NFL tips: Our 5/1 playoff 4-fold for the Divisional round
After going 3-1 with his Wild Card picks last week, Jack Green give his NFL tips for the second round of the postseason.
Kansas City Chiefs to beat Indianapolis Colts
The Colts eased to an impressive 21-7 victory over the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round, and they’ve now won 10 of their last 11 games dating back to October.
They should keep this one close, but ultimately fall short against a Chiefs team that went 12-4 in the regular season to earn the AFC’s top seed.
Kansas City’s offense averaged 35.3 points per game this season, the most in the NFL, and they lost just one of their eight home games.
Indianapolis lost four times on the road in the regular season and only managed two wins against teams that went on to make the playoffs.
Los Angeles Rams to beat Dallas Cowboys
Home advantage and an extra week of preparation should prove crucial for the Rams this weekend.
Los Angeles won seven of their eight regular-season home games, with the only defeat a 30-23 upset against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15.
Dallas, meanwhile, lost five of eight on the road, with seven of their 10 wins coming on home turf.
Rams coach Sean McVay is one of the NFL’s most creative play callers, and he should win the battle with the Cowboys’ Jason Garrett after planning for this game for the past fortnight.
Los Angeles Chargers to beat New England Patriots
The Chargers travelled to Baltimore and beat the Ravens last week and should cause their second successive upset on the road this Sunday.
Los Angeles have now won eight of nine away games across the regular season and playoffs, with their only defeat coming just across town against the Rams in Week 3. They are unbeaten in eight games outside of California.
The Patriots would usually be a frightening opponent coming off a bye in the playoffs, but they haven’t impressed all season, having finished with an 11-5 record.
New England lost to five teams that didn’t even make the playoffs this season, so all the value is in backing the Chargers, who are simply the better overall team.
New Orleans Saints to beat Philadelphia Eagles
The final game of the round is a rematch of a Week 11 contest, which the Saints won 48-7.
The Eagles are a better team than they were then, especially with quarterback Nick Foles rediscovering the form that led them to last year’s Super Bowl, but it’s still hard to see them beating New Orleans on the road.
The Saints went 6-2 at home in the regular season, with one of those defeats coming in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Panthers in which they rested most of their starters.
Their offense is clearly better than Philadelphia’s, and they’ve also been solid defensively all year, ranking 14th in points allowed per game.
*Odds subject to change.
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