NFL Betting: Divisional Weekend Recap

Favorites were very productive for bettors this weekend as all four cashed in, straight up. Those who played the moneylines or shifted the NFL betting odds with teasers to knock down some of the favorites will be pretty happy with the results and those who simply bet the favorites on the spread still went 2-1-1.

Here’s our recap from the Divisional Round games:

Why the Seahawks Advanced: They Fed the Beast

Marshawn Lynch is known as The Beast and on Saturday, the Seahawks fed him plenty. He went into his patented Beast Mode, carrying the ball 28 times for 140 yards and a touchdown.

The Seahawks needed him to have a big game as quarterback Russell Wilson passed for a career-low 103 yards.

Why the Saints Lost: Brees was Sub Par

NFL online betting handicappers didn’t see the typical performance from Saints quarterback Drew Brees that we’re used to seeing. Sure, his end-of-day numbers looked alright but his halftime numbers told the more accurate story: 5-of-12 for 34 yards.

The Saints are built around an explosive offense and a lethal passing game. On Saturday, Brees was ordinary and that cost them.

Why the Patriots Advanced: Physical Running Game

Those who bet on the NFL saw the Patriots pound the Colts into submission on Saturday night thanks to a physical running game. Tom Brady was only 13-of-25 for 198 yards but that didn’t matter as the running game carried the weight. They collected 234 rushing yards and six touchdowns – four by LeGarrette Blount.

A lot of people who make their NFL betting picks have typecast the Patriots as a passing-oriented offense but New England showed that they’re not only capable but happy to run the ball and play ball control on offense.

Why the Colts Lost:  Turnovers

For a second straight week, the Colts were extremely careless with the football and this time, it cost them. NFL football betting handicappers who backed the Colts were hoping that they’d learn their lesson from the previous week but after turning it over four times in their wild card game, they coughed up another four more turnovers in the Divisional Round. The trouble started early as Andrew Luck threw an interception that was returned to the Colts one-yard line on the Colts very first drive. They trailed 14-0 just 7:17 into the game and never recovered.

Why the 49ers Advanced: Efficient Offense

The first time the Panthers faced the 49ers, they limited San Francisco to just three field goals and nine points. This time around, the 49ers offense was more efficient. People giving out NFL betting tips expected that to be the case as the 49ers didn’t have Michael Crabtree for the first meeting and lost tight end Vernon Davis halfway through the game. With both back in the lineup, the 49ers went on three consecutive scoring drives – one to end the first half and their first two to start the second half – which produced 17 points. That proved to be the difference.

Why the Panthers Lost: Couldn’t Finish Drives

Those betting on the NFL saw the Panthers move the ball effectively throughout the game on Sunday and pile up the yards. Cam Newton had 267 yards passing and the Panthers ran for another 93. However, the issue was finishing drives as the Panthers couldn’t punch it in from the one-yard line on two separate drives, and Newton was also intercepted from the 49ers 28-yard line. Carolina left a lot of points on the board on Sunday and that was the difference.

Why the Broncos Advanced: Tremendous Defensive Effort

The Broncos defense was much-maligned over the second half of the season but on Sunday, they played as if they had listened to the criticism and had grown tired of hearing it. They muzzled the Chargers for the first three quarters, shutting them out in the first half and limiting them to just seven points through three quarters. The Chargers finished the day with just 13 first downs, which is just over half the amount they registered (24) when they won in Denver in Week 15.

Why the Chargers Lost: No Running Game to Support Rivers

The Chargers came into this contest riding a five-game winning streak and it’s no coincidence that running back Ryan Mathew’s recent success coincided with the team’s. Over the last five weeks, he averaged 24 carries per game and a 105 yards rushing. On Sunday, he was hampered by a bad ankle and was only able to rush five times for 26 yards.

Without Mathew’s effectiveness, the Chargers couldn’t run the ball (65 yards on 18 carries) and couldn’t keep Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense off the field. The Chargers lost the time of possession battle 35:27-24:33 and that proved to be the main difference in a one-touchdown result.

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