Some sanity was restored in wagering last weekend at the NFL Divisional Playoffs, as all four of the favorites won. In addition three of them covered. The only one who didn’t was the New Orleans Saints.

Mark Ingram
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram runs against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game (Image: AP)

The sportsbooks cleaned up on the four divisional games. The public had action on the underdogs, thinking they would pull off more upsets, or at least cover.

At William Hill 62 percent of the tickets on the point spread were on the Colts. The Los Angeles Chargers were next at 61 percent, followed by 60 percent on Philadelphia and 56 percent on Dallas.

The underdogs were grabbed at a much higher rate on the moneyline. The Colts and Eagles had 87 percent of the tickets at that sportsbook, with the Cowboys and Chargers at 86 percent.

About the only loss the books took was on the over/under betting, but it was small. In the New England-Los Angeles game 79 percent of the tickets were on the over and that hit. They did make it back on the New Orleans-Philadelphia game, where 75 percent of the tickets were on the over and the under won. The Kansas City-Indianapolis match up had 63 percent of the tickets on the over and that went under. The Los Angeles Rams-Dallas game had 52 percent of the action on the over, which won.

New Orleans Avoids Upset

The Saints, who were an eight-point favorite over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, were fortunate they advanced. The Eagles, led by replacement quarterback Nick Foles, jumped out to a 14-0 lead on New Orleans.

”Listen, they got off to a fast start, they’re a great team,” Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees said. ”Nick Foles has done a phenomenal job for them. We knew it was going to be different than last time.”

The pivotal play for bettors was when New Orleans attempted a 52-yard field goal with 3:03 left in the game, leading 20-14. The kick by placekicker Wil Lutz was wide right and allowed Eagles ticket holders to cover by a point.

Road Not Kind to Dallas, Chargers

Those who were holding Dallas tickets were probably cursing Jason Garrett’s decision to kick a PAT instead of going for two-points after the team scored late in the game. The PAT gave the Cowboys an eight-point deficit, while the line was seven or 7.5. The game ended at 30-22.

Playing away from AT&T Stadium was a rough proposition for Dallas. They were 3-5 on the road during the regular season.

The record Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers had at New England was even worse. He was 0-7 against Tom Brady and Sunday’s 41-28 was one of the worst losses yet. The Patriots easily covered the four-point spread.

Kansas City Shows it’s Real Deal

The game that many thought had upset possibilities was Kansas City hosting the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were one of the hottest teams in the playoffs, and had easily defeated Houston the week before on the road, 21-7.

Winning away from home for the second consecutive week was not going to happen. The Chiefs, who were laying 5.5 points, cruised to a 31-13 victory to advance to the AFC Championship game.

Patrick Mahomes, who answered any questions that he couldn’t handle playoff pressure, said his team is full of confidence.

“We’re such a different team,” Mahomes said. “We have such young players. We have such confidence we’re going to win every single game.”

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