NFL 2016: What Should Bettors Know for Wild Card Weekend?
Playoff football is here and it starts off with a bang. This could be the start of the next Brady/Manning type rivalry: Connor Cook vs. Brock Osweiler. While they may not be the first or even second choice at QB for their respective teams, expect a ton of yards and points in this game. The books are expecting a whopping 37.5 points…for both teams combined that is. That number had dropped to 36.5 during the week, but it is back up to where it had opened.
About 60% of spread bets are on the Texans, who have gone from -3 to -4 over the week. If you don’t watch this game, I don’t think anyone would blame you.
The second Saturday game is not expected to be as close as the first, but it should definitely be more watchable. The Seahawks had a relatively quiet season and an easy time winning the NFC West, but they remain a big favorite against the Lions in their first playoff game. Despite receiving only 44% of spread bets, they have gone from -7 to -8 over the week. This is a rare situation where the public is on the dog, but sharps appear to be on the favorite. With 70% of bets on the over, the total for this game has gone from 42.5 to 44.
On Sunday, we’ll get to see some real tough 300 pound men wearing short sleeves in sub-20 degree temperatures.
As you can see by the weather forecast below, fans are probably better off watching these games from home.
The Steelers are the biggest favorites of the weekend. With no Ryan Tannehill, the books aren’t giving the Dolphins much of a chance in this one. The Steelers are getting slightly more than 50% of spread bets, going from -10 to -10.5 over the week. With cold, wind, and possibly even snow expected, the total has fallen from 47.5 to 45.5. The under has only received 44% of bets, but 65% of dollars, which has helped drop that total.
Sunday night’s game in Green Bay could very well be the best game of the weekend. Just like with the Seattle game, we have another contest where the dog, the Giants, is getting the majority of spread bets. However, Green Bay has gone from -4 to -5 over the week. While the 4/5 point range isn’t exactly a key spot, the Packers moving an entire point despite getting less than 50% of bets is still noteworthy. The total in this game fell from 44.5 to 44 early in the week, but climbed back up to 44.5 and has remained there for the majority of the week.
For some more playoff line movement analysis, check out this piece on the OAK/HOU game.
Ryan Tannehill- Knee- Out. The Dolphins will be rolling with Matt Moore once again as Tannehill’s knee still isn’t ready.
Tom Savage- Concussion- Out. The Texans had benched Brock Osweiler just a couple of weeks ago in favor of Tom Savage, but after suffering a concussion last week, Osweiler has a chance to redeem himself against Oakland.
Matt McGloin- Shoulder- Will Back Up. McGloin was expected to replace Derek Carr for as long as the Raiders survived in the playoffs, but after injuring his shoulder last week, he’s not healthy enough to start.
Lamar Miller- Ankle- Probable. The Texans have turned to Alfred Blue over the past couple of weeks with Miller banged up, but he will play this week. Whether or not he gets more snaps than Blue will likely be determined during the game.
Randall Cobb- Ankle- Probable. Aaron Rodgers should have a full arsenal of receivers Sunday as Cobb will return after missing a few weeks with an ankle injury.
Other Notable Injuries:
Probable: Damarious Randall, Jadeveon Clowney, Janoris Jenkins, Mario Williams.
Doubtful/Out: Ladarius Green, Byron Maxwell, Donald Penn, Ricardo Mathews, James Starks, Quinten Rollins.
ODDS AND ENDS
With the regular season ending, we’ve had plenty of coverage on various props and futures.
Our regular season recap touches on preseason futures such as player props, divisional odds, and more.
Already wondering what next week’s lines will look like? Our lookahead lines show you what the lines will look like for potential matchups in the divisional round.
With just 12 teams remaining, take a look at the updated Super Bowl odds for the playoffs.
For all of the NFL head coaching props, take a look at our odds summary article.
Matt Ryan has become a huge MVP favorite over the past week.
Since Wednesday, Matt Ryan’s odds of winning the NFL MVP have improved from -175 to -500 at BetOnline. https://t.co/U6Q2txZoE9
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) January 6, 2017
For Ryan’s odds history throughout the season, check out our MVP odds article.
Odds were posted this week for a different type of MVP…Super Bowl MVP, that is. To nobody’s surprise, Tom Brady is the favorite by a wide margin.
Our podcast this week includes more analysis on all four playoff games.
Purchase a Sportsbook Insider PRO membership and get NFL picks, contrarian plays, dollar percentages and bet signals, along with a fully customizable live odds page, line watcher, line predictor, the number of bets on every game, and more.
If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to reach out to the Sports Insights staff by utilizing our live chat feature, commenting below, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.