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NFL Odds: Wild Card Weekend

Wild Card weekend betting has followed a clear path in recent years - don't bet NFC home teams to cover the spread.

In the last dozen games involving NFC Wild Card games, the home team has prevailed just three times (3-9 ATS).

While teams change season to season, there are often underlying considerations which contribute to patterns like this.

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The defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks, the first team ever to finish under .500 and win an NFL division. Books like Bovada and Sportsbook.ag, among many others, don’t believe in the Seahawks, making them 10.5-point home underdogs in the early NFL odds.

The over/under is 44.5 at Bovada and 45 at Sportsbook.ag.

But are bettors walking into a trap? A spread of more than 10 points is a risky thing for a road team. The New Orleans Saints also have a boatload of players in danger of missing the game due to injury, including Marques Colston, Chris Ivory and Jimmy Graham. Hopefully the spread will shrink.

The New York Jets travel to Indianapolis to face Peyton Manning and the Colts in what should be a hotly contested NFL playoff betting matchup. Bovada and Bovada have the Colts favored by just 2.5 points with the total at 44.5.

It’s probably smart to jump on Indy’s line while the spread is less than a field goal. Peyton Manning has corrected his turnover problem, throwing nine touchdown passes and only two interceptions over this last four starts. Also, the Jets’ supposedly invincible pass defense has laid a few eggs this season (mainly against New England and Chicago).

The upstart Kansas City Chiefs went from winning two games a season ago to hosting a playoff game as the AFC West champions. Not too shabby. Still, they’re three-point underdogs against Baltimore at Bovada, Bovada and almost every major book, with the over/under falling at 41 points.

Could K.C. be a nice sleeper pick? Under Charlie Weis, the Chiefs’ offense has flourished. The Ravens have been overrated against the pass, often struggling against elite aerial attacks, and their own passing game hasn’t been effective of late. Joe Flacco has three straight sub-200 yard efforts.

The storied Green Bay Packers hope to beat Michael Vick and the Eagles at Philadelphia for the second time this season when they meet up in the week’s final game on Sunday. NFL odds have the Eagles favored by 2.5 points according to Sportsbook.ag and Bovada and expect a fair amount of points, with the total listed at 46 almost everywhere.

Here’s yet another potential upset play. Teams have begun to figure out Michael Vick, pressuring him and hitting him constantly. Vick had one interception in his first eight games and five in his last four. The Pack’s stellar defense finished second in the NFL in both interceptions (24) and sacks (47) this season.

Considering they also have Aaron Rodgers facing an Eagles secondary full of rookies, the Green Bay Packers also look like they could score some serious points.