Panthers, Cardinals home betting favorites for NFC Divisional Round

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The Carolina Panthers will be looking to end a three-game straight-up losing streak in NFC Divisional Playoff action when they play host to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday as 2.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The 15-1 Panthers capped their regular season schedule with a convincing 38-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 10-point home chalk.

However, they have failed to progress past the Divisional Playoff round since 2006, taking a 1-4 SU overall record in their past five playoff games into Sunday afternoon’s Seahawks vs. Panthers betting matchup at Bank of America Stadium.

Carolina has dominated in the standings, but struggled at the sportsbooks down the stretch, going 2-3 against the spread in their final five regular-season contests. However, they remain a solid bet at home, covering in five of their past six games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Seahawks continued their strong defensive play in last weekend’s 10-9 Wild Card victory over Minnesota. Seattle has won seven of eight SU, allowing more than 13 points on just two occasions while holding opponents to just two total major scores over their past five wins.

The Seahawks have also been one of the NFL’s most successful playoff performers over the past two years, going 6-1 SU in their past seven postseason games, including a 43-8 victory over Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII.

In Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff matchup, the Arizona Cardinals hope to avoid losing back-to-back contests for the first time in over a year when they host the Green Bay Packers as 7.5-point betting favorites. The Cardinals suffered a 36-6 loss to the Seahawks in their final regular-season outing as 6-point chalk.

That loss further diminished the attraction of Arizona as a heavy favorite, dropping them to 2-5 ATS in their past seven when favored by six or more points. However, the club has held opponents to just 12.2 points per game over their past five wins, forcing the point total UNDER in five of their past six, including three home contests.

The Packers travel to the desert riding high following a 35-18 win over the NFC East champion Washington Redskins in last weekend’s Wild Card matchup, picking up the outright win as 2-point underdogs.

The win ended a two-game SU and ATS slide and marked their highest offensive output on the road since a 38-17 win in Chicago early in the 2014 campaign.

The Packers are a mediocre 4-3 SU and ATS in their last seven road games, 2-2 SU and ATS in their last four games as underdogs, and winless in their past two visits to University of Phoenix Stadium.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app