NFL Wild Card Weekend trends: Home teams hitting at just 49.2 percent

Marc Lawrence
Don’t look now but the 2013 NFL season is in the rear view mirror and with it the start of the Wild Card playoff games starting this Saturday.  Let’s take a look at some of the best, and worst, trends surrounding this weekend’s card.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Here’s a brief capsule of the teams and noteworthy trends:

Kansas City at Indianapolis (-2.5, 46.5)
Good: Chiefs coach Andy Reid 3-0 ATS away non-division playoff dog
Bad: Reid 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS last five games vs. the Colts
Ugly: Colts 0-3 SU and ATS last three playoff games

New Orleans at Philadelphia (-2.5, 53)

Good: Saints QB Drew Brees is 4-2 SU and ATS career vs. Philadelphia
Bad: Saints 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS away this season, averaged 17.8 PPG
Ugly: Saints 0-5 SU and ATS all-time away in NFL playoffs

San Diego at Cincinnati (-7, 47)

Good: Bengals 4-0 SU and ATS off a win in this series
Bad: Chargers 2-9 ATS vs. AFC North last five years
Ugly: Bengals 0-5 SU and ATS last five playoff games

San Francisco at Green Bay (48, +2.5)

Good: Jim Harbaugh is 3-0 SU and ATS vs. Green Bay
Bad: Mike McCarthy is 5-8 SU and ATS as a home dog
Ugly: Super Bowl losers are 0-5 SU and 0-4-1 ATS away Game One playoffs

Home Field Disadvantage

Home cooking 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 172-120-6 (55.1%) dating back to 1980.

Today, however, that would be a mistake as the success of home teams in the playoffs has dissolved quicker than Alka Seltzer in a cold glass of water on New Year’s morning.

A closer look finds home teams just 119-107-5 ATS (51.%) since the 1990 season and, even worse, 64-66-1 ATS (49.2%) since 2000.  Thus, like the economy, NFL playoff hosts have fallen on hard times.

Division Downers

Wild Card road teams have a difficult time after dueling a division opponent in their season ending finale, going 21-43-1 ATS – including 1-7 ATS the last two years.

Send these highwaymen out as dogs of more than 3 points and the task worsens as they are 4-33 SU and 9-28 ATS.

Not a good sign for the Chargers 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 11-25 SU and 13-22-1 ATS, including 3-15 SU and 4-14 ATS if the Over/Under total in today’s game is set at more than 41 points. 

So long 49ers.

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 10 or points, going just 9-19-1 ATS when on the road during this round.

The Chiefs and the Saints could be up against it this weekend.

Stat of the Week

The straight-up winner in NFL opening round playoff games is 104-11-3 ATS since 1980.  

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Posted by betipickem
3 years ago


Posted by penguins1503
3 years ago


Posted by yaz
3 years ago

Braves 5795, what lug nut. The oddsmakers are putting lines out on teams based on player turnover. They're doing it on stats and situational play.

Posted by Spitdudes
3 years ago

Agree 'braves5795'.....Im all over the Saints. Brees vs Foles Peyton vs Kelly

Posted by Doc62
3 years ago

and don't forget bout Graham and the not so bad and improving "D" with Rob's boyz with something to prove. no honeymoon here with the 1st timerz:)) Cold weather my AZZ...

Posted by psychojuggalo
3 years ago

Remenber this Drew Brees sucks in cold weather games. I bet it be cold in philly

Posted by braves5795
3 years ago

going back more that 3 yrs. with the amount of player turnover in current climate, I feel is fruitless and and the data virtually worthless in almost all instances.
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Top Response

Posted by Doc62
3 years ago

"and don't forget bout Graham and the not so bad and improving "D" with Rob's boyz with something to prove. no honeymoon here with the 1st timerz:)) Cold weather my AZZ..."