Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NFL referee Tony Corrente (99).
- Bill Vinovich, Walt Anderson, Clete Blakeman and Tony Corrente will lead the four crews officiating Wild Card Weekend.
- Using Bet Labs, we analyze against-the-spread and over/under trends for games officiated by these referees.
Let’s review our handicapping checklist for the Wild Card round:
- Analyze the lines ✅
- Evaluate the teams on the field ✅
- Adjust for injuries ✅
- Consider the impact of weather ✅
- Look at the referees ❓
One factor many gamblers might not consider before placing a wager is the referees. Bill Vinovich, Walt Anderson, Clete Blakeman and Tony Corrente will lead the four crews officiating the wild-card games.
Referees are expected to be impartial but they do have tendencies that bettors can exploit. Of course, it would be unwise to place a wager based solely on the past results of the referee officiating the game. This is just one more piece of information to make you a more informed gambler.
Note: records include regular season and playoff games since 2003.
Bill Vinovich: Houston Texans (-1) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Jan. 5, 4:35 p.m. ET | ESPN/ABC
- Favorites: 39-43-2 ATS (47.6%, -5.51 units)
- Home Teams: 38-43-2 ATS (46.9%, -6.95 units)
- Overs: 37-46-1 (44.6%, -10.63 units)
- Texans: 2-4-1 ATS
- Colts: 2-2-1 ATS
In games that Bill Vinovich has overseen, the under is 46-37-1 (55%) including 28-18-1 (61%) in the past three seasons.
According to Pro Football Reference, there have been 22.3% fewer penalty yards per game relative to the average official when Vinovich has been in charge the past three seasons. Fewer penalty yards likely lead to fewer first downs and thus less scoring.
Walt Anderson: Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Jan. 5, 8:15 p.m. ET | FOX
- Favorites: 81-80-7 ATS (50.3%, -2.4 units)
- Home Teams: 82-77-7 ATS (51.6%, +0.93 units)
- Overs: 80-87-1 (47.9%, -10.4 units)
- Cowboys: 6-7 ATS
- Seahawks: 6-1-2 ATS
Cowboy nation is not happy that Walt Anderson will be officiating Saturday’s game. In Dallas’ marquee win of the season over the New Orleans Saints, Anderson’s crew missed a few calls, including a face mask of Dak Prescott.
What Cowboys fans might not remember is that a few calls went their way in that matchup as well. In the fourth quarter, Alvin Kamara was knocked out of the game by linebacker Jaylon Smith who launched himself into the helmet of the Saints running back. No flag was thrown on the play.
Regardless of the outcome, Anderson’s crew will likely be criticized by one, if not both, fanbases.
Clete Blakeman: Baltimore Ravens (-3) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Jan. 6, 1:05 p.m. ET | CBS
- Favorites: 63-72-5 ATS (46.7%, -11.38 units)
- Home Teams: 63-70-5 ATS (47.4%, -9.32 units)
- Overs: 67-71-2 (48.6%, -6.77 units)
- Ravens: 4-4-1 ATS
- Chargers: 6-5 ATS
The Chargers are receiving the most lopsided betting action of Wild Card Weekend. Nearly 70% of spread tickets (see live odds) are on LA as a 3-point underdog. Popular underdogs have gone 27-17-1 ATS in the playoffs per Bet Labs.
In postseason games that Blakeman has officiated, the underdog has gone 5-1 ATS.
Tony Corrente: Chicago Bears (-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Jan. 6, 4:40 p.m. ET | NBC
- Favorites: 77-88-4 ATS (46.6%, -13.68 units)
- Home Teams: 85-77-4 ATS (52.5%, +5.28 units)
- Overs: 72-94-3 (43.4%, -24.67 units)
- Bears: 4-5 ATS
- Eagles: 5-8 ATS
The over/under for Bears-Eagles opened 41.5 and with a majority of tickets and dollars on the under, the total has been bet down to 41. History is on the side of under bettors as Corrente is the most profitable under official in our database, going 94-72-3 (56.6%).