The NFL Wild Card weekend odds have been up since late Sunday and books have been busy taking bets and making adjustments on the four postseason matchups. We chat with Aron Black of Bet365.com about the NFL betting patterns heading into the weekend:
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans – Open: -5, Move: -4, Move: -4.5
Early money pushed this spread off -5 and as low as -4 at some books before coming back up to settle at -4.5. According to Black, the money is very even with a slight lean toward Houston. However, the Texans' recent struggles have scared away plenty of bettors.
“Not as many buying in as they would have if Houston had just an average finish to season, which probably would have translated to a line closer to -6 or -6.5,” Black told Covers.
The sharp money has mostly sided with the home team and Black expects the public to jump on Houston as well, moving the line back to -5 or even -5.5 before Saturday.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – Open: -7.5, Move: -9.5
Depending on where you play, the Vikings are anywhere between 8 and 9.5-point underdogs in this rematch of Week 17’s thrilling finale.
At Bet365.com, Black reports a slight lean toward Minnesota +8 from the betting public. He believes the classic Lambeau Field environment will play a big part in the outcome of Saturday’s game. The extended forecast is calling for cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 20s.
“Conditions will be a factor in this one,” says Black. “A dome team going to Lambeau is always going to favor Green Bay. Sharp money has been swerving this one so far and I can see the line dropping a touch to Minnesota.”
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens – Open: -7, Move: -6.5
The Colts weren’t supposed to be playing in January but here they are, taking on the Ravens in the AFC Wild Card round. Action on the spread has been split for the most part but books are seeing money come in on Indianapolis’ moneyline (+235), expecting more surprises from this team.
“Indianapolis has obviously been a surprise given how they were year last, but they have had a great season from rookie QB Andrew Luck and the bettors are at least split so far on who’s going to cover,” says Black. “Not sure this one will move much, but weather on the day may force something.”
The forecast for Sunday’s early game is calling for cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 30s with winds blowing WNW at 11 mph in Baltimore – a far cry from the cozy climate of the domed Lucas Oil Stadium.
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins – Open: +2.5, Move: +3
Early action on the Seahawks has this spread sitting on the key number of 3 and Black says it will take a lot to move off the field goal before Sunday night. So far, action on Seattle is coming in at a 2-to-1 ratio and books are juggling the juice heading toward the weekend.
This game throws some mystery at bettors with two rookie quarterbacks leading the charge and its the only game this weekend where the home team is the underdog. Both Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III have played beyond their years, but Black feels Wilson has been the better of the two down the stretch.
“A lot has been written and lots of press given to Griffin and how good he has been this season. But looking at the numbers, Wilson at least holds his own and has had much better numbers leading down to the end of the season,” he says. “This game looks to be possibly the most exciting game of the wild card games.”