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NFL Divisional Dandy

   by Tom Stryker - 01/11/2007

In the “Elite Eightâ€쳌 stage of the NFL Playoffs, the history book shows that the home team has performed very well. According to my database, hosts at this stage of the game are a respectable 79-25 SU and 59-42-3 ATS. Even though I think there are a couple of road teams that have a very good shot at pulling off an upset this weekend, respect must be given to this profitable technical situation.

Last year, home teams posted a 2-2 SU and ATS record in this round. On January 14th, 2005 Seattle defeated Washington 20-10 while Denver tripped New England 27-13. Both hosts covered on that day. Then, on Sunday, January 15th, Pittsburgh stormed into Indianapolis and pulled off the amazing 21-18 upset and Carolina checked into the Windy City and shocked Chicago 29-21.

There will be some home teams that cover this weekend. You know that. The question at hand is which ones will it be? To answer that question, I turned to my database to try and find which hosts deserved a closer look and more of our money.

On thing you didn’t want to do was back a home team in the Divisional Round coming off a blowout victory of 10 points or more. According to my NFL database, those hosts owned a dismal 21-25-2 ATS record. That eliminated Baltimore from the mix. From there, home dogs or favorites of -9’ or less were still extremely profitable carrying a 37-7 SU and 32-11-1 ATS record. The remaining three home teams (New Orleans, Chicago and San Diego) all apply.

If we eliminate all of the power road teams from that 32-11-1 ATS tightener, the ones that carry a won/loss percentage greater than .650, home teams in this situation explode to a sensational 22-4 ATS for 84.6 percent. There are two hosts locked into this set this weekend: New Orleans and Chicago. With a week of rest and matched up against a weaker opponent, both NFC teams look to be in great spots this weekend. Of course, it will be very important to check the weather in Windy City on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 PM EST and there is a good chance of freezing rain throughout the day.

Good luck with the Saints and Bears this weekend and be sure to check back next week when I take a look at the Conference Championship Round of the NFL Playoffs!

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