NFL Odds and Picks in the 2017 Playoffs Wildcard RoundJames Johnson
There are four Super Bowl Champion quarterbacks in the 2017 playoff Wildcard round. In fact, three of those four won the Championship by getting hot since the early rounds of the postseason.
We start the weekend with what look like the two weakest teams in the game between Raiders and Texans on Saturday. Later, Lions and Seahawks will meet in a clash of teams with real talent but with plenty of issues.
Sunday, on the other hand, will have two rematches from this regular season. The Dolphins will visit the Steelers early in the biggest NFL betting spread margin of the weekend. And last but not least is the game of the week. NY Giants vs. Green Bay Packers should be an epic one.
The NFL Odds and Picks in the 2017 Playoffs Wildcard Round:
Oakland Raiders (12-4) at Houston Texans (9-7)
- NFL Point Spread: Houston Texans -3
- Game Total: 37.5
- Game Time: Saturday, January 7 | 4:35 PM ET
- Stadium: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
- TV: ESPN/ABC
The Raiders and the Texans played in Mexico City in week 11. The win by Oakland reminded us they were going for big things this season. But with QB Derek Carr out for their postseason run, the Raiders seem doomed to lose early in the playoffs.
Oakland will either enter their first playoffs game in over a decade with Matt McGloin or Connor Cook under center. McGloin has a 1-6 record in his career with 11 touchdowns thrown and 11 interceptions. Cook is a rookie whom last season was getting beat up by Alabama in the College Football semifinals. Overall the Raiders are a better team than the Texans, but the pay per head sportsbooks are not buying in without their starter quarterback under center.
Houston has the bets total defense in the NFL. Their defensive unit is the reason they won the AFC South again. They are second best against the pass and good enough against the run. Their game plan will be stopping the Raiders RB Latavius Murray and putting the faith of the game in the hands of either McGloin or Cook.
The Texans’ problem is they can’t trust their quarterback. Brock Osweiler will likely start on Saturday as Tom Savage nurses a shoulder injury. Osweiler completed 21 of 40 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown in the Week 17 loss to the Titans. Those numbers are far from impressive, but that’s one of the best game he has put together as a member of the Texans.
The Texans are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss, 1-3-1 ATS in their last five home games, 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. AFC teams. The Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight up loss, 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games, 6-2 ATS in their last eight vs. AFC and 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
This game should be close until the end. Both quarterbacks in charge will stink up the place. To be safe, grab the points to beat the sports betting agent.
NFL Betting Picks: Raiders +3.
Detroit Lions (9-7) at Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)
- NFL Point Spread: Seattle Seahawks -7.5
- Game Total: 43
- Game Time: Saturday, January 7 | 8:15 PM ET
- Stadium: CenturyLink Field, in Seattle, Washington
- TV: NBC
After losing to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night, the Detroit Lions settled for a wildcard spot in the NFC. Their reward is visiting the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
The Lions know they have a monster task in hand, but they also need to know they are visiting Seattle just at the right time. The online bookie software understands who complicated the Seahawks become when they play at home. That’s why the home team is over a touchdown favorite. But Seattle is no longer the unbeatable force they once were.
The Seahawks posted a 7-1 straight home record this season and just 4-3-1 against the spread. They could have lost playing at home against the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons. And they indeed dropped one against the Arizona Cardinals just two weeks ago. Their week 17 presentation against the San Francisco 49ers was a tough one. The Seahawks allowed one of the worst teams in the NFL to stay in a game that only mattered to Seattle.
Don’t get me wrong, the Detroit Lions are not a bulletproof team. They have plenty of issues. Their QB Matt Stafford is dealing with a middle finger injury that doesn’t allow him to throw easily. Their running game has been up and down. And history says they don’t well in the postseason. Even so, this is a team that fights hard. Taking the points seems the natural move to collect against the bookie business.
Keep in mind the NFL betting trends say the Seahawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four playoff games, 1-4 ATS in their last five games in January and just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0 points.
NFL Betting Predictions: Lions +3.5
Miami Dolphins (10-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
- NFL Point Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers -10
- Game Total: 47
- Game Time: Sunday, January 8 | 1:05 PM ET
- Stadium: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- TV: CBS
The Dolphins and the Steelers played in Miami in week six this season. The result was a monumental upset by Miami with a 30-15 win at home. The game also left QB Ben Roethlisberger with a knee injury that cost the Steelers a few wins later.
Roethlisberger is healthy now, but the Dolphins will go to the playoffs with a backup quarterback under center. Pittsburgh has a playoffs experience roster looking to make a Super Bowl run. Miami is only seeking to survive week to week.
Expect the Dolphins to run the ball hard. RB Jay Ajayi posted three games with over 200 rushing yards this season. The first of the three was against the Steelers. He will be the reason Miami has a shot or not in this one. Pittsburgh defense has improved a lot. They will be waiting for the Dolphins running game.
The Steelers also rested their three main players in Week 17. Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell should be ready to go for the wildcard. Last season Pittsburgh was eliminated by the Denver Broncos with Brown and Bell sidelined by injuries. Not this time.
The online bookies made the Steelers a double-digit favorite for this one. It is kind of surprising knowing this is a postseason game, but it is the way to go when a backup quarterback faces and two-time Super Bowl Champ QB on the road.
The Steelers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite, 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win, 4-1-1 ATS in their last six vs. AFC teams and 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
The Dolphins are 3-7 ATS in their last ten games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0 points, 0-4 ATS in their last four playoff games, 3-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
NFL Betting Picks: Steelers -10.
NY Giants Dolphins (11-5) at Green Bay Packers (10-6)
- NFL Point Spread: Green Bay Packers -4
- Game Total: 44.5
- Game Time: Sunday, January 8 | 4:40 PM ET
- Stadium: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
- TV: FOX
Of course, the NY Giants visiting the Green Bay Packers is the best game of the week in the divisional round of the playoffs. Between both quarterbacks Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers, they add up three Super Bowl trips and three Championship rings.
Both teams are hot, and their forms resemble a lot of their past postseason runs. The sports bookies see the Packers as the best team, rating them as 4-point favorites.
Green Bay has won the last six game of the schedule, and QB Aaron Rodgers is feeling it. Rodgers finished the season with 40 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. Rodgers threw 18 touchdowns with ZERO interceptions in their last seven games.
The Giants had to settle for a wildcard spot. They won nine of the last 11 games, including a game that meant nothing against Washington in week 17. Their defense is the second best in points allowed with just 17.8 points per game. New York has improved a lot, especially on the defense side. But they haven’t played against a QB like Aaron Rodgers during their winning run.
The Packers are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 4-1 ATS in their last five home games, 4-1 ATS in their last five playoff games, and 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. NFC teams.
The Giants are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog and 1-8-2 ATS in their last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
NFL Betting Predictions: Packers -4.