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NFL Playoff Betting Trends: Winning Teams Covering at Absurd Rate

NFL Playoff Betting Trends: Winning Teams Covering at Absurd Rate article feature image
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Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady

When an NFL franchise wins a playoff game, there’s an excellent chance it beats the betting spread, too.

Since the Wild Card Round was implemented in 1978, the team that wins also covers at 80% or better in all four postseason rounds.

Playoff Winners

Wild Card: 162-0 SU/139-21-2 ATS (86.9%)
Divisional: 172-0 SU/138-32-2 ATS (81.2%)
Conference Championship: 86-0 SU/75-11 ATS (87%)
Super Bowl: 43-0 SU/36-5-2 ATS (87.8%)
(Full Super Bowl): 55-0 SU/47-6-2 ATS (88.7%)

Upsets automatically register as covers, but favorites are holding up as well, creating a blistering-hot trend heading into the Divisional Round.

2022 Results

Round Matchup Final Win + Cover?
Wild Card Bengals (-6.5) vs. Raiders CIN 26-19 Yes
Wild Card Patriots (-4.5) vs. Bills BUF 47-17 Yes
Wild Card Buccaneers (-7) vs. Eagles TB 31-15 Yes
Wild Card Cowboys (-3.5) vs. 49ers SF 23-17 Yes
Wild Card Chiefs (-12) vs. Steelers KC 42-21 Yes
Wild Card Rams (-3.5) vs. Cardinals LAR 34-11 Yes

According to our own Evan Abrams, 2021-22 is the first year since 1988-89 in which no team is at least a touchdown favorite in the Divisional Round, giving the favorites some light numbers to smash.

Divisional Round Lines

Titans (-3.5) vs. Bengals, 47.5

This is the second-most bet game as of Thursday evening, according to our trackers.

Tennessee’s also shaping up to be the biggest public favorite of the week: Eighty-two percent of the money at the time of writing is on the Titans to cover the chalk.

Packers (-5.5) vs. 49ers, 47

If there was ever a time for Aaron Rodgers to stymie a San Francisco franchise that’s had his number lately, it’s Saturday night.

The 49ers are banged up heading into Lambeau Field, plus Jimmy Garoppolo has never played a game in sub-40-degree weather.

Green Bay’s 70.6% cover rate (12-5) this season was the second-best mark in football, behind Dallas.

Buccaneers (-3) vs. Rams, 48

Tom Brady’s won nine straight in the Divisional Round, the most by a quarterback ever.

He and the Bucs have been lights-out at Raymond James Stadium, covering seven of the last eight.

Chiefs (-1.5) vs. Bills,  54

Here’s a narrow spread that’ll be graded a win in the trend, barring Kansas City winning by one point.

Arrowhead Stadium has provided a boost for the Chiefs, who have covered five straight as a home favorite.

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