$FML's NFL Divisional Weekend Preview & Picks - 1/20

FastMoneyLabs is making sure we're going into the NFL Divisional Round well prepared. He's broken down some key trends from Divisional Rounds past, applied them to current, and given us a handful of his favorite picks - check it out below!

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Key Trends to Know: Divisional Weekend (since 2008)

Divisional Weekend Favorites tend to win outright… but fail to cover:

  • Favorites are 39-21 (65.0%) straight up (SU) since 2008
  • But just 26-31 (45.6%) against-the-spread (ATS)

This effect was most pronounced when the spread was between 6 and 9.5:

  • Favorites were 19-7 (73.1%) SU
  • But just 10-16 (38.5%) ATS

Games with 5.5 or tighter spreads had more balanced outcomes:

  • Favorites were 13-11 (54.2%) SU
  • 10-11 (47.6%) ATS

The OVER is 33-27 (55.0%) on Divisional Weekend since 2008, but the splits are mixed:

  • 13-11 (54.2%) when the spread was 5.5 or tighter
  • 13-13 (50.0%) when the spread was 6 to 9.5
  • 7-3 (70.0%) when the spread was 9 or wider

Trends Applied to this Weekend

Most likely moneyline upsets, based on trends: Cowboys and Bengals

  • Slight Underdogs (5.5 points or shorter) won 45.8% of the time since 2008
  • 45.8% historical win rate = +9% edge or better at current market prices:
    • Cowboys +172 ML = implied win rate 36.8%
    • Bengals +198 ML = implied win rate 33.6%

Most likely ATS winners: Giants and Jaguars

  • Moderate Underdogs (6 to 9.5 point spread) are 16-10 (61.5%) ATS since 2008
  • Giants are the best ATS team in NFL this season (14-4, 77.8% including playoffs)
  • Jags are 5-1 ATS since Week 14 (tied with Giants and 49ers for #1)

Less value on Game Totals

  • Backing the ‘Over’ has been profitable when the spread was 10-points or wider
  • However, this weekend’s spreads are all 9-points or tighter
  • O/U results have been mixed with tighter spreads
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Market Signals

Jaguars at Chiefs

  • Spread has largely held steady (KC -8.5) with a slight tug towards KC at certain books
  • Game Total rose sharply by 2.5 points (50.5 ➡️ 53) since the open

Giants at Eagles

  • Spread holding steady at 7.5 on what appears to be balanced, 2-way action
  • Game Total rose modestly by 1.5 points (46.5 ➡️ 48)

Bengals at Bills

  • Roughly 67% of bets are hitting Bengals spread, but oddsmakers moved the line 2 full points towards Buffalo (3.5 ➡️ 5.5)
  • Majority of bets and money hit the Over, leading oddsmakers to bump the Game Total by a tick (48.5 ➡️ 49)

Cowboys at 49ers

  • Roughly 60% of bets are hitting 49ers spread, but the line drifted 0.5 to 1 point towards Dallas (4.5 ➡️ 3.5/4)
  • Public LOVES the Over (80%+ bets), but Pros favor the Under (80%+ of money); game total appears to be holding steady at o/u 46

$FML’s Divisional Weekend Picks

All things considered, here’s where I landed!

Note: I bet to win 1 unit / each

  • Jaguars +17.5 x Over 46.5 Teaser (+100 Draftkings): Backing the ATS trends cited above plus market signals that indicate this will be a shootout!
  • Giants +7.5 (-110 Widely Available): Best ATS team in the league vs. divisional opponent? Give me those points! If you’re feelin’ risky: sprinkle some lunch money on Giants ML, too. I noticed Round 2 Underdogs are 4-2 (67%) SU vs. divisional opponents since 2008.
  • Josh Allen & Joe Burrow each 250+ Pass Yards AND 2+ Pass TDs (+325 FanDuel): I lean Bills to win and the Over but prefer this player prop parlay at +325! Both sides will need to lean on their Quarterbacks, and I want action on it!
  • Cowboys ML (+172 FanDuel): Riding the trends cited above (short underdogs win 45% of the time in Round 2) and following market signals that indicate Dallas can pull this off!
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