Wild Card Weekend Betting Trends: Shootout in Superdome?

saints panthers

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 2:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 2:39 PM UTC

Our NFL Wild Card situational trends and angles zero in on a pair of totals and point to chalk dominating the weekend. Check out why the Panthers and Saints will serve up some fireworks, the total is too low in the Bills-Jaguars clash and favorites will rule.

Chalk City Weekend Forthcoming?

Since 2001, road underdogs entering the postseason on less than a 2-game win streak are just 13-39 SU and 20-30-2 ATS. That is the case this Wild Card weekend among all four NFL away teams: Titans, Falcons, Bills, and Panthers. Each is also catching more than a field goal on the NFL oddsboard, which sours the numbers even more. Road underdogs dip to a 6-29 SU and 12-23-1 ATS record in this scenario. One has to go back to the 2012 NFL season to uncover the last outright upset in this spot, when the Ravens upended the Broncos 38-35 in overtime as 9-point pups.

Trends Point to Panthers-Saints Shootout

We hit on this angle in Week 13 and are happy to double down here as Carolina and New Orleans should serve up some fireworks in the final Wild Card contest on Sunday. Here’s the trend: the ‘over’ is 14-4 when Cam Newton leads the Panthers on the road with a game total higher than 47 in his career. Oddsmakers opened this matchup at 48.5. A 61.7 combined score soars past a 49.8 game total under these conditions. Carolina puts up 29.8 points per tilt, surpassing its projected team total in all but four. Six of these matchups have come in New Orleans. The average score is 33.7 to 33.8, respectively.

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The NFC South showdown also gives bettors a rare divisional clash in the playoffs. Home teams winning the final regular-season meeting have seen the ‘over’ hit in eight of 11 since 2000. What’s fueling the wager? You guessed it, the road team's offense. It has surpassed its team total in all but two contests. Signs are pointing to Cam Newton and Carolina keeping competitive throughout against Drew Brees and the run-and-gun Saints offense. Pick ‘over’ 48.5.

Jags, Bills Equal Recipe for Playoff ‘Over’

Jacksonville enters with the second-best scoring defense in the NFL, allowing 16.8 points per game. Its 4.6 opponent yards per play is tops in the league. Buffalo, meanwhile, scores 18.9 per contest and is second from last generating just 4.8 yards per play. When two units clash in the playoffs combining for fewer than 40 points on average in this scenario, the ‘over’ is 40-17-1 since 2001. The market tends to underestimate the boon given to the offense of the strong defensive team. The inability of the former to move the ball gives plenty of opportunities to score. The strong defensive teams have surpassed their projected team total in 37 of the 58 contests.

The Jags and Bills are not playoff regulars, the two combining for a pair of appearances since 1999. The pressure will be overwhelming. Expect a few miscues and blunders with many individuals trying to do too much. Unexpected points are a certainty and Jacksonville will be the greatest beneficiary. Pick ‘over’ 39.5 points.

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