The NFL’s preliminary wild card round was a real doozy last weekend, taking a turn that nobody quite expected. Next up is the divisional playoffs, where those same first-week winners will try their luck on the road against the #1 and #2 conference seeded teams.
The Seattle Seahawks surprised the entire league with a 41-36 victory over the reigning champion New Orleans Saints just one week after becoming the first NFL team in league history to qualify for a playoff berth by leading their division with a losing record. Though they finished just 7-9 in regulation, the Seahawks now have 40/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl (but I don’t recommend it)
Pete Carroll and his team of overachievers will try to take the momentum of their historical wild card win and put it to good use against the Chicago Bears. The Bears finished the season with an 11-5 mark after getting out to a good start in 2010 and never looking back.
Chicago are 10 point favourites, just like the New Orleans Saints were last weekend, but this time the favourites are at home and I expect the Bear to win easily and cover the spread.
Elsewhere in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers will look to try their luck against the first-place Atlanta Falcons. After downing the Philadelphia Eagles in an upset on Sunday, the team will hope that Aaron Rodgers’ recent return to health continues. Has Rodgers completely recovered from the two concussions he faced during the regular season?
Atlanta are slight favourites, not surprising given their 21-4 record SU in the last 25 home games, but this game is too close to call - especially if Green Bay bring their uncompromising defence to town. Atlanta won the regular season game between the two sides here by 20-17, and are giving up a -2.5 point start on the ATS betting line.
This time - it’s the playoffs - and this game is must-watch football !!
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