What to look out for in the NFL playoffs


The first of the divisional playoffs sees the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the New England Patriots.

Injuries are dominating the build-up to this clash, with Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Jeremy Maclin and Albert Wilson out for the Chiefs, while Patriots fans will be praying for Robert Gronkowski to recover in time.

Gronk is one of the best tight ends in the league and was integral to the triumph at last year’s Super Bowl, with his knee injury likely to limit his impact even if he manages to take the field.

The Chiefs’ ten game winning streak coupled with the absence of Gronkowski will see the team from Kansas team come good on their 19/10 odds of victory.

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals is the next playoff tie and should be a straightforward affair for the hosts.

Carson Palmer has been having the best season of his career, throwing 4,671 yards with 35 touchdowns, and his team eased past the Packers 38-8 less than a month ago and have to be backed at 5/16.

However, punters looking for more of a windfall should back a repeat of their earlier meeting, with the Cardinals winning by 25-30 points priced at 12/1.

The third match of the playoffs pits the Seattle Seahawks against the Carolina Panthers, with the Seahawks only making it as the wildcard.

The may have only sneaked through, but their hot streak towards the end of the regular season saw them top the DVOA ratings, and they will cause an upset.

The Panthers won by four in their last meeting, but that was before the Seahawks found form and the wildcards should be backed at 11/10.

Finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers head to Denver to face the Broncos, but will be doing so without a number of crucial players.

Antonio Brown, their leading receiver, and DeAngelo Williams, their leading rusher, are both out, while Ben Roethlisberger is not at full fitness.

These injuries will make life easy for the Broncos and they will come good on their 5/17 odds of victory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.