NFL Wild Card Sharp Picks: How Pros Are Betting Titans vs. Patriots
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill
- Sharps are betting both Saturday NFL Wild Card games: Bills-Texans (4:35 p.m. ET) and Titans-Patriots (8:15 p.m. ET).
- We examine how smart money is moving lines for both of these playoff matchups.
Those who love the sport of football were probably disappointed when they checked the college schedule to find there’s only one bowl game on Saturday — the Armed Forces Bowl between Southern Miss and Tulane. Riveting.
Oh wait, that’s right! There are two NFL playoff games to be played. Thank the lord of betting for such a treat.
Sharps are making a big impact on the slate, heavily influencing three of the four main wagering opportunities between the two games. Here’s how they’re kicking off the postseason.
Odds as of Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
NFL Wild Card Saturday Sharp Betting Picks
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans
4:35 p.m. ET | ABC/ESPN
Is Bills vs. Texans the sexiest matchup of the weekend? I’m not particularly aroused by it, but sharps have still made moves on both the spread and over/under.
Let’s start with the spread.
This game opened with the Texans as 3-point favorites. This is important for two reasons:
- Three is the king of key numbers when it comes to NFL spread betting.
- It essentially means oddsmakers believe these two teams are of equal caliber after you take home-field advantage into account.
Sharps might think that Buffalo is just a wee bit better than Houston on paper, as the Bills have moved to +2.5.
We tracked a Steam Move on the Bills at +3 on Friday afternoon, and our betting percentages also show that Buffalo, which is receiving 48% of bets, is commanding 55% of the money.
With 3 being the most important number, oddsmakers are more reluctant to move the line a half-point in either direction. You can also see games which have lines bouncing between 2.5 and 3.5 thanks to sharp action on both sides, though the pros have yet to make a play on Houston at the time of writing.
As for the total, this over has been pummeled by sharps since the get-go. I touched on this sharp activity earlier in the week when the line had moved from 41.5 to 42.5, but it’s since moved all the way to 43.5.
We’ve tracked four Bet Signals on the over thus far at 41, 41.5, 42 and 43. I was surprised to see it reach this high and would be even more surprised if sharps continued hitting the over at 43.5.
Sharp Angle: Bills (moved from +3 to +2.5) and Over (moved from 41.5 to 43.5)
Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots
8:15 p.m. ET | CBS
Is Tom Brady done? Is the Patriots’ dynasty over? Not so fast.
With one of their poorest stretches of play in recent history, the nation’s opinion of the Patriots has hit a low point. Sharps generally treat betting on sports like a stock market, though — buy low, sell high.
After initial Titans action moved the line from +5 to +4, sharps bought back the Pats’ spread. We tracked a Steam Move on New Year’s Day, which helped move the line back in New England’s favor around the market.
Most books are back at -5, though some 4.5’s and 5.5’s are out there. The 4.5-5.5 range is the least important of any spread below seven because games rarely end with a five-point differential. Every single-digit number other than nine is landed on more frequently than five.
Sharp Angle: Patriots (moved from -4 to -5)