NFL Wildcard Playoffs Betting

NFL Wildcard Playoffs Betting

The journey to reach Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona begins today with the Wildcard round of the 2014-15 NFL Playoffs. Wildcard Weekend can often produce some of the best action in the postseason. Last season alone saw Andrew Luck spearhead an improbable 28-point comeback against Kansas City, and San Francisco enter frigid Lambeau Field and come away victorious over Aaron Rodgers’ Packers. This weekend features the rubber match between hated rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, a suddenly resurgent Panthers team, the red hot Cowboys first playoff appearance since the 2009 season, and that guy named Luck looking to add to his growing legacy. Here are previews and predictions for Wildcard Weekend.

ARIZONA AT CAROLINA -6.5

The Cards dropped their last two games with third-stringer Ryan Lindley under center. The Cats reeled off four in a row to seize the laughable NFC South. This one comes down to how much you trust the unproven Lindley on the road, in the rain and fog, against a Panthers defense that yielded a paltry 43 points in December. Cam Newton has looked sharp since returning from the back injury suffered in a car accident. Arizona defense ranks 5th in points allowed and will be responsible for keeping this close. Carolina is 1-5 ATS in its last six January games. Cardinals are 5-1 ATS in their last six playoff tilts. Too many points here.

Bet Arizona +6.5

BALTIMORE AT PITTSBURGH -3

The Ravens have one win against a team that finished with a winning record — at home to the Steelers in Week 2. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has four consecutive victories and crushed Baltimore by 20 in Week 9. The loss of Le’Veon Bell to a sprained knee shouldn’t be underestimated; the dual-threat back is an All-Pro for a reason and his production in the passing game will be sorely missed. Ravens secondary is vulnerable, so look for Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant to get plenty of opportunities downfield. Joe Flacco is quietly enjoying his best statistical season. Steelers are 4-1 ATS in the last five in the series. Baltimore is 4-0 ATS in its last four road playoff games. This one likely comes down to kickers.

Bet Pittsburgh -3

CINCINNATI AT INDIANAPOLIS -3.5

Here we go again with the can Marvin Lewis-Andy Dalton win a playoff game narrative. Until they do, the ghosts of past postseason failures will continue to haunt the franchise. Lewis has dropped all five in this spot and looked bad doing it, losing four of five by double digits. He would be wise to lean on Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, who were a dynamic one-two punch down the stretch. Colts have have won four of five, but aren’t exactly inspiring a lot of confidence. That said, they are 10-5-1 ATS and shutout Cincy 27-0 at home in Week 7. Colts have zero run game, so it will once again be on the shoulders to Luck to carry them to the Divisional round. Bengals are 2-5 ATS in their last seven trips to Indy.

Bet Cincinnati +3.5

DETROIT AT DALLAS -6.5

The recent combined playoff record for the Lions and Cowboys is 1-14. Detroit hasn’t smelled victory since 1991, ironically beating Dallas 38-6. Dallas blasted the Eagles in January 2010, but prior to that the last win came in 1996. To put it mildly, both of these franchises are desperate for postseason success. All it took for the 2014 ‘Boys to flourish was a broken back for Tony Romo and an injury-free season for DeMarco Murray. Cowboys are just 4-4 at home and 2-4 ATS in their last six in the House that Jerry Built. Lions are 0-5 ATS in their last five road affairs. Underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings. Cowboys are the better team, but this is a lot of points.

Bet Detroit +6.5