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Patriots, Cardinals, Panthers favoured in NFL Divisional Playoff

Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | January 15, 2015

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots (-4.0)

New England Patriots find themselves in an unusual position as they kick off their drive towards a second straight Super Bowl title.

The defending champions will be looking to shake a two-game straight up losing streak when they hit the gridiron in Saturday’s AFC Divisional Playoff matchup with the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs as 4.5-point favourites in NFL betting with Coral.

AFC East champions the Patriots return to action after enjoying a bye on Wild Card Weekend, thanks to their 12-4 regular season record which earned them the No.2 seed in the conference.

Talented Tight Ends Football

However, each of New England’s four SU losses have come over their past six outings, including stunning upset defeats at the hands of the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in their past two outings.

The Pats have also been a massive disappointment to loyal sports punters, covering in just two of their last eight, after suffering just one against the spread loss in their previous eight.

Kansas City rolled to their 11th straight win last week, hammering the Houston Texans 30-0 in their Wild Card matchup, ending an eight-game SU losing streak in the playoffs that dated back to 1994.

The Chiefs has been simply dominant since opening their season on a dismal 1-5 SU run, surrendering over 17 points on just twice in their past 13, holding openings to fewer than 10 points over their past five.

KC handed the Patriots a crushing 41-14 defeat in the most recent meeting between these two clubs, a humiliating loss on Monday Night Football early in the 2014 season that led to speculation that New England quarterback Tom Brady was on the downside of his career.

However, the Chiefs are winless in their last five visits to New England, with their last win coming in 1990.

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

Seahawks Cardinals Football

Also on Saturday, the No.2 Arizona Cardinals host the No. 4 Green Bay Packers in their NFC Divisional Playoff as strong 6.5-point chalk in American football betting with Coral.

The Cardinals will be looking to bounce back from their worst defeat in over a year, a 36-6 drubbing by the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17 which ended a nine-game SU win streak.

Arizona finished second only to Carolina in points scored this season, averaging 30.6 per game, and were top in the NFL with an impressive 408.3 total yards per game.

However, the Cards have struggled at times, covering in just five of their last 11 overall, and are 2-6 ATS in their last eight when favoured by 5.5 or more.

The Packers rebounded on Wild Card Weekend weekend from what was a dismal homestretch, handing the Washington Redskins a 35-18 beating.

Green Bay opened the season as the Super Bowl 50 betting favourite, claiming victory in their first six outings, before fading badly, losing six of their last 10 regular-season matchups, including a 38-8 blowout loss in Arizona.

However, the Packers are 7-3 SU in their past 10 against the Cardinals, whom they have not lost to in back-to-back meetings since 1949.

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers (-2)

Buccaneers Panthers Football

In Sunday’s NFL Divisional Playoff betting action, the Seahawks visit the top-seeded Carolina Panthers as slim 2-point underdogs.

Seattle escaped with a narrow 10-9 win over Minnesota last weekend, thanks to a missed Vikings field goal attempt with no time remaining, improving them to 7-1 SU in their past eight, and a perfect 6-0 SU in their past six on the road.

The Seahawks have now held opponents to single digits in four of their past six outings, forcing the point total UNDER in each of their last five.

Carolina capped a brilliant campaign with a lopsided 38-10 win over Tampa Bay, but have failed to cover in three of their past five, and are winless SU in their last three home dates with Seattle.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos (no line)

Pittsburgh looks to continue their unlikely playoff drive when they visit the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s AFC Divisional Playoff contest, but the Steelers have once again been bit by the injury bug, including pivot Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown, resulting in a delay in the opening of betting on that matchup.

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