NFL Wild-Card Playoff Betting Takeaways: Under Strikes Again
If you bet there would be high-scoring playoff action in the opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs, it was not a profitable weekend for you.
The four NFL Wild-Card games finished Under the total. The average points scored for the games was just 36.5. For the playoffs, lower scoring has been the trend. This year’s opening round nearly mirrors the 36.3-point average for last year’s Wild-Card games. The year before it was 38 points.
Divisional Rounds historically have seen more scoring: Last year, the second-round games averaged 49.8 ppg, nearly two TDs more than the previous week.
Here’s a look back at Wild-Card weekend and a quick look ahead to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Streaks Live On …
Bills Stars Score Again
The Bills couldn’t finish the job Saturday at Houston. They led 16-0 in the third quarter, but the Texans roared back for a 22-19 overtime win. But QB Josh Allen scored for the fifth time in six road games — on a TD reception. And WR John Brown had a scoring play for the fifth time in eight AFC games — he threw a TD pass to Allen.
The Under hit for the 13th time in the last 16 Bills road games, as well.
Seahawks Find A Way
Seattle’s big names came through and took advantage of Carson Wentz’s absence in a 17-9 win in Philly. The Seahawks have now won nine of 10 road games against the NFC East. They’ve also covered in six straight against the Eagles.
Marshawn Lynch scored a TD for the eighth time in 10 postseason games and D.K. Metcalf scored for the fourth game in a row after a Seahawks loss.
Low Scoring Trends Continue
The 26 total points in Philadelphia finished way under the O/U of 46. The Under hit for the fifth-straight Seahawks-Eagles game.
For the Eagles, the Under improved to 6-1 in their last six as home underdogs and 9-1-1 in their last 11 playoffs.
… And Streaks End
Titans-Patriots Buck History
New England’s Super Bowl title defense ended Saturday night in a 20-13 loss to the Titans. The Patriots had won nine straight postseason home games.
Several streak-riding standouts didn’t produce on either side. Sony Michel didn’t score for the first time in four games and James White didn’t for the first time in five home games against the AFC South.
In addition, A.J. Brown had just one catch and failed to score a TD for the first time in five games. Derrick Henry didn’t score two TDs for just the second time in five road games. He did have 32 carries for 182 yards and one TD. That’s not bad.
The Over was 9-1 in Tennessee’s last 10 games before missing Saturday.
Nothing Predictable in Vikings-Saints
The #Vikings’ opening drive fumble may be a good omen.— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 5, 2020
The last three teams to lose a fumble on the opening drive of a playoff game went on to win the Super Bowl:
2017 Eagles (Super Bowl LII)
2013 Seahawks (Super Bowl XLVIII)
2012 Ravens (Super Bowl XLVII)#Skol | @Vikings
The Vikings went to New Orleans and left standing with a dramatic 26-20 OT victory. New Orleans had won 10 of 12 home games against above-.500 teams before Sunday. But that’s not all.
Against the spread, Minnesota was on a 1-5 slide as a road underdog, 4-14 against teams with winning records and 2-7 in playoff road games.
The Over was 6-2 in the Vikings’ last eight games and 5-2 in the Saints’ last seven.
Eagles Can’t Get It Done
The Eagles had stepped up their game in the playoffs, but the injuries were too much this time. Philly was on a 6-0 ATS run in January games and were 10-1 ATS as a playoff underdog.
Best Pick Of Wild-Card Weekend
Vikings (+7.5) at Saints
The Saints were on an 0-4 ATS run as home playoff favorites, and the Vikings have been a bit overlooked. But when healthy, they’re an elite team. And they were healthy Sunday. They let New Orleans back into the game with shoddy defensive play calling, but Minnesota’s playmakers closed it out. I was also proud of the Drew Brees “Under 315.5 yards” prop pick based on the trends. He finished with 208 yards.
Worst Pick Of Wild-Card Weekend
Seahawks-Eagles Over 46
It wasn’t one of my Best Bets, but I thought we’d see some fireworks in Philly. Then Wentz got knocked out of the game after attempting just four passes, and that was about it for the chances on the Over hitting. Philadelphia’s defense held Seattle in check, but Josh McCown and the banged-up Eagles offense failed to make the big plays when they were needed.
A Quick Look Ahead
Lines change throughout the week. Here are three NFL betting lines to consider for the Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs before they move:
Packers -4 vs. Seahawks
The Packers have had Russell Wilson’s number over the course of Wilson’s career. The Seahawks last won in Green Bay in 1999. And the Packers are well-rested while the road-weary Seahawks get back on a plane once again.
Chiefs -9.5 vs. Texans
The Texans took advantage of Buffalo’s youth and pulled out an OT win after a huge second-half rally. The notoriously slow-starting Texans aren’t rallying if they get down big against the Chiefs, especially at Arrowhead.
Titans-Ravens Under 47.5 Points
It’s the top-rushing team in the NFL against the team with the top rusher. Both teams are going to try to control the ball with the ground game. This is a solid number that’s likely going to go down as the week progresses.