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NFL Playoff Picks: Ravens, Dolphins Among Least Popular Bets in Last 20 Years

NFL Playoff Picks: Ravens, Dolphins Among Least Popular Bets in Last 20 Years article feature image
Credit:

Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Skylar Thompson.

Tyler Huntley. Skylar Thompson.

Heading into Wild Card weekend, the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins are starting their second- and third-string quarterbacks respectively.

For bettors this week, that means laying the chalk and the juice with the favorites in these two contests.

As of Sunday morning at 10 A.M. ET, here are the current betting percentages on Action Labs for both of these Sunday games:

  • Dolphins (+13.5) at Bills

Miami: 19% tickets
Bills: 81% tickets

Baltimore: 27% tickets
Cincinnati: 73% tickets


Bet Miami vs. Buffalo at FanDuel


Over the last 20 years in our Bet Labs database, only 10 teams have closed with 30% of tickets or fewer in the playoffs. Those teams are 3-7 straight-up (SU) and 3-7 against the spread (ATS) and over the last five years, they are 0-3 SU and ATS — not the best results for “fade the public” crew.

Here are those 10 games:

Of those 10 teams to close with 30% of tickets or fewer, only one closed as an underdog of more than three points:

Houston Texans as 16-point underdogs in the 2017 playoffs on the road in New England against the Patriots.

Houston closed with exactly 30% of tickets and ended up losing to Tom Brady and the Pats, 34-16 behind Brock Osweiler, who was in his first season in Houston.


Bet Baltimore vs. Cincinnati at FanDuel


This week, Buffalo and Cincinnati being such big favorites and getting such a high betting percentage creates a very unique situation.

On the flip side, the Bills and Bengals could become the seven and seventh teams since 2003 to be favored by seven points or more and have a ticket percentage of 66% or higher (two-thirds).

Of the previous five examples, four won straight-up. The one loss was back in the 2005 playoffs, when Drew Brees’ Chargers trailed Chad Pennington and the Jets 17-7 in San Diego heading to the fourth quarter. San Diego tied the game on a last second touchdown from Brees to Antonio Gates, but New York ended up winning in overtime.

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