Sports Betting Guide: The Divisional Round Of The NFL Playoffs

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Ahead of Super Bowl, a guide to sports betting on the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

With the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend in the books, the match-ups are now set for the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. This weekend, the eight teams still in the hunt will square off with spots in the AFC and NFC Championship games hanging in the balance.

Now, because of the spread of legal sports betting across the country, there are a variety of simple and easy ways even people with just a passing interest in the NFL can bet on the games.

In fact, there are now legal sportsbooks offering various lines on the NFL playoffs in the following states:

If you’re in Nevada or New Jersey, you can even bet on the NFL playoffs at a variety of online and mobile sports betting operations.

In the first game of the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City on Saturday, Jan. 12.

NFL moneyline bets; Pick a winner

The easiest way to bet on the game is to pick a winner and bet the moneyline. Moneyline bets pay according to a team’s probability of winning. All you have to do is pick the outright winner and accept the odds.

Most legal US sportsbooks will have Kansas City as heavy home favorites here. For example, the moneyline opened on the FanDuel Sportsbook mobile app in NJ at Kansas City -215. That means you’ll need to bet $215 on Kansas City to win $100 plus your bet back.

The second game will see the Dallas Cowboys go up against the Los Angeles Rams in LA on Saturday, Jan. 12. Most legal US sportsbooks will have the Rams as big point spread favorites. In fact, the Rams opened up as -7 point spread favorites on Caesars Casino & Sports in NJ.

Point Spreads: Give or Take?

Point spread bets are relatively straightforward. Just make the correct prediction with the line factored in and you’re a winner. That means if you take the Rams -7, you will win when Los Angeles beats Dallas by eight points or more.

Betting the underdog on a point spread bet is just as simple.

In the third game of the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs the Los Angeles Chargers go up against the New England Patriots at Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday, Jan. 13. DraftKings Sportsbook in NJ had New England open as -4.5 point spread favorites. That means you can take the Chargers at +4.5 and if they win the game outright, or the Patriots win by four points or less, you win.

Heading into the weekend, here’s a look at the point spread lines at DraftKings Sportsbook, PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook in NJ:

GAMESDraftkings SportsbookPlaySugarHouseFanDuel Sportsbook
IND Colts Vs. KC ChiefsKC -5KC -5KC -5
DAL Cowboys Vs. LA RamsLA -7LA -7LA -7.5
LA Chargers Vs. NE PatriotsNE -4.5NE -4.5NE -4
PHI Eagles Vs. NO SaintsNO -8NO -8NO -8

Of course, if you want an even easier way to bet on NFL playoff games, look no further than the over/under lines set by most legal US sportsbooks.

Over/unders and parlays

Sportsbooks will set a line on the total number of points both teams will combine to score in the game and you simply decide if the actual total will be over or under that number. Most sportsbooks will make the odds on over/under bets on either side -110. That means no matter what side you choose, you’ll have to bet $110 to win $100 plus your bet back.

The Philadelphia Eagles will visit the New Orleans Saints in the fourth and final game of the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday, Jan. 13.

Most online and mobile New Jersey sportsbooks, including William Hill and playMGM Sports, will have an over/under line hovering around 50 points on this game. If you think the Saints and Eagles will play a high scoring game and put up more than 50 points total, bet the over. If not, try the under. It really is that easy.

NFL parlays involve combining two or more basic NFL bets on a single card. Most legal US sportsbooks will offer parlay cards that pay much better odds than straight bets. The catch is you have to win all the bets to win the parlay. You can feel free to put together parlays involving the basic NFL bets described above on a single game or multiple games from the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

NFL futures and the Super Bowl

Just like they sound, NFL futures are bets where the outcome will not be determined until sometime in the future. This traditionally means betting on who will win the Super Bowl or the Conference before the season starts. However, most legal sportsbooks will still offer NFL futures on things like who will win the AFC Championship, NFC Championship, and the Super Bowl.

Most sportsbooks will offer some pretty good odds on NFL futures.

In fact, this week, PlaySugarhouse Sportsbook in NJ updated its NFL futures odds to win the AFC or NFC Championship to the following:

  • Chiefs +135
  • Patriots +225
  • Chargers +425
  • Colts +550
  • Saints -106
  • Rams +220
  • Eagles +600
  • Cowboys +800

Plus, 888 Sport in NJ has listed the following NFL futures odds on the eight teams remaining in the NFL playoffs to win the Super Bowl:

  • Chiefs +400
  • Patriots +600
  • Chargers +1000
  • Colts +1200
  • Saints +225
  • Rams +450
  • Eagles +1200
  • Cowboys +1800

Finally, BetStars in NJ has a few different NFL futures lines, including some relatively big odds on underdog teams:

  • Chiefs +400
  • Patriots +600
  • Chargers +1000
  • Colts +1400
  • Saints +225
  • Rams +400
  • Eagles +3500
  • Cowboys +2200

Advanced NFL playoff betting options

Looking to go beyond the basics? Most sportsbooks will also offer advanced alternative betting options on the NFL playoffs.

For example, BetStars has the Saints as -8 point spread favorites over the Eagles. However, it also has the Saints as -5.5 point spread favorites for the first half alone. BetStars will allow you to bet the over/under on the game, plus the over/under on the Saints alone, a line it has set at 29 points.

Look around and you’ll find a variety of these more advanced betting options available at most legal US sportsbooks for every game throughout all this weekend’s NFL Divisional Round playoff action.

Martin Derbyshire

About

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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