Bark = Bite: So Far, NFL's Underdog Weekend True to Form

Published on 13-Jan-2013 by Sports Junkie

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Stake

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Bark = Bite: So Far, NFL's Underdog Weekend True to Form

Yesterday's NFL playoff results held true to AccuScore's projections that the league's divisional round tends to favor the underdogs. Baltimore proved why Bronco safety Rahim Moore isn't a center fielder, and San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh again gave a figurative two-finger salute to those pundits who think Alex Smith should still be his starting QB. Instead, Colin Kaepernick was a key reason why the 49ers were listed by AccuScore as the favorite most likely to succeed this weekend.

In the 11 seasons since realignment, underdogs are now 25-18 against the spread in the divisional round. Given the weekend to date, fortune thus seems to favor the Seahawks and Texans today:

Seattle is +2.5 at Atlanta

Houston is +9.5 at New England

When setting lines, Las Vegas usually makes a practice of spotting the home team three points to note the advantage of playing at home. So when a visitor is a less-than-three-point dog, the subtle message is often that the numbers actually consider it to be the better team.

If so, Seattle's hot streak could well continue, and the day of the dog will hold form. And up in Foxboro, the Texans will -- at the veyr least -- keep it close.