiled 325 pass yards and 45 rush yards in Sunday’s win over the Eagles despite Seattle scoring just but just 17 points. The trend I really like in this matchup favors the under, as the weather is expected to be chilly on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. The under is 37-27 in Aaron Rodgers’ cold weather starts (under 50 degrees) since 2015.
PICK: Click here four our full prediction
LSU vs. Clemson
The college football seasons reaches it’s climax on Monday night at the Superdome with Clemson playing in its third CFP title game in the last four years, but is a sizeable 5.5-point underdog against LSU. One thing is for certain, the Tigers will win this matchup, but LSU is getting the majority of the action with a record-setting 75% of the bets, according to the Action Network.
Joe Burrow and the LSU offense has been nearly unstoppable this season, especially under duress. Burrow has completed 72% of his passes and has 14 touchdowns with just one interception when facing the blitz. Expect Burrow to see some exotic looks on Monday night from Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Veneables, who has the nation’s top unit according to Football Outsiders. Clemson also has the third-highest sack rate in the nation, which will be the highest sack rate LSU has faced this season.
You can certainly make a case for both sides here, but the number which jumps out at me is the favorite is 0-6 ATS in the last six national championship games, which includes Clemson winning outright twice as an underdog against Alabama. Dabo Swinney and his team will be ready for this game, and the favorites have just seemed to struggle in this spot. I’ll take the points, and don’t forget to sprinkle that money line.
PICK: Clemson +5.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith