Another year another opportunity to make history, the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend is here, and oddsmakers are gearing up for the action just as much as sports bettors are. With it you have yet another opportunity to beat the bookies out of business. First, though, a little bit of homework is required, read on because we got you covered.
And remember that we are also offering a wide array of props for the occasion, including passing, rushing and receiving yards, point differential and options on the success of the wild-card squads.
The Wild Card Weekend is hit-or-miss – sometimes you get great games like last year’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals 18-16 contest, or you can get a snoozer like Kansas City’s 30-0 beatdown of the Houston Texans a season ago.
The Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants make up 2016’s edition of wild-card teams. Out of all of their matchups, the Raiders have the best chance to pull off an upset from a betting perspective, as sportsbooks were dealing the silver and black as 3.5-point road underdogs. The Giants (+4.5), Lions (+8) and Dolphins (+10) are all facing bigger spreads.
Before dipping into each game, there’s a few recent Wild Card Weekend trends that you should be aware of. The UNDER has been a money bet the past four seasons in the wild-card round as it’s hit in 12 of the 16 games. Fading the favorite has also been the way to go in recent years as they’ve covered the spread in just three of the last 12 wild-card games.
Being in January, it’s important to monitor weather leading up to the games when betting totals.
As the Green Bay Packers prepare to face another northern team, the New York Giants, temperatures are expected to be around 10 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff in eastern Wisconsin.
The Pack recently faced temperatures that low in Week 16 when they topped the division rival Chicago Bears at home by a score of 30-27.
In the Steel City, the forecast is calling for a windy day with temperatures in the 20-degree range when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins get things underway at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. For a Dolphins team that’s used to practicing in the 70s and 80s, that’s going to be a big challenge. The Dolphins have only participated in a handful of cold games this season, but they’re doing their best to prepare themselves for the chilly conditions.
Clearly the Steelers have a big advantage in this one. The black and gold are used to playing playoff games in frigid temperatures, and they’ve participated in a lot of them since the Miami Dolphins last made the playoffs in 2008.
Inclement weather has a history of greatly impacting NFL games, as scoring tends to dip greatly when it rolls in. In terms of totals line movement, books opened the Steelers-Dolphins OVER/UNDER at 47.5 but it’s since been lowered to 46.
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