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Thread: NFL Trends and Indexes - Wildcard Round (Sat., Jan. 5 - Sun., Jan. 6)

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    Default NFL Trends and Indexes - Wildcard Round (Sat., Jan. 5 - Sun., Jan. 6)

    NFL Trends and Indexes

    Saturday, January 5 - Sunday, January 6

    Additional trends and information will be added as available.

    NOTE:
    As information becomes available, we will attempt to post the trends and indexes as soon as possible.
    Information is posted from what we believe are reliable sources.
    Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the posting member or BettorsChat.


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    Betting Recap - Week 17
    Joe Williams

    Overall Notes

    National Football League Week 17 Results
    Wager Favorites-Underdogs
    Straight Up 12-4
    Against the Spread 8-8

    Wager Home-Away
    Straight Up 8-8
    Against the Spread 6-10

    Wager Totals (O/U)
    Over-Under 8-8

    National Football League Year-to-Date Results
    Wager Favorites-Underdogs
    Straight Up 167-87-2
    Against the Spread 113-133-10

    Wager Home-Away
    Straight Up 153-101-2
    Against the Spread 120-126-10

    Wager Totals (O/U)
    Over-Under 119-135-2

    The largest underdogs to win straight up
    Lions (+7.5, ML + ) at Packers, 31-0
    Panthers (+7.5, ML + ) at Saints, 33-14
    Cowboys (+7, ML + ) at Giants, 36-35
    Bears (+6, ML + ) at Vikings, 24-10

    The largest favorite to cover
    Chiefs (-14) vs. Raiders, 35-3
    Patriots (-14) vs. Jets, 38-3
    Chargers (-7) at Broncos, 23-9
    Texans (-7) vs. Jaguars, 20-3

    Buy Byes

    -- In Week 17 it was time to buy teams playing for byes. The New England Patriots (-14) routed the New York Jets to earn the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye. The Kansas City Chiefs (-14) weren't about to falter, spanking the Oakland Raiders by a 35-3 count to not leave any doubt. The Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) were also able to lock up a first-round bye with a 48-32 victory against the San Francisco 49ers, although the Niners did make them work for it.

    Saint Nick

    -- The Philadelphia Eagles might not be able to afford QB Nick Foles past these playoffs, but thanks to him they're able to at least qualify and get a chance to defend their Super Bowl title. Foles led the Eagles to their third consecutive victory, an easy cover (-6) on the road against the Washington Redskins. It was reported during the week that the Redskins, decimated by injury, actually had as many as 13 players on their roster who had never played a regular-season game at FedEx Field before. Easy money, and a late present from Saint Nick.

    Total Recall

    -- The game with the highest total on the board was the Oakland Raiders-Kansas City Chiefs (53.5), but the Raiders didn't live up to their end of the bargain. They managed a lone field goal as the total never even came close in the 35-3 K.C. victory. The other two games with 50-plus totals on the board, the Atlanta Falcons-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (52) and San Francisco 49ers-Los Angeles Rams (50) easily hit the over.

    -- There were three games on the board with totals in the 30's -- Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants (38.5), Miami Dolphins-Buffalo Bills (39.5) and the Jacksonville Jaguars-Houston Texans (39.5). The Cowboys and Giants each nearly made the total go over on their own, as Dallas outlasted New York 36-35. The Bills were able to take care of the over in their game, dropping a season-high 42 points in their victory over the Dolphins. As for the Texans, well they were busy securing the AFC South and locking down the Jags' offense, but they didn't pile up the numbers in the 20-3 win.

    -- The 'over' was 1-0 in the final week, as Indianapolis Colts-Tennessee Titans (42.5) ended up connecting with 50 total points. Overall for the 2018 season the 'over' in primetime games ended up 26-25 (51.0%), the lowest percentage of 'over' results since 2015.

    Officially, the 'over' finished 25-23-1 (52.1%) in 49 games under the lights in 2017.

    In 2016, the 'over' in night games went (52.9%) through 51 games.

    In 2015, the over finished 20-28-1 (41.7%) in 49 primetime games.

    In 2014, the over went 33-17 (66.0%) in primetime games, and the over was 28-22 (56.0%) in 2013.

    Injury Report

    -- Bears WR Anthony Miller (shoulder) reportedly had his shoulder pop out, and he was unable to return. His status for next weekend's wild-card game against Philly is up in the air.

    -- Eagles QB Nick Foles (chest) checked out in the second half in Washington with a chest injury, although the Eagles said after the game he is expected to be fine for next weekend's wild-card game in Chicago.

    Looking Ahead

    -- The Colts and Texans each won on each other's field during the regular season. Indianapolis enters 6-0 ATS in the past six against winning teams while going 4-1 ATS in the past five road games against a team with a winning home record. However, they're 1-4 ATS in the past five playoff road games. For the Texans, they're 4-1 ATS in the past five at home, and 4-1 ATS in the past five inside the division, too. However, they're 1-5 ATS in the past six against winning teams.

    -- Indianapolis is 5-0-1 ATS in the past six trips to Houston, while going 8-3-2 ATS in the past 13 meetings overall. The underdog is 5-2-2 ATS in the past nine meetings, with the road team 7-1-2 ATS in the past 10 in this series.

    -- The Seahawks are 5-1 ATS in their past six against winning teams, while going 4-1 ATS in the past five on the road. They're also 8-3-1 ATS in the past 12 overall. However, they have covered just one of the past six in the playoffs. For the Cowboys, they're 6-1 ATS in the past seven against NFC clubs, while going 6-2 ATS in the past eight overall. They are 3-8 ATS in the past 11 in the playoffs, however, and 1-4 ATS in the past five playoff games at home.

    -- The Ravens beat the Chargers on the road 22-10, a key victory in their march to the AFC North title. The Chargers won on the road in Week 17, and are 21-8-1 ATS in the past 30 on the road overall. They're also 6-2 ATS in the past eight playoff games. For Baltimore, they have covered seven straight in the postseason, and five straight in the wild-card round.

    -- The defending champion Eagles are 4-1 ATS in the past five overall, and they're 6-2 ATS in the past eight playoff road outings. However, they're just 1-4 ATS in the past five in the wild-card round. The Bears finished the season with four straight covers, and they're 7-0-1 ATS in the past eight at home against teams with a winning road mark. They're also 16-4-1 ATS in the past 21 at home and 5-2 ATS in the past seven against winning teams.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-02-2019 at 03:16 AM.

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    Ravens favored, but book likes Chargers' odds in NFL wild-card round
    Patrick Everson

    Lamar Jackson and Baltimore held on for a Week 17 win over Cleveland to claim the AFC North and punch their playoff ticket. The Ravens opened -2.5 for a Sunday home game against the Chargers.

    After a wild 17 weeks of regular-season play, it’s time to look ahead to wild-card weekend in the NFL. We check in on the opening lines and early action for next weekend’s four playoff games, with insights from Derek Wilkinson, supervisor at The SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

    Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)

    Los Angeles tied for the best record in the AFC, yet is the No. 5 seed and on the road to open the postseason. The Chargers (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS), who lost a tiebreaker to Kansas City for the AFC West title, finished the regular season with a 23-9 victory at Denver as 7-point favorites.

    Baltimore won six of its last seven games to overtake Pittsburgh and win the AFC North, earning the No. 4 seed in the process. The Ravens (10-6 SU, 8-8 ATS) had to win Sunday to reach the playoffs and got a huge scare, thwarting a Cleveland rally to win 26-24 as 7-point home faves.

    “This is a situation where we like the ‘dog,” Wilkinson said. “We initially discussed having the game as a pick or even favoring the Chargers by a point, but the other markets like the Ravens. I think this line will drop quickly and could even favor the Chargers by game day.”

    Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. ET Sunday.

    Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)

    Dallas had nothing to play for in Week 17, stuck in the No. 4 slot for the NFC playoffs. But the Cowboys (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS) went out and played anyway, only holding out Ezekiel Elliott, and edged the New York Giants 36-35 as 7.5-point road underdogs.

    Seattle went on a 6-1 SU run to cap the regular season and nab a wild-card spot as the No. 5 seed. In Week 17, the Seahawks (10-6 SU, 9-5-2 ATS) let Arizona hang around the whole game, but claimed a 27-24 win laying 14 points at home.

    “We opened on the low end of the market here, because we like Seattle,” Wilkinson said of this 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday meeting. “Most of the market is at -2.5 (-120) or -3. I think the sharp money will be on the Seahawks, but the line will probably move toward Dallas, because of too much public money.”

    Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (no line)

    Chicago enters the postseason as the No. 3 seed after winning the NFC North title. The Bears (12-4 SU and ATS), the No. 1 spread-covering team in the NFL, dropped Minnesota 24-10 as 6-point road pups in Week 17.

    Defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia took it right down to the Week 17 wire, but got back into the playoffs as a wild card with the No. 6 seed. The Eagles (9-7 SU, 7-9 ATS) blanked Washington 24-0 giving 6 points on the road.

    However, Philly quarterback Nick Foles suffered a rib injury late in the game. That prompted The SuperBook to hold off on posting this line, until Foles’ status is clarified for this Sunday contest with a 4:40 p.m. ET start.

    “I think it’ll open around Bears -6 and the line will go up,” Wilkinson said. “The Bears are a much better team than Philly, and they’re at home.”

    Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-2.5)

    It’s likely that nobody is looking forward to facing Indianapolis in the playoffs, with Frank Reich’s squad on a 9-1 SU tear (6-3-1 ATS) en route to the No. 6 seed. The Colts ended the regular season in a winner-take-all game at Tennessee and posted a 33-17 victory as 6-point favorites.

    After losing its first three games, Houston went on a 9-0 SU run (6-3 ATS) to get back on track. Despite a 2-2 mark in the last four weeks, the Texans (11-5 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) won the AFC South and the No. 3 seed. Houston finished with a 20-3 win over Jacksonville as 7-point home faves.

    “This is another one where anticipate the ‘dog covering or winning outright,” Wilkinson said of this 4:35 p.m. ET Saturday matchup.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-02-2019 at 03:17 AM.

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    NFC Wild Card Notes
    VI News

    Saturday, January 5, 2019

    NFC – Seattle at Dallas – 8:15 p.m. (FOX)


    Opening Line (12/30/18): Dallas -3, 41 ½

    Seattle Road Record: 4-4 SU, 4-3-1 ATS
    Dallas Home Record: 7-1 SU, 5-2-1 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The Seahawks and Cowboys hooked up at CenturyLink Field in Week 3 as Seattle took care of Dallas, 24-13 as one-point favorites. It was Seattle's first win of the season following an 0-2 start as Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes for the Seahawks. Seattle jumped out to a 24-6 lead before Dallas scored its only touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

    The Cowboys have lost each of the last three matchups with the Seahawks since 2015, while these teams last met in the playoffs in the famous Tony Romo fumble on the snap of the potential game-winning field goal in a 21-20 loss in the 2006 Wild Card round.

    Playoff Notes:
    The Seahawks are back in the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven seasons after missing the postseason in 2017. Seattle owns a perfect 3-0 record in its previous three Wild Card contests since 2012, while not losing in its first playoff game during this stretch.

    Dallas is making its third playoff appearance since 2014, as the Cowboys were knocked out in the divisional playoffs by the Packers in the final seconds in 2016. In its previous appearance in the Wild Card round in 2014, the Cowboys edged past the Lions, 24-20, but failed to cash as six-point favorites.

    Total Notes:
    After starting the season with a 5-2 mark to the 'under,' the Cowboys finished with 'overs' in five of the final nine contests. Dallas hit the 'over' in five of eight games at AT&T Stadium, while going 4-2 to the 'over' as a home favorite.

    The Seahawks were also a strong 'under' team to start the season by cashing in six of the first eight games. However, Seattle closed with 'overs' in seven of the last eight contests, including 'overs' in its final three road affairs.


    Sunday, January 6, 2019

    NFC – Philadelphia at Chicago – 4:40 p.m. (NBC)


    Opening Line (12/30/18): Chicago -5 ½, 42

    Philadelphia Road Record: 4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS
    Chicago Home Record: 7-1 SU, 7-1 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The Eagles and Bears didn't match up this season, but Philadelphia destroyed Chicago in 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field, 31-3. Chicago has lost three consecutive meetings with Philadelphia since 2013, while these clubs last dueled in the playoffs back in 2001. The Eagles cruised past the Bears at Soldier Field, 33-19 to advance to the NFC Championship.

    Playoff Notes:
    Chicago finished at the bottom of the NFC North in the previous four seasons prior to capturing the division title in 2018. The Bears last reached the playoffs in 2010 when they advanced to the NFC Championship before falling to the rival Packers. Chicago last participated in the Wild Card round back in 1994 when it routed Minnesota, as the Bears own a 4-5 record in the playoffs the last 25 seasons.

    The Eagles picked up their first Super Bowl title last season by knocking off the Patriots, while winning all three games as an underdog. Philadelphia has lost in past three opportunities in the Wild Card round since 2009, while last playing a road playoff game in 2009 against Dallas in a 34-14 defeat.

    Total Notes:
    The Eagles posted a 9-7 mark to the 'under,' while going 5-3 to the 'over' away from Lincoln Financial Field. During last season's Super Bowl run, Philadelphia cashed the 'over' in two of three victories.

    Chicago closed the season with four consecutive 'unders,' as the Bears limited those four opponents to 17 points or less in each contest. The total was a toss-up at Soldier Field as the Bears went 4-4 to the 'over,' but Chicago allowed 22 points or less in seven of eight home games.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-02-2019 at 03:18 AM.

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    AFC Wild Card Notes
    VI News

    Saturday, January 5, 2019

    AFC – Indianapolis at Houston– 4:35 p.m. (ESPN)


    Opening Line (12/30/18): Houston -2, 47 ½

    Indianapolis Road Record: 4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS
    Houston Home Record: 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The visitor won and covered both games in the regular season but the first encounter from Indianapolis in Week 4 could’ve and probably should’ve been a tie. Colts head coach Frank Reich decided to go for a first down in overtime and the club missed, which allowed Houston to win 37-34 in the extra session. That victory helped the Texans run off nine straight wins but sure enough, Indy snapped that winning streak and got revenge in Week 14 with a 24-21 road win over Houston.

    Colts quarterback Andrew Luck owns a 6-4 career record versus Houston which includes a 3-2 mark on the road. The last four meetings at Houston were decided by five points or less.

    Playoff Notes:
    The Colts haven’t been in the playoffs since the 2014 regular season. That season, they defeated the Bengals in the Wild Card round at home before upsetting Denver on the road in the Divisional Playoffs. Unfortunately, the club was blasted 45-7 by the Patriots in the AFC Championship. Indianapolis is 3-3 with Luck in the playoffs, 2-1 in Wild Card games and 1-3 overall on the road.

    Houston went 1-1 in last year’s postseason, defeating a short-handed Oakland squad 27-14 at home in the Wild Card before losing 34-16 at Foxboro in the Divisional round. Head coach Bill O’Brien is 1-2 all-time in the playoffs. Houston as a franchise is 3-4 overall, 3-1 at home.

    Total Notes:
    The Texans saw the ‘under’ go 9-7 on the season and 5-3 at home. The defense surrendered 15.3 points per game in their final four at NRG Stadium, which led to a 3-1 ‘under’ record.
    Indianapolis saw its total results go 8-8 this season, 4-4 both home and away. The Colts offense was a tad shakier on the road (24.2 PPG) but they posted 28 and 33 points in their last two games, which led to ‘over’ tickets.

    Including a split in this year’s regular season meetings, the ‘under’ has gone 6-2 in the past eight encounters between the pair.


    Sunday, January 6, 2019

    AFC – L.A. Chargers at Baltimore – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)


    Opening Line (12/30/18): Baltimore -3, 41 ½

    L.A. Chargers Road Record: 7-1 SU, 7-1 ATS
    Baltimore Home Record: 6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS

    Head-to-Head:
    The Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 in Week 16 as four-point road underdogs in a primetime game played on a Saturday from Los Angeles. Prior to this encounter, the pair split two regular season games from Baltimore in 2014 and 2015 and the outcomes were decided by a combined four points (29-26, 34-33).

    Playoff Notes:
    The Chargers haven’t been in the playoffs since the 2013 regular season. They went 1-1 in the playoffs, winning the Wild Card game at the Bengals before losing to the Broncos in the Divisional Playoff round. QB Philip Rivers is 4-5 all-time in the playoffs but make a note that Los Angeles is 3-0 in Wild Card games.

    This will be the first trip to the playoffs for Baltimore since the 2014 regular season. The Ravens went 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS in that postseason. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh owns a 10-5 SU and 11-4 ATS all-time playoff record and what’s really impressive is that only two of those games were at home, both victories.

    Total Notes:
    The Chargers saw their total results split evenly (8-8) this season but they had a 5-3 ‘over’ lean on the road. Los Angeles averaged slightly more points on the road (26.9 PPG) this season than at home (26.6 PPG). The Bolts made three trips to the Eastern Time Zone this season and scored 31, 36 and 33 points. Along with winning each game, the ‘over’ connected in all three as well.

    Baltimore watched the ‘under’ go 9-7 this season which included a 4-4 total record from M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens defense (17.9 PPG) is ranked second in scoring and including the first meeting with the Chargers, they only allowed 17 PPG in four games versus the AFC West this season.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-02-2019 at 03:19 AM.

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    NFL
    Long Sheet

    Wildcard Round


    Saturday, January 5

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    INDIANAPOLIS (10 - 6) at HOUSTON (11 - 5) - 1/5/2019, 4:35 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    HOUSTON is 27-13 ATS (+12.7 Units) in home games revenging a loss against opponent since 1992.
    HOUSTON is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    INDIANAPOLIS is 3-2 against the spread versus HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
    HOUSTON is 3-3 straight up against INDIANAPOLIS over the last 3 seasons
    4 of 6 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    SEATTLE (10 - 6) at DALLAS (10 - 6) - 1/5/2019, 8:15 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    SEATTLE is 68-46 ATS (+17.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    SEATTLE is 2-0 against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
    SEATTLE is 2-0 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    Sunday, January 6

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    LA CHARGERS (12 - 4) at BALTIMORE (10 - 6) - 1/6/2019, 1:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    LA CHARGERS is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in road games this season.
    LA CHARGERS is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in road lined games this season.
    LA CHARGERS is 36-18 ATS (+16.2 Units) in a road game where the total is between 38.5 and 42 points since 1992.
    LA CHARGERS is 92-64 ATS (+21.6 Units) in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points since 1992.
    LA CHARGERS is 100-71 ATS (+21.9 Units) in road games when playing with 6 or less days rest since 1992.
    LA CHARGERS is 52-32 ATS (+16.8 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
    LA CHARGERS is 37-18 ATS (+17.2 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BALTIMORE is 1-0 against the spread versus LA CHARGERS over the last 3 seasons
    BALTIMORE is 1-0 straight up against LA CHARGERS over the last 3 seasons
    1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    PHILADELPHIA (9 - 7) at CHICAGO (12 - 4) - 1/6/2019, 4:40 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    CHICAGO is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all games this season.
    CHICAGO is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all lined games this season.
    CHICAGO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in home games this season.
    CHICAGO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in home lined games this season.
    CHICAGO is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in a home game where the total is between 38.5 and 42 points over the last 3 seasons.
    CHICAGO is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points over the last 3 seasons.
    CHICAGO is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) against conference opponents this season.
    CHICAGO is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest this season.
    CHICAGO is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in games played on a grass field this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 75-52 ATS (+17.8 Units) in road games in games played on a grass field since 1992.
    CHICAGO is 7-19 ATS (-13.9 Units) in home games against NFC East division opponents since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    PHILADELPHIA is 2-0 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
    PHILADELPHIA is 2-0 straight up against CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
    1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    NFL

    Wildcard Round


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    Trend Report
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    Saturday, January 5

    Indianapolis Colts
    Indianapolis is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indianapolis's last 7 games
    Indianapolis is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
    Indianapolis is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indianapolis's last 6 games on the road
    The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Indianapolis's last 12 games on the road
    Indianapolis is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games when playing Houston
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indianapolis's last 5 games when playing Houston
    Indianapolis is 5-0-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Houston
    Indianapolis is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Houston
    The total has gone OVER in 10 of Indianapolis's last 14 games when playing on the road against Houston
    Houston Texans
    Houston is 7-12-2 ATS in its last 21 games
    Houston is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games
    Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
    Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 7 games at home
    Houston is 3-8-2 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Indianapolis
    Houston is 7-17 SU in its last 24 games when playing Indianapolis
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games when playing Indianapolis
    Houston is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Indianapolis
    Houston is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Indianapolis
    The total has gone OVER in 10 of Houston's last 14 games when playing at home against Indianapolis

    Seattle Seahawks
    Seattle is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
    Seattle is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
    The total has gone OVER in 7 of Seattle's last 8 games
    Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    Seattle is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
    Seattle is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Dallas
    Seattle is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Dallas
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Seattle's last 6 games when playing Dallas
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Seattle's last 6 games when playing on the road against Dallas
    Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas is 6-1-1 ATS in its last 8 games
    Dallas is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 17 of Dallas's last 25 games
    Dallas is 4-1-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
    Dallas is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Dallas's last 7 games at home
    Dallas is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Seattle
    Dallas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Seattle
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 6 games when playing Seattle
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 6 games when playing at home against Seattle


    Sunday, January 6

    Los Angeles Chargers
    LA Chargers is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
    LA Chargers is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 7 of LA Chargers's last 10 games
    LA Chargers is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    LA Chargers is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    LA Chargers is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing Baltimore
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of LA Chargers's last 7 games when playing Baltimore
    LA Chargers is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Baltimore
    Baltimore Ravens
    Baltimore is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
    Baltimore is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
    Baltimore is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home
    Baltimore is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
    Baltimore is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing LA Chargers
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Baltimore's last 7 games when playing LA Chargers
    Baltimore is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against LA Chargers

    Philadelphia Eagles
    Philadelphia is 5-9-1 ATS in its last 15 games
    Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
    Philadelphia is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
    Philadelphia is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 16 of Philadelphia's last 24 games on the road
    Philadelphia is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Chicago
    Philadelphia is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing Chicago
    Philadelphia is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Chicago
    Chicago Bears
    Chicago is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games
    Chicago is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chicago's last 6 games
    Chicago is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
    Chicago is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
    Chicago is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
    Chicago is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games when playing Philadelphia
    Chicago is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Philadelphia


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    NFL
    Dunkel

    Wildcard Round



    Saturday January 5

    Indianapolis @ Houston

    Game 101-102
    January 5, 2019 @ 4:35 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Indianapolis
    139.556
    Houston
    132.938
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Indianapolis
    by 6 1/2
    40
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Houston
    by 2
    47 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Indianapolis
    (+2); Under

    Seattle @ Dallas


    Game 103-104
    January 5, 2019 @ 8:15 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Seattle
    136.197
    Dallas
    139.080
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Dallas
    by 3
    65
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Dallas
    by 1
    43 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Dallas
    (-1); Over


    Sunday, January 6

    LA Chargers @ Baltimore


    Game 105-106
    January 6, 2019 @ 1:05 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    LA Chargers
    139.364
    Baltimore
    134.870
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    LA Chargers
    by 4 1/2
    43
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Baltimore
    by 2 1/2
    41
    Dunkel Pick:
    LA Chargers
    (+2 1/2); Over

    Philadelphia @ Chicago


    Game 107-108
    January 6, 2019 @ 4:40 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Philadelphia
    135.680
    Chicago
    130.441
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Philadelphia
    by 5
    38
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Chicago
    by 6
    41
    Dunkel Pick:
    Philadelphia
    (+6); Under





    NFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Wildcard Round


    Colts @ Texans
    - Indy won nine of its last ten games after a 1-5 start; Houston won 11 of its last 13 games after an 0-3 start. Road team won both series games by FG this year; Indy is 9-4 in last 13 series games, winning five of last six visits here. Colts are in playoffs for first time since 2014; Luck has 3-3 career record in playoff games. Indy won last four games since a 6-0 loss in Week 13 at Jacksonville; Indy won four of last five games. Five of their last seven games stayed under total. Texans split last four games, with two losses by total of five points; they’re 6-1 in last seven home games, with only loss to the Colts. Houston is 4-2-1 vs spread in its last seven games as a favorite. Texans are in playoffs for third time in four years; this is Watson’s first playoff game.

    Seahawks @ Cowboys
    - Seattle was +3 (3-0) in turnovers, sacked Prescott five times in 24-13 (-1) home win over Dallas back in Week 3, Seahawks’ 3rd straight win over Dallas- they won last two meetings here, 2-12 LY, 13-12 in ’15. Seattle won six of its last seven games; they’re 5-1-1 vs spread as underdogs this year, +8 in turnovers in last six games. Seahawks are 3-4 in true road games; five of seven games were decided by 5 or fewer points. Dallas won seven of last eight games; they’re 7-1 at home. Seattle is in playoffs for 12th time in last 16 years; Wilson has an 8-4 record in playoff games. Cowboys are in playoffs for third time in last five years; Prescott lost his only playoff start 34-31 at home to Green Bay two years ago. Over is 7-1 in Seattle’s last 8 games.

    Chargers @ Ravens
    - Baltimore outgained Chargers 361-198 in 22-10 win at LA two weeks ago; Ravens outrushed Bolts 159-51, holding Chargers without a play longer than 17 yards. Ravens are 6-1 with rookie Jackson at QB; he is averaging 17 carries/game; they’ve run ball for 229.9 yards/game in Jackson’s starts. Baltimore won its last four home games; they’re 4-5 vs spread in games with spread of 4 or fewer points. Chargers won 11 of last 13 games after a 1-2 start; Bolts are 8-0 outside LA this season, with only road loss vs Rams in Coliseum. Chargers have only three TD’s on 22 drives in last two games; two of those were on drives of 16-17 yards. LA is in playoffs for first time since ’13, 2nd time since ’09. Ravens are in playoffs for first time since ’14.

    Eagles @ Bears
    — Chicago is in playoffs for first time since 2010; they’ve won/covered nine of last ten games, losing at NYG in game when backup QB Daniel played. Bears won/covered their last five home games- their only home loss this year was 38-31 to Patriots in Week 7. Chicago is 9-3 vs spread as a favorite this year. Two head coaches worked together for seven years, in KC/Philly; Eagles won last three series games, pounding Bears 31-3 in Philly LY. Iggles won six of their last eight visits to the Windy City. Philly is defending Super Bowl champ; they’ve won five of last six games, are 1-2 vs spread as an underdog. Eagles won four of last six road games. Three of last four Philly games went over total; last four Chicago games stayed under.
    Last edited by Udog; 01-05-2019 at 01:06 AM.

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    FOLES HAS BRUISED RIBS

    Coach Doug Pederson confirmed on Monday afternoon that quarterback Nick Foles is healthy enough to start at Chicago on Sunday as the Eagles visit the Bears (Chicago -6, O/U 41). He is dealing with bruised ribs that he originally suffered in Week 16 and then aggravated when he took a sack in the fourth quarter against Washington on Sunday. (Side note: It was a very costly sack for Foles as he wound up falling four snaps shy of a $1 million bonus.)

    He will likely be backed up by Nate Sudfeld as reports on Sunday noted that Carson Wentz is not expected to play in the playoffs (though, as of Monday, Wentz remained on the active roster). Sudfeld went 1-for-1 for 22 yards and a touchdown in relief of Foles against Washington.

    Foles has passed for 270, 471, and 221 yards since becoming the starter but will be in tough on Sunday against the No. 1 ranked defense in passing DVOA. Here’s the key: Chicago posted the third-most sacks in the league with 50, just two behind co-leaders Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Philadelphia is average at protecting the quarterback and is allowing 2.5 sacks per game, ranked 16th in the NFL.

    With bruised ribs, Foles will be just one hit away from having to sit for a series or two, or from being knocked from the game altogether. We’ll revisit this situation later in the week based on injury updates but if it seems that Foles is hurting we’ll be looking to fade his passing yards total.


    GORDON EXPECTED TO GO

    The L.A. Chargers seem to have dodged a possible bullet as reports say that Melvin Gordon’s ankle injury isn’t serious. The running back picked up the injury late in L.A.’s win over Denver but is expected to suit up on Sunday at Baltimore (Ravens -2.5, O/U 41.5).

    Gordon did not look like himself in the final two weeks of the regular season after returning from a three-game absence, posting rushing lines of 12-41 against Baltimore in Week 16 and 10-42 against Denver in Week 17, while catching three passes in each of the two games. In fact, it was Austin Ekeler who impressed in the regular-season finale with a rushing line of 8-58-1.

    It’s quite possible that Gordon is operating at less than 100 percent, which will make Sunday’s matchup against a Ravens run defense that allows just 82.9 rushing yards per game, the fourth-fewest in the NFL, that much more difficult. It will be important to see how much work Gordon gets in at practice throughout the week but as of today, we’ll be looking to fade him by backing the Under for his rushing yards total.


    HENRY TO DEBUT

    The Chargers might get an offensive boost for the Wild Card round as tight end Hunter Henry is expected to make his season debut. Henry has been on the PUP list all season with a torn ACL that he suffered during OTAs in May. The 2016 second-round pick was expected to play a big role in the Chargers’ offense this season after posting 12 touchdowns through his first 29 games.

    It’s hard to envision Henry playing a full complement of snaps in his return but, at the same time, the Chargers wouldn’t be activating him if they didn’t think he could contribute. It’s also a tough matchup against Baltimore’s third-ranked defense in passing DVOA, although it should be noted that the Ravens rank just 23rd in DVOA in defending tight ends. We just don’t see the volume being there as he steps onto a field for the first time this season, however, and recommend staying away from backing Henry.


    PASS HAPPY IN HOUSTON?

    The first Wild Card game on Saturday sees Houston hosting Indianapolis as a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 47. The one thing that really jumps out at this matchup is that it features two very good run defenses. Houston is ranked No. 1 in rushing DVOA and Indy comes in at No. 5 when using the same metric. The Texans allow just 82.7 rushing yards per game and the Colts 101.6.

    Then there’s the offenses. Houston’s run game has disappeared with just 137 rushing yards on its last 60 carries from running backs. Indianapolis has Marlon Mack, who is coming off a very nice 119-yard performance on Sunday, but he posted just 33 rushing yards on 14 carries the last time these two teams played on Dec. 9. Lamar Miller posted 33 yards on 14 carries in that game that ended 24-21 even though there were 751 yards of total offense.

    The earlier matchup between these two division rivals ended 37-34 in a game featured 944 yards of total offense. Both teams have franchise players at quarterback and they will be the ones deciding this game as both teams will likely abandon the run game early. Take the Over 47 before the total grows.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-02-2019 at 03:21 AM.

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    MARTIN TO RETURN TO THE TRENCHES

    The Dallas Cowboys will get a big boost for Saturday’s Wild Card game against Seattle with the return of right guard Zack Martin. The All-Pro has missed the last two weeks and will be a huge boost to both the running game and Dak Prescott’s protection.

    Elliott, in particular, should benefit the most and he is lined up to have a big day on Saturday. He didn’t play a snap in Week 17, meaning he’ll be fresh on two weeks of rest. Elliott will also be facing a very mediocre run defense that ranks 17th in rushing DVOA and allows 113.2 rushing yards per game on 4.9 yards per carry. Elliott is averaging 107.7 rushing yards on 22.1 carries since Week 10 and ran for 127 yards on 16 carries (7.9 YPC) on the road when these teams met in Seattle in Week 3. We’re expecting Elliott to be at his best on Saturday and we’ll be backing the Over for his rushing yards total.


    CARSON GETS DAY OFF

    Seahawks running back Chris Carson did not practice on Tuesday but the day off was not related to an injury. It appears that the Seahawks were simply giving their bell cow an extra day of rest in the short week ahead of their Wild Card matchup on Saturday.

    Carson faces a tough matchup against a Cowboys defense that is ranked fifth in rushing DVOA and allows just 94.6 rushing yards per game on 3.8 yards per carry. Don’t expect the tough matchup to deter the Seahawks from running the ball, however. Seattle runs the ball on 52.8 percent of its offensive plays, by far the highest mark in the NFL (Tennessee is second at 48.4 percent).

    Carson had 22, 22, and 27 carries in Weeks 14-16 before getting a slight rest with 19 in the regular-season finale against Arizona. When the Seahawks hosted Dallas back in Week 3, Carson had a season-high 32 carries. We expect both teams to go run heavy on Sunday, in an effort to control the clock and the tempo of the game, with Carson getting his usual 20-plus carries. Take the Over on his rushing attempts total if it’s set anywhere around 20-21.


    FADING MILLER (AGAIN)

    Texans running back Lamar Miller ran for 56 yards on 17 carries in Week 17, which got us a winner as we had suggested taking the Under 60.5 on his rushing yards total. The mediocre rushing output was, however, an improvement for Houston after its backs had gained just 81 yards over their previous 43 carries for a putrid 1.9 yards per carry. In Week 17, it was quarterback Deshaun Watson who was the Texans’ leading rusher with 66 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

    Houston hosts Indianapolis in the early game on Saturday (Texans -2.5, O/U 47). The Colts quietly have an excellent run defense with a No. 4 rank in rushing DVOA and allow the eighth-fewest rushing yards in the league at 101.6. Derrick Henry ran for 93 yards in 16 carries against Indy on Sunday night but that should be considered a big win for the Colts considering Henry was the hottest back in football heading into Week 17. We’re suggesting the Under for Miller's rushing yards total once again this weekend.


    COUTEE COMING BACK

    Houston receiver Keke Coutee is practicing in full this week and should be a full-go for Saturday's game against Indy. Coutee hasn’t played since Week 12 because of a hamstring injury but he could be counted on to play a big role in the Wild Card round, especially due to the season-ending injury to Demaryius Thomas.

    Coutee’s role on Saturday will be very hard to predict. Earlier in the season, when he was healthy and before Thomas was traded to Houston, Coutee was heavily involved as a slot receiver. In his four full games, he posted receiving lines of 11-109, 6-51-1, 3-33, and 5-77. He was forced to leave two other games with the hamstring issue which led to lines of 1-3 and 2-14. If he is indeed healthy, he could see a nice complement of targets in what we expect to be a pass-heavy game from both teams. However, it’s also possible that he has simply missed too much time to be relevant in a playoff game. We’ll be monitoring his status throughout the week — particularly as to whether he’ll be a starting wideout — but as of today we’re leaning towards grabbing the Over on his receptions total (which should be set quite low due to his long absence).

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    NFL's Top ATS Teams (based on cover %):

    1. Bears 12-4 ATS
    2. Seahawks 9-5-2 ATS
    t3. Saints 10-6 ATS
    t3. Browns 10-6 ATS
    5. Chiefs 9-6-1 ATS
    t6. 6 teams tied at 9-7 ATS (Chargers, Pats, Cowboys, Bengals, Washington, Lions)


    NFL's Worst ATS Teams (based on cover %):

    t31. 49ers 5-11
    t31. Falcons 5-11
    30. Jets 5-10-1
    29. Jaguars 5-9-2
    28. Raiders 6-10
    t26. Packers 6-9-1
    t26. Broncos 6-9-1
    t25. 3 teams tied at 7-9 (Bills, Panthers, Eagles)


    NFL's Top OVER Teams (based on Over %):

    1. Chiefs 10-5-1
    2. Jets 10-6
    t3. Falcons 9-7
    t3. Giants 9-7
    t3. 49ers 9-7
    t3. Seahawks 9-7
    t3. Buccaneers 9-7
    8. Bengals 8-6-2


    NFL's Top UNDER Teams (based on Under %):

    1. Broncos 12-3-1
    2. Patriots 11-5
    t3. Lions 10-6
    t3. Jaguars 10-6
    t3. Vikings 10-6
    t4. 8 teams tied at 7-9 (Cardinals, Ravens, Bills, Cowboys, Texans,Saints, Eagles, Redskins)

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    By: Brandon DuBreuil



    BEARS GETTING HEALTHY

    The Chicago Bears are getting healthy ahead of their Wild Card matchup with Philadelphia as receivers Allen Robinson (ribs), Anthony Miller (shoulder), and Taylor Gabriel (ribs) were all full participants in practice on Wednesday, as was starting right guard Kyle Long. This is obviously great news for Bears backers and could be the reason why the line has ticked up from Chicago -5.5 to -6.

    The Eagles’ secondary is a unit we’ve targeted all season as it is decimated with injuries and we’ll continue to do so on Sunday by backing Robinson. Philly struggled against the opponent’s top wideout in 2018, allowing 9.9 passes and 90.2 yards per game while also drawing the most targets from opposing WR1s. Robinson was also more involved in the offense later in the season, drawing 25 percent of Mitch Trubisky’s targets in his last three games played (Weeks 14-16). We expect Chicago to target its wideouts early and often against Philly and we’re backing the Over on Robinson’s receiving yards total.


    COLTS’ KELLY EXPECTS TO PLAY

    Indianapolis expects to have its starting offensive line back together for Saturday’s game against Houston as center Ryan Kelly is planning to be on the field. Kelly missed the regular-season finale after suffering a neck injury in Week 16 that impacted his arm strength.

    Kelly’s return positively impacts both Andrew Luck’s protection and the Colts’ ability to run the ball against Houston’s top-ranked rush defense in DVOA. In fact, Marlon Mack has been much more productive with Kelly on the field, averaging 4.84 yards per carry as opposed to 4.26 without Kelly. Mack only faced Houston once this season and gained just 33 yards on 14 carries in Week 14, but that was without Kelly on the field. Mack did find the end zone on that day, however, and has five rushing touchdowns over his last four games. As mentioned earlier in the week, we expect this game to be pass heavy so we’re a bit hesitant to pull the trigger on the Over for Mack’s rushing yards total, even though it is set low at 49.5. We do, however, suggest backing him to score a touchdown at any time.


    HILTON NOT PRACTICING

    T.Y. Hilton is still not practicing because of the ankle injury that has been bothering him for the past few weeks, but this really isn't news. This has been the routine for about a month now: Hilton misses practice early in the week, gets in a limited session later in the week, and then plays (and usually dominates) on the weekend.

    Hilton is in a great spot on Sunday as the clear-cut second-ranked receiver for Wild Card weekend behind DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans feature a very tough run defense but are actually quite mediocre against the pass, ranked 18th in DVOA. They also struggle mightily against opposing WR1s with a rank of 31st in DVOA against the position. Hilton posted receiving lines of 4-115 and 9-199 in the two games against Houston this season and there’s no reason to think he isn’t in line for another monster performance on Saturday. Take the Over 78.5 on his receiving yards total.


    GETTING LUCK(Y) AGAIN

    In sticking with the Colts’ passing game, we’ll be doubling down with Andrew Luck. As mentioned above, Houston struggles in defending the pass. The Texans allow 260.4 passing yards per game, fifth-most in the NFL and have been torched by Luck this season. In Week 4, Luck went 40 of 62 for 464 yards and four touchdowns and followed that up by going 27 of 41 for 399 yards and two touchdowns in Week 14. We backed a winner with Luck’s passing yards total last week as he threw for 285 yards on just 35 passing attempts. He’s expected to throw more on Saturday with the total for his passing attempts set at 39.5. As mentioned a few times already this week, we’re expecting a pass-heavy game plan from both teams on Saturday and we’re backing the Over 295.5 for his passing yards total.

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    Total Talk - WC Saturday
    Chris David

    Totals ended in a stalemate (8-8) in Week 17 and through 256 regular season games, the 'under' went 135-115-6 (54%).

    Including the numbers from last Sunday, divisional games watched the 'under' go 52-43-1 on the season and we'll have at least one in this year's postseason as Indianapolis and Houston square off this wekeend.

    Including Super Bowl 53 from Santa Clara, this year’s postseason will have three primetime games left with one night matchup scheduled on Saturday for both the Wild Card and Divisional Playoff Rounds. During the regular season, we didn't see a strong lean either way as the 'over' (26-25) held a slight edge and that includes a 2-0 'under' mark in the pair of games played on Saturday in Week 15 and 16.

    Wild Card Trends

    Looking at the below results, you can see that the opening week of the playoffs has leaned to the low side.

    The 'under' went 3-1 last season and the low side is on a 17-6-1 (73.9%) run in the Wild Card round the past six postseasons. Going back to the 2004-05 playoffs, the 'under' is 35-20-1 (63%) overall in the first round.



    Saturday, Jan. 5

    For the playoffs, I’m going to break down every game and offer up my quick handicap and prediction for all the matchups. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Indianapolis at Houston (ESPN, 4:30 p.m. ET)

    BookMaker opened this total at 47 and the number has been pushed up to 48 ½ as of Thursday morning and a couple Las Vegas books have gone to 49. While it’s not rare to see a divisional matchup in the Wild Card round, it doesn’t happen often. Going back to 2004, there have been 10 instances and the ‘under’ has gone 5-4-1 in those contests.

    This series has watched the ‘under’ go 4-1 in the last five games between the pair and that includes a 1-1 mark this season. The visitor won both games this regular season and the first encounter from Indianapolis could’ve and probably should’ve been a tie. Colts head coach Frank Reich decided to go for a first down in overtime on his side of the field and the club missed, which allowed Houston to win 37-34 in the extra session. The rematch in Houston watched the Colts avenge that loss with a 24-21 win in Week 14.

    Indianapolis outgained Houston in total yards (436-315) in the road win and they also put up more yards (478-466) at home in the Week 4 setback. Looking at the numbers and the eyeball test, it’s clear that the Colts have the better quarterback on the field in Andrew Luck. It’s also clear that the Texans QB Deshaun Watson has taken a beating from Indy, getting sacked 12 times in the two meetings this season.

    Watson will be making his first playoff start on Saturday, fortunately for him it’s at home. Luck owns a 3-3 all-time record in the playoffs and he’s 1-3 on the road, with the lone upset coming in 2014 at Denver (24-13). In four road postseason starts, the Colts have been held to 15.5 points per game and the ‘under’ has gone 3-1 in those contests.

    Houston (15.3 PPG) has been very solid defensively at home, and that’s produced a 5-3 ‘under’ mark at NRG Stadium. The franchise has gone 3-4 all-time in the playoffs, 3-1 at home. In those four home games, we’ve seen averaged combined score of 36 PPG.

    Fearless Prediction:
    This is the highest total on the board and while I would slightly lean to the ‘over’ in this matchup, I don’t have much confidence in the Texans offense. The unit is ranked 28th in red zone touchdown percentage and 20th in third down conversion percentage. I think Watson is a decent QB but far from ‘special’ and nowhere close to Luck. The Colts are first in 3rd down conversions and ranked fifth in red zones TDs. In five trips to Houston, Indy has averaged 24.8 PPG with Luck under center. I’ll ride that trend and play the Colts Team Total Over (24) here.


    Seattle at Dallas (FOX, 8:15 p.m. ET)

    Although not a divisional game, the primetime contest on Saturday is also a rematch from this year’s regular season and the early action is buying the high side. BookMaker sent out 41 ½ and the numbers is up to 43 as of Thursday. The pair met in Week 3 from Seattle and the Seahawks captured a 24-13 win over the Cowboys and the ‘under’ (40) was in control for most of the game.

    The game was scoreless after the first quarter before Seattle built a 17-3 lead at halftime. Neither the Seahawks (295 yards) or Cowboys (303 yards) could do much offensively and Dallas certainly didn’t help its cause with three turnovers.

    A lot has changed since that meeting and that’s part of the reason the total has been pushed up for the second encounter. In the second-half of the season, Seattle found its groove offensively (30 PPG) behind the top-ranked rushing offense (160 YPG) and that production helped the ‘over’ go 7-1.

    Dallas hasn’t been as potent offensively, but we’ve seen some sparks from the club since it acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from Oakland. The Cowboys averaged 22.1 PPG with him in the lineup and that led to a 7-2 record. Without, the unit averaged 18.3 PPG and went 3-4. We’ve definitely seen some clunkers from the Dallas offense this season, in particular a recent shutout loss at Indianapolis in Week 15.

    QB Dak Prescott takes a lot of criticism in Dallas and deservingly but the key to the offense is running back Ezekiel Elliot. The club is 6-1 this season when he gets 20-plus carries and the lone loss came by three points in overtime. In those games, the ‘Boys have averaged 25.3 PPG and the ‘over’ went 5-2.

    Defensively, the Cowboys own the better defense on paper (329 YPG, 20.2 PPG) but their current form is a tad alarming. While I won’t put too much stock into the meaningless shootout at the Giants last week, it should be noted that Dallas has allowed 26 PPG and 398 YPG in its last three games overall.

    Prescott has only played in one postseason game and he was productive (302 yards, 3 TDs) but Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay proved to be too much in their 34-31 win in the 2016-17 Divisional Playoff matchup.

    While Dak lacks playoff experience, the same can’t be said for Seattle QB Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are 8-4 in the playoffs with him under center which includes a respectable 3-2 mark on the road. The ‘over’ has gone 7-5 in those games while Seattle has averaged 25.3 PPG.

    Fearless Prediction:
    This isn’t an easy game to handicap but I’d lean to Dallas based on its strong home tendencies and Seattle has been a bully this season, just 2-4 versus playoff teams and both wins came at home. For the total I’m leaning to the Over (43) in the game and I also believe Dallas will get at least five scores in this game, hopefully more sixes instead of threes. I’ll play the Cowboys Team Total Over (22 ½) as well.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-05-2019 at 04:44 PM.

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    Total Talk - WC Sunday
    Chris David

    Sunday’s betting festivities kick off early at 1:00 p.m. ET as the Ravens and Chargers will meet in a quick rematch, this time the venue will be a tad cooler in Baltimore than the friendly temperatures of Los Angeles. The last Wild Card matchup of the weekend is set for 4:40 p.m. ET as the Bears make their first playoff appearance since 2010 while the Eagles have their eyes set on repeating as Super Bowl champions.

    As mentioned in Saturday’s piece, the ‘under’ has gone 17-6-1 (73.9%) in the Wild Card round the last six seasons.

    For the playoffs, I’m going to break down every game and offer up my quick handicap and prediction for all the matchups. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

    Sunday, Jan. 6

    L.A. Chargers at Baltimore (CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET)


    The Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 in Week 16 as four-point road underdogs in a primetime game played on a Saturday from Los Angeles and the ‘under’ (42 ½) cashed easily. And if it wasn’t for a pair of 60-plus yard touchdowns by Baltimore, one from its defense, the final score would’ve been much lower.

    BookMaker opened the rematch (41 ½) a tad lower and its been pushed down to 41 but most other shops are still holding 41 ½ as of Thursday.

    While Baltimore was fortunate to connect on two big plays in the first meeting, it clearly dominated the game in yardage (361-198) and it won the turnover battle (3-1) as well with the last mistake putting the game away in the fourth quarter. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked four times, picked off twice and only completed 23-of-37 attempts for 181 yards.

    Outside of the long touchdown pass, Ravens rookie QB Lamar Jackson wasn’t sharp from the pocket (12-of-22) but he contributed with 39 of Baltimore’s 159 rushing yards. Since Jackson took over for Joe Flacco as the starting QB in Week 11, the Ravens are averaging 229 yards per game on the ground and the team is averaging 25.1 points per game. That production has led to a 4-3 ‘over’ mark and the Ravens defense (17.9) has done its best to keep those ‘under’ tickets cashing.

    After losing at home to Baltimore, the Chargers finished the season with a lackluster 23-9 win at Denver and Rivers was far from sharp. He was picked off twice and only completed 14-of-24 (58%) of his passes against a Broncos secondary that featured more backups than starters. Rivers closed the season with two interceptions in each of his final three games. Which Rivers will show up on Sunday? I wish I knew but how you answer that question will obviously play heavily into your wager.

    Make a note that Los Angeles was tied with New Orleans with the best road mark in the NFL this season at 7-1 and it’s arguably 8-1 since it beat Tennessee from London in Week 7. Including that results, the ‘over’ went 5-4 in games outside of L.A. for the club and they did score more on the road (26.9 PPG).

    Some pundits believe that travel could play a factor for L.A. and it’s certainly not an easy trip. However, the Chargers went 3-0 in three games played in the Eastern Time Zone this season (Bills, Browns, Steelers) and they averaged 34 PPG in those wins. The ‘over’ went 3-0.

    Prior to the recent encounter on Dec. 22, the pair split two regular season games from Baltimore in 2014 and 2015 and the outcomes were decided by a combined four points (29-26, 34-33).

    As mentioned above, both clubs haven’t been in the playoffs in a few years but Baltimore’s 10-5 SU and 11-4 ATS postseason record under head coach John Harbaugh is very impressive and only two of those games were at home. The totals were a wash (7-7-1) in those contests but in the lone pair from Maryland, the ‘under’ cashed easily in both as the Ravens allowed 11 PPG in the victories.

    The Chargers have gone 4-5 in the playoffs under Rivers but he’s 3-0 in the Wild Card round and the ‘under’ has gone 3-0 in those games.

    Fearless Prediction:
    While the Chargers have put up some crooked numbers on the road, this Ravens defense is legit and I can see them making a run similar to what San Francisco did in 2012 when they handed the ball over from veteran QB Alex Smith to the upstart Colin Kaepernick. Coincidentally, that team was run by Harbaugh’s brother Jim. For those that put stock into playoff trends, make a note that the first game (1:05 p.m. ET) on Sunday in the Wild Card round has watched the ‘under’ cash the last eight years. I’m going to ride the Under (41 ½) for the game and expect another grinder, this time on the East Coast.


    Philadelphia at Chicago (FOX, 4:40 p.m. ET)

    Of the four Wild Card matchups, this one is expected to be the most lopsided with the Bears listed as six-point favorites over the Eagles. The total (41) could likely be the lowest as well and as of Thursday evening, the number has held steady since it opened.

    The best unit on the field will be the Bears defense, which is ranked first in scoring (17.7 PPG) and third in total yards (299.7) allowed. The group also led the league with 36 turnovers, which included a league-high 27 interceptions and nine fumbles. They were tied for third in sacks (50) and all of that production led to six defensive touchdowns.

    Despite that domination, the Bears saw their total results (8-8) break even this season but it did close the season with four straight winning tickets to the ‘under’ and both the defense (10.5 PPG) and lack of offense (19.3 PPG) helped that cause.

    Chicago’s offense remains a mystery but I believe what we’ve seen in the last quarter is what the unit is and not the one that posted 28.6 PPG in its first 12 games. The benefit of extra possessions and great field position from the defense helped the offense a lot and the numbers prove that. The unit was ranked 21st in total offense (343.9 YPG) yet they managed to convert well on third downs and in the red zone, which led to plenty of points. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky isn’t going to dice up any secondary but he’s efficient and makes a lot happen with his legs.

    The Eagles defense (23 PPG) hasn’t been as strong on the road and the ‘over’ went 5-3 in those games, with one of the ‘under’ tickets taking place from London in a 24-18 win over Jacksonville in Week 8. The unit did shutout the short-handed Redskins 24-0 last Sunday in D.C. but they allowed 33.3 PPG in their three previous away games, all coming to playoff teams too (Saints, Cowboys, Rams).

    The X-factor for this total and the game comes down to Eagles QB Nick Foles, who’s up to his old tricks again. Since taking over for the injured Carson Wentz in Week 15, the Birds closed the season with three straight wins and the offense posted 28.6 PPG in the wins. As a starter in second stop for Philadelphia, Foles has gone 9-2 and that includes a 3-0 playoff mark last year.

    Are we going to witness another Foles run this January? The ‘over’ went 2-1 for the Eagles in last year’s championship push and he was fortunate to have the Birds defense step up at home (8.5 PPG) against the Falcons and Vikings. In the Super Bowl, he played outplayed QB Tom Brady and the Patriots for the 41-33 win.

    Fearless Prediction:
    The ‘under’ on this game is the most popular total wager of the weekend and it’s hard to argue against it based on the form for the Bears. They enter this game on a 4-0 ‘under’ run and they’ve also covered all four of those games too. My lean on the side is to Philadelphia and when the Bears lose, only four times, they’ve allowed 30.1 PPG and the ‘over’ went 4-0. My lean for the late game is Over (41) and the Eagles Team Total Over (17 ½) as well.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-05-2019 at 04:45 PM.

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    NFL Underdogs: Wild Card Weekend pointspread picks and predictions
    Jason Logan

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    The Los Angeles Chargers were fooled hard by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 of the NFL season, losing 22-10 as 4-point home favorites. It was an ugly game for the Bolts, who coughed the ball up three times and managed just 222 total yards of offense.

    Books have Baltimore set as a home field-goal favorite to “fool” L.A. for a second time in three weeks during the NFL Wild Card Weekend on Sunday, but the only “shame” is leaving points on the table with the Chargers.

    The Bolts went 7-1 SU and ATS on the road in 2018 and have a history of covering the spread as visitors, with a 21-8-1 ATS record in its last 30 road tilts going back to their days in San Diego. Los Angeles scores just under 27 points per road game and sits second in points per play as a guest, at 0.490.

    While L.A. didn’t look great in its loss to the Ravens, it was successful at slowing down Baltimore rookie QB Lamar Jackson – something no team has been able to do. According to Sports Radar, Jackson picked up more than 20 percent of his total rushing yards after contact in his first five games as Baltimore’s starter but L.A. allowed only four total yards after contact, limiting the former Heisman winner to 39 yards in the ground – 27 of those gains coming on one run.

    The Chargers defense is eager for another kick at the can when it comes to Baltimore and is playing well versus the run in recent weeks. Over their past three games, the Bolts have budged for just 3.9 yards per carry. That doesn’t bode well for a Ravens offense that has struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities in their last three games, and one going up a defense that has plenty of tape on their unorthodox attack.

    Baltimore has settled for field goals on too many offensive drives, attempting 11 total FGs in the final three outings of the schedule – making nine of those kicks. The Ravens’ rush attack has stalled inside the red zone, finding pay dirt on only 25 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line in that three-game stretch, walking away with a TD in just three of their last dozen red-zone visits. Coincidently, Baltimore is 1-2 ATS in that span after going 3-1 ATS in Jackson’s first four starts.

    When L.A. cracks this Ravens defense, which allowed 17 second-half points to Cleveland in Week 17, it will force Baltimore out of its game plan and be too much for them to battle back from.

    Pick:
    L.A. Chargers +3


    Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (+6, 41)

    The Philadelphia Eagles are blowing the dust off the rubber dog masks for their Wild Card Round matchup in Chicago Sunday night, getting six points from the NFL betting odds.

    The Eagles adopted the underdog role in last year’s Super Bowl run – despite being the No. 1 seed in the NFC - and have only been pointspread pups in three games all season, going 1-2 ATS in those instances.

    Philadelphia is executing at a very high level entering Sunday, having played three games versus playoff teams (beating Houston and L.A. and losing an overtime game with Dallas that it should have won) then taking care of business in a must-win matchup in Week 17. Oh, and three of those four games were played on the road.

    Plenty of that success has to do with American folk legend Nick Foles, who will someday be portrayed in a Disney movie by a “roided-up” Jon Heder. Foles has completed more than 76 percent of his passes over the past three games, thanks in part to his surprising elusiveness but also an offensive line that has taken on some elite-level pass rushers in those outings.

    According to J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago, Foles has been pressured on just 20 percent of his drop backs in those past three games. And while he was sacked three times versus Washington, the offensive line has held big-name QB killers like DeMarcus Lawrence, Aaron Donald, and J.J. Watt at bay in recent matchups. Now, they stare down Bears wrecking ball Khalil Mack.

    Chicago is very dependent on the pass rush to keep opposing QBs off their rhythm, allowing passers to complete just 61 percent of their throws on the season – 59 percent over the last three weeks. However, three of the Bears’ four losses have come with rival quarterbacks completing 67, 64, and 69 percent of their throws.

    I don’t know if Foles adds a sequel to his feel-good flick with a Wild Card win in the Windy City, unless of course that movie is about Eagles bettors celebrating with the six points.

    Pick:
    Philadelphia +6

    Last week: 1-2 ATS
    Season: 31-19-1 ATS
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-05-2019 at 04:46 PM.

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    WC - Colts at Texans
    Kevin Rogers

    The NFL playoffs kick off on Saturday afternoon with an AFC South battle between the Colts and Texans from NRG Stadium in Houston. Both these teams struggled out of the gate, but rebounded as the division sends two teams to the playoffs for the second consecutive season after Jacksonville and Tennessee made it in 2017.

    HOW THEY GOT HERE

    The Colts (10-6 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) finally had a healthy Andrew Luck after the former top pick missed last season with a shoulder injury. Indianapolis fell into a 1-5 hole through six games, with the lone victory coming at Washington in Week 2 as six-point underdogs, 21-6. The Colts dropped their first two home games to the Bengals and Texans, while allowing at least 34 points in four of those defeats.

    However, Frank Reich’s team would turn things around by picking up five consecutive wins to climb above the .500 mark, as the offense posted 27 points or more in each of those victories. After getting blanked at Jacksonville in Week 13 in a 6-0 setback, the Colts rebounded with four more wins to close out the season, including back-to-back victories over the Texans and Cowboys. Indianapolis clinched its first playoff berth since 2014 in a Week 17 winner-take-all triumph at Tennessee, 33-17 to finish 4-2 inside the AFC South.

    The Texans (11-5 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) were a mess after three weeks, losing to the Patriots, Titans, and Giants to fall to 0-3. It looked like a long season for Houston, but the Texans ran of nine consecutive wins, including back-to-back overtime triumphs over the Colts and Cowboys to start the hot streak. During that winning streak, Houston limited opponents to 17 points or less six times, while picking up three double-digit home victories over Miami, Tennessee, and Cleveland.

    Houston split its final four games, including losses by three points or less to Indianapolis and Philadelphia. The Texans wrapped up their third AFC South title in the last four seasons, while picking up the second-most wins in franchise history with 11 victories, coming one short of the 12-4 mark in 2012.

    WHO TO WATCH

    Luck threw for the second-most touchdowns in a season in his career (39), including an eight-game stretch in which he tossed at least three touchdowns. Running back Marlon Mack is coming off a career season by racking up 908 rushing yards in only 12 games, including a 139-yard effort against Dallas in the Week 15 home shutout. T.Y. Hilton is fighting an ankle injury, but the wide receiver eclipsed the 100-yard mark in each matchup against Houston, as he hauled in nine catches for 199 yards in the Week 14 triumph at Houston.

    Deshaun Watson started all 16 games for Houston after missing the second half of 2017 with a torn ACL. The Texans’ quarterback threw 26 touchdowns and was intercepted only nine times, while rushing for five scores. Lamar Miller finished 27 rushing yards short of his third career 1,000-yard rushing season, but was limited to 82 yards in two meetings against Indianapolis. DeAndre Hopkins pulled in a career-high 111 receptions for 1,572 yards, including three straight 100-yard games to close the season.

    HOME/ROAD SPLITS

    Indianapolis finished 4-4 away from Lucas Oil Stadium, while the OVER cashed in four of those road affairs. The Colts managed a 3-2 ATS mark in the role of a road underdog, including outright victories at Washington and Houston.

    The Texans won six of eight games at NRG Stadium, but covered in only four of those games. Houston began the season 0-3 ATS at home before posting a 4-1 ATS mark in its final five home contests. The UNDER hit in five of eight home games, including in two of three affairs with AFC South opponents.

    SERIES HISTORY

    These two rivals split a pair of three-point outcomes with the road team coming out on top each time. In Week 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Texans entered Indianapolis in must-win mode after starting 0-3. Houston jumped out to a commanding 28-10 third quarter lead highlighted by two Watson touchdown passes and a Watson touchdown scamper.

    However, Luck led the Colts back on a 21-3 run to end regulation, highlighted by a touchdown catch by Nyheim Hines with 45 seconds remaining. Indianapolis struck first in overtime with an Adam Vinatieri field goal, but Houston tied it with a field goal, then picked up the rare second three-pointer in the extra session to edge the Colts, 37-34 to cash as one-point favorites and hit the OVER of 48 ½. Luck finished with 464 yards passing and four touchdowns, but Indianapolis rushed for 41 yards without Mack.

    The Colts picked up revenge in the second matchup in Houston in Week 14 with a 24-21 victory as four-point underdogs. After Houston scored an early touchdown, Indianapolis struck back for 17 second quarter points, as the Colts led the rest of the way. Luck finished one yard shy of 400 yards passing as Indianapolis captured its fourth win at Houston in the last five visits.

    PLAYOFF HISTORY

    Indianapolis has reached the postseason for the fourth time in Luck’s career since 2012, as the Colts have won two of three times in the Wild Card round. Both victories came at home, as Indianapolis lost in its last road Wild Card affair at Baltimore in 2012 by a 24-9 score. For the fifth time since 2011, the Texans are in the playoffs, as Houston owns a 3-1 record at home in the Wild Card round. Houston and Indianapolis are meeting for the first time ever in the playoffs, while the Texans are facing a division foe in the postseason also for the first time.

    HANDICAPPER’S CORNER

    Handicapper Joe Nelson checks in with his thoughts on the initial Wild Card matchup, “Both defenses were very effective against the run in this rivalry as in the two games combined the Colts rushed for a total of 91 yards on 40 carries just fewer than 2.3 yards per rush. Houston was only slightly better on the ground with 208 rushing yards vs. the Colts over 60 carries just fewer than 3.5 yards per rush. Houston finished first in the NFL in allowing just 3.4 yards per rush on the season while only allowing eight rushing touchdowns this season. The Colts weren’t far behind finishing sixth in the NFL allowing 3.9 yards per rush.”

    The quarterback play will be the difference in game, according to Nelson, “Luck is 3-3 in playoff games in his career with two road wins and he is the more established passer. Watson has won on the big stage in college and was sixth in the NFL in QB Rating this season. Both quarterbacks had good numbers in the regular season meetings with just one interception each. Luck is more prone to interceptions but Watson takes a great deal of sacks and has had a high fumble count. Watson was sacked 12 times in the two games between these teams while Luck was sacked just six times.”

    FUTURE ODDS

    The Colts and Texans are both two of the biggest long shots to win Super Bowl LIII as each squad sits at 25/1 at BetOnline.ag. Indianapolis and Houston are each 10/1 to capture the AFC title, while the Texans have dropped from a 2 ½-point favorite to a one-point favorite at most spots with a total of 48.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-05-2019 at 04:47 PM.

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    WC - Seahawks at Cowboys
    Tony Mejia

    Seattle at Dallas (-2, 43.5), 8:15 pm ET, FOX

    The Cowboys were the NFC’s worst division winner. They pulled got to 10 wins by pulling off an “upset” of the Giants in East Rutherford in Week 17, playing regulars Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and hero Cole Beasley far longer than anyone expected to emerge with a 36-35 win.

    It could’ve certainly come back to bite them had anyone suffered an injury, but since they won, the Cowboys take the field with additional swagger, having won seven of eight contests to close the regular season. The outlier came in a 23-0 loss at the Colts where the offense never found a spark.

    Dallas is 7-1 at home, which affords it additional confidence. Its lone loss at AT&T Stadium also came in a game where Prescott and Co. were blanked in the second half. Tennessee did the trick on a Monday night back in early November, continuing a bleak trend despite the acquisition of Cooper that had the Cowboys looking like they would be watching games in January, not hosting them. They scored 17 or fewer points in five of their first eight contests. Over the season’s second-half, it only happened twice.

    Seattle was one of those teams that put the shackles on the Cowboys early in the season, handing them a 24-13 loss as a parting gift on their visit to the Pacific Northwest in Week 3. Prescott was picked off twice and threw for just 168 yards. He was sacked five times and harassed even more. Despite 127 yards on just 16 carries from Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas failed to find the end zone until the fourth quarter. Tight end Geoff Swaim caught a team-best five balls. Beasley led all wide receivers with just three receptions.

    If the Seahawks are going to pull the upset, their defense will likely have to again rise to the occasion. Beyond Cooper not being involved in that first encounter, another significant difference between today and their Sept. 23 meeting is that Earl Thomas won’t be setting the tone in the defensive backfield like he did against the team he publicly asked to trade for him weeks earlier. He picked off two passes that day, sending a clear message. The following Sunday, he was lost for the season with a broken bone in his left leg. With safety Kam Chancellor on IR and Richard Sherman playing for the 49ers, the Legion of Boom was officially no more come Week 4.

    From that standpoint, the job Pete Carroll has done pulling 10 wins and a playoff appearance out of a team many expected would fall off has to rank among his top coaching jobs to date. If he can advance out of this weekend, it would solidify that argument. The defense lost LB Mychal Kendricks last month but comes into this contest relatively healthy.

    K.J. Wright, who was out of the lineup for a large chunk of the season, finally looked like his old self earlier last month and is now expected to be a force next to Bobby Wagner, who was again voted to the Pro Bowl. A secondary tasked with keeping Cooper from enjoying a big night will get starting safety Tedric Thompson back from a chest injury and has upgraded corner Shaquill Griffin to probable following an ankle sprain suffered against the Cardinals last weekend. For more on injuries, be sure to read below.

    The Seahawks have actually given up 24 or more points in seven of nine games since the beginning of November, so we’ll see if having a relatively healthy group helps Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. find the right formula to lock in here. It’s no great mystery that the Cowboys are going to want to ride Elliott to ensure he takes the pressure off Prescott. The NFL’s top rusher for the second time in three years finished with 1,434 yards despite being inactive for last Sunday’s win due to various ailments that Dallas is hoping he’s conquered entering this one. Although he’s only got 100-yard rushing game over his past four games, Elliott has become much more of a receiver out of the backfield, making 52 of his 77 receptions this season over his last eight outings.

    Seattle will ride the prolific arm of Russell Wilson, who threw for a career-best 35 touchdowns, third-best in the league and a Seahawks all-time record. He was picked off just seven times. The Seahawks flirted with matching an NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season before Wilson was picked off by Arizona, but there’s no question they’re alive because they didn’t beat themselves often. Leading the NFL in rushing also helped despite having multiple running backs in place due to various injuries. Chris Carson, the preferred option who wound up with a team-best 1,151 yards after surpassing the 100-yard mark in each of Seattle’s final three games, is healthy and should be a handful for a Cowboys defense that ranked fifth against the run in the entire NFL.

    Elliott will be facing a Seattle defense that barely finished in the top-half (13th) against the ground attack and was right around the middle-of-the-pack against the pass and in total yards allowed.

    Wilson will be performing against a Dallas defense that took aim at him all afternoon despite losing the previous meeting, so an improved offensive line will be under the microscope here. They allowed their quarterback to be sacked six times last week by the Cards. There are developments up front to be wary of in the injury report below.

    The Cowboys should continue to blitz often based on how effective sending extra defenders has been for them this season, but Wilson’s ability to improvise makes him extremely dangerous. He’ll be looking to beat a secondary that has been stingy all season, led by corner Byron Jones, who has been beaten for just a pair of touchdowns all season.

    This will be the second playoff meeting between the teams, who met in 2006 in a game memorable for Tony Romo dropping the ball on a hold for a key late field-goal try in a 21-20 loss in Seattle. Keep reading below for more info on the series between these teams.

    Prescott will be playing in just his second playoff game here and threw three touchdown passes in a strong performance against Green Bay back in 2016. Wilson, a Super Bowl champ back in 2014 who has thrown for 20 scores and run for two more over a dozen career postseason appearances. He’s 8-4 and is perfect in playoff openers. Considering the 30-year-old is playing the sharpest football of his career, he’s going to be tough to stop if this game is tight down the stretch.

    On the other hand, Prescott finished off five game-winning drives this season, third behind just Drew Brees and Deshaun Watson, and he led the Cowboys to a game-tying drive against the Packers in his only playoff game as a rookie. At home, he’s also likely to be formidable if the game is on the line.

    While the kickers are polar opposites in 40-year-old veteran Sebastian Janikowski and talented Brett Maher, who finally stuck after being cut in camp and a career in the CFL, both are very capable of a game-winning kick. The spread here looks right. This is basically a pick’em that the Cowboys deserve to be favored in as the home team, but no one will be surprised if it comes down to who possesses the ball last.

    Seattle Seahawks
    Projected season win total: 8 (Over +100, Under -120)
    Preseason odds to win NFC West: 11/2
    Odds to win NFC (Preseason/Current): 30/1 to 12/1
    Odds to win Super Bowl (Preseason/Current): 60/1 to 25/1

    Dallas Cowboys
    Season win total: 8.5 (Over -120, Under +100)
    Preseason Odds to win NFC East: 7/2
    Odds to win NFC (Preseason/Current): 15/1 to 12/1
    Odds to win Super Bowl (Preseason/Current): 30/1 to 25/1

    FUTURES OUTCOMES/LINE MOVEMENT

    If you bet on these teams to have winning seasons, you're sitting pretty since both outperformed expectations in season win totals provided by the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. The Seahawks failed to cash any divisional futures since the favored Rams (1-to-2) held serve, but Dallas cashed at +350 over the favored defending champion Eagles (5-to-7).

    Playoff props at Westgate paid out +160 on the Cowboys reaching the postseason and +280 on the Seahawks. Buy a friend a beverage if you were on the winning side. Fading these teams to reach the playoffs stung. A 'no' call on Dallas playing into January cost you -190, while Seattle was an even costlier loss (-360). The Cowboys are roughly in the same neighborhood odds-wise to win the NFC and Super Bowl as they were entering Week 1, while the odds were far more lucrative for the Seahawks, who now have identical odds as Dallas.

    As far as this matchup is concerned, the Cowboys opened at -2.5 before dropping all the way down to 2.5 and eventually reaching the level where it currently resides at -2.

    Dallas opened at -140/-150 on the money line and is available at -130 at the moment. If you like the home 'dog outright, a payout on a Seahawks win will get you +110 to +120 depending on the shop.

    INJURY CONCERNS

    Beathard’s availability is the biggest variable since it would thrust an unknown commodity like Mullens into the mix, but it’s by no means the only concern. The 49ers got good news regarding RB Matt Brieda, who should participate after leaving the loss to the Cardinals with an ankle/arch issue. Tackle Joe Staley, center Weston Richburg and guard Mike Person were all limited in practice, while WR Pierre Garcon is also dealing with a knee issue after missing last week’s game. Corner Richard Sherman (calf) had a rough outing against Arizona and is also dealing with a few ailments that have his status in question. The 49ers defense is already without top LB Reuben Foster due to a knee injury and have also ruled out safety Jaquiski Tartt due to a bum shoulder.

    Oakland got good news on guard Kelechi Osemele, who has missed the past three games and would give the offensive line a huge boost by returning. Corner Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley are listed as questionable. Fellow CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie decided to retire, so the Raiders could be vulnerable in the back.

    TOTAL TALK

    Saturday’s nights total opened has fluctuated from 41.5-to-43.5. Since they can close the roof at AT&T Stadium, weather won't be a factor. Temperatures in Arlington are expected to be in the mid-50's. The 'over' went 9-7 in Seahawks games this season, prevailing in six of seven. The 'under' was 9-7 in Cowboys games. As you'll see below, the 'under' is 8-2 in the last 10 matchups between these teams

    RECENT MEETINGS (Seattle 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS last 10; UNDER 8-2)

    9/23/18 Seattle 24-13 vs. Dallas (SEA -1, 40)
    12/24/17 Seattle 21-12 at Dallas (SEA +4.5, 47)
    11/1/15 Seattle 13-12 at Dallas (DAL +4.5, 41)
    10/12/14 Dallas 30-23 at Seattle (DAL +9.5, 47)
    9/16/12 Seattle 27-7 vs. Dallas (SEA +3, 43)
    11/6/11 Dallas 23-13 vs. Seattle (SEA +11, 45)
    11/1/09 Dallas 38-17 vs. Seattle (DAL -9.5, 46)
    11/27/08 Dallas 34-9 vs. Seattle (DAL -12, 46.5)
    1/6/07 Seattle 21-20 vs. Dallas (DAL +2, 48.5)
    10/23/05 Seattle 13-10 vs. Dallas (SEA -3, 45.5)
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 01-05-2019 at 04:48 PM.

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