Sunday Divisional Round Matchups: Cowboys, Chiefs Both Favorites

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The dynamics for a team with a red-hot quarterback often change when they go on the road, which is why Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are a solid favorite against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

The Cowboys are listed as 4.5-point favorites against the Packers with a 51.5-point total, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Dallas is 7-0 straight-up and 5-2 against the spread in its last seven home games, but the fact that the Packers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven playoff games as a road underdog will no doubt give bettors pause.

The Packers, who are 11-6 SU and 9-7-1 ATS, need QB Aaron Rodgers to stay in peak form to have a shot at taking down Dallas, which does happen to be 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS in its last four divisional round games.

That doesn’t leave the Packers with much margin for error, especially since WR Jordy Nelson (ribs) may not play and the Cowboys will be able to pay more attention to WR Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Running the ball against OLB Sean Lee and Co. could also be tough for Green Bay.

The Cowboys, 13-3 SU and 10-5-1 ATS, have one of the NFL’s most balanced offenses outside of New England with the combo of Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. Provided LT Tryon Smith is healthy and handles OLB Clay Matthews, Dallas is capable of setting the pace. The Packers’ pass defense is spotty and as a team that is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after bye weeks, Dallas surely will have used the extra prep time to develop schemes to use WR Dez Bryant (seven TD in his last nine games).

The total has gone over in five of the Packers’ last six games on the road, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

In Sunday’s other game, the Kansas City Chiefs are listed as the 1.5-point favorite against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 44-point total.

The Steelers, 12-5 SU and 10-6-1 ATS, with QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell, are experts in staying explosive even in the type of cold weather forecast for Kansas City on Sunday.

However, thanks to FS Eric Berry, the Chiefs excel at limiting long completions, and their defense, thanks to the return and/or emergence of DE Chris Jones, OLB Justin Houston and ILB Ramik Wilson, is much improved since that embarrassing defeat.

The Chiefs, 12-4 SU and 9-7 ATS, are the more likely team to come out ahead in the all-important turnover battle. Kansas City’s M.O. offensively is misdirection and the Steelers defense, which has had a steady diet of mediocre matchups over the last two months, are prone to missing tackles.

Having to account for speedster Tyreek Hill may create some big openings for RB Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware. Quarterback Alex Smith and his offensive line have also improved at providing ball security as the season has progressed.

Kansas City coach Andy Reid is 3-0 SU in divisional round games after a bye. The total has gone under in the Chiefs’ last six games after consecutive wins.

Last year all four home teams won in the divisional round. In the last three years the visiting team is 7-3-2 ATS in the divisional round.

Falcons set to duel Packers as betting favorites on Sunday Night Football

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The Atlanta Falcons might never live down their Super Bowl LI collapse, but that was one game and Matt Ryan and cohorts are reliable when they are laying points.

The Falcons are listed as three-point favorites on the NFL Week 2 odds against the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers with a 55.5-point total in their Sunday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Falcons are 7-0 straight-up and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite, as well as 7-1 both SU and ATS in their last eight games in Week 2. The Packers are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games against the NFC South division.

The teams’ last three matchups, including last season’s NFC Championship Game, have had totals of 65, 65 and 80 points.

Green Bay, which is 1-0 SU and ATS, can likely count on Rodgers continuing his success (325.6 yards/game in seven career games) against Atlanta. Having WR Jordy Nelson, who was out all last season, available this time around should help Green Bay move the ball. They will have to contend with Atlanta being deep on the defensive line, particularly in the interior where it’s added DT Dontari Poe. Getting pressure up the middle is usually about the only way to disrupt Rodgers.

Two of Rodgers’ primary protectors, LT David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and RT Bryan Bulaga (ankle/illness) have not had a full week of practice. Their health will factor in whether the Packers extend a trend of being 9-1 SU over their last 10 games.

The main concern for Atlanta, which is 1-0 SU and 0-1 ATS, is that it bogged down in the rushing phase during its Week 1 road win against the Chicago Bears, as RG Wes Schweitzer in particular struggled. However, notwithstanding disruptive DT Mike Daniels, Green Bay doesn’t appear to be as deep in the front seven at Chicago.

When Atlanta clears space for RB Devonta Freeman and RB Tevin Coleman to get going, Ryan and the passing game is that much more dangerous.

Julio Jones and fellow WRs such as Taylor Gabriel will have a tougher matchup than they did in the NFC Championship Game in January, now that CB Davon House and CB Damarious Randall have shored up the Packers’ secondary. Ultimately, Atlanta just has too many dangerous receivers to be shut down totally.

The total has gone over in seven of the Packers’ last eight games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in four of the Falcons’ last five games in September.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Best Fantasy Football waiver wire pick-ups for Week 2

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By Rotoworld.com

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. The opening weekend did not produce a large number of injuries, but that will not help ease the pain of David Johnson, Allen Robinson, and Danny Woodhead owners. Kevin White owners were already in pain at having Kevin White on their team, but his injury is yet another blow. Unfortunately for Robinson and White, their seasons are already over, although there is a slight chance White makes a late-season return. Johnson’s and Woodhead’s timelines are less certain, but both likely will miss significant time. All of that added to several surprise performances creates a hectic situation on the Week 2 wire.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List
QB: Andy Dalton
RB:
Eddie Lacy, Darren McFadden
WR:
Allen Robinson, Kevin White
TE: 
C.J. Fiedorowicz

There were concerns about how Dalton would fare behind a bad offensive line, and at least through one week, those seem legitimate. With the Texans coming to town on Thursday night, Dalton is almost impossible to trust this week, and he is not good enough to stash on the bench. Even with Thomas Rawls out, Lacy only played seven snaps against the Packers. He looks done. McFadden was a surprise inactive Week 1, and it looks like Alfred Morris has earned the backup job behind Ezekiel Elliott. There are not any receivers owned in enough leagues I feel comfortable calling a drop, so I will take the cop out with the injured guys. After suffering a concussion Week 1, Fiedorowicz is unlikely to play on a short week, and he is not good enough to stash.

Quarterbacks
1. Alex Smith
2. Sam Bradford
3. Tyrod Taylor

Running Backs
1. Tarik Cohen
2. Buck Allen
3. Chris Carson
4. James White
5. Kerwynn Williams
6. Alvin Kamara
7. Chris Johnson
8. Darren Sproles
9. Andre Ellington

Wide Receivers
1. Corey Davis
2. Kenny Golladay
3. Cooper Kupp
4. Nelson Agholor
5. Danny Amendola
6. Paul Richardson
7. Marqise Lee
8. Zay Jones
9. Kendall Wright
10. Markus Wheaton
11. Allen Hurns

Tight Ends
1. Cameron Brate
2. Jared Cook
3. Charles Clay
4. Julius Thomas

Defense/Special Teams
1. Ravens
2. Bengals
3. Raiders
Looking Ahead: Packers

Kickers
1. Giorgio Tavecchio
2. Cairo Santos
3. Phil Dawson
Looking Ahead: Graham Gano