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NFL playoffs odds: Which teams in the divisional round do sharp bettors like?

Frank Schwab
·3 min read
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There hasn’t been a lot of movement in the point spreads for the four NFL divisional round games.

When it comes to this point in the season, oddsmakers can focus in on four games — all of which are going to get a lot of bets — and make sure the lines are not too far off.

As of Thursday, three of the four lines for the games are the same as they were on Sunday evening. The one line that has changed is the Los Angeles Rams going from a 7-point underdog to 6.5. That is due to some sharp bets coming in on the underdog at BetMGM.

Two underdogs getting sharps’ attention

The betting patterns for the divisional round are pretty predictable.

Casual bettors like the favorites in this round. Sharp bettors are leaning toward a pair of underdogs.

“We have four fantastic matchups in the divisional playoffs this year. The public is on the favorites, but sharp bettors are wagering on the Ravens and Rams spreads,” BetMGM VP of trading Jason Scott said.

The Baltimore Ravens’ line against the Buffalo Bills has moved back and forth. It started at Bills -2.5, went to 1.5, then bounced back to 2.5. It seems like there’s a push-and-pull going on between professional bettors and recreational players.

Sharps being on the Rams is interesting because they have been a hard team to predict. Losses to the winless New York Jets and a one-sided loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16 were both less than a month ago. Aaron Donald and Jared Goff will likely play, but we can’t be entirely sure either will be close to 100 percent. Yet, sharp bettors were happy to grab a touchdown and the Rams.

Even though some serious bettors like the Rams, 75 percent of the money on the Rams-Packers game at BetMGM has come in on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. That should continue through kickoff.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) will meet up against the Ravens defense again on Saturday night. (AP Photo/John Munson)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) will meet up against the Ravens defense again on Saturday night. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Saints have taken the biggest bets

The Packers are getting the highest percentage of the money for this round, but the biggest bets BetMGM has taken this week have included the New Orleans Saints.

The finale in the Saints-Bucs trilogy has had a line move from Saints -3 to -3.5 and back to -3. There were two big bets on the Saints at -3. A bettor wagered $250,000 to win $217,390 on the Saints -3. Another $250,000 bet was a parlay with the Saints -3 and the Bills -2 that would pay $630,000.

In the wild-card round of the playoffs, the underdogs covered in four of six games. The divisional round has typically been better for favorites, though going from two byes in each conference to one with the expanded field could change that math.

The public is counting on a big weekend from favorites. The sharps have found a couple underdogs they like.

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