Oddsmakers aren’t giving the underdogs much of a chance in this weekend’s AFC and NFC Divisional Playoffs. Three of the four games have lines of seven points or more.
Kansas City is a 9.5-point home favorite against Houston, followed by Baltimore, who is laying nine points hosting Tennessee. San Francisco is giving seven points at home against Minnesota.
Going with the favorite might not be the smartest move. Bet Labs had a stat that since 2003, playoff favorites of seven or more points have gone 24-36-1 against the spread.
The only one that doesn’t have a spread of seven or more points is Seattle at Green Bay. The Packers opened as a 3.5-point pick, though the line has since moved to four since it came out on Sunday.
Line Movement in AFC, NFC Divisional Playoffs
When the lines came out on Sunday evening, it was Baltimore, not Kansas City that had the biggest spread. The Ravens began as a 10-point selection over Tennessee. Then the sharps backed the Titans, moving the line down to 9.5.
The Ravens, as the No. 1 seed, hold a historical advantage. A No. 6 team has not defeated a top seed in the AFC or NFC Divisional Playoffs since 2010. The last time a No. 6 came within four points was in 2014, when Baltimore lost to New England, 35-31.
William Hill has the Ravens as the favorites to win the SuperBowl at 9/4. They are led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is the overwhelming pick to win the NFL’s MVP. BetOnline has him at -3000, with Seattle’s Russell Wilson next at +1000.
Kansas City Trends Upward Against Houston
Houston’s come from behind victory over Buffalo in the AFC Wild Card game did little to impress gamblers. This week’s opponent in the AFC Divisional game, Kansas City, opened as a nine-point favorite, but the line has since shifted to 9.5.
The Chiefs, along with San Francisco, are 7/2 at William Hill to win the Super Bowl.
The two teams faced each other in Week 6 of the season, and Houston defeated Kansas City, 31-24. The Chiefs, though, were without several of their star players, including wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
NFC Divisional Games Tighter
The San Francisco 49ers opened as seven-point favorites in the home NFC Divisional game against Minnesota. It has stayed there so far at most sportsbooks, but Fan Duel in New Jersey has seen the line go to 6.5 points.
Most bettors are shying away from the Vikings, after their emotional victory against New Orleans. Defeating a second higher seeded team on the road with a short week to prepare might be too much to ask for of Minnesota. Besides the 49ers have the advantage of not playing last weekend.
The last game is Seattle at Green Bay, and figures to be the closest of the four. The Packers are favored by four at home.