However, these regular season winners only have a 43-61-3 record against the spread in the postseason rematches.

Buccaneer’s coach Bruce Arians also struggles to be a worthwhile betting interest. He’s 27-36-3 against the spread for the past five years, including this one, and counts both regular season and playoff games. The other three coaches who are still in the playoffs are well over 0.500.

2016 to 2020, including the playoffs

Record against the spread

Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers)

Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills)

Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs)

Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

With these and other trends in mind, we expect this week’s playoff teams to hold their own against the consensus point spreads (starting Tuesday afternoon) from several sports books in Las Vegas.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers (-3)

Selection: Green Bay Packers -3

Tampa Bay pressured quarterback Aaron Rodgers on 18 of his 41 drop-backs in Week 6, sacking him four times. He also forced a fumble and a pick six, one of two interceptions a day and only the third pick six of Rodger’s brilliant career. However, allowing such a pressure rate was an anomaly for the packers. Green Bay’s offensive line has been outstanding in every other game. No sack was allowed for the first five weeks of the season, and the Los Angeles Rams defensive front closed in their division game last weekend.

Plus, the buccaneers didn’t raise a single flag in this week 6 victory, another anomaly. It was only one of three times a team has accomplished this season. (The Seattle Seahawks weren’t whistled against the Miami Dolphins in week 4, and Green Bay went unpunished against the Tennessee Titans in week 16.) The Packers were reported six times against the Buccaneers during their regular season losses. The two remaining NFC teams averaged five penalties per game this season.

Buffalo Bills with the Kansas City Chiefs (-2½)

It was an uphill battle against the Bills in 2020. Buffalo is 12-6 against the spread, including the playoffs, and his starting quarterback, Josh Allen, is 27-17-2 against the spread (.587). That includes a 6-2-2 record against the spread if the Bills were underdogs by at least three points on the street. (The spread for this game has switched between Chiefs -3 and Chiefs -2½.)

Meanwhile, the health of the Chiefs starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains unclear. The former MVP continues to go through the league’s concussion logs after leaving and subsequently disfellowshipped from Sunday’s divisional round match in the third quarter. The difference between Mahomes and Backup Chad Henne is enormous. Mahomes finished 2020 as the second most important passerby after just Rodgers, while Henne wasn’t an NFL starting quarterback since 2013. It was estimated in August that the performance difference between Mahomes and Henne was worth nine points at the typical point spread, which could shift that line quite a bit before kick-off.

Even with Mahomes, Kansas City did not reach the opponent’s score. The last eight wins have been by six points or less, and the Chiefs have been against the spread since their departure in Week 10 1-7, missing an average of four points per game.


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