The road team won all four games on Wild Card Weekend, but the trend could be reversed in the divisional round of the 2016 NFL playoffs. With all eight postseason teams scheduled to play on Saturday or Sunday, every home team is favored by at least a field goal.
The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos are both favored by a touchdown at home. The New England Patriots are five-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs in the only game that isn’t a rematch from the regular season. The Carolina Panthers are the smallest favorites in the divisional playoffs, even though they won two more games this year than any other NFL team.
New England finished the regular season with one more win than Kansas City, but the Chiefs have been playing much better than the Patriots of late. Including their 30-0 victory over the Houston Texans in the first-round, Kansas City has won 11 straight games. New England has lost four of their last six games, though the team is expected to have Julian Edelman for the first time in two months.
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Washington Redskins by 17 points on Sunday, but it’s no surprise that Aaron Rodgers and Co. are heavy underdogs in Saturday’s game in Arizona. Arizona dominated Green Bay from start to finish just a few weeks ago, winning 38-8. The Cardinals won three more regular-season games than the Packers.
Carolina is giving the visiting Seattle Seahawks just three points on Sunday afternoon, indicating that the contest would be a pick’em on a neutral field. Seattle has won seven of their last eight games and they are the hottest team in the NFC, but they were fortunate to advance beyond the first round. They escaped Minnesota with a 10-9 win because Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining in regulation.
The sportsbooks that list a betting line for the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Broncos have Denver favored by seven points. Pittsburgh beat Denver earlier this season, but the Steelers suffered injuries to their two best players on Wild-Card Weekend. Wide Receiver Antonio Brown was put in concussion protocol, though he’s expected to be ready on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the fourth quarter because of a shoulder injury, and he had trouble throwing the ball more than 10 yards. It’s looking like he’ll play in Denver, but the full extent of his injury remains unknown.
Below are the complete betting lines for all the second-round playoff games, including the point spreads and totals. These are the consensus odds from multiple sportsbooks in Las Vegas, via vegasinsider.com.
Kansas City Chiefs (+5) at New England Patriots, 43.5
Green Bay Packers (+7) at Arizona Cardinals, 50
Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Carolina Panthers, 44
Pittsburgh Steelers (+7) at Denver Broncos, 40.5