A wild Week 17 made for an even wilder Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. That’s a whole lotta “wild”.
Those furious finishes have oddsmakers carefully plotting out the spreads and totals for the first four games of the NFL postseason. We talk with Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, about the opening odds for the NFL Wild Card Weekend matchups.
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, 46.5)
Indianapolis rolled into the postseason with three-straight wins, including a 23-7 victory over the Chiefs. Kansas City, on the other hand, went 2-5 down the stretch including a narrow loss to San Diego with all its starters in Nike sideline gear Sunday.
“I don’t think resting starters is a bad thing,” says Korner. “At this point in the season, one game won’t ruin momentum or slow down players from clicking. This line is based on the Colts current play. Indianapolis has shown very well recently and they’re coming on strong. We really like this number.”
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5, 54.5)
Football bettors should keep an eye on the weather for Saturday’s game at Lincoln Financial Field. The early forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 20s, as of Monday morning. The Saints’ road woes are well documented – going 1-7 ATS away from New Orleans – and is the reason why the Eagles are favorites.
“This being an away game is the biggest factor here,” says Korner. “Philadelphia has the momentum going into this game but this being outdoors and with the possible elements, is keeping this spread from being on the New Orleans side.”
Korner says the weather could have an impact on not only the total but could give the Eagles the edge if the forecast does turn nasty.
“The Saints love to air it out while the Eagles are built more for the run,” he says. “If the weather turns inclement, then it’s defiantly conducive to what Philadelphia wants to do.”San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (-7, 46)
Korner and his stable of oddsmakers sent out a suggested spread of Bengals -6 for this Sunday game. However, books have upped that number as high as a touchdown with money coming in on the home side.
“We thought we’d keep it lower, being a competitive playoff game,” Korner says. “But that’s been driven up. I think anyone that wants to bet San Diego should wait it out and see if this spread goes higher to 7.5.”
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (+2.5, 48.5)
The Packers got into the postseason with a thrilling win over Chicago. Green Bay opened as a home underdog versus the San Francisco team picking up steam at the right time. The Niners have won six straight, going 4-2 ATS in that span.
“The difference here is the San Francisco defense,” says Korner. “This could be a letdown for Green Bay coming off that big win. Weather will be a factor in this one too.”
Korner says the total could see major adjustments depending on the forecast at Lambeau Field. There is a 25 percent chance of snow and temperatures are expected to dip into the low teens – a far cry from the warm weather in the Bay Area.
“The total is a little high for this one,” he says. “However, a few weeks back when we had all that sloppy weather, all the games went Over. I think that is still in the minds of bettors as we’re looking at weather playing a possible role in three of the four playoff games.”