44 NFL Wild Card Weekend Betting Trends, Stats & Nuggets: Underdogs, Unders Have Cleaned Up
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Jones.
Wild Card Weekend offers us 12 interesting teams , a host of fascinating players and a whole lot of betting history.
We’ve compiled 44 statistical nuggets, betting trends and things to know for all six games (via Bet Labs and other historical sources).
Wild Card Game Trends
1. Underdogs in the NFL Playoffs are 29-18 against the spread since 2017. In the Wild Card round, those underdogs are 15-3 against the spread, covering the number by 7.2 PPG.
2. Twenty two of the last 29 outdoor games in the Wild Card round went under the total. Four games this weekend will be played outdoors: LV/CIN, NE/BUF, PHI/TB, PIT/KC.
3. Since 2002, quarterbacks making their first NFL playoff start have gone 17-33 straight up and 16-33-1 against the spread.
4. Getting hot has not helped: Teams on 3+ game winning streaks entering the playoffs vs. teams not on such streaks are 45-47-1 ATS since 2003, including 16-15 ATS since 2016.
5. Playoff underdogs are 18-0 when placed in any teaser over the last four years.
6. Since 2003, NFL playoff teams that become smaller underdogs (ex. +6 to +4) have gone 43-14-2 (75%) against the spread against the closing spread.
7. Double-digit underdogs are 2-10 ATS in the playoffs since 2011.
8. Since 2005, double-digit dogs are just 1-6 ATS on Wild Card Weekend.
Raiders at Bengals (-5.5)
9. Joe Burrow is 9-4 against the spread vs. teams above .500 (straight up) for the season. With a cover vs. the Raiders, Burrow would be the most profitable QB in the NFL vs. teams above .500.
10. The Bengals are 0-8 straight up and 0-7-1 against the spread in their last eight playoff games. Their last playoff win came on Jan. 6, 1991. The 31 seasons since their last playoff win is the longest active streak in the NFL.
11. The Raiders are 2-12 straight up in the playoffs when playing in the Eastern and Central time zones, including 0-5 straight up since 1990.
12. The temperature at kickoff between the Raiders and Bengals is scheduled to be around 30 degrees on average. In his career in the NFL, Derek Carr has started six games in sub-35 degree weather and the Raiders are 0-6 straight up.
Patriots at Bills (-4.5)
13. The Bills are 11-2 straight up all-time at home in the playoffs. The two QBs to defeat the Bills in Buffalo in the playoffs? Mark Brunell and Len Dawson.
14. Bill Belichick is 19-3 straight up and 17-5 against the spread in his career on the road against the Bills.
15. The average temperature in Buffalo this weekend is projected to be 6 degrees, making it the coldest playoff game since the 2016 Wild Card round game between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings (0 degrees on average during the game).
16. Mac Jones becomes the 18th rookie quarterback to make a playoff start since 1990. Those 17 previous quarterbacks are 10-16 straight up, including 3-9 straight up over the last decade.
Eagles at Bucs (-8.5)
17. Tom Brady’s worst playoff losses in his NFL career:
- -12.5 vs. NYG 2007-08
- -9.5 at NYJ 2010-11
- -8 vs. BAL 2012-13
18. More Brady trends:
- Brady as TD or higher favorite in playoffs: 16-3 SU/8-11 ATS.
- Brady is 0-5 vs. NFC East teams in the Playoffs.
- Career in the NFL playoffs: 34-11 straight up and 24-20-1 against the spread
19. The Eagles were 0-6 straight up and 1-5 against the spread vs. playoff teams this season.
20. The Eagles have won five consecutive games straight up as underdogs in the playoffs. Since 2000, they are 11-2 against the spread as underdogs in the playoffs.
21. Jason Pierre-Paul has never lost a playoff game in his NFL career. 4-0 straight up with the Giants. 4-0 straight up with the Bucs.
49ers at Cowboys (+3)
22. Cowboys at home in playoffs vs. 49ers:
- 2021: Sunday
- 1993: Won, 38-21 (-3)
- 1971: Won, 14-3 (-5)
23. The Cowboys enter the playoffs as the most profitable team in the NFL against the spread at 13-4. Last team to enter the playoffs covering more than 75% of their games? The 2016-17, Patriots who ended up beating the Falcons in the Super Bowl.
24. The Wild Card round hasn’t been friendly to those teams with a high cover rate …
25. Teams covering 75% of their games playing in Wild Card round last decade:
- 2019 CHI – L vs PHI
- 2016 MIN – L vs SEA
- 2016 CIN – L vs. PIT
26. Jimmy Garoppolo is 12-5 straight up and 13-4 against the spread in his career as an underdog — the most profitable QB ATS as an underdog since his first career start.
27. Dak Prescott is 0-3 against the spread in his career in the playoffs. Since 2003, only two QBs are 0-4 ATS or worse in the playoffs: Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer.
28. Mike McCarthy is 11-6-1 against the spread in the playoffs, the second-most profitable coach in the playoffs since 2003, behind just Tom Coughlin.
Steelers at Chiefs (-12.5)
29. The over is 15-7 (68.2%) in playoff games started by Ben Roethlisberger, going over the total by 8 PPG. Big Ben is the most profitable QB to the over in the playoffs since 2003.
30. Roethlisberger has started 270 games in his NFL career, including Sunday at the Chiefs — he has never been more than a 10.5-point underdog. Sunday night is tracking to be the largest underdog of Big Ben’s career (…in what could be his final game).
31. Big Ben has been a double-digit underdog just twice prior to Sunday: 20 days ago against this same Kansas City team (+10.5 and lost 36-10) and back in 2007 against Tom Brady and the undefeated Patriots (+10.5 and lost 34-13).
32. The Kansas City Chiefs have played 35 playoff games in the Super Bowl era, including Sunday — the 12.5-point spread is their largest of any playoff game.
33. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 12.5-point underdogs in the playoffs, their largest spread in the postseason since 1996 Super Bowl where they were +13.5 vs. Cowboys and lost, 27-17.
34. Quarterbacks to be double-digit favorite vs. Steelers in playoffs:
- 2021, Patrick Mahomes
- 1995, Troy Aikman
- 1989, John Elway
- 1984, Dan Marino
35. Quick coach trends…
- Andy Reid ATS in playoffs: 17-15 ATS
- Mike Tomlin ATS in playoffs: 7-7-2 ATS
36. Patrick Mahomes trends…
- Mahomes: 15-2 SU at home in Dec. and Jan. for his career.
- Mahomes: 5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS at home in the playoffs; only loss SU to Brady.
- Mahomes: 12 straight wins at home in Dec. and Jan.
- Mahomes: 4-0 ATS last 4 games at home.
Cardinals at Rams (-4)
37. Matthew Stafford is 0-3 straight-up and 1-2 against the spread in the playoffs.
38. The Stafford can’t beat good teams wall of shame…
- 32-53-2 (37.6%) ATS vs. above .500 opp since drafted
- 2-14 SU/2-13-1 ATS in week 15 & on vs. above .500 since drafted
- 5-32 SU/8-28-1 ATS in week 11 & on vs. above .500 since drafted
- 5-21-1 ATS in Dec/Jan vs. above .500 opp since drafted
- Stafford has faced 8 teams above .500 SU/ATS in Weeks 16 & on: 0-8 SU
39. As head coach of the Rams, Sean McVay is 9-1 straight up and 8-1-1 against the spread vs. Cardinals.
40. As head coach of the Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury is 13-3-2 against the spread as a road underdog.
41. This season, the Arizona Cardinals were 8-1 straight up and against the spread on the road.
42. Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t tend to end season’s with a lot of momentum…
- ’14: lost 4 of 5
- ’15: lost 4 of 6
- ’16: lost 6 of 8
- ’17: lost 6 of 8
- ’18: lost 5 of 5
- ’19: lost 7 of 9
- ’20: lost 6 of 9 (1 win by Hail Mary)
- ‘21: lost 4 of 5
43. Arizona has the longest playoff drought of any franchise in the playoffs.
44. Longest Championship Droughts – Active Playoff Teams
- 74 – Arizona Cardinals
- 60 – Tennessee Titans
- 56 – Buffalo Bills
- 54 – Cincinnati Bengals
- 38 – Las Vegas Raiders
- 27 – San Francisco 49ers
- 26 – Dallas Cowboys