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NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games

NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games 1 month 3 weeks ago #529029

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Tuesday 1/5/21 thread for handicapping service plays and expert predictions for NFL, NBA, NCAAF & NCAAB games
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NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games 1 month 3 weeks ago #529030

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AFC Wild Card Cheat Sheet, Odds, Trends

The road to the AFC Championship will begin next weekend in the Wild Card Round as six teams will look to advance to the NFL Divisional Playoff Round.

The Kansas City Chiefs will have the first weekend off as the defending Super Bowl Champions earned the No. 1 seed in the conference.

Seeds two through four are the division winners while five, six and seven are the Wild Card teams.

AFC Playoff Bracket and Matchups

1 Seed - Kansas City Chiefs (First Round Bye)
2 Buffalo Bills vs. 7 Indianapolis Colts
3 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. 6 Cleveland Browns
4 Tennessee Titans vs. 5 Baltimore Ravens

Odds to Win AFC Championship

Kansas City Chiefs -120
Buffalo Bills +350
Baltimore Ravens +650
Pittsburgh Steelers +1000
Tennessee Titans +1300
Indianapolis Colts +1500
Cleveland Browns +1800

Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts

Date: Saturday January 9
Venue: Bills Stadium
Location: Orchard Park, New York
TV-Time: CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Bills -6.5, Total 52.5

Indianapolis Road Record: 5-3 SU, 4-3 ATS, 6-2 O/U
Buffalo Home Record: 7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS, 5-3 O/U

Head-to-Head

Handicapping current form and this year’s production will be a necessity between these teams since they don’t have much recent history. The Colts defeated the Bills 37-5 in the 2018 regular season, when Andrew Luck was the starting quarterback for Indianapolis. The pair also met in 2017 and Buffalo captured a 13-7 home win.

The home team has won six straight in this series, dating back to 2006. Total bettors should make a note that the ‘under’ has gone 5-1 during this span.

Playoff Notes

The Bills have made the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons but the franchise hasn’t won a playoff game since 1995. In the most recent games, Buffalo was competitive but it fell to Houston 22-19 last season and Jacksonville 10-3 in 2018. The ‘under’ cashed easily in both of those games.

After missing the postseason last season due to the abrupt retirement of the aforementioned Luck, Indy is back in the dance. The one trend to keep in mind with the Colts focuses on the total as the team is on a 5-0 run to the ‘under.’

The new QB in Indianapolis is Philip Rivers, who owns a 5-6 all-time record in the postseason during his time with the Chargers. Of those five wins, three did come on the road and make a note of this. Rivers was a perfect 4-0 in Wild Card games and his last two wins were outside of California.


Tennessee vs. Baltimore

Date: Sunday, January 10
Venue: Nissan Stadium,
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
TV-Time: ESPN, 1:00 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Ravens -4, Total 54.5

Baltimore Road Record: 6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS, 3-5 O/U
Tennessee Home Record: 5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS, 6-1-1 O/U

Head-to-Head

The 4-5 matchup in the AFC will feature a newly heated rivalry as the Titans and Ravens square off. In last year’s Divisional Playoff round, Tennessee humbled Baltimore 28-12 as a 10-point road underdog.

Fast forward to this season and the Titans captured another road win in Maryland over the Ravens, a 30-24 overtime victory in Week 11. Tennessee was a six-point underdog in this contest.

The visitor has won the past three meetings in this series, which could bode well for Baltimore if you believe the trend will continue.

Playoff Notes

This will be a rare home playoff game for the Titans, the last occurrence coming in the 2008 playoffs and coincidentally Tennessee dropped a 13-10 decision to Baltimore in the Divisional round.

The Titans have gone 3-2 both SU and ATS in their last five playoff games, all taking place on the road. The ‘under’ has gone 3-2 as well and defense has been a major catalyst for Tennessee in those games. In the losses, the Titans allowed 35 PPG while just 15.3 PPG in the wins. This year’s defensive squad for Tennessee would need to improve quickly if it wants to get in the two-touchdown neighborhood.

Baltimore has yet to win a playoff game with QB Lamar Jackson under center, going 0-2 the last two years and both games took place at home. The Ravens were held to 12 and 17 points in the setbacks.

Playing on the road in the postseason has proven to be better for head coach John Harbaugh and Baltimore have gone 8-5 in playoff games away from home, which includes a Super Bowl win in 2013. Digging deeper, Baltimore is 4-0 in Wild Card games on the road under Harbaugh and the offense has averaged 30 PPG.


Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland

Date: Saturday January 9 or Sunday, January 10
Venue: Heinz Field
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV-Time: NBC, 8:15 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Steelers -3.5, Total 47

Cleveland Road Record: 5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 O/U
Pittsburgh Home Record: 7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS, 5-3 O/U

Head-to-Head

Quick rematch game here as Cleveland (-10) defeated a short-handed Pittsburgh squad 24-22 this past Sunday to clinch a playoff berth. In the first regular season meeting in Week 6, the Steelers blasted the Browns 38-7 as three-point home favorites.

Including those results, the home team has gone 6-0-1 in the last seven encounters between the two teams. The ‘under’ is on a 3-1 run over the last two regular seasons.

Playoff Notes

The Steelers haven’t been in the playoffs since 2017 when they dropped a 45-42 home decision to the Jaguars. Including that loss, Pittsburgh is just 1-2 in its last three home playoff games. However, the Steelers have gone 2-0 in their last two Wild Card matchups and the defense has only surrendered 15 PPG which has led to an easy pair of ‘under’ tickets.

Not much playoff history for Cleveland, who hasn’t participated in the postseason since 2003. Sure enough, their last playoff game came against Pittsburgh and it was a wild one as the Steelers captured a 36-33 shootout victory over the Browns at home. For those who forget, QB Tommy Maddox outdueled his counterpart Kelly Holcomb.
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NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games 1 month 3 weeks ago #529031

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NFC Wild Card Cheat Sheet, Odds, Trends

The road to the NFC Championship will begin next weekend in the Wild Card Round as six teams will look to advance to the NFL Divisional Playoff Round.

Seeds two through four are the division winners while five, six and seven are the Wild Card teams.

After losing in the NFC Championship last season, the Green Bay Packers own home-field advantage in the NFC as they are the top seed at 13-3.

NFC Playoff Bracket and Matchups

1 Seed - Green Bay (First Round Bye)
2 New Orleans vs. 7 Chicago
3 Seattle vs. 6 L.A. Rams
4 Washington vs. 5 Tampa Bay

Odds to Win NFC Championship

Green Bay Packers +160
New Orleans Saints +275
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +450
Seattle Seahawks +450
Los Angeles Rams +1200
Chicago Bears +3300
Washington Football Team +3300


Matchup - Chicago vs. New Orleans

Date: Sunday, January 10
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
TV-Time: CBS, 4:40 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Saints -9.5, Total 48

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

Head-to-Head

The Saints edged the Bears at Soldier Field in Week 8 in overtime, 26-23. Chicago managed a cover as 5.5-point home underdogs, while the total sailed 'over' 41 points. Saints' quarterback Drew Brees threw for 280 yards in the victory, as New Orleans kicked four field goals and scored two touchdowns.

Playoff Notes

This marks the first time in three playoff meetings between these two teams that the game will take place in New Orleans. The Bears beat the Saints in the Wild Card round in 1990, while eliminating New Orleans to capture the 2006 NFC championship, 39-14.

New Orleans is in the playoffs for the fourth straight season, while winning each of its last three Wild Card contests. Chicago is making its second postseason appearance since 2011, as the Bears were squeezed by the Eagles in the Wild Card round in 2018 by a 16-15 count.


Matchup - L.A. Rams vs. Seattle

Date: Saturday January 9
Venue: Lumen Field
Location: Seattle, Washington
TV-Time: FOX, 4:40 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Seahawks -5, Total 43

Los Angeles Road Record: 4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS, 4-4 O/U
Seattle Home Record: 7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS, 3-5 O/U

Head-to-Head

These two NFC West rivals split a pair of meetings with the home team winning each time. The Rams knocked off the Seahawks in Week 10 at SoFi Stadium, 23-16 as three-point favorites, while staying 'under' the total of 55.

Seattle picked up revenge in Week 16 with a 20-9 triumph over Los Angeles as 1.5-point favorites to win the division title.

Playoff Notes

Seattle is in the playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine seasons, as the Seahawks have won their postseason opener in six of their past seven opportunities. In the only other postseason matchup between these clubs, the Rams eliminated the Seahawks, 27-20 in the 2004 Wild Card round.

The Rams are making their third postseason appearance in the past four seasons under head coach Sean McVay, as Los Angeles advanced all the way to the Super Bowl in 2018 before falling short against New England, 13-3. In the only road postseason contest under McVay, the Rams edged the Saints in overtime, 26-23 of the 2018 NFC Championship.


Matchup - Tampa Bay vs. Washington

Date: Saturday January 9
Venue: FedEx Field
Location: Landover, Maryland
TV-Time: NBC, 8:15 p.m. ET

Opening Line: Buccaneers -7.5, Total 46.5

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

Head-to-Head

Tampa Bay and Washington did not hook up this season, as the Football Team beat the Buccaneers, 16-3 as 3.5-point road underdogs in their previous matchup in 2018. Alex Smith led Washington past Tampa Bay that day, but obviously Tom Brady was not with the Bucs at the time. Brady torched Washington in 2018 as a member of the Patriots in a 33-7 rout at FedEx Field as 15.5-point favorites, while throwing three touchdown passes.

Playoff Notes

For the 18th time in his career, Brady has made the playoffs, while taking the Patriots to the Super Bowl in four of the past six seasons. Last season ended with a dud in a 20-13 home loss to the Titans in the Wild Card round, as this is the first time in Brady's career that his team is beginning the playoffs on the road.

The Buccaneers ended a long playoff drought by qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2007. Tampa Bay last won a playoff game in 2002, which happened to be in Super Bowl XXXVII against the Raiders.

Washington has lost four consecutive playoff games dating back to 2005, when it actually beat Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round, 17-10. In 2012 and 2015, Washington won the NFC East title but ended up losing its first playoff contest by falling to Seattle and Green Bay, respectively, each by double-digits.
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NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games 1 month 3 weeks ago #529032

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NFL Wild Card Odds: Opening Lines, Sharp Money & Line Moves
Patrick Everson

The NFL regular season wrapped up Sunday, and NFL Wild Card playoff odds are on the board and getting action. Among the highlights are two games pairing division rivals, with the Los Angeles Rams visiting the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, and the host Pittsburgh Steelers getting an immediate rematch with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The SuperBook's John Murray provided insights on NFL Wild Card Weekend opening lines and early line movement, sharp money and public betting.

NFL Wild Card Round Odds

Colts at Bills Odds
Opening line
Bills -6.5, Over/Under 52.5

Why the line moved
There was some thought that Buffalo might not go all out in Week 17 to nab the AFC's No. 2 seed. A 28-point second quarter en route to a 56-26 victory over Miami squelched that thought, and the Bills now won't have to face top-seeded Kansas City prior to the AFC Championship Game.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis clinched the seventh and final AFC playoff spot with a 28-14 victory over Jacksonville.

"We took a $40,000 parlay of Bills -6.5 to Ohio State +8 last night," Murray said Monday morning of Buffalo-related action right out of the gate. "The Bills opened -6.5, and everyone was betting Buffalo, so we went to -7."

The total dipped a tick to 52 early Monday morning for the opener of Saturday's three-game playoff slate.


Rams at Seahawks Odds
Opening line
Seahawks -5, Over/Under 43

Why the line moved
The Seahawks ended up getting the NFC's No. 3 seed, but sure didn't look like they wanted it for much of Sunday's game against the 49ers. Seattle, facing third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard, led 6-3 at halftime and trailed 16-6 after a San Francisco touchdown in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

But the Seahawks pulled it together by scoring the next 20 points – three touchdowns, the first of which had a missed extra point – and hung on for a 26-23 victory. Meanwhile, the Rams found a way to win and secure a wild-card spot, despite not having QB Jared Goff (thumb). Los Angeles slogged to an 18-7 home victory over Arizona.

Seattle inched down to -4.5 Monday morning at The SuperBook.

"We are guessing probably no Goff," Murray said, noting the Rams QB's thumb injury. "I don't know how much difference he makes, but I know the perception would be that he's worth something."


Buccaneers at Washington Odds
Opening line
Washington +6.5, Over/Under 46.5

Why the line moved
Washington won the battle to represent the NFL's worst division, beating host Philadelphia 20-14 in the Week 17 Sunday nighter to claim the NFC East title and the No. 4 seed, despite a 7-9 record. Tampa Bay rode a 21-point fourth quarter to a 44-27 home win over Atlanta and is the NFC's No. 5 seed.

"We are at Bucs -8," Murray said Monday, noting a 1.5-point jump, one point of which came shortly after this line posted Sunday night. "It's just gonna be all moneyline parlays and teasers with the Bucs."

The total fell to 46 Monday morning.


Ravens at Titans Odds
Opening line
Titans +4.5, Over/Under 55

Why the line moved
Tennessee tried to give away the AFC South and the No. 4 playoff seed, turning a 31-15 third-quarter lead into a 35-31 fourth-quarter deficit at Houston. A wild final couple of minutes saw the Titans sandwich a touchdown and a bank-shot, final-seconds field goal around a Texans field goal, as Tennessee escaped with a 41-38 victory.

Baltimore had no such close-call issues in its regular-season finale at Cincinnati, where the Ravens rumbled to a 38-3 win to secure the No. 5 seed.

"The Ravens-Titans number came down a little," Murray said of a pretty quick drop from Baltimore -4.5 to -3.5, for the first of three Sunday playoff games. "That's definitely the best matchup of the weekend. Too bad it's at 10 a.m. PT. It should be really good two-way action."

The total dropped a notch to 54.5 Monday morning.


Bears at Saints Odds
Opening line
Saints -9.5, Over/Under 48

Why the line moved
Chicago needed a win to guarantee an NFC playoff spot, but couldn't get it in a 35-16 home setback to Green Bay. However, thanks to Arizona tumbling to Los Angeles, the Bears grabbed the seventh and final slot and a spot on Wild Card Weekend.

New Orleans already had a playoff spot secured entering Week 17, but went out and pounded Carolina 33-7 anyway to secure the No. 2 seed. That means the Saints won't go on the road until, and if, they face the top-seeded Packers.

"Bears-Saints will be the same as the Bucs game," Murray said. "All the moneyline parlays will go there and to Alabama (in the CFP championship) the next night."


Browns at Steelers Odds
Opening line
Steelers -3.5, Over/Under 47

Why the line moved
Two teams that just squared off to end the regular season get a Wild Card Weekend rematch, though the location changes, with Pittsburgh at home. Cleveland needed to win Sunday to assure a playoff spot and made things interesting, despite the Steelers resting Ben Roethlisberger and other key players. But the Browns got there 24-22 to nab the AFC's No. 6 seed and another meeting with the No. 3 Steelers.

Pittsburgh nudged up to -4 Monday morning at The SuperBook, and the total dipped a tick to 46.5.

"The last game of an NFL playoff weekend, there's always a ton of parlay liability to the favorite. I expect us to see that again with the Steelers," Murray said. "We will need the Bears and Browns pretty big on Sunday."
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NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games 1 month 3 weeks ago #529033

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NFL Wild Card Round Betting Tips: Bet Now or Bet Later
Jason Logan

Buffalo is on fire right now, and with the indoor-friendly Indianapolis Colts coming to Orchard Park in January, we suggest you jump on the Bills—NOW.

If you thought regular-season NFL odds were tight, wait until you tangle with the NFL playoff odds. With fewer games on the board, bookies put all their might into making the numbers and adjusting off action on these postseason showdowns.

The first round of point spreads and totals are on the board for the Wild Card games and just like we did every Sunday night during the season, we’re planning out our NFL betting strategy when it comes to getting the best of the playoff numbers.

These are our NFL betting tips for the Wild Card odds to bet now and which ones you should bet later.

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (-6.5): Bet Now

The Bills opened just under touchdown favorites at home to the Colts in the Wild Card Round, and money on Buffalo has boosted the juice to -6.5 (-115) at some books. With the way the Bills are playing – and the 56 points they dropped on Miami in Week 17 – you know this spread is going to hit seven—and soon.

Buffalo’s resume for 2020-21 is impressive, with its three losses all explainable blemishes. The Bills whiffed in a weird COVID-complicated Tuesday night matchup with Tennessee in Week 5, lost to the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on a short week, and fell victim to a 43-yard Hail Mary in a 32-30 loss at Arizona. That’s it.

The Colts are a worthy advisory, having won four of their last five games to finish with 11 victories. But this is an indoor team coming to Orchard Park in January. On top of the limited amount of Bills Mafia being admitted for this game, the weather in Buffalo this weekend is calling for temperatures around freezing. Indianapolis has played in five outdoor games this year, boasting a 2-3 SU and ATS mark.

If you’re betting the Bills, make sure you get them under the touchdown now.

Cleveland Browns (+4) at Pittsburgh Steelers: Bet Later

The last time the Browns went to the tournament, Kanye West’s ego was nonexistent and Tobey Maguire was the only big-screen Spider-Man we knew. Ah, 2002. Simpler times.

Thanks to the expanded 2021 playoff, Cleveland clashes with a familiar foe in the Wild Card Round. The Browns opened +4 versus the Steelers at most books, but this spread is starting to tick up with a +4.5 out there at -115. This is a dead number and bookies will allow early money to dictate the move, which means if action comes on Pittsburgh – and it will – the adjustment will be fast and furious to +5 or higher.

Cleveland just squeaked past the Steelers’ skeleton crew in Week 17, winning 24-22 as a 10.5-point home favorite. And when you add on a Week 16 loss to the lowly Jets, the Browns aren’t playing their best football heading into the postseason. However, if you’re clamoring to bet Cleveland, hold your horses. This spread is going to go up, barring any injuries/COVID crap. Wait to bet the Browns.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (Over 47.5): Bet Now

In a battle between the Bears and Saints – two of the better stop units in recent years – you might be surprised that the Over is the hot ticket this Wild Card Weekend. This total opened 47.5 and the vig is starting to tick up on the Over, with some books already dealing 48 points.

Chicago’s offense showed up for the home stretch of the schedule, scoring 30 or more points in each of the four games between Week 13 and Week 16. And, even though the Bears botched the Week 17 finale with only 16 points against Green Bay, they still out-yarded the Packers in the box score.

The Saints hung 33 points on the board against Carolina with no Michael Thomas and a half a running back in the finale game. New Orleans’ defense started to budge in the home stretch of the regular season, but the offense has produced 114 total points in the past three games.

The Saints and Bears battled to a 26-23 overtime win for NOLA back in Week 8 but didn’t need the extra frame to top the modest 41-point total. This time around, books have raised the bar, so if you’re on the Over again, get it now at 47.5 before the number keeps growing.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (Under 42.5): Bet Later

These divisional foes meet for a third time this season and after examining their last two matchups, you can see why this total is hanging pretty low. Well, that and the uncertainty around Jared Goff’s surgically repaired thumb.

Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay is possibly slow playing Seattle on the availability of Goff after talking to reporters Sunday night, and this total is being made with John Wolford as Los Angeles’ starting quarterback. However, from reports last week and recent comments from Goff, it sounds like there’s a good shot of him taking snaps in the Wild Card Round.

Even with Goff under center, the Rams and Seahawks went below the number in both matchups in 2020 with only 69 combined points produced in those outings. Los Angeles can ill afford to get into a shootout with the Seahawks and have helped Under backers cash in 11 of the Rams’ last 13 games. Seattle’s stop unit took half the schedule to find its footing but has given up an average of only 16 points per game in the eight games since Week 10 (a run of seven straight Unders until a Week 17 Over).

At its current setting, this number is a tough pill to swallow for those leaning Under, so if you are banking on low-scoring football in Seattle (where it could be rainy and cold Saturday), wait until the veil is lifted on Goff and see if this total gets a shot in the arm—and some extra points.
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NFL Betting Match-Ups and Trends For Wild Card Games 1 month 3 weeks ago #529034

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141INDIANAPOLIS -142 BUFFALO
BUFFALO is 8-1 ATS (6.9 Units) after scoring 25 points or more in 2 straight games in the current season.

143LA RAMS -144 SEATTLE
LA RAMS are 17-7 ATS (9.3 Units) against conference opponents in the last 2 seasons.

145TAMPA BAY -146 WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON is 25-8 ATS (16.2 Units) vs. excellent passing teams averaging 260 or more passing yards/game after 8+ games since 1992.

147BALTIMORE -148 TENNESSEE
BALTIMORE is 12-3 ATS (8.7 Units) vs. poor passing defenses - allowing a comp. pct. of 61% or worse in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

149CHICAGO -150 NEW ORLEANS
NEW ORLEANS are 17-7 ATS (9.3 Units) with <=6 days rest in the last 2 seasons.

151CLEVELAND -152 PITTSBURGH
CLEVELAND is 2-10 ATS (-9 Units) against conference opponents in the current season.
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