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We had a decent Divisional Round weekend with our NFL Game Bets. Saturday saw us assess the possibility of at least one of the #1 seeds struggling (10-14-2 ATS since 2010). The issue is we got the game in which it occurred incorrect. But then Sunday came and we got both of those outcomes correct to even out our record to 5-5 in the playoffs.
Sunday 1/28/24 UPDATE: On Thursday I gave out my initial leans. Today, I’ve locked in my two primary bets. We’re dialing up Ravens -4 (I’ve seen it drop to -3.5 in some books) and Lions +7.5.
My concerns with Baltimore were circled around their recent trend of having offensive struggles in playoff games. And that did rear its head early in the Divisional Round, as Baltimore went into halftime tied at 10 with Houston. But something happened in the second half. The Ravens put the ball in Lamar Jackson’s hands on the first drive which resulted in two scripted QB runs and four pass plays to get the ball in the endzone. On the ensuing drive, they once again trusted Jackson in making the right plays and drove the ball 93 yards to take a 14-point lead. Game, set and match.
And now that weight of winning a playoff game and reaching the conference finals for the first time in 10 years, is totally off their shoulders. Which I believe is a huge factor in handicapping this game. Baltimore will now play at home for the 4th game in a row, which means they haven’t traveled since Christmas Day when they beat the 49ers in San Francisco.
But there’s a giant on the opposing sideline this weekend. And that’s the reigning Super Bowl Champions in the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is almost unbeatable as an underdog. In his career he is 9-1-1 ATS as an underdog and 9-0-1 ATS as an underdog on the road. This is undeniably a proverbial behemoth that hardly loses. And when they do, it’s not without a fight.
However, here are the trends that I’m weighing heavily. Teams playing a 4th consecutive home game, entering a Conference Championship, are 7-1 SU. Additionally, HC John Harbaugh is 9-3 ATS in the playoffs since 2012. His counterpart, Andy Reid, is 0-2 SU on the road in Conference Championships.
In the end, Kansas City’s struggles this year have been on offense. And they are now facing their biggest challenge in the Ravens who allow the least points per game in the NFL. The Ravens also create significant pressure, leading the NFL in sacks. The Ravens are not going to allow Travis Kelce to beat them. Someone in the Chiefs WR room will have to step up. And that’s where my confidence in the Chiefs stops. Also factor in the we’ve seen 64% of the tickets and 73% of the money pour in on KC. Yet, in some books, the line has moved up to Baltimore -4. That’s a clear signal that Vegas has a beat on this game.
JUSTICE HILL over 2.5 rec (+150): The Ravens don’t throw a lot in general. And that’s even more true in terms of throws to their RB’s. But one area in which the Chiefs will concede is throws to the running backs. Just look at the last 4 games and how teams RB’s fared:
So you see a trend here. As discussed on last nights’ NFL Draftcast, I expect Justice Hill to have a larger role than Gus Edwards. And if that turns out to be the case, Hill should be the recipient of the pass catching opportunities and keep up a trend of lead RB’s getting at least 3 catches versus KC.
A big factor in this bet is the health of San Francisco WR Deebo Samuel. This season, 49ers are 12-1 SU and 10-3 ATS when Deebo plays and finishes a game. They are 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS when he doesn’t. Brock Purdy looks more like the last pick in the draft when missing his go-to WR. And although Detroit’s secondary is suspect, without Samuel they can cover that up with creative blitz packages.
Then there’s this idea of how Jared Goff struggles against the blitz. In reality, he’s rather efficient as he led the league in passing yards when facing a blitz. He also threw the second most TD’s, 13, trailing only Jordan Love. When he faces teams that sack the QB at a rate of 4% or more, which SF does, he is 7-1 ATS this season. And since we know the Lions offensive line is one of the tops in the league, the only true way to get to a 4% sack rate will be via the blitz. So is sending the house really a strategy that SF is willing to take this weekend? That will be one of the more interesting moves to keep an eye on when the Lions have the ball.
Ultimately, the Lions are good enough to hang with any team in the league. They’ve shown that with road wins in KC, Green Bay and Tampa. And they should have another one under their belt but they ended up losing by one point to Dallas late in the year on the road. Their 6-3 record on the road was 2nd in the NFC behind only SF (7-2). I just think 7 points is too much considering the Lions only lost by more than 7 twice all year (for comparison 49ers lost by more than 7 points twice as well).
So let’s keep an eye on Deebo’s status but my early lean is to ride the blue wave in Detroit and take the 7 points.
DAVID MONTGOMERY over 43.5 yards rushing – Montgomery has gone over this number in all but two of his 16 games played this season (subtracting the game where got hurt vs TB). The Lions pride themselves on being a rushing first team. And we just saw a similar style runner in Aaron Jones go for 108 rushing yards versus this SF defense.
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Dave is a lifelong enthusiast of fantasy sports, actively engaging in football, baseball, basketball, and golf. Hailing from the Philadelphia area, he holds a deep devotion to the Philadelphia Eagles, owning season tickets to support his beloved team. Embracing DFS in 2012, Dave has achieved notable success with several significant takedowns on DraftKings. He has developed a newfound passion for CFB DFS, going by the username @dgloeck.
In 2022, Dave became a valued member of the WinDaily team, contributing video and written content across the platform. Additionally, he shares his betting picks through WinDaily and Tallysite, boasting an impressive record of 42-19 for the MLB 2023 season. Recognized as the Bell Ringer, Dave also lends his voice to the WinDaily Show on Sirius radio, airing on Sundays. On Twitter (@dgloeck), he actively shares his content and passionate insights on a daily basis.
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