NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

NFL Football: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Kansas City at Indianapolis

Second season kicks off at 4:35 EST on Saturday when Indianapolis Colts (11-5, 10-6 ATS) host Kansas City Chiefs (11-5, 9-7 ATS) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts coming into the contest clicking on all cylinder have won three straight games (3-0 ATS) racking up a combined 78 points while allowing a miniscule 20 total points. The three game streak included a 23-7 Week 16 road victory at Kansas City as a 7 ½-point underdog. The Chiefs limp into post season losing two straight and five of their last seven a span that has seen the 'D' surrender 27.7 points/game. Key betting trends: Colts 5-3 ATS on home field this season have a 7-1 ATS stretch vs an AFC foe and enter 7-2 ATS L2Y's as chalk of 3.5 or less. Chiefs 7-1 ATS on the road are 1-4 ATS last five taking 3.5 or less, 2-6 ATS last eight against a team with a winning record. Playoff Notes: Indianapolis has dropped 3 of it's last 4 Wild-Card games (1-3 ATS), the most recent coming last season at Baltimore with the lone victory in 2006-07 when Colts toppled Chiefs 23-8 as 7 point favorite. Chiefs losing the last two post season games are 0-7 both SU/ATS in the last seven playoff appearances.

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia

A lot is being made of the fact New Orleans Saints have been poor bets on the road this season posting a 1-7 ATS mark and are on an 0-3 ATS skid in playoff road games since QB Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton joined forces. But, NFL sports bettors doing their research will know Eagles have their own set of negative betting number to overcome. Eagles have been inept at cashing tickets on home turf the past two seasons going 3-12-1 against-the-spread including 2-9-1 ATS facing a team with a winning record. Eagles are also 1-3 ATS last four Wild Card appearances.

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Re: NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

Wild Card Round

Chiefs (11-5) @ Colts (11-5) —
Chiefs won 23-13 (-4.5) at Buffalo in Week 9 in only game this season on artificial turf, when they were outgained 470-210 but scored two defensive TDs to turn tide in game they had no right winning; after starting season 9-0, Chiefs went 2-5 down stretch, losing to Broncos/Chargers twice each. Colts coasted to title in weak division; they beat Denver/Seattle at home, won at Candlestick but also lost 38-8 at home to Rams- go figure. Indy was +10 in turnovers in its last five games; they got bounced from playoffs in this round LY, while Reid/Chiefs combined to go 6-26- now Reid is Coach of Year in KC. Chiefs rested 20 starters last week and still almost KO’d Chargers from playoffs, week after Indy waxed Chiefs 23-7, holding KC to 132 passing yards with +4 turnover ratio (Chiefs were +22 in other 15 games). AFC #4 seed covered five of last seven when favored in this game. Five of last six Chief games, five of last seven Indy home games went over total. Curious to see if sitting 20 starters last week gives Chief players fresher legs.

Saints (11-5) @ Eagles (10-6) — New Orleans has never won a road playoff game (0-5) in franchise history; this year on road, Saints are 3-5 SU, 1-7 ATS, losing four of last five, with losses to also-ran Rams/Jets. NO scored 17 or less points in last four away games, while they averaged 34 ppg in Superdome; they do have edge at QB, with Super Bowl-winner Brees vs first-year starter Foles, who played college ball in desert (Arizona), but has had great year under rookie NFL coach Kelly. Eagles had long home losing streak until they beat Redskins in Week 11; now they’ve won four home games in row, scoring 64 points in second half of last two games at Linc. Philly led NFL in rushing yards which is big in night game in frigid condition; Saints are #19 in rush defense. Iggles were -2 in turnovers during 3-5 start to season; they were +13 during 7-1 run to division title. Saints have to play significantly better here than they have on road all year in order to advance. NFC #4 seed beat #5 seed in this game four of last five years. Six of last seven Saint games stayed under total; the of last four Philly games went over.


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Re: NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

Colts-Chiefs, Part II
By Sportsbook.ag

AFC Wild Card Playoffs

Matchup: Kansas City (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS) at Indianapolis (11-5 SU, 9-6-1 ATS)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Indianapolis -2.5, 46.5

The NFL playoffs get underway Saturday afternoon when the red-hot Colts look for a fourth straight victory (SU and ATS) when they meet the slumping Chiefs for the second time in three weeks.

Since starting the year 9-0 with 12.3 PPG and 327 YPG allowed, Kansas City is 2-5 SU in its past seven games with 27.7 PPG and 420 YPG allowed. On the flip side, Indy’s defense has held opponents to 6.7 PPG and 292 YPG during its three-game win streak, which included a 23-7 romp at K.C. in Week 16, thanks to 110 total yards and two touchdowns from RB Donald Brown. That improved the Colts to 12-2 SU (11-3 ATS) in this series since 1990, which includes a 3-0 playoff mark (SU and ATS).

That is part of the Chiefs' dismal 1-9 ATS mark in playoff games since 1992, but they have been an outstanding road team all season at 7-1 ATS (6-2 SU) where they have outscored host teams by nearly two touchdowns (30.6 PPG to 17.9 PPG).

Indianapolis is a solid 6-2 SU (5-3 ATS) at Lucas Oil Stadium, despite being outgained 366 YPG to 344 YPG by these eight visitors. But in the past two seasons, the Colts are 9-0 ATS at home when the total is at least 45.5 points.

Neither team is dealing with major injuries heading into the postseason with Kansas City OLB Tamba Hali (knee) and WR Dwayne Bowe (concussion) both upgraded to probable. Indianapolis has some concerns on both of its lines, but DE Cory Redding (shoulder), DT Ricky Jean-Francois (foot) and guards Mike McGlynn (elbow) and Joe Reitz (head) all could play on Saturday.

The Chiefs generated 26.9 PPG this season (T-6th in NFL), but the only game in which they did not score at least 17 points was the 23-7 loss to the Colts two weeks ago. In that contest, they rushed the ball very well (155 yards on 7.8 YPC), but QB Alex Smith threw for just 153 yards on 28 attempts (5.5 YPA) with 0 TD, 1 INT and absorbed five sacks. For the season, the K.C. ground game rushed for a strong 129 YPG (10th in NFL) on 4.7 YPC (5th in league), but the air attack managed just 209 passing YPG (T-24th in NFL) on 6.5 yards per pass attempt (27th in league).

Smith finished the season with solid numbers of 3,313 passing yards (6.5 YPA), 23 TD, 7 INT, and he has been outstanding in both his career playoff starts. In these two contests (both in 2011 with the 49ers) Smith threw for 495 yards (7.3 YPA), 5 TD and 0 INT. But he has never fared too well indoors, going 6-6 with a 59.8% completion rate, 6.2 YPA, 8 TD and 12 INT in ideal conditions.

Smith's best offense has been to get the ball in the hands of RB Jamaal Charles, who racked up 1,980 total yards of offense (132 YPG) this season with 19 touchdowns. In the loss to the Colts in Week 16, he ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries (8.2 YPC) and caught five passes for 38 more yards. His numbers in four career indoor games are excellent too, where he has rushed 53 times for 424 yards (8.0 YPC) and two touchdowns. In his last indoor game at New Orleans in 2012, Charles finished with 233 rushing yards (7.1 YPC) and 55 receiving yards.

In addition to Charles, the Chiefs have three capable wide receivers with more than 500 yards this season in Dwayne Bowe (673 rec. yards, 5 TD), Donnie Avery (596 rec. yards, 2 TD) and Dexter McCluster (511 rec. yards, 2 TD).

Kansas City's defense started out the year so well thanks to 35 sacks in the first seven games of the season. But injuries to both top pass-rushing OLBs Justin Houston and Tamba Hali were a big reason the club managed just 12 sacks over the final nine contests of 2013. The Chiefs gave up a ton of yards (368 total YPG, 24th in NFL), both through the air (248 YPG, T-25th in league) and on the ground (120 YPG, 22nd in NFL), but still finished the season tied for fifth in the NFL in scoring defense (19.1 PPG). This was due to a stellar third-down defense (34%, 5th in league) and a strong red-zone defense (51% TD rate, 10th in NFL).

Kansas City's defense also did a great job in making big plays, forcing 36 turnovers this year, including 24 in its eight road games. However, it will be tough take the football away from the great ball-protecting Colts.

Indianapolis committed just 14 turnovers all season, with only three giveaways in the past seven games combined. But despite this lack of mistakes, the team has been average on offense with 342 total YPG (15th in NFL), 24.4 PPG (T-14th in league), 38% third-down conversions (15th in NFL) and a 56% TD rate in the red zone (14th in league).

QB Andrew Luck cut his interception total in half from his rookie year when he threw 18 picks, finishing the season with a 60.2% completion rate for 3,822 yards (6.7 YPA), 23 TD and 9 INT. Although he struggled in his postseason debut last year in Baltimore (28-of-54, 288 yards, 5.3 YPA, 0 TD, 1 INT), Luck was on target against the Chiefs in Week 16, completing 26-of-37 passes (70.3%) for 241 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT.

Although he misses injured WR Reggie Wayne, Luck has relied mostly on fellow second-year pros WR T.Y. Hilton (1,083 rec. yards, 5 TD) and TE Coby Fleener (608 rec. yards, 4 TD) when he drops back. However, it was rookie WR Griff Whalen who did the most damage against K.C. two weeks ago with seven catches for 80 yards.

The offense isn't all based on Luck though, as the Colts have rushed the football effectively this year too with 109 YPG on 4.3 YPC (13th in NFL), including 122 rushing YPG in the past three games. RB Donald Brown (537 rush yards, 6 TD) ran for 79 yards on just 10 carries against the Chiefs, which included a 51-yard TD scamper. His 5.3 YPC average ranks third in the NFL this season, and he has been a welcomed change of pace from disappointing RB Trent Richardson. The No. 3 overall draft pick in 2012 rushed for only 458 yards on 2.9 YPC with 3 TD in his 14 games with Indianapolis this year, and gained just 43 yards on 16 carries (2.7 YPC) versus the Chiefs two weeks ago.

The Colts defense has been erratic all season, allowing 33+ points four times, but holding five opponents (including each of the past three) to 10 points or less. The +7 turnover rate over the past three contests has been a key to the win streak, but a poor run defense has to be concerned with Jamaal Charles. For the season, Indy ranks 26th in the NFL in rushing defense (125 YPG) and 25th with 4.5 YPC allowed. The squad is also subpar in the red zone, allowing a hefty 59% TD rate (20th in NFL).


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Re: NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

Saints look for road upset
By Sportsbook.ag

NFC Wild Card Playoffs

Matchup: New Orleans (11-5 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) at Philadelphia (10-6 SU, 8-8 ATS)
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Philadelphia -2.5, 53.5

The Saints try to end a three-game road losing skid when they visit the surging Eagles in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs on Saturday night.

New Orleans is 1-7 ATS with a mere 17.7 PPG on the road this season, while Philadelphia has compiled 34.0 PPG during four straight home wins (3-1 ATS). But the only time these teams met in Philadelphia in the past 10 years was a 48-22 romp by the Saints in 2009, which got 311 passing yards and 3 TD from Drew Brees.

The Eagles have a red-hot quarterback (who also went to the same high school as Brees) in Nick Foles, who finished the season with the NFL’s best passer rating (119.2), throwing 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions. While this game marks Foles' playoff debut, Brees is 5-4 in his playoff career, but is 0-3 in true road games despite strong numbers in the three defeats (1,220 pass yards, 7.1 YPA, 8 TD, 3 INT). He has helped New Orleans go 15-5 ATS (75%) versus poor defenses (350+ YPG) since 2011, but Philadelphia is 23-8 ATS (74%) versus excellent offenses (6+ yards per play) in the second half of the season since 1992.

Both teams are relatively injury-free on the offensive side of the ball, but key players are missing from both secondaries with Saints S Kenny Vaccaro (ankle) on IR and Eagles safeties Earl Wolff and Colt Anderson both questionable with knee injuries.

The Saints finished the regular season fourth in the NFL in total offense (399 YPG) and second in passing offense (307 YPG), while ranking 10th in scoring at 25.9 PPG. But on the road, those numbers dipped to 356 total YPG, 275 passing YPG, with the team failing to surpass 17 points in each of the past four away contests (13.3 PPG). New Orleans hasn't been able to run the ball effectively anywhere this season with 92 rushing YPG (25th in NFL) on 3.8 YPC (26th in league) overall, and 81 rushing YPG on 3.6 YPC on the road.

QB Drew Brees eclipsed the 5,000-yard passing mark for the third straight season, finishing with 5,162 yards (7.9 YPA), 39 TD and only 12 INT. With the game-time temperature expected to be in the low-30's, that doesn't bode well for Brees, who is just 4-9 in his career in 40 degrees or lower, but his numbers in these cold-weather contests have still been strong (289 passing YPG, 7.3 YPA, 23 TD, 10 INT). This season he has relied mostly on four receivers that each has more than 70 receptions this season in TE Jimmy Graham (1,215 rec. yards, 16 TD), WR Marques Colston (943 rec. yards, 5 TD), RB Darren Sproles (604 rec. yards, 2 TD) and RB Pierre Thomas (513 rec. yards, 3 TD).

Thomas leads the team in rushing with 549 yards, but averages only 3.7 YPC. RB Mark Ingram has been the most effective rusher at 5.0 YPC on his 78 carries, and he had a huge effort in the team's last road game in Week 16, rushing for 83 yards on 13 carries (6.4 YPC) against a stout Panthers run defense.

The Saints defense has improved leaps and bounds from last season when they allowed 28.4 PPG and a league-worst 440 total YPG. This season under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, those numbers have been trimmed to 19.0 PPG and 306 total YPG, which both rank fourth in league. The unit has been on the field for a league-low 27:19, thanks to the fewest first downs allowed in the NFL (17.1 per game) and a strong third-down defense (35%, 9th in league) helped out by 49 sacks (4th in NFL).

But after compiling an impressive 15 takeaways in the first seven games of the season, the defense has generated only four turnovers in the final nine contests combined. New Orleans has excelled in defending the pass (194 YPG, 2nd in league), but gives up 4.6 yards per carry (28th in league), which poses a major problem going up against the best rushing offense in the NFL.

Philadelphia averages 160 rushing YPG on 5.1 YPC, both tops in the league. RB LeSean McCoy has taken 62% of the carries, rushing 314 times for an NFL-high 1,607 yards (5.1 YPC) and nine touchdowns. The cold weather shouldn't affect his performance either, considering in the team's lone game this year with the temperature below 40 in Week 14, McCoy rushed for 217 yards on 29 carries (7.5 YPC) and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a snowstorm.

He has also helped out the passing game greatly with 52 catches for 539 yards and two more scores. The Eagles lead the NFL in passing yards per attempt (8.7 YPA) and place ninth in passing yards (257 YPG). QB Nick Foles, who attended the same Westlake High School in Austin, TX as Brees, was 8-2 as a starter this season, finishing the year with 2,891 passing yards (9.1 YPA) on a 64.0% completion rate. During the four-game home win streak, he completed 65.4% of his throws for 944 yards (8.8 YPA), 6 TD and 1 INT.

Foles has done a nice job spreading the passes around, as six different Eagles have gained at least 440 receiving yards this season, led by WRs DeSean Jackson (1,332 rec. yards, 9 TD) and Riley Cooper (835 rec. yards, 8 TD). TEs Brent Celek and Zach Ertz have combined for 971 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

While the offense has generated 417 total YPG (2nd in NFL) and 27.6 PPG (4th in league), the defense has been deficient in a number of areas. The unit allows the most passing yards in the NFL at 290 YPG, ranks fourth-worst in total yardage allowed (394 YPG), and its poor third-down defense (40%, 24th in league) has led to being on the field for 33:35, which is the longest of any NFL team. On the bright side, Philadelphia has stuffed the run effectively all season with 3.8 YPC allowed (4th in league) and has done an outstanding job of creating turnovers this season. The Eagles have 31 takeaways this season, forcing at least two turnovers in 11 of their 16 games this year.


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Re: NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

Chiefs at Colts: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (Pick'em, 46)

Andrew Luck and Indianapolis Colts closed the season with three consecutive lopsided victories, including a 23-7 romp in Kansas City, and now have the luxury of home-field advantage when they host the Chiefs on Saturday in the AFC wild-card round. The Colts allowed a staggering 82 points in road losses to Arizona and Cincinnati before sinking the Chiefs, part of a three-game run that has seen them outscore the opposition 78-20. Indianapolis has dominated the series, winning five of the last six.

Unlike the Colts, Kansas City wobbled down the stretch, losing five of its last seven games after opening the season with nine straight wins and leading the league in points allowed. The Chiefs, seeking their first postseason victory since Joe Montana was under center in 1994, committed an uncharacteristic four turnovers in the loss to the Colts on Dec. 22. "They've got the upper hand on us right now because in their minds they think they can beat us," Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson said after last month's loss.

LINE: The Colts opened at -2.5, but have been bet all the way to a pick'em. The total has moved down slightly from 46.5 to 46.

ABOUT THE CHIEFS (11-5, 9-7 ATS): There remains uncertainty whether leading wide receiver Dwayne Bowe will be cleared to play after suffering a concussion, but that won't alter the game plan for quarterback Alex Smith and Kansas City. The Chiefs will feature a heavy dose of running back Jamaal Charles, who led the AFC with 1,287 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while hauling in a team-high 70 receptions and seven scoring passes. "We called him public enemy No. 1," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "If he doesn't touch the ball 30 times, I'd be shocked." After resting most of the starters in last week's loss at San Diego, the Chiefs are expecting the return of linebacker Justin Houston, who tied for the team sack lead (11) with Tamba Hali despite missing the last five games with a dislocated elbow.

ABOUT THE COLTS (11-5, 10-6 ATS): Indianapolis' offense went sideways when Luck lost his favorite target, Reggie Wayne, to a season-ending knee injury in Week 7. After a stretch of uneven performances, Luck has established a chemistry with young wideouts T.Y. Hilton, Griff Whalen and Da'Rick Rogers, throwing for eight touchdowns and one interception over the final four weeks. Hilton has emerged as a go-to receiver in his second season, hauling in 24 passes during the three-game win streak to finish with 82 on the season. Donald Brown has helped ease the sting of the trade for running back Trent Richardson by averaging 5.3 yards per carry and scoring six rushing TDs - two against the Chiefs. Robert Mathis, who had a league-high 19.5 sacks, heads a defense that yielded two TDs in the final three games

TRENDS:

* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Indianapolis.
* Chiefs are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
* Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Smith had 11 TD passes versus one interception on the road as the Chiefs tied Miami (2008) and Indianapolis (2012) for the most wins by a team with two or fewer victories the previous season.

2. Luck's 13 home wins in his first two seasons ties him with Atlanta's Matt Ryan for the second most in the Super Bowl era.

3. Kansas City has averaged only 9.4 points in its last five losses to Indianapolis.

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Re: NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

Saints at Eagles: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5, 53.5)

The New Orleans Saints have dominated opponents at home this season, but the road has been a different story for Drew Brees and company. The sixth-seeded Saints take aim at the first road playoff win in franchise history Saturday night when they visit the third-seeded Philadelphia Eagles, who enter this matchup as one of the hottest teams in the postseason. There likely will be no shortage of points, as the Eagles (second) and Saints (fourth) are among the league leaders in total offense while featuring some of the NFL's top skill-position players - Brees and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, and the Eagles' duo of quarterback Nick Foles and running back LeSean McCoy, just to name a few.

New Orleans had lost three of four before routing Tampa Bay 42-17 last week - a win that improved the Saints to 8-0 at home compared to their 3-5 record on the road. The Eagles, meanwhile, had lost 10 straight home games before winning their final four contests at Lincoln Financial Field, but first-year coach Chip Kelly knows that while the Saints present a much tougher challenge, the focus remains the same. "You can't be like, ‘Oh my God, now we are in the playoffs and we've got to do this,'" said Kelly. "I think that's really not our mindset. It's, we have got a really, really good Saints team coming in here and we have to prepare the heck out of our guys and play a big game on Saturday night."

LINE: The Eagles have held steady as 2.5-point faves. The total opened at 54.5 and has moved down to 53.5.

WEATHER: It should be clear with temperatures in the mid 20s.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (11-5, 8-8 ATS): Brees, who was second in the NFL in passing yards (5,162) and touchdowns (39), believes that New Orleans is capable of winning three straight on the road in the playoffs after losing its final three road games of the regular season. "Absolutely," Brees said after the win against Tampa Bay. "We are good enough to do whatever we set out to do. I think today was a great step in the right direction to get ready for this playoff run." The Saints' defense is much improved from years past, as they allowed the second-fewest passing yards in the league (194.1) and surrendered 20 points or fewer 12 times, although they were the only NFL team without a defensive touchdown in 2013.

ABOUT THE EAGLES (10-6, 8-8 ATS): Philadelphia rebounded from a 3-5 start to win seven of its last eight games, thanks in large part to the steady play of Foles (27 TDs, two INTs, NFL-best 119.2 passer rating) and McCoy, who led the league with a franchise-record 1,607 rushing yards. Kelly's offense had 98 plays of at least 20 yards this season - the most since the Elias Sports Bureau began tracking the stat in 1995 - with DeSean Jackson (career highs of 82 catches for 1,332 yards) leading the way through the air. The NFC East champions must find some way to slow Graham, who paced the NFL with 16 touchdown catches, particularly given their history of struggling with opposing tight ends, including the Cowboys' Jason Witten (12 catches, 135 yards last week).

TRENDS:

* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Saints are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games.
* Eagles are 1-5 ATS in their last six games in January.
* Under is 6-0-1 in Eagles last seven playoff home games.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Only one team in the NFL (Seattle) created more turnovers than Philadelphia this season. The Eagles forced 31 turnovers - 19 interceptions and 12 fumbles - including three turnovers in their season-ending, do-or-die win at Dallas.

2. The game-time temperature could be in the 20's, but Saints running back Pierre Thomas isn't concerned. “I’m not worried about the cold,” said Thomas, who led the team with 549 rushing yards. “Actually, out there playing, I’m sweating so much my body’s overheating, I kind of need that cool air to cool me down.”

3. Since the NFL expanded to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, a No. 6 seed has made it to the Super Bowl only twice - the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 2010 Green Bay Packers, both of whom won it all.

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Re: NFL Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, January 4

Saturday Wild Card Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Chiefs at Colts (PK, 46)

Kansas City: 11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS
Indianapolis: 11-5 SU, 10-6 ATS

The Colts have qualified for the playoffs in each of Andrew Luck's first two seasons at quarterback, but this time Indianapolis won the AFC South. Now, Indianapolis needs to pull off the trick of beating Kansas City for the second time in a month to advance to the second round for the first time since 2009.

These two teams met up at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 16, as the Colts cruised past the Chiefs, 23-7. Indianapolis cashed outright as 7½-point underdogs, as the Colts overcame an early Jamaal Charles touchdown run to limit the Chiefs to zero points in the final 56 minutes of regulation. Donald Brown scored a pair of touchdowns for Indianapolis (one rushing, one receiving), while Adam Vinatieri booted three field goals in the victory. Indianapolis dominated time of possession (38:20), while the Chiefs suffered their third home loss in a row.

Kansas City is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, as the Chiefs jumped out of the gate this season to a 9-0 start. Andy Reid's club defeated just one team that qualified for the postseason, beating his former squad in Philadelphia back in September. The Chiefs stumbled to the finish line with a 2-5 record, combining for 101 points in blowouts over the Redskins and Raiders. During the 9-0 stretch, the Chiefs allowed 17 points or less in victory, but gave up at least 27 points in five of the final seven contests.

Indianapolis finished 11-5 for the second straight season, while winning 13 of 16 home contests since the drafting of Luck prior to the 2012 campaign. This season, the Colts won six games at Lucas Oil Stadium, including victories over the top two seeds in the NFL playoffs, beating the Broncos and Seahawks as home underdogs. The Colts' defense stiffened up over the final three games, allowing just 20 points in wins over the Titans, Chiefs, and Jaguars.

From a totals perspective, Indianapolis hit the 'under' in four of the last five contests, including each of the past three home games. However, those three 'unders' came against non-playoff squads Tennessee, Houston, and Jacksonville, all who were playing with back-up quarterbacks. Kansas City started the season at 7-3 to the 'under,' but the 'over' is 5-1 the last six games, including three straight on the highway.

Saints at Eagles (-2½, 53½)

New Orleans: 11-5 SU, 8-8 ATS
Philadelphia: 10-6 SU, 8-8 ATS

The Eagles and Saints both were technically not in the playoffs until winning games in Week 17, as the two teams meet up at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia held off Dallas last Sunday night, 24-22 to pick up its seventh victory in the last eight contests. New Orleans stumbled down the stretch after a 9-2 start, losing three of its final five games, but clinched a Wild Card berth with a 42-17 pounding of Tampa Bay.

Nick Foles stepped up in for Michael Vick at quarterback in Week 9 at Oakland, tossing seven touchdowns passes to keep the job for good. Foles put together a 27-touchdown campaign, while throwing only two interceptions and posting an 8-1 record as the starting quarterback of the Eagles. Philadelphia began the season losing each of its first four games at Lincoln Financial Field, but the Eagles ended up winning each of their final four home contests.

The Saints put together an 8-0 record at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but struggled on the highway with a 3-5 mark. Among the losses for Sean Payton's team on the highway, the Saints lost to the Jets and Rams, while scoring 17 points or less in each of the last four road contests. Only two of New Orleans' wins this season came against teams currently in the playoffs (San Francisco and Carolina), as the Saints have won just once on the road since mid-October.

The last time the Saints and Eagles met was in 2012, when New Orleans cruised past Philadelphia at the Superdome, 28-13 as 2½-point favorites. Drew Brees tossed a pair of touchdowns, while the Saints led 21-3 at halftime. Since 1994, the Saints have played in Philadelphia only twice, with New Orleans claiming the most recent visit in the Super Bowl winning season of 2009 by blasting the Eagles, 48-22.

New Orleans has hit the 'under' in six of the past seven games, while allowing 20 points or less five times in this span. The Eagles started the season going 'under' the total in five of their first six home contests, but have hit the 'over' in each of the last two against the Lions and Bears. In 11 games with the total listed at 50 or above, Philadelphia posted a 7-4 mark to the 'over.'

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