Divisional Playoffs could feature historically low point spreads
After a wild-card weekend marked by several blowouts, the divisional round is shaping up to feature four of the closest combined matchups in NFL playoff history.
The lowest combined point spreads for four divisional playoff games was 13.5 points in 1971, according to data from TheLines.com. This weekend’s games opened with a combined consensus point spread of 14 from opening odds at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars and PointsBet.
According to TheLines.com, the combined opening point spread average for the divisional round over the past 15 years has been 27 points, with the lowest during that span being 21 points last season.
Tight contests would be a welcome sight for fans after four of six wild-card games were decided by at least 16 points.
The divisional round will begin with Cincinnati traveling to Tennessee on Saturday. The Titans opened as 3.0-point favorites but the line has moved to 3.5 at several books including BetMGM, where Tennessee is being backed by 62 percent of the bets and 71 percent of the spread-line handle.
The 3.5-point spread at DraftKings has seen an even amount of bets but 66 percent of the money is backing the Titans.
San Francisco will travel to Green Bay for the second game Saturday, with the Packers opening as the biggest favorite of the weekend. The 49ers were the only underdog to win last weekend, but the Packers are also well-rested as the NFC’s top seed.
Green Bay opened as a 5.5-point favorite and is being backed by 77 percent of the bets and 78 percent of the spread-line handle at BetMGM. The spread is 6.0 points at DraftKings with the Packers supported by 74 and 75 percent, respectively.
Fresh off their resounding victories to open the playoffs, the Los Angeles Rams and Buccaneers will square off in Tampa on Sunday.
Tampa Bay is a 3.0-point favorite at both sportsbooks with the Bucs backed by 64 percent of the bets and 67 percent of the spread-line money at BetMGM. However, the action has been split at DraftKings, with the Bucs backed by 53 percent of the bets but the Rams drawing 58 percent of the early handle.
The divisional playoffs will conclude with a heavyweight bout between the Buffalo Bills and Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
Kansas City is a 2.5-point favorite and is being backed by 54 percent of the bets and 60 percent of the handle at BetMGM. The story is similar at DraftKings with the Chiefs supported by 54 and 52 percent, respectively.
The Bills and Chiefs also feature the highest Over/Under of the weekend at 54.5 points at BetMGM and 55.0 points at DraftKings. That hasn’t dissuaded the public, with the Over backed by 90 percent of the bets and 95 percent of the money at the former and 71 and 95 percent, respectively, at the latter.
“All four of these games have the potential to be classic NFL playoff games and we expect to see bettors pay significant attention to this weekend,” TheLines.com lead analyst Brett Collson said. “The home team is the favorite in all four games, but the relatively narrow lines show just how tight these matchups could be.”
Super Bowl LVI Odds (preseason odds)
–Green Bay Packers +375 (+1400)
–Kansas City Chiefs +400 (+500)
–Buffalo Bills +500 (+1150)
–Tampa Bay Buccaneers +550 (+650)
–Los Angeles Rams +750 (+1500)
–Tennessee Titans +750 (+3000)
–San Francisco 49ers +1000 (+1400)
–Cincinnati Bengals +1200 (+15000)
BetMGM reported that the Packers are the sportsbook’s biggest Super Bowl liability with 10.2 percent of the bets and 10.2 percent of the money placed on Green Bay. Second is the Bucs, who have been backed by 9.9 and 11.8 percent, respectively.
–Field Level Media