If you considered the recent postseason success of the Seattle Seahawks, including two Super Bowl trips in the previous three years, you might be surprised to find out that they have lost eight straight games in the playoffs as road underdogs.
courtesy of OddsShark.com
The Atlanta Falcons will try to extend that streak to nine and win for just the second time in seven postseason games themselves on Saturday when they host the Seahawks as five-point home favorites in the first NFC Divisional Round matchup.
Atlanta beat out Seattle for the second seed in the conference and home-field advantage in Week 17 with a 38-32 win over the New Orleans Saints. Now the Falcons hope to cash in on that edge and end a six-game skid against the spread in the playoffs.
Atlanta is led by NFL MVP favorite Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones, who arguably needed the rest more than any other player in the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are coming off an impressive 26-6 rout of the Detroit Lions at home last week in the Wild Card Round behind a team playoff-record 161 rushing yards from running back Thomas Rawls.
Seattle has covered four of the past five road meetings with the Falcons and won 33-10 in the team’s last trip to the Georgia Dome four years ago after losing 30-28 in the 2013 Divisional Round 10 months earlier.
Later on Saturday, the New England Patriots will continue their quest for their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy as massive 16-point home favorites versus the Houston Texans, who lost 27-0 at Gillette Stadium in Week 3 of the regular season.
The big difference this time around working in New England’s favor is that quarterback Tom Brady will be back under center rather than rookie third-stringer Jacoby Brissett.
The Texans will look to build on last week’s 27-14 victory against the Oakland Raiders at home and continue their stellar defensive play away from home. Houston picked off Oakland rookie quarterback Connor Cook three times and sacked him three times as well while holding running back Latavius Murray to just 39 yards on the ground.
The Patriots have beaten the Texans five consecutive times and in seven of eight all-time, going 6-1 ATS in the last seven games between the teams dating back to 2006.