After what was a long, and somewhat surprising, season, we now know which 12 teams will be in the NFL playoffs and out in search of the Super Bowl. There are a couple of surprise entries this season, as well as a few rather shocking omissions, but we have come to expect that from this league. As is always the case, the first week of the playoffs will be reserved for Wild Card Weekend, with all but the top two teams in each conference set to take the field between Saturday and Sunday. The first game on the schedule will feature a pair of teams that no-one really saw coming. The Houston Texans should probably not be that surprising, as their poor season last year was more about injury issues than anything else. The Indianapolis Colts are a surprise, though, as we didn’t really know what to expect from Andrew Luck upon his return to the league after a bad injury to his shoulder. The Houston Texans are in as a 2½ point home favorite, with the point total for this one set at 47½.
AFC Divisional Playoffs: Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
What: AFC Divisional Playoffs – Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
When: Saturday, January 12, 2019, 4:35 PM ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Clear: 5°C | 41°F
Wind: 4 MPH W
Stadium Type: Open Air
Why bet on the Indianapolis Colts?
Andrew Luck and the Colts (9-7-1 ATS, 8-9 O/U) closed out the regular season by winning four straight and an incendiary nine of their last 10 games overall. Indianapolis then smacked Houston around in stunning fashion to win their AFC Wild Card clash 21-7 on Saturday while the game’s final score played well under the 48.5-point total.
Luck passed for 222 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the win while running back Marlon Mack rushed for 148 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries while the game’s under outcomes snapped a modest two-game over streak for the Colts.
“We know we have an elite quarterback and we can throw it for 400 and win when we have to,” Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. “But the margin for error in playoff football when you try to do it that way is very thin. When you can win like this — running the football and stopping it — that’s just everything.”
The Colts used a great defensive effort to shut down Houston’s Deshaun Watson this past weekend and they’ll likely need an even better effort against the high-scoring Chiefs in their divisional round matchup. Indianapolis ranks a stellar fifth in scoring (27.1 ppg) and an equally encouraging 10th in points allowed (21.5 ppg). Despite the fact that Luck missed the entire 2017 campaign, the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has been nothing short of amazing in passing for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns during the regular season.
• Under is 8-2 in Colts last 10 playoff road games.
• Under is 6-2 in Colts last 8 games overall.
• Under is 9-3 in Colts last 12 Saturday games.
• Under is 6-2 in Colts last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
• Over is 14-5 in Colts last 19 games on grass.
• Under is 5-2 in Colts last 7 Divisional Playoffs games.
• Under is 5-2 in Colts last 7 games following a straight up win.
• Under is 9-4 in Colts last 13 road games.
• Under is 13-6 in Colts last 19 playoff games.
Why bet on the Kansas City Chiefs?
Second-year signal-caller Patrick Mahomes took the league by storm and will likely win this season’s MVP award because of it. The strong-armed former Texas Tech star has passed for a whopping 5,097 yards while becoming just the third player in NFL history to throw 50 touchdown passes in a single season. The elevation of Mahomes as their starter helped the Chiefs put up a whopping 35.3 points per game to lead the league in scoring – and they needed almost every point as they gave up 26.3 points per game to rank an uninspiring 24th in points allowed.
Kansas City capped off their regular season with an emphatic 35-3 blowout win over Oakland two weeks ago in a game that finished well under the 52.5-point total as Mahomes tossed two TD passes to reach 50 TD passes for the season. Mahomes threw three touchdown passes or more in a mind-boggling 10 games this season with a career-high six against both, Pittsburgh in Week 2 and the Los Angeles Rams in Week 11. The Chiefs had played over the total on five straight games until their regular season finale.
• Over is 4-0 in Chiefs last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
• Over is 5-1 in Chiefs last 6 games overall.
• Over is 5-1-1 in Chiefs last 7 games following a straight up win.
• Under is 8-2 in Chiefs last 10 Saturday games.
• Over is 4-1 in Chiefs last 5 games on grass.
• Over is 4-1-1 in Chiefs last 6 vs. AFC.
• Under is 4-1-1 in Chiefs last 6 games following an ATS win.
• Under is 16-7 in Chiefs last 23 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
• Under is 49-22-1 in Chiefs last 72 home games.
Expert Pick and Prediction
While the Over 57 points might look attractive in this contest because of Kansas City’s high-scoring ways and the fact that Andrew Luck threw 39 TD passes of his own, I’m going to advise you to play the Under in this AFC divisional showdown – but just barely
The Under is 9-1 in the Colts last 10 games against a team with a winning record and 5-1 in their last 6 games against their AFC counterparts. In addition to that, the Under is also 5-1 in Kansas City’s last 6 playoff home games, 13-5 in their last 18 games in the month of January and 5-2 in their last seven playoff games. With the under also going 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams and the total looking just a few points too high to me, I say play the Under 57 points while the Chiefs eke out the home win and narrow ATS cover!
Predicted Score Indianapolis Colts 24 | Kansas City Chiefs 31