By the time Sunday night comes to an end, we will have gone from 8 teams in the NFL playoffs to just 4. It is the home teams that have been put on the board as favorites for the Divisional Round games, but the Wild Card weekend proved that the road teams cannot be discounted, as all 4 away teams came away with the win last weekend. If that trend hold, we could be in for some major upsets this weekend, so let’s look at the dark horses in the NFL Divisional Round. For our NFL betting lines, click here.
— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) January 15, 2016
Betting on the Kansas City Chiefs (+195)
The Chiefs will head to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Saturday, January 16 at 4:35 PM EST on CBS. It’s never an easy task to knock off the defending champion, but when you are coming in on an 11-game winning streak, your confidence level must be sky high. That is exactly how the Chiefs are coming into this one, and while the Patriots will be back at full strength, they will have a number of guys looking to shake the rust off after injuries. You can bet that the Chiefs will be trying to get out to a fast start to see if they can expose that rust.
Betting on the Seattle Seahawks (+107)
It’s hard to really think of the Seahawks as a dark horse, but they are a Wild Card team that will have to win on the road in order to get to their 3rd straight Super Bowl. They already beat the Vikings on the road, and the next stop will be at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, where they will face the #1 ranked Carolina Panthers on Sunday, January 17 at 1:05 PM EST on FOX. The Seahawks lost to the Panthers earlier in the season, but anyone who saw that games knows that Seattle dominated that one before falling to a late Panthers rally. There is every opportunity that they can close things out this time around.
Betting on the Green Bay Packers (+250)
The Packers will make the trip to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Saturday, January 16 at 8:15 PM EST on NBC. Green Bay took a pretty heavy beating at the hands of the Cardinals in Week 16, but that is not necessarily an indication of how things might go this weekend. The Packers offense came to life in the Wild Card game in Washington, and a similar type of performance this weekend could see the game turn into a shootout. Would you bet against Aaron Rodgers in that type of game?
Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers
The team with the toughest task this weekend has to be the Pittsburgh Steelers. They will travel to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to face the Denver Broncos on Sunday, January 17 at 4:40 PM EST on CBS. Antonio Brown is out with a concussion, and Ben Roethlisberger is going to be severely limited in what he can do with torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder. The defense proved last week against the Bengals that they can shoulder the load, and you can bet they will be going after Peyton Manning in a big way. If they can create turnovers, they could steal a win on the road at very good odds.