Divisional Round NFL Picks: Look For A Dallas Upset At Lambeau

Tony Romo

It is almost uncanny the similarities among the pairings this weekend. Saturday’s games both feature an underdog that has played the favorite closely in recent matchups, despite a clear difference of talent, while Sunday includes a favorite with a prolific quarterback hosting an underdog still with something to prove. Nearly the same approach could be used for each game, as the public perception is that historic context of head-to-head matchups will remain relevant this time around.

It won’t.

Of the eight teams playing this weekend, the Panthers are the obvious ‘team that doesn’t belong,’ yet each of the favorites are giving at least six points. According to the spreads, no game should be remarkably close, but following those breadcrumbs blindly will likely lead down a dangerous path.

Instead, we step back from the common beliefs. We don’t discount them entirely, but recognize that they are a function of sample size, whether large or small.

Simply put, relative short-term success often leads to a reversal, not a continuation of the trend.

Below are predictions for each game against the spread. Spreads have been taken from various websites and are subject to change. The spread in parenthesis denotes the selected team.

Playoffs Against the Spread to Date: 4-0

*Confidence Picks (Season: 61-46-2)

All Picks Against Spread: 145-111-4

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola