NFL Wild Card Weekend Betting Trends

Wild Card Weekend Betting Trends

After five months of explosive action on the gridiron, the NFL playoffs are finally here! The thrill of the playoffs ups the ante, as every snap, every fourth-down decision, and every game means so much more. As Wild Card Weekend kicks off, there are a plethora of betting trends and statistics for bettors to consider. Before teams take the field in their quest for Super Bowl glory, these trends offer bettors a roadmap through the labyrinth of playoff odds.

Historical Wild Card Weekend Betting Trends

Let's explore all the greatest Wild Card Weekend betting trends to aid you in your quest to beat the books!

Favorites Struggle ATS

Favorites hold a 57-33 overall record since 2002, though they are just 40-49-1 ATS. However, since the NFL expanded to seven playoff teams three years ago, favorites are 13-5 SU on Wild Card Weekend, and 9-9 ATS. Home favorites have fared much better going 43-27 SU, but just 31-39 ATS.

That being said, underdogs have performed extremely well as of late going 20-10 ATS over the past six years, and 13-17 SU. While favorites often take home the win on Wild Card Weekend, they've struggled to cover the spread. Think twice before playing that juiced up favorites parlay this week.

Home Team Trends

Since 2002, home teams have gone 49-41 SU in Wild Card games, but are only 41-48-1 ATS. However, since the NFL expanded to seven playoff teams, home teams are 11-7 SU and 9-9 ATS over the past three years.

All this to say, home teams have seen a slight edge in winning percentage, but there's little to go on when placing your Wild Card Weekend bets.

Fade Quarterbacks Making Their Playoff Debuts

Predictably, quarterbacks making their postseason debuts have struggled historically, going 27-50 SU since 2002, and 30-46-1 ATS. Although, when we remove matchups between two first-time playoff starters, their ATS record falls to a brutal 22-38-1 (36.7%).

There's plenty of opportunity to fade first-time starters this weekend, as CJ Stroud, Tua Tagovailoa, Mason Rudolph, and Jordan Love will all be making their playoff debuts. All four are underdogs heading into Wild Card Weekend, with Rudolph (+10 vs Bills), and Love (+7.5 vs Cowboys) as two-score underdogs.

Totals Trends

The UNDER has historically been the play on Wild Card Weekend, with a 51-39 record since 2002. However, over the last three postseasons' the OVER has dominated, going 12-6, with five of six games going OVER the total last year.

Recent trends could give bettors who play the points pause heading into the playoffs.

Seventh Seed Struggle

The NFL's playoff expansion has had the desired effect. Two extra playoff spots have monumentally increased regular season drama, and added the incredible suspense of extra games to the postseason. Unfortunately, number seven seeds have yet to win a postseason game, going 0-6 since their introduction, and 2-4 ATS.

As mentioned above, both Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers will have to overcome not only the playoff debut jinx, but also the dreaded seventh seed struggles.

Team Specific Trends

  • Browns vs Texans:  The Houston Texans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against the Browns, who are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last 5 games. The Cleveland Browns have been in some shootouts away from home this year. For all the hype surrounding their defense, the Browns have surrendered 29.6 points per game away from home, with their road games averaging 54 total points. Bettors may want to take advantage quickly as the total for Texans-Browns currently sits at 44.
  • Dolphins vs Chiefs: Despite mounting concerns in Kansas City, the Chiefs are 15-3 SU in their last 18 games against the AFC and 10-3 SU in their last 13 versus the AFC East. While the Dolphins are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in Kansas City. Moreover, the Phins are 0-10 in games below 40 degrees since 2017, and temperatures for Saturday's game are expected to reach zero degrees.
  • Steelers vs Bills: The UNDER has hit in seven of the last eight Steelers-Bills meetings. Buffalo has is alarmingly 0-8 ATS in their last eight games as a double-digit favorite, including the playoffs. While the Steelers are on a strong 9-4 ATS run as an underdog. Average wind speed in Buffalo this weekend is expected to rise to an average of 17 MPH, the UNDER is 14-2-1 in NFL games with wind speeds over 13 MPH this season. 
  • Packers vs Cowboys: The Green Bay Packers have destroyed the Dallas Cowboys of late, going 9-1 SU in their last 10, and 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings. That being said, Mike McMarthy's Cowboys have been dominant at home winning 16 straight contests. Dallas outscored opponents by a score of 37.4 to 15.9 while going undefeated at AT&T Stadium this season. Although, the Cowboys are just 4-14 ATS in their last 18 January games.
  • Rams vs Lions: Matthew Stafford makes his return to Detroit as a 3.5-point underdog. His Rams are an intriguing 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games. Keep an eye on the Rams rushing attack oin this one as Los Angeles went 8-2 when rushing for over 100 yards, and just 2-5 when they didn't this season. The Lions are favorites even after going 0-3 SU against playoff teams after Week 6. Dan Campbell's historical NFC North winners are an impressive 14-5 SU in their last 19, and 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
  • Eagles vs Buccaneers: Baker Mayfield's Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs, while the Eagles are 0-6 ATS in their last six games. In fact, Philadelphia became the first team since the San Francisco 49ers in 2002 to make the playoffs without a single cover in their last six contests. However, according to ESPN, Nick Sirianni's Eagles became just the sixth team in the Super Bowl era to head into the playoffs on a six-game ATS losing streak. All of the previous five won their first playoff game.


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