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NFL Wild Card Round Trends & Facts

The NFL Wild Card weekend is quickly approaching kick-off and with it comes some of the most exciting betting you can find. Eight teams will take to the field in the first true do-or-die games of this NFL postseason.

The game changes between the regular season and the playoffs, so you can’t just base your bets on how these teams ended Week 17. These are the hottest trends for the first weekend of playoff action, spanning the past 20 seasons.

Home Teams Have An Advantage

Much is made of homefield advantage and that old cliché has held true for the first round of the NFL playoffs. Home teams on Wild Card Weekend have dominated their travelling opponents with a 52-28 SU and a 47-31-2 ATS over the past 20 seasons.

Road teams have been especially bad over the past few seasons with just five wins in the past 16 Wild Card games. Road teams have averaged a mere 19.7 points per game through those games while holding an average scoring margin of minus-5.5.

If you think that relatively low scoring margin has offered some intriguing betting value on the road team, you would be incorrect, as the road team has covered just five of the past 16 Wild Card games.

Underdog Trend Looking to Continue

Books have rarely been caught with their pants down in the opening weekend of NFL playoff action, as the faves have been picking up the win more often than not. Favorites are 52-28 SU and 42-36-2 ATS in Wild Card games over the past 20 years.

The last two seasons have seen an interesting trend to watch moving forward as favorites have been winning but failing to cover. The faves have only covered twice in the past eight Wild Card games despite teams winning by an average of 8.4 points in those games.

Defense Steps Up In The Playoffs

Cliché time! Defense wins championships.

Teams have been getting into that mindset as they head into the playoffs as the UNDER has hit in 56 percent of Wild Card games over the past 20 seasons (O/U record of 34-45-1).

The past three seasons have epitomized this defensive mindset with the UNDER cashing out in nine of the 12 games on Wild Card Weekend. The average combined score of those 12 games has been 43.8 points.

Team Specific Trends
  • The Kansas City Chiefs are 0-7 ATS in their last seven Wild Card games.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-6 SU and ATS in their last six Wild Card games.
  • The total has gone OVER in seven of the Seattle Seahawks' last eight Wild Card games.
  • The Seattle Seahawks are 4-0 SU in their last four Wild Card games.
  • The total has gone OVER in each of the Minnesota Vikings' past four Wild Card games.
  • The Washington Redskins are 6-2 SU in their last eight Wild Card games.

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