NFL Wild Card Round betting trends to watch for

Home cooking. It used to be a solid handicapping edge during the playoffs.

Not so anymore.

For the longest time backing home teams in the NFL postseason has been a solid moneymaker, going 167-135-6 (55.1 percent) dating back to 1980.

Today, however, that would be a mistake as the success of home teams in the playoffs has dissolved quicker than an Alka Seltzer in a cold glass of water.

A closer look finds home teams just 113-102-5 ATS (52.7 percent) since the 1990 season and, even worse, 64-66-1 ATS (49.2 percent) since 2000. Thus, like the economy, NFL playoff hosts have fallen on hard times.

The key today to winning in the playoffs is breaking the games down into rounds.  And in doing so it’s wise to remember the linemakers have made the visiting teams more attractive than ever before.

Let’s take a look into opening round time-tested theories involving unrested, No. 3 or lower seeded teams, in playoff games.

Note: All results are ATS (Against The Spread) and are since 1980, unless noted otherwise.

Stun Guns


Teams in NFL Wild Card round contests playing off a straight-up season-ending loss as a favorite tend to bounce back, going 21-11-1 ATS  - including 10-3 ATS at home.

This year finds the Texans and Packers return home looking to right themselves from road favorite losses last weekend.

Division Downers

Wild card road teams have a difficult time after dueling a division opponent in their season-ending finale, going 20-40-1 ATS – including 0-4 ATS last year.

Send these highwaymen out as dogs of more than three points and the task worsens as they are 4-30 SU and 9-25 ATS.

Not a good sign for the Bengals, Colts and Vikings this week.

ATS Diabetes

Like kids in a candy store, NFL Wild Card teams playing off huge regular season wins tend to crash and burn in these playoff openers.

Teams off a SU underdog win are just 11-23 SU and 13-20-1 ATS, including 3-13 SU and 4-12 ATS if the total in the game is set at more than 41 points. 

So long Vikings.

In a similar vein, teams suffer from more than a sugar rush in opening-round playoff games if they managed to they beat the spread by 12 or points, going just 5-15-1 ATS when on the road during this round.

The Colts look to throw a show this Sunday.

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Posted by SoCal311
1 year ago

Didn't sea play st. Louis as there last game? There in the same division. Marc you missed one. There not getting pts but they still fit with the 20-40 ats
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Posted by joehike
1 year ago

Seattle wins in OT against the Skins! Houston wins in OT vs Bengals. GB and Ravens roll easily over their opponents and cover!
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Posted by garretdoherty
1 year ago

Division Downers Wild card road teams have a difficult time after dueling a division opponent in their season-ending finale, going 20-40-1 ATS – including 0-4 ATS last year. Send these highwaymen out as dogs of more than three points and the task worsens as they are 4-30 SU and 9-25 ATS. Not a good sign for the Bengals, Colts and Vikings this week. this means 2 of these 3 wont cover!
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Posted by fromdabx
1 year ago

I never comment on what I read here, and I read quite a bit... However, I felt the need to address the comments made by nittanylion22... @nittanylion22... Just exactly where do u get ur info from? The Bengals have not been on a winning streak since beating the Giants, they lost at home to Dallas. And another correction... The Redskins have won 7 straight. How do u post such comments seemingly with conviction without first checking ur accuracy? SMH...
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Posted by yaz
1 year ago

I agree with damonte. Good stuff. It's good to know what's trending.
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Posted by Skubishack
1 year ago

Bengals ATS (Houston SU)... Packers ATS... Colts ATS... Seattle SU.
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Posted by Skubishack
1 year ago

CIN-HOU Under... GB-MIN Over... IND-BAL Over... SEA-WAS Under.
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Posted by mattlac3
1 year ago

for what its worth....the turnover +/- #'s for teams this weekend are... wash +17 sea +13 hou +12 balt +9 gb +7 cin +4 min -1 ind -12!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by LaHaterz
1 year ago

sorry, but im on the dogs, wash, cinn and colts..... whats HOTT is HOTT and whats NOT is Not...
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Posted by damonte
1 year ago

Now this is the type of informative article I enjoy reading.
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Posted by LIMover55
1 year ago

I believe Packers simply demolish Vikes.Last week of the season teams that had more to play for won.Vikes included.Now they come back to earth ,with the whole Peterson breaking the record stuff over,I believe th eemotion of them making the playffs and playing there best game of the season comes back to haunt them pack goes on 35-21 Indy going into Baltimore where they finallly played like the team we were waiting for all year ,and there big guns coming back off injury,should spell out a Raven victory here 24-17
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Posted by bIGbLuephantom
1 year ago

Those facts are interesting but those are just odds/trends. YOU'RE 100% CORRECT when you say it comes down to the players too. CIN has been playing well ever since Coach Lewis called some of the leaders out, but there's no way they go into HOU and win that game. HOU is going to feature Foster and simply overwhelm them. CIN offense isn't all that potent. Joseph can slow down Green and then Dalton has no place to go. MIN has absolutely NO CHANCE to win in GB now that all the money is on the line. Capers will force Ponder to win the game and we know how that is gonna turn out. Yes IND is a great story. The team sucked last year, had to part will their future HOF QB, took a chance on a rookie, their coach got Leukemia, they make the playoffs. The storybook ending DOESN'T COME. If you track Luck [as I have with all the rookie QB's] he's terrible on the road. IND has him throwing the ball way too many times and IND run defense is SUSPECT at best. Look for BAL to simply run Rice down their throats. Another rookie QB [Wilson] getting allot of pub for roy votes [rightfully so] but again you can't simple look at what a player does at home [8-0] 17td's 2int's and totally ignore what he does on the road [3-5] 9td's 8int's. take all the home teams straight up and capitalize on a big time mistake by Vegas: Washington a dog against a team Seattle whose never been a good road team
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Posted by Skubishack
1 year ago

I think that the Redskins last two playoff games ended in defeat... by Seattle.
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Posted by toddwins
1 year ago

I agree with most of what you say......except that Seattle did have a wee bit of unfortunate luck on the road when the season started (combined with rookie QB's "growing pains").......they did win their last 2 road games.....having said that, I'm a severe homer, so my opinion is worth about zero....GL
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Posted by nittanylion22
1 year ago

Very interesting facts, I can agree that home teams this week may have the edge but it also comes down to the players at the same time too. And with the way the bengals have been playing at home and on the road they have a good chance of possibly winning in houston this weekend minnesota just did it 2 weeks ago which nobody saw coming.The bengals defense has stepped up ever since they defeated the giants they have been on a winning streak and generously playing sound football on both sides of the ball.Minnesota has been playing well also thanks to the play of Adrian Peterson's play on the field but we all know the packers play better at home against the Vikings.The Redskins have won 6 straight and are the hot team as well in the NFC but with seattles defense playing better and a big statement win the past 2 weeks they are a team to watch out for this weekend.The Colts-Ravens Matchup I believe will be a closer game then most people think.Terell Suggs and Ray Lewis back for the D, along with Ed Reed who seems to make big plays when the team needs it.I think Andrew Luck will have a good game and the colts prevail in this matchup.
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Top Response

Posted by damonte
1 year ago

"Now this is the type of informative article I enjoy reading."

Unknown error.