I am going against the grain for my 2016 NFL Divisional Round playoff upset picks this year. That’s right I am picking against two of the best teams from the regular season. The first one with the points, the second straight up. Keep reading to find out who I picked and why. Happy Hunting!
NFL Playoff Upset Picks – Divisional Round
Will New England cover what’s shaping up as a close to two TD and two 2-pt conversion spread against lowly Houston? How will Green Bay fair against Dallas in a road battle without WR Jordy Nelson? Keep reading to find out!
What: Houston Texans (9-7) at New England Patriots (14-2)
When: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 PM ET
Where: Foxboro, MA
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
Spread: Patriots -16
Moneyline: Houston +850 vs New England -13000
Game Total: 45
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Houston vs New England
Analysis: New England is a ridiculous 15.5-point favorite over the Houston Texans for this Saturday, Jan. 14 game. What’s crazy is that even though the spread favors New England by so many points, 56% of football handicappers are laying the points. Nobody really believes that Houston has a shot.
That’s crazy. Houston’s defense is much better than any defense the Patriots have faced this season. This includes the Seahawks, who beat New England 31 to 24 on November 13. The Patriots should win the game, don’t get me wrong.
But, it’s crazy to believe that New England will score enough points over Houston to beat the Texans by 16 points. I don’t see it happening. The Texans only allow 301.3 total yards as it is. This includes allowing an NFL second-best 201.6 passing yards to go along with 99.7 rushing yards.
Don’t be surprised if the Patriots game plan is to rush the football with LeGarrette Blount. If that happens, it’s going to be even more difficult for the Pats to cover such a daunting spread.
Pick: Houston with the points.
What: Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
When: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Start Time: 4:40 PM ET
Where: Arlington, TX
Stadium: AT&T Stadium
Spread: Cowboys -3.5
Moneyline: Green Bay +165 vs Dallas -195
Game Total: 51.5
Watch: FOX Sports
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Green Bay vs Dallas
Analysis: Dallas is all the rage going into the 2017 NFL Playoffs. They should be. The Cowboys only lost 2 games this season. Both losses were to the New York Giants, whom Green Bay was kind enough to obliterate 38 to 13 in their Wildcard Game win.
Dallas pummeled the Packers 30 to 16 early in the regular season. Why would anyone believe that things have changed? One of the reasons to believe that things will be different is because Aaron Rodgers wasn’t nearly as sharp in the loss to Dallas early in the regular season as he is right now.
Rodgers was unbelievable against the Giants during the victory. He threw for 362 yards and 4 TDs. Although Dallas’s defense is great versus the rush, it, like the Giants’ defense, has trouble defending against the pass.
Dallas’s D is ranked first against the rush when allowing 83.5 yards per game. The Cowboys’ defense ranks twenty-sixth against the pass when allowing 260.4 passing yards per game. That’s a bad stat going into a game versus Aaron Rodgers.
Even without WR Jordy Nelson, who’s unlikely to play, Rodgers has enough weapons for the Packers to score at will against Dallas’s defense. I like Green Bay’s chances to not only cover against the spread but to also win this NFL Divisional Playoff game straight up.
I’m going Green Bay on the moneyline.
Pick: Green Bay straight up