Online sports betting enthusiasts love to see the defense play well with their NFL picks. A strong defense can give a struggling offense time to find a way to get points on the board. Before you check out the NFL betting lines for the divisional games this weekend, check out this preview of each defense to see how these teams can improve their Super Bowl betting odds with some solid defensive play.
New York Jets
The Jets have an incredibly strong defense. They have solid cover corners in Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, and they have a very aggressive defensive line. The only problem the Jets seem to have on defense is when the linebackers over-pursue on the run or the pass rush. But look for the Jets defense to give New England quarterback Tom Brady problems all day long.
The Patriots have a front seven very capable of shutting down the Jets running game and forcing the pass. The problem is that the Patriots secondary is young and still learning. If Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez can find a way to get the ball deep, the Patriots could be in trouble.
With a final score of 41-36, it is pretty obvious that the Seahawks defense was unable to put up much of a fight against the Saints offense. The problem for the Seahawks is their defensive line. The linebackers are constantly compensating for the defensive line, and that opens up the middle of the field.
The Bears defense has everything it needs to succeed against the Seahawks. Defensive lineman Julius Peppers can rush the passer and stuff the run. Linebacker Brian Urlacher can spy the quarterback, move up to stuff the run or pick off a pass to the tight end. The Bears defense is smart as well as aggressive, and that is what makes them dangerous.
With Ray Lewis pushing the pass rushers and run stoppers, and Ed Reed patrolling the middle of the field, there will be very little room for the Steelers to operate in. The one weakness of the Ravens defense is their defensive line. But Lewis and his linebackers are fast enough to help out if the line gets in trouble.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice are in for a long and painful day. No defense in the league hits like the Steelers, and no linebacking corps is faster. The Steelers are aggressive up front, and they have safety Troy Polamalu roaming the rest of the field to take away the long ball.
The Falcons have a problem stopping the run, and that can create a challenge with the emergence of Packers running back James Starks in the Packers win over the Eagles. The Falcons pass rush may be aggressive, but it is not fast enough to contain Aaron Rodgers if Rodgers determines that he is healthy enough to start running down the field.
Green Bay Packers
Linebackers A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews anchor one of the best linebacking groups in the league. But the Packers have a problem in the secondary stopping the long ball. Teams seem to be able to drive down the field on the Packers defense late in the game, and much of that is due to the problems in the Green Bay secondary.
Join ESPN Insider today for the best sports analysis online, plus ESPN The Magazine!