We are down to eight in the NFL post-season as football fans gear up for arguably the most exciting weekend of the year, the divisional round. Wildcard weekend threw up plenty of shocks and it could be worth opposing the favourites again, particularly the Kansas City Chiefs.
Indianapolis Colts to win @ 39/20
No team is playing better than the Colts right now and they proved it last week when brushing aide the Houston Texans on the road. Indianapolis have won 10 of their last 11 matches and everything appears to be coming together with the offense and defence peaking at the right time.
They now head to Arrowhead where plenty of visiting teams have enjoyed play-off success in recent years. The Chiefs have lost their last six home play-off matches and are also 0-4 against the Colts in the post-season.
While the Colts are well balanced, it is all about the offense and Patrick Mahomes for Kansas City. QB Mahomes threw for 50 touchdowns during the regular season, while the Chiefs offense averaged 35.3 points per game.
With Colts quarter-back Andrew Luck more than capable in a shootout, over 56.5 points at 25/28 also appeals.
Cowboys +7 @ 50/51
After an explosive start to the season, many a football fan was ready to hand the LA Rams the Vince Lombardi trophy. However, as the season wore on, so the Rams juggernaut slowed and they lost two of their final four matches to end the regular campaign.
Quarter-back Jared Goff may have already peaked so a lot rests on running-back Todd Gurley and top defensemen Aaron Donald. In contrast, the Cowboys have won eight of nine and quarter-back Dat Prescott put together his best game in a while in the win over Seattle last week.
They also have the No.1 ranked running-back in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott, a tendency to control the clock well and a defence which has improved as the season has gone on.
There hasn’t been more than five points between the teams in the last four meetings and this should be close again.
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots – Under 47.5 points @ 10/11
Hopes are high amongst non-Patriot fans that the Chargers can strike a mighty blow to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s crumbling empire on Sunday after overcoming Baltimore last week. The Bolts have the best away record in the NFL and showed against the Ravens that it is no longer all about Philip Rivers and the offense.
LA’s defence is a force to be reckoned with, keeping Baltimore under 140 passing yards and under 100 rushing yards. They should give Brady a few scares with the Pats offense having looked poor at times, no receiver going for over 1,000 yards during the regular season, while tight-end Rob Gronkowski is having his worst year in his career.
Having said that, it is tough to bet against a New England side unbeaten at home this season and who has won eight straight at Gillette Stadium in the play-offs.
Those brave enough can find the Chargers at 7/4 but the under appeals more to me given the Chargers defence and the fact the last two meetings between the teams have seen less than 38 points scored.