If you’re fired up about this weekend’s quickly approaching NFC divisional matchups and you’d like to know if both favorites are going to bring home the bacon against their underdog counterparts, then you should know that one NFL betting favorite looks like a near-lock to win while the other faces a tall task in beating their visiting conference rival.
Now, let’s take a look at both NFC divisional matchups.
Betting On Arizona Cardinals at -7 Odds vs Green Bay Packers
When: 8:15 PM ET, Saturday, January 16, 2016
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
There’s no other way to say it NFL betting buffs…the Green Bay Packers are facing an uphill battle in their quest to beat the favored Arizona Cardinals and advance to the NFC title tilt.
First and foremost, Arizona laid a huge 38-8 smackdown on the Packers in Week 16 of the regular season that, to me, signifies just how much better the Cardinals are than the Packers.
I know the Packers have arguably the best quarterback in all of football leading them in the incomparable Aaron Rodgers, but I want to advise NFL gaming enthusiasts to remember that Green Bay finished the regular season ranked just 15th in scoring (23.0 ppg).
Not only will the Packers have a tough time scoring against a Cardinals defense that’s fifth overall and seventh in points allowed (19.6 ppg), but I believe Green bay will also have a tough time slowing down an Arizona offense that ranked inside the top 10 in all four major offensive statistical categories, including second in scoring (30.6 ppg).
Arizona has a plethora of talented skill position players, though none gets as much attention as future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Green Bay has gone 8-3 ATS in their last 11 playoff games and a near-perfect 5-1 ATS in their last six road playoff games, but Arizona is 21-9 ATS in their last 30 games against their NFC counterparts and an encouraging 5-2 ATS in their L/7 playoff games.
While 56 percent of the betting public likes the Packers to cover the touchdown spread, I just don’t see that happening for a Packers team that looked downright borderline incompetent in dropping six of their final nine regular season games!
Betting on the Seattle Seahawks at +2.5 Odds vs. Carolina Panthers
When: 1:05 PM ET, Sunday, January 17, 2016
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
While Carolina’s Cam Newton is a virtual lock to win this year’s league MVP award, it should be known that only six of the last 16 league MVP’s have reached the Super Bowl that season and each one lost. You’d have to go all the way back to 1999 to find a league MVP (Kurt Warner) that led his team to the Super Bowl title that season.
Having said that, let me also say that it’s bad luck that the Panthers are forced to play the two-time defending NFC champion Seahawks in this contest.
Seattle will undoubtedly enter this contest far more focused than they were in their lucky 10-9 win over Minnesota in last weekend’s NFC wild card matchup. Prior to their unimpressive wildcard win over Minnesota, the Seahawks closed out the regular season by winning six of their final seven games, including an emphatic 36-6 blowout win over Arizona in their finale.
I know Carolina has compiled a perfect 4-0 ATS mark in their last four home games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against their NFC counterparts, but I’ve got a funny feeling that the ‘real’ Seahawks are going to show up in this contest as Seattle pulls off the upset win over the favored Panthers.
Seattle finished the regular season ranked fourth in total offense and fifth in scoring (26.4 ppg), while ranking no worse than second across the board defensively, including first in points allowed (17.3 ppg).
I realize Carolina ranked first in scoring (31.2 ppg) in the regular season and sixth in points allowed (19.2 ppg), but I believe this is matchup of evenly matched teams is going to come down to the wire – and that’s where Seattle’s experience will lift them to victory.
Seattle is 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight road games against a team with a winning home record and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall.
64 percent of the betting public likes Carolina to get the job done, up from 59 percent earlier in the week, but I’m going the other way with my pick on this highly-anticipated NFC divisional showdown.