NFL Divisional Round bloggers give one reason to bet their team

NFL teams inch closer to Super Bowl Sunday with four exciting Divisional Round matchups set for this weekend.

No one knows these contenders better than the people who eat, sleep and breathe their favorite teams – NFL expert bloggers. We’ve enlisted the help of eight bloggers to give you one reason to bet their side this weekend.

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-9.5, 46)




WHY BALTIMORE COVERS


Justin Silberman writes for Ravens24x7.com/ Russellstreetreport.com. You can follow him on twitter at @RussellStReport and @Jsilbe3.

There are many reasons to believe the Ravens will keep this close, including having a much healthier defense this time around.  Last Sunday marked the first time all season that they had Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata on the field together. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees has been far more aggressive lately than he was earlier during the season, suggesting Baltimore has a better chance of forcing turnovers against Manning & Co.

WHY DENVER COVERS

Kim Constantinesco is the senior editor for PredominantlyOrange.com. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @PredomOrange.

The Broncos ranked fifth in total offense and second in total defense, which makes them the only NFL club in the Top 5 in each category. The Broncos enter the playoffs with an 11-game win streak and during that run they won by at least seven points to tie for the second-largest in NFL history. Additionally, the Broncos led the NFL in scoring differential in the second half this year. They were outscored by their opponent just once in the final two quarters this season.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-2.5, 44.5)



WHY GREEN BAY COVERS

Ray Rivard is the editor of Lombardi Ave. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @lombardiave.

The difference for the Packers and the reason you should pick them this week will be Aaron Rodgers. He'll be playing with a huge chip on his shoulder because his favorite boyhood team, the 49ers, snubbed him in the draft. The Packers quarterback will pick apart the 49ers, especially in the second half where he thrives. The Niners will be rusty and Rodgers will jump on them early, leading Green Bay into the NFC Championship game once again.

WHY SAN FRANCISCO COVERS

David Fucillo writes for Niners Nation. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter @NinersNation.

The 49ers absolutely must win the turnover battle to defeat the Packers. The 49ers are sending out second-year QB Colin Kaepernick, who has done a good job avoiding interceptions. If he can avoid stupid mistakes and the 49ers defense can force Aaron Rodgers to make a bad pass, the victory is there for the taking.

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-1, 45.5)




WHY SEATTLE COVERS

Rob Davies writes for Field Gulls. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @FieldGulls.

It's difficult to see how Atlanta are going to contain Marshawn Lynch and should Seattle go behind early, as was the case last week, the Seahawks won't need to abandon their running game too early, if at all. The Falcons ranked 21st against the run during the regular season and are up against a Seahawks ground attack that averaged 161.2 yards per game. That was before they carved up the Redskins for 224 rushing yards last Sunday. When you consider Russell Wilson and Robert Turbin as complements to Lynch, Seattle could be turning back the clock on Sunday... minus the mud in the facemask.

WHY ATLANTA COVERS


Dave Choate is the editor-in-chief at The Falcoholic. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheFalcoholic.

The Atlanta Falcons will cover the spread because they have a dominant passing attack - one good enough to beat even the vaunted Seattle secondary. It's going to be a relatively close game, but the passing game and an opportunistic defense will make the difference.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-9.5, 47.5)




WHY HOUSTON COVERS

Stephanie Stradley writes TexansChick, a blog for the Houston Chronicle. You can follow her on Twitter @StephStradley and check out her blog at StephStradley.com.

The Patriots are the only team in the playoffs which is expecting to have all of its Week 1 starters in action this weekend. However, there are some lesser-known players coming back for the Texans, who missed the first game between these teams, that can be difference makers. On offense, TE Garrett Graham and RT Derek Newton will likely both play. On defense, OLB Brooks Reed will be back and CB Johnathan Joseph appears to be playing healthier than he was earlier in the season when he was dealing with groin/hamstring issues.

WHY NEW ENGLAND COVERS

Joe Soriano is the lead editor for Musket Fire. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @Musket_Fire.

The Pats staunch run defense has a good chance of making the Texans one-dimensional again. One of the main reasons why they won last time out was because they shut down Arian Foster. That put more pressure on Matt Schaub to perform. He didn't, and that's largely because the Pats held Andre Johnson in check and contained the other weapons. Schaub has played extremely poor lately, and that's a far cry from where he was at earlier this season. Houston's 19-13 performance against the Bengals last week left a lot to be desired on offense.

Join the debate. Which teams cover during the NFL Divisional Round?

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

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Posted by crutch
1 year ago

The biggest weather factor in totals is not present in Denver today. HEAVY WIND 25 mph and above. Any NFL fans play golf-they'll testify.
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Posted by LeRinkRat
1 year ago

mikespeak makes a good point and gives yet another reason to NEVER use a so called "service". two people working for the same "service" giving out opposite sides has been a scam here in Las Vegas for DECADES. it's right out of Damon Runyon's "The Lemon Drop Kid"
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Posted by ce_manager
1 year ago

LRK all handicappers work independently of each other - this is very clear on the site - so no scam here - not all 12 handicappers will be on the same side of a pick. thanks CE Manager
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Posted by veronica27
1 year ago

notice how all the wind chill talk in den is making people think lower scoring in den .. like it wont be freezing in ne too ? it is jan .. cold wind chill could equal dropped passes .. those long home run quick strikes that end up just being incomplete passes .. as always will be glad when this is over .. lol one thing we know for sure with these 4 matchups as far as conditions .. there is no weather in the sea at atl game .. looking at due theory , first game up a dog and over is due .. but ooh i forgot it will be freezing and ground and pound .. same talk as the vikes at pack last sat night .. pack put up 17 in the 1st half .. 24 - 10 final .. who would not think under with balty at den anyway right .......... what we need is about 3 feet of snow , then we could easily pick the under ahead of time .. lol
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Posted by ScottLandau
1 year ago

Wow, a paragraph each from overly devoted fans of all 8 remaining teams that convinced me of one thing -- I'm glad I don't care who wins so I'll objectively do my own research. And if that does not reveal a good reason (none are mentioned above) to support either side I'll pass.
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Posted by tomnolan
1 year ago

the best play on the board this weekend is the falcons. seattle has to have jet lag. 6000+ miles two times within 7 days. wow!! falcons.new england.broncos and green bay! good luck to all!!
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Posted by veronica27
1 year ago

my take is shaky .. no way to truly read the sea at atl game .. i would go ravens +10 as a safe play .. pack win .. pats rip tex , or pats - 9.5 or 10 the 2 - 2 fav dog result vs the 3 - 1 or 1 - 3 is determined by 1 game .. the swing game .. it could very well be that the pats are the only fav to cover this round .. as always , proceed with caution . esp since guys wearing zebra suits control the game .. and one guy can make you look like a fool in your predictions .. hoping his name is not rodgers or brady ..
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Posted by mjm1012
1 year ago

Agree veronica27 TWO dogs and TWO favorites! SU, Parlay and Teaser!
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Posted by SportsPredictor
1 year ago

Small play on Denver - 8.5 on Saturday! Parlay a Large play on Green Bay + 3! Then, Large play on Seattle +3 on Sunday! Small play on New England - 9 Sunday evening! Will also play small-to-medium 4-Team Parlay! Good Luck to whomever you go with!
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Posted by veronica27
1 year ago

like broncos to cover , pack to win , shawks +3 and pats to cover results = favs 2 dogs 2 if we have to make it 1 away from a fav sweep again ? then make falcons good and the one dog to cash is rodgers and comp .. 1st round this year was fav and under for all 4 games .. lol this round will not be f/u like that .. or will it .. haha
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Posted by stats1
1 year ago

Balt.gb. Over sea. Ne r the plays this weekend!!!
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Posted by Skubishack
1 year ago

Is Ray Rivard a 12 year old kid...???
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Top Response

Posted by tomnolan
1 year ago

"the best play on the board this weekend is the falcons. seattle has to have jet lag. 6000+ miles two times within 7 days. wow!! falcons.new england.broncos and green bay! good luck to all!!"