- Gary Porpora
NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND - ATS
NFL 2022 – TALLY SHEET
WILDCARD WEEKEND = 3 – 3
WEEKLY OVERALL = 137 – 133 - 7
0/U = 3 – 3 O/U CUMULATIVE 63 – 61 – 1 = .508
SPECIALS 4 – 0 SPECIALS CUMULATIVE 42 – 32 – 1 = .568
GAME OF THE WEEK 10 – 8* LOCK OF THE WEEK 7 – 11 – 1
UPSET SPECIAL 15 – 4 O/U OF THE WEEK 10 - 9
PREMIUM PICKS CUMULATIVE 105 – 93 – 2 .521
Here are some relevant stats and trends for your 2022 Divisional playoff weekend…
Most are courtesy of vsin.com and Steve Makinen. He expertly puts these trends into context with the proviso that stats and/or trends are just tools for bettors. In other words, just because a certain circumstance occurred 55-75% of the time during the last 20 years, it ultimately has no bearing on any given post-season game.
Teams that avg. 29 PPG or more are 35-43 ATS in the playoffs, including 15-18 ATS in the Divisional Round, least profitable round of the playoffs.
When those scoring teams are listed as the favorite, they are 26-35 ATS in the playoffs.
#1 seeds are 25-13 SU but just 13-24-1 ATS (35.1%) dating back to 2004.
With three of this last weekend’s winners topping the 30-point mark, it should be noted that all of the last six teams that scored 31 points or more in their Wild Card wins covered their divisional point spreads
Returning playoff teams from the prior season playing as hosts in the divisional round to teams that weren’t in the playoffs the prior year are just 12-9 SU but 6-15 ATS (28.6%) in their last 21 games when playing as single-digit favorites, including 0-2 SU and ATS last year. Kansas City and Philadelphia will test this trend this weekend.
Failing to reach the 27-point mark has left home teams with an 18-22 SU and 6-32-2 ATS (15.8%) record since ’02 in divisional playoff games. If you consider this year’s four home teams, Kansas City averaged 29.2 PPG, Philadelphia 28.1, Buffalo 28.4, and San Francisco 26.5.
· The turnover has also been a big factor in winning or losing divisional playoff games of late, as teams committing fewer turnovers than their opponent have gone 30-11-1 ATS (73.2%) since ‘08. Not surprisingly, this is the most important in-game statistical factor. However, just this past weekend, Jacksonville was on the short end of a 5-turnover differential but still won its Wild Card game versus the Chargers.
· Teams that scored more points per game during the regular season are 38-18 SU and 32-22-1 ATS (59.3%) over the last 14 divisional playoff seasons, including 19-8-1 ATS (70.4%) over the last seven seasons. Kansas City, Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Dallas own the edges in this category for 2023.
· The offensive yards per play statistic also reflects a good level of success, as teams with an edge in that offensive category are 33-23 SU and 32-23-1 ATS (58.2%) over the last 14 years, including 7-1 SU and ATS the last two seasons. Kansas City, Philadelphia, Buffalo, and San Francisco all ranked in the top six in the league in both categories and own the edges for 2023.
· Completely disregard the offensive turnovers statistic since teams that turned the ball over fewer times in the regular season than their opponents are only 25-32 SU and 24-32-1 ATS (42.9%) since ’08 in divisional playoff games.
Let’s get into this week’s matchups…
NFL DIVISIONAL WEEKEND GAMES – ATS
LOCK OF THE WEEK
Jacksonville Jaguars (+9) @ Kansas City Chiefs 53 [U] LW
The punditocracy is making big hay out of the professional connection between Jax Head Coach, Doug Pederson and Chiefs Chief, Andy Reid,
Pederson both played for and coached with the Reid who has been to two Super Bowls, winning one.
Pederson won a Lombardi when he took the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2018.
I think Reid has the big edge in this coaching confluence…The Chiefs staff can look at tape and see almost exactly what Pederson has gleaned from his former boss and how he has applied those lessons. For example, when the Jags make it to the Red Zone, we can almost guarantee the KC defense will be looking for a “trick” play, like the Philly Special. How has J’Ville altered their route trees, their O-Line blocking? The Jags 3rd down tendencies should be easier to discern given that Andy Reid wrote most of the playbook—or should they?
Don’t put it past Pederson to turn all those strategic aspects on their head and keep the game close or even pull out the win.
The Jax staff has the more difficult task of trying to figure out how to defend Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt—and second-level studs like Pacheco and McKinnon--fronted by an excellent offensive line and a much-maligned defense that will still be the much better unit on GEHA Field.
Here are a few game specific trends courtesy of action network.com
· Playoff dogs are 4-2 ATS this postseason and 40-25 ATS (62%) over the past five postseasons.
· It's also been smart to bet against teams coming off a bye in the divisional round (59% ATS over the past 20 postseasons).
· The Jags are 8-5 ATS as a dog this season and Doug Pederson is 6-0 ATS as a dog in the playoffs.
· Patrick Mahomes is just 11-18 ATS (38%) as a favorite of 7-points or more over the past three seasons. We could also be looking at a higher scoring game as the total has ticked up from 52 to 53.
· Both the Chiefs and Bills enter the Divisional Round with a negative turnover differential average this season. When those teams are favored in the Divisional Round, they are 31-20 SU, but 20-31 ATS over the last 20 years.
· + It has been profitable to fade No. 1 seeds in the Divisional Round. 1 seeds are 13-25-1 ATS (34.2%) over the last 20 years. When those teams are favored by less than 10 pts. they are 8-22-1 ATS (26.7%)
We think Jacksonville has taken great strides under Pederson, but just doesn’t have the talent on either side of the ball to stay with the Chiefs.
And of course, there is always this little nugget:
· Andy Reid ATS after the bye week 27-6 Overall *
· 20-3 Regular Season
· 7-3 Postseason
· 16-2 with #Eagles *
· 10-4 with #Chiefs *
· 7-1 with Mahomes *
KC is in its own class and will be resting players in the 4th quarter…We’re calling the Under.
New York Giants (+7.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles 48 [U] US
Only 1.2 yards separated San Fran and Philly in Opp. YPG in the regular season: Eagles = 301.5…49ers = 302.3
However, in their last three games those numbers have ballooned out to 338.7 and 362.3 respectively. Yes, we account for the end of year nuances as teams may rest key personnel or face desperate teams vying for the playoffs—or both—but it does tell us both teams can be exploited defensively.
All-Pro RT, Lane Johnson returns from a torn adductor for the Eagles—and that could portend a long afternoon for the resurgent G-Men under offensive guru/game caller, and rookie HC, Brian Daboll.
We know what we don’t know: Has Jalen Hurts recovered fully from his sprained throwing shoulder? How healthy is Saquon Barkley? Can Daniel Jones’ legs negate an Eagles defensive line that had 60+ sacks?
We’re giving Daboll the edge in coaching over Philly’s Nick Siriani. The Bald Birds have let too many teams they should have soundly beat hang around.
This is a divisional contest; these coaches and teams know each other. The Giants will Cover; the Eagles will advance to the NFCCG Under the Number.
Cincinnati Bengals (+6) @ Buffalo Bills 48.5 [O] GW
AFC Game of the year in light of Buffalo S, Damar Hamlin’s near death experience when they played in Week 17.
The Matchup Stats tell us Buffalo is the more balanced team offensively, but Josh Allen makes more mistakes than Joe Burrow, and the Bills are next to last in Giveaways Per game, while Cincy is the 5th in TO Margin and Giveaways.
Joe Burrow is an efficient 8th in Int. Thrown%. His Bengals enjoy the same ranking in taking the ball away.
The Bills are far more efficient running the ball and stopping the run—they can win the game if they exploit that Bengals weakness.
We think the Spread in all four of these games are a little inflated, especially in this one. Much of the public is expecting an “inspired” Bills performance. Cincinnati believes they are inspired to return, and win the Lombardi.
We’ve been riding with Burrow since last year’s post- Pittsburgh game presser, during which he he had the ‘nads to let everyone know he and his Bengals had their sights set higher than “just beating the Steelers.” We’re still riding with Joe Cool—and the fact handicappers often overlook the value of experience in the NFL playoffs.
Getting six points doesn’t hurt either. We’re looking for the Total to be way Over 50.
Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) @ S.F. 49ers 46.5 [O] O/U
In August I pick a team from each conference to win the Super Bowl. This year the Magpies were my choice in the AFC—Lamar Jackson’s injuries foiled that possibility.
Dallas got my nod in the NFC; at 25-1 that would payout 625.00 on
my 25.00 wager. Of course my soul, my God, and my status as a Steeler fan from birth all prohibit me from actually rooting for Dallas, but I won’t turn down the money if they win the Lombardi.
Dallas’ Micah Parsons is the only linebacker since Lawrence Taylor to make first-team All-Pro his first two seasons—he might not be a crack head, but he’s a hell of a linebacker. And he may be the best defensive player in this game, but is he enough to compensate for the overall advantage in elite talent the Niners enjoy?
Our call says no—and the matchup stats back us up. You might be able to access them here:
Both clubs deserve respect as legitimate Top Five offenses. The Cowboys are a league best in Red Zone TD percentage; the Niners gain .5 more YPP—a distinct edge. Both are well balanced offensively, but San Fran rushes more efficiently, and smokes Dallas with the best rush defense in the playoffs—2nd best all season.
Jerry Jones keeps saying he has a Super Bowl roster. Maybe he’s right—but top to toe, SF’s roster is deeper and has more explosive talent.
The 49ers, like the Chiefs have more studs on both sides of the ball—Dallas doesn’t have a counter to TE, George Kittle, Mr. Everything, Deebo Samuel, and the Boy Wonder—rookie QB, Brock Purdy.
Dak Prescott led the NFL in interceptions. He’ll make the mistake that sends Jerrah home crying. The Over is our premium play here,