NFL Betting Trends for Divisional Round: Packers, Texans, Lions & Chiefs-Bills

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Will the Pack be back? Are the Houston Texans for real? Are the Detroit Lions on a mission? And how much joy will come from another Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs matchup?

Nationwide bettors have much to consider before the NFL Divisional Round.

Here’s our look at NFL betting trends for Divisional Round at the best sports betting apps.

Read more: NFL Divisional Round anytime TD scorer bets | NFL odds | Super Bowl 58 odds

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NFL Betting Trend No. 1: Do Packers Fall to Earth?

The upstart Green Bay Packers invade the San Francisco 49ers as a huge dog after walloping one big favorite last week.

The odds, and the skeptics, say they can’t duplicate the feat.

The Packers had a playoff game for the ages in toppling the Dallas Cowboys, 48-32, at +7.5. Jordan Love had a near-perfect passer rating of 157.2 and completed three back-breaking completions when the game was still competitive. One involved rolling left and picking out third receiver Tucker Kraft for a 10-yard gain deep in his territory on a third-down play.

The line blocked so well for Love all game that the Cowboys were never in it.

Green Bay would have beaten any team in football that day. But now it’s this day and the Packers are a big dog at +9.5 (Best Live Odds: ).

“People are pointing the fingers about Dallas losing, whether it was the coach, or the running back, or the defense, but it was none of that. This simply was a bad day for the Cowboys and an absolutely great day for the Packers,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today.

“All we kept hearing about was the home winning streak, how dominant they were defensively, and so forth. You can say now that a lot of people were drinking the Kool-Aid,” he laughed, “but who really saw this coming?”

Very few, in retrospect. Avello said the result was one of the book’s top-performing games this entire season. The result torched spread bets, moneyline wagers, and multi-legged parlays anchored by the Cowboys.

“The question is now whether the Packers can do it again versus this great 49ers team,” Avello added. “I really don’t expect them to.”

Spread bettors are torn.

At FanDuel, for instance, 59% of the late-week handle rests with San Francisco, but 60% of the bets went on Green Bay. Larger wagers support the Niners, but the volume supports the Pack. Credit the lopsided line for that.

Read more: Packers vs 49ers prediction, odds, and best bets

NFL Betting Trend No. 2: Texans Backers Show Up

The Texans are a fat +9.5 (Best Live Odds: ) against the No. 1 seeded and host Baltimore Ravens at DraftKings.

Initial reaction favored Baltimore, but Houston gained midweek steam with the bettors. The FanDuel splits were 50-50 on the handle, with 68% of the wagers on Houston.

This is interesting because Houston backers normally want to see if the line hits -10 before teeing off. But they didn’t wait this time.

This is a large number of points given a team that just scored 45 points in topping the Cleveland Browns, 45-14, in the playoff opener. Houston thumped the last team to beat the Ravens. That was the Browns in Baltimore back on Nov. 12. Baltimore has since reeled off seven straight victories.

Gamblers see potential stardom in CJ Stroud and his top receiver Nico Collins. To Houston backers, this offsets Lamar Jackson and the more experienced Baltimore team.

Read more: Texans vs Ravens prediction, odds, and best bets

NFL Betting Trend No. 3: Bettors Believe in Lions

The Detroit Lions may be a team of destiny.

FanDuel bettors back them with 75% of the handle and 59% of the bets against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at -6.5 (Best Live Odds: ).

The Lions won their first playoff game in 30 years, turning back a stubborn Los Angeles Rams team 24-23.

They gained a near-miraculous cure from injury by tight end sensation Sam LaPorta, who wasn’t supposed to play. Detroit needed every ounce of his ability to outlast the Los Angeles Rams.

Bettors will target LaPorta, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and David Montgomery for Detroit.

Tampa, which stomped a disoriented Philadelphia Eagles team 32-9, gets a much tougher assignment.

Philadelphia looked like a sandlot team tackling the Bucs, whom they had beaten 25-11 in the same stadium in Week 3. Tampa Bay took what was given and notched an inspired triumph.

But bear in mind this team only had nine points one week earlier against the lowly Carolina Panthers.

The vibe around this game is that Detroit is going to take care of business.

Read more: Lions vs Bucs prediction, odds, and best bets

NFL Betting Trend No. 4: Chiefs vs Bills

The public loves this game. The purists love this game. This is the Ali-Frazier battle of our era.

Public betting of 61% handle and 58% of bets are both on the Bills, who sit at -2.5 (Best Live Odds: ) in a highly-bettable game.

The Bills have won the last two matchups, both in Kansas City. And the last is the one that launched their six-game run to this second-round playoff presence.

You remember the game. Kadarius Toney lining up offside wiped out the picturesque lateral and late score from Travis Kelce. This made the Bills 7-6 instead of dangerous 6-7. They rode the opportunity all the way to this rematch in Buffalo.

Bettors also remember that famous game in 2020, with four lead changes and 25 points in the final two minutes of regulation. The Bills took the lead with 13 seconds left, but Kansas City managed a game-tying field goal and game-winning overtime touchdown.

What was your blood pressure reading that day?

Well, here we go again, this time in Buffalo.

“This game has the makings to be our heaviest bet of the year,” Avello said. “It’s the last game of the night in a perfect time slot of 6:30 p.m. ET and the public loves to bet on these teams.

“Patrick Mahomes has already won Super Bowls and is going to continue to win Super Bowls. Josh Allen is still going for that first one, but this team is always in the running and now they are at home.

“I can’t even tell you where the public is going to end up on this one, but I do know it’s going to get a great write.”

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About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Writer
Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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