NFC Wildcard Betting Notes for 01/08-9/21

 

2021-22 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Forecasting NFL Picks Sports Betting  wildcard notes betting  Saturday 4:40 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

This NFC West showdown between division rivals is the middle game of Saturday’s tripleheader. The Rams (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS) squeaked into the playoffs as the 6-seed, beating the Cardinals 18-7 as 1-point home favorites in the regular season finale. Los Angeles finished + 76 in point differential on the season. The Rams will lean on the coaching on Sean McVay and their stellar defense as they once again turn to rookie John Wolford in place of the injured Jared Goff. Wolford won his debut over Arizona last week, throwing for 231 yards, no touchdowns, 1 interception and rushed for 56 yards. Meanwhile, the Seahawks (12-4 SU, 8-8 ATS) finished the regular season on a high-note, winning four straight and beating the 49ers 26-23 in Week 17, although they failed to cover as 7-point road favorites. Seattle won the NFC West and earned the 3-seed, finishing + 88 in point differential for the season. This line opened with Seattle listed as a 4.5-point home favorite. This public is laying the short spread with Russell Wilson at home. However, we’ve seen a sharp move to the road dog, with the Rams falling from + 4.5 to + 4. Some shops are even touching 3.5. Playoff dogs with a line move in their favor of at least a half-point are roughly 75% ATS over the past decade. The Rams also have value as a divisional dog and a dog with a low total. The total has dipped slightly from 43 to 42.5. Both of these teams were profitable to the under this season, with the Rams 12-4 and Seahawks 9-7. John Hussey, the lead ref, has historically favored unders (57%). Outdoor playoff unders are roughly 57% over the past decade. The Seahawks beat the Rams 20-9 in Week 16. Los Angeles beat Seattle 23-16 in Week 10.

Saturday 8:15 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team

This primetime non-conference matchup is the late game on Saturday night. Tom Brady has led the Buccaneers (11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS) to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Tampa Bay played their best football down the stretch, winning their final four games and waxing the Falcons 44-27 in Week 17, easily covering as 7-point home favorites. Tampa enters as the 5-seed and finished + 137 in point differential. Meanwhile, Washington (7-9 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) snuck into the playoffs by beating the Eagles 20-14 in Week 17, although they failed to cover as 6.5-point road favorites. Washington went 5-2 down the stretch and won the NFC East, earning the 4-seed. This line opened with the Bucs listed as a hefty 7.5-point or 8-point road favorite. The public is absolutely hammering Brady and the Bucs, expecting an easy win and cover. This lopsided action moved the line up to Tampa -9. That’s when we saw some buyback on Washington, dropping the line back to 8.5. Washington is your top contrarian play of the weekend as they are only receiving about one-third of bets in a primetime game. Big playoff dogs of + 7 or more are roughly 57% ATS over the past decade. Tampa Bay is in prime teaser territory. If you drop them from -8.5 to -2.5 you pass through two key numbers (7 and 3). We’ve also seen some under money show up, dropping the total from 46.5 to 45. The Bucs are 9-7 to the over this season, but Washington is 10-5-1 to the under. This under matches a pair of profitable playoff systems: outdoor unders and Wild Card unders that drop (roughly 60% over the past decade).

Sunday 4:40 p.m. ET: Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints

This NFC late-afternoon Sunday showdown features the biggest spread of Wild Card Weekend. The Bears (8-8 SU, 8-8 ATS) got crushed by the Packers 35-16 in Week 17, failing to cover as 4.5-point home dogs. However, Chicago still snuck into the playoffs as the 7th and final seed thanks to a tie-breaker over the Cardinals. Chicago finished the regular season + 2 in point differential, second worst of all playoffs teams ahead of only Cleveland (-11). Meanwhile, the Saints (12-4 SU, 9-6-1 ATS) won the NFC South and finished tied for the second-best record in the conference, trailing only the Packers. New Orleans crushed Carolina 33-7 in Week 17, easily covering as 6-point road favorites. The Saints finished + 145 in point differential, best in the NFC. This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 9.5-point home favorite. This public is all over the Saints and happy to fade Mitchell Trubisky. This lopsided support has pushed the line up to the key number of 10. We’ve seen some buyback on the Bears at + 10, with juice hinting toward a possible drop back to 9.5. Chicago has value as a contrarian playoff dog with an inflated line. Big playoff dogs of + 7 or more are roughly 57% ATS over the past decade. We’ve also seen some under money hit the market, dropping the total from 47.5 to 47. The Saints were 10-6 to the over this season, with Chicago 8-8. Playoff dome game overs are roughly 70% over the past decade. The big question mark here is Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Both are questionable.

–Josh Appelbaum  VSIN

2019 NFL WEEK 6 BETTING NOTES

2021-22 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Forecasting Sports Betting  week 15 notes betting  Today marks the 6th Sunday of the NFL season. Through five weeks of play, we’ve seen a distinct advantage for underdogs. Dogs have gone 46-32 ATS (59%) according to Bet Labs Sports. A $100 bettor taking each one would be up $1,075. Not too bad. Road dogs have been especially profitable, going 34-18 ATS (65.4%). Divisional dogs have gone 15-9 ATS (62.5%). 

With these trends in mind, let’s take a look at five games receiving heavy smart money on Sunday. 

9:30 a.m. ET: Carolina Panthers (3-2) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

Who’s ready for an early morning NFC South London sweat? The Panthers started the season 0-2 with Cam Newton, but have now gone a perfect 3-0 with backup Kyle Allen. The Bucs have been Jekyll and Hyde through five weeks, rotating losses and wins each time out. This game opened with the Bucs listed as short 1-point favorites. Despite receiving just a slight majority of bets, we’ve seen a huge line move to Carolina (+1 to -2.5). Sharps hit the Panthers everywhere from +1 to a pick’em to -1.5. One big advantage to Carolina: Favorites have gone 13-9 ATS in London (59%) since 2003 according. We’ve seen some smart money drop the total from 48.5 to 47.5. Tottenham Stadium is expecting 15 mph winds, an edge to the Under. 

1 p.m. ET: Houston Texans (3-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)

The Chiefs lost their first game of the season last week, falling to the Colts at home 19-13 as 10.5 favorites on Sunday Night Football. The public says Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City are a powerhouse and are due for a big bounce back win and cover at home. But sharps are buying low on the Texans to keep it close. Houston is playing well as of late, winning three of their last four including a 53-32 blowout over the Falcons last week. This line opened with KC listed as a 6.5-point home favorite. Despite two thirds of bets backing the Chiefs, the line has fallen all the way to -4. This sharp reverse line movement was caused by pros loading up on the Texans plus the points. Since 2003, dogs receiving at least 2.5-points of reverse line movement have covered 55.7% of the time. Sharps also love this under. The total opened at 55.5 and the public is pounding the Over, yet it’s fallen to 54.5. 

1 p.m. ET: Seattle Seahawks (4-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-3)

This line has been all over the place. The Browns initially opened as 2.5-point home favorites. The public remembers Cleveland being embarrassed 31-3 by San Francisco on Monday night and wants nothing to do with them. This line opened with Cleveland listed as a 2.5-point home favorite. Nearly seven-out-of-ten bets are backing Seattle. This lopsided support caused the line to move to Seattle -2.5. But then sharps hammered the Browns plus the points, causing the line to fall down to a pick’em. Essentially, sharps waited for heavy public betting to move the number bigly to Seattle so they could get extra points with the Browns at home. Teams coming off a 20-point loss or more have covered the next game 54.1% of the time since 2003. Pros have also targeting the under. The total opened at 47 and has been bet down to 46. The Dawg Pound is expecting 15 mph winds.

1 p.m. ET: New Orleans (4-1) at Jacksonville (2-3)

On paper this looks like an easy layup with New Orleans. After all, the Saints are 4-1 and have won three straight. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is 2-3 and just lost to Carolina 34-27. So why on Earth did the oddsmakers open this game as a pick’em? Public bettors are hammering the Saints. But despite New Orleans receiving two thirds of bets, the line has moved to Jacksonville -3. Why would the books continue to hand out additional points to public Saints backers when they’re already on New Orleans to begin with? Because pros have been getting down hard on the Jags, creating big liability for the house and forcing the books to move the number bigly in their favor. An added bonus to the Jags: Jerome Boger is the lead referee. Since 2003, home teams have 55% ATS (+12.96 units) with Boger as the lead official. Smart money has also hit the Under. The total has fallen from 44 to 42.5 since opening.

4:05 p.m. ET: San Francisco 49ers (4-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-2)

This late afternoon NFC West showdown is the most popular and heavily bet game of the day. The Rams have lost two straight, including a 30-29 heartbreaker to the Seahawks last Thursday night. The public says Los Angeles is a great team and “due” for a big bounce back win and cover at home. But sharps aren’t buying the conventional wisdom. They’re backing the undefeated 49ers in a rare contrarian road dog spot. The Rams opened as a 4-point home favorite. Two thirds of bets are backing Los Angeles. This heavy betting pushed the line up to 4.5. That’s when you saw wiseguys get down hard on the 49ers, causing the line to fall all the way down to 3. Todd Gurley’s injury was also a factor in the line movement. The stud RB is out with a thigh contusion. The 49ers are contrarian in a heavily bet game and also a road divisional dog (10-5 ATS this season). Pros have also hit the over, pushing the total from 48.5 to 50.5. 

More sharp action

Dolphins +4.5 to +4 vs Redskins
Vikings -3 to -3.5 vs Eagles