What You Need to Know About Sunday's NFL Playoff Games

NFL Jan 16, 2021

Note:  All odds current at SPREADS.CA

CLEVELAND (12 - 5) at KANSAS CITY (14 - 2)

Cleveland Road Record: 6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS, 5-4 O/U
Kansas City Home Record: 6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 O/U

This is the second NFL meeting between these former Texas Tech quarterbacks.  Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs past Baker Mayfield and the Browns, 37-21 as 7.5-point road favorites in 2018.

Kareem Hunt scored three touchdowns for Kansas City, but the running back is now with Cleveland, making for an interesting storyline.  The Chiefs and Browns are hooking up in the playoffs for the first time ever, while Cleveland is making its first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since 2015.

The Browns clinched their first postseason berth since 2002, when they ultimately lost to the rival Steelers in the Wild Card round.  Fast forward 18 years later, Cleveland jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead to bounce Pittsburgh from the playoffs in a 48-37 triumph as five-point underdogs.

The Chiefs are fresh off their first Super Bowl title in 50 years when they rallied past the 49ers last February.  Kansas City is 4-1 in the playoffs with Mahomes as their starting quarterback, including a 3-1 ATS mark at Arrowhead.

AFC top seeds won six consecutive divisional round games from 2013-18 before Baltimore was tripped up by Tennessee in 2019. Kansas City's four postseason victories under Mahomes' guidance have all come by 11 points or more.

Some trends:

CLEVELAND is 3-10 ATS against conference opponents this season.
KANSAS CITY is 26-14 ATS against conference opponents over the last three seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
KANSAS CITY is 1-0 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last three seasons
KANSAS CITY is 1-0 straight up against CLEVELAND over the last three seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last three seasons

Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Cleveland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games

Kansas City
Kansas City is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games
Kansas City is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games at home


TAMPA BAY (12 - 5) at NEW ORLEANS (13 - 4)

Tampa Bay Road Record: 7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS, 6-3 O/U
New Orleans Home Record: 7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS, 6-3 O/U

The Saints whipped the Buccaneers in each of the first two matchups by double-digit.  New Orleans topped Tampa Bay in Tom Brady's debut with the Buccaneers in Week 1 at the Superdome, 34-23.  The Saints returned a Brady interception for a touchdown and won as four-point favorites in spite of gaining 271 yards of offense.

In the second matchup at Raymond James Stadium in early November, the Saints punished the Buccaneers as three-point underdogs, 38-3 for their fifth straight win in the series.  New Orleans outgained Tampa Bay, 420-194, while the Saints held the ball for 40 minutes to 20.

New Orleans and Tampa Bay are hooking up for the first time ever in the postseason, while the Saints look to improve on a 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS record under head coach Sean Payton at home in the second round.

The Buccaneers picked up their first playoff win since 2007 after edging Washington last week, 31-23 as 10-point favorites. Brady is undefeated in his last eight divisional round appearances, although they all came at home as a member of the Patriots. The last time Brady played on the road in the divisional round came at San Diego in 2006 as New England escaped with a 24-21 victory.

The last time Tampa Bay played in the divisional round was back in 2002, when the Bucs rolled the 49ers, 31-6 and eventually captured their first and only Super Bowl in franchise history.

Some trends:

NEW ORLEANS is 18-7 ATS when playing with six or less days rest over the last two seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 20-9 ATS after two or more consecutive wins over the last three seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 0-6 ATS in home games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last three Tampa Bay

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ORLEANS is 5-1 against the spread versus TAMPA BAY over the last three seasons
NEW ORLEANS is 5-1 straight up against TAMPA BAY over the last three seasons
Four of six games in this series have gone OVER the total over the last three seasons

Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

New Orleans
New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Tampa Bay