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♦ NFC Wild Card Playoffs ♦ Sunday 1/10/16

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    NFC Wild Card Notes
    By VI News

    NFC – Seattle at Minnesota
    1:05 p.m. (NBC)

    Opening Line: Seattle -3 ½, 40 ½

    Seattle Road Record: 5-3 SU, 4-3-1 ATS
    Minnesota Home Record: 6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS

    Head-to-Head: The Seahawks blasted the Vikings 38-7 as three-point road underdogs in Week 13. Seattle opened up a 21-0 halftime lead and outgained Minnesota 433 to 125 yards. Including this win, Seattle is 3-0 versus Minnesota with Russell Wilson at quarterback and all three wins were by double digits. Seattle swept the NFC North this season and is 8-2 in its last 10 versus the division while the Vikings are 2-4 in their last six games versus the NFC West.

    Playoff Notes: Seattle is 6-2 in the playoffs with Wilson as quarterback and both losses occurred away from CenturyLink Field, the most recent taking placing in last year’s Super Bowl. The Vikings haven’t played in the postseason since 2012 and are 1-3 in their previous four trips. Minnesota is 1-1 in its last two home playoff games but those results took place indoors at the Metrodome.

    Total Notes: The Seahawks watched the ‘under’ go 9-7 this season, which includes a 5-3 mark on the road. Seattle scored 35-plus in its final three road games, which includes the 38-point performance at Minnesota in early December. The Vikings were a great ‘under’ bet (11-4-1) all season. At home, the ‘under’ went 5-3 for Minnesota.

    NFC – Green Bay at Washington
    4:40 p.m. (FOX)

    Opening Line: Washington -1, 45 ½

    Green Bay Road Record: 5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS
    Washington Home Record: 6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS

    Head-to-Head: These teams haven’t met since the 2013 regular season and the Packers hammered the Redskins 38-20 as 7 ½-point home favorites. Including this win, Green Bay has gone 6-3 SU and 7-1-1 ATS in its past nine meetings versus Washington. The Packers have won five of their last seven games (4-3 ATS) versus the NFC East. Meanwhile the Redskins are 3-7 both SU and ATS in their last 10 versus the NFC North with two of the victories coming at home.

    Playoff Notes: Since winning Super Bowl XLV over the Steelers in 2011, the Packers have gone 2-4 in the playoffs and that includes a 0-2 road record. That mark includes last year’s 28-22 collapse at Seattle. Washington returns to the postseason for the first time since the 2012 playoffs when it lost at home to the Seahawks, 24-14. The Redskins last playoff win came in 2005 when it defeated the Buccaneers 17-10 on the road and their last home postseason win occurred in 1999 by beating Detroit 27-13 at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.

    Total Notes: The Packers saw the ‘under’ go 11-5 this season but they produced a 4-4 total mark outside of Lambeau Field. The Redskins watched the ‘over’ go 9-7 but the ‘under’ produced a 5-3 record at FedEx Field.


    NFL Football Betting Trends – Sunday – Jan, 10

    Seattle at Minnesota, 1:05 ET
    Seattle: 4-15 ATS off a blowout win by 21 points or more over a division rival
    Minnesota: 9-1 ATS off a division game

    Green Bay at Washington, 4:40 ET
    Green Bay: 9-2 ATS off a division game
    Washington: 37-64 ATS as a home favorite


    Sunday’s NFC Wildcard doubleheader betting preview

    Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (+4.5, 39.5)

    The Minnesota Vikings absorbed their worst loss of the season to Seattle just over a month ago and now must figure out a way to turn the tables when they host the Seahawks in an NFC wild-card game on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings may get an assist from the weather, with temperatures at game time expected to be near zero with a wind chill of minus-20 degrees.

    “The first thing is, we need our fans to make it an advantage for us,” Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said of the frigid forecast. The Vikings were limited to 125 total yards by Seattle in a 38-7 mauling on Dec. 6, but they recovered to win their final three games to secure the NFC North title and No. 3 seed. The Seahawks, who are coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, closed the season by winning six of their last seven games. Sixth-seeded Seattle also has won five in a row on the road while surrendering a total of 34 points in that span.

    TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, NBC.

    This line has opened anywhere between Seahawks -4 and -6 and has seen plenty of movement since. It has settled around Seahawks -4.5 at most books. With frigid temperatures in the forecast the total has been bet down from 42 to 39. Check out the complete line history here.


    Seahawks – DE M. Bennett (probable Sunday, toe), DT J. Hill (probable Sunday, toe), S K. Chancellor (probable Sunday, tailbone), WR T. Lockett (probable Sunday, hip), T R. Okung (probable Sunday, calf), G J. Sweezy (probable Sunday, concussion), CB J. Lane (probable Sunday, ribs), RB M. Lynch (out Sunday, hernia), TE L. Wilson (out Sunday, concussion).

    Vikings – DT L. Joseph (probable Sunday, toe), DE E. Griffen (probable Sunday, shoulder), WR A. Thielen (probable Sunday, shoulder), RB A. Peterson (probable Sunday, back), WR C. Johnson (questionable Sunday, ankle), C J. Sullivan (doubtful Sunday, back), DT K. Ellis (out Sunday, ankle).

    As has been widely reported, it will be a frozen wasteland in Minnesota, with temperatures hovering around zero degrees. To make it evn frostier, there will also be a 7-10 mile per hour wind gusting towards the eastern end zone.

    Seahawks (-6) – Vikings (-2.5) + home field (-3) = Vikings +0.5

    ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (10-6, 8-7-1 ATS, 7-9 O/U):
    Quarterback Russell Wilson has been brilliant during Seattle’s 6-1 run with 24 touchdown passes and only one interception, and he burned the Vikings by throwing for 274 yards and three scores while rushing for 51 yards. While Doug Baldwin has been Wilson’s top target with 11 TD receptions in his last six games, the buzz in Seattle revolves around the availability of running back Marshawn Lynch, who returned to practice for the first time since undergoing abdominal surgery on Nov. 25. The Seahawks rank No. 1 against the run and led the league in scoring defense (17.3 points per game).

    ABOUT THE VIKINGS (11-5, 13-3 ATS, 4-11-1 O/U):
    Minnesota fell into a 21-0 hole in last month’s meeting and was forced to abandon the run, leaving NFL leading rusher Adrian Peterson grousing about his role after receiving only eight carries for 18 yards. Expect that number of rushing attempts to increase dramatically as the Vikings look to alleviate pressure on second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who was sacked four times and held to 118 yards by the Seahawks. Minnesota’s defense was ravaged by injury in the first meeting but has permitted only 43 points during the three-game winning streak and allowed 18.9 points per contest.


    * Seahawks are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.

    * Vikings are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a SU win.

    * Under is 4-0 in Seahawks last four games overall.

    * Under is 4-0 in Vikings last four Wildcard games.

    Bettors are giving the Seahawks the slight edge in this NFC with 57 percent of wagers on Seattle. As for the total, 56 percent of wagers are on the total.

    PREDICTION: Seahawks 20, Vikings 13


    Green Bay Packers at Washington (-1, 45.5)

    Washington faced an uphill battle to make the playoffs for much of the season, but they are on a roll heading into Sunday’s wild-card matchup against the visiting Green Bay Packers. Washington did not climb above .500 for the first time until Week 16 and did not post consecutive victories until rattling off four straight to close the regular season.

    “It’s important to go into the playoffs with some momentum and a rhythm,” Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “It’s crucial to keep that momentum and carry it into what will be the biggest game of the year.” While the fourth-seeded Washington surged into the postseason, No. 5 Green Bay dropped its final two games to squander the NFC North title and a chance to host a game this weekend. The Packers have been in a bit of a tailspin since a 6-0 start to open the season, dropping six of their last 10 games. “We have to prove to ourselves we can win the big games,” Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. ““There’s belief there, but we have to prove it to ourselves.”

    TV: 4:40 p.m. ET, FOX.

    Since Washington opened as one-point home favorites the line has jumped the fence twice with Green Bay moving to 1-point favorites and then back to 1-point dogs. The total has been bet down from 46.5 to 45.5. Check out the complete line history here.


    Packers – RB E. Lacy (probable Sunday, ribs), T B. Bulaga (probable Sunday, ankle), DT M. Daniels (probable Sunday, hamstring), DT L. Guion (probable Sunday, foot), G T. Lang (probable Sunday, neck), C C. Linsley (probable Sunday, ankle), LB C. Matthews (probable Sunday, ankle), LB A. Mulumba (probable Sunday, knee), LB M. Neal (probable Sunday, hip), LB N. Perry (probable Sunday, shoulder), CB D. Randall (probable Sunday, groin), G J. Sitton (probable Sunday, back), G L. Taylor (probable Sunday, knee), DE D. Jones (questionable Sunday, neck), T D. Bakhtiari (questionable Sunday, ankle), LB J. Elliot (questionable Sunday, quadricep), TE J. Perillo (questionable Sunday, hamstring), CB S. Shields (doubtful Sunday, concussion).

    Washington – DE J. Hatcher (probable Sunday, knee), T T. Williams (probable Sunday, knee), CB D. Phillips (probable Sunday, neck), WR D. Jackson (probable Sunday, knee), S J. Johnson (probable Sunday, chest), RB C. Thompson (probable Sunday, toe), C K. Lichtensteiger (probable Sunday, shoulder), S D. Goldson (probable Sunday, shoulder), RB M. Jones (questionable Sunday, hip), LB P. Riley (questionable Sunday, foot), CB Q. Dunbar (questionable Sunday, quadricep), DB K. Jarrett (questionable Sunday, concussion).

    It could be a wet and windy day at FedEx Field. There is a 66 percent chance of rain and a 14-17 mile per hour wind gusting towards teh eastern end zone. Temperatures will be in the low 50’s for the game.

    Green Bay (-2) – Washington (-2) + home field (-3) = Washington -3

    ABOUT THE PACKERS (10-6, 9-7 ATS, 5-11 O/U):
    Rodgers finished with his lowest passer rating (92.7) and completion percentage (60.7) since taking over as the team’s starter in 2008 and wound up the season by taking 13 sacks over his last two games in which Green Bay managed a combined 21 points. Rodgers is not getting much help from a ground game that produced 75 yards in last week’s home loss to Minnesota, including 34 on 13 carries by Eddie Lacy. Wide receiver Randall Cobb has made 14 catches over the last three games but has turned them into only 92 yards. The defense rebounded from an ugly loss at Arizona to hold Minnesota to 242 yards.

    ABOUT WASHINGTON (9-7, 9-7 ATS, 9-7 O/U):
    With Washington already having locked up the NFC East title, Cousins played only one half in last week’s 34-23 victory at Dallas, throwing three scoring passes to give him 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last three games. Although tight end Jordan Reed had a relatively quiet season finale with four catches, he was unstoppable in the previous three games with 25 receptions for 333 yards and five touchdowns. Running back Alfred Morris is coming off his first 100-yard performance since Week 1, while Washington’s defense has collected 14 sacks over the last three games.


    * Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games.

    * Washington is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

    * Under is 6-1 in Packers last 7 vs. NFC.

    * Over is 4-0 in Washington’s last 4 games overall.

    The public is almost dead even in this NFC Wildcard matchup, with 51 percent of wagers giving Washington the slightest of edges. AS for the total, 65 percent of wagers are on the over.

    PREDICTION: Redskins 26, Packers 24


    NFL Wildcard Weekend opens with three of four road teams favored

    The NFL regular season has come to a close, the playoff field has been set and the Wildcard matchups open with three of the four road teams as favorites.

    Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings

    Sunday’s Wildcard action kicks off in Minnesota, with two of the leagues hottest teams clash when the Seahawks visit the Vikings and books disagreed on where this line should.

    Minnesota went into Lambeau Field and took the NFC North crown from the Packers, but it is the Seahawks who open as road favorites. At the Westgate the line opened Seattle -3.5, while Bookmaker thought that wasn’t enough points and opened Seattle -6.

    Seattle heads into the game covering six of the last seven games, including a 36-6 thumping of division rival Arizona in Week 17, while Minny was one of the NFL’s best bets this season at 13-3 ATS. Seattle did go into Minnesota and thrash the Vikings 38-7 as 2.5-point faves in Week 12.

    “Given the outcome of the midseason game, as well as the Seahawks’ playoff history and strong finish, we expect the bettors to favor Seattle so we were generous on that side,” Cooley added.

    Green Bay Packers at Washington

    Washington, perhaps surprisingly, opens as the lone home favorite in the final game of Wildcard weekend, hitting the board at -1 against visiting Green Bay. The total opened at 46.

    Washington enters the game winner of four straight games SU and ATS, going over in each game. Meanwhile the Packers head into the playoffs losers of two in a row SU/ATS, getting outscored 58-21 in the process, but the Packers are such a publicly backed team Cooley this could line could see some movement.

    “Our expectation is that the public will back the Packers while the sharps grab the Redskins,” Cooley said.


    Football bettors must react quickly to these NFL Wild Card odds

    Each week during the pro football season, Art Aronson of AAA Sports looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later and and which total to watch as the week plays out.

    Total to watch

    Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (42)

    What? 42? Yes, Pete Carroll gets all weird when the Seahawks get near the goal line, but Seahawks have been crushing it lately. Books must be looking at the game these teams played in Minnesota in early December (Seattle, 38-7) and figuring that coaches get a little more conservative in the playoffs.

    But the Vikings aren’t the same team they were a month ago, and they are averaging almost 33 points a game over the last three. Point-loving football bettors have to be banging the Over pretty hard on this one.


    Seahawks’ streak, postseason pedigree plays into NFL Wild Card odds
    By Colin Kelly

    The NFL’s regular season wrapped up Sunday, and with it came a statement game from the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. At midseason, Pete Carroll’s troops looked like they had no chance of making the playoffs, but they don’t look that way anymore.

    Seattle was locked into the No. 6 seed as a Wild Card heading into its game at Arizona, but played as if a lot more was on the line, plowing to a 36-6 victory as a 6-point underdog. The Seahawks (10-6 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) went 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games, salvaging a season that was heading the wrong direction.

    Now, the Super Bowl champ of two years ago and the team that was one play away from being the two-time defending champ, will head to Minnesota for a Sunday Wild Card contest. The Vikings (11-5 SU) clinched the NFC North title and the No. 3 seed with a 20-13 victory catching 3 points at Green Bay on Sunday night, winning for the third straight week and cashing for the fourth week in a row.

    In fact, the Vikes finished No. 1 in the league against the number at 13-3 ATS.

    John Lester, senior lines manager for online sportsbook Bookmaker, installed the Seahawks as sizable 6-point road chalk – primarily due to Seattle’s 38-7 drubbing of Minnesota at the same venue just a month ago.

    “Given the outcome of that game, as well as the Seahawks’ playoff history and strong finish, we expect the bettors to favor Seattle, so we were generous on that side,” Lester told Covers. “In the first meeting at Minnesota, the line opened at a pick ‘em and closed Seahawks -3.”

    Johnny Avello, executive director of race and sports for Wynn Las Vegas, agreed with Lester’s sentiment, noting the outcome last month was too much to overlook.

    “The Hawks were only a 2.5-point favorite, they won that one 38-7, and fresh in your mind is the 36-6 win over the Cards on Sunday,” Avello told Covers. “I must make this line at least a field goal higher to find the balance of action.”

    Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins (-1)

    Washington (9-7 SU and ATS) has the worst record of any NFC playoff team, but it won the lowly NFC East Division to get the No. 4 seed and therefore gets to host a Wild Card game Sunday. To the Redskins’ credit, they finished the regular season with a flourish, going 4-0 SU and ATS to get a stranglehold on a division seemingly nobody wanted to win prior to that.

    On Sunday, the Skins went off as 3-point pups at Dallas, raced out to a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter and coasted to a 34-23 victory.

    Green Bay, on the flip side, finished the season with more of a thud, losing its last two SU and ATS while blowing a chance to claim the No. 3 seed and a home playoff game next weekend. The Packers (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS), who won their first six games, got drubbed at Arizona 38-8 in Week 16, then tumbled to Minnesota 20-13 Sunday night as 3-point home favorites.

    “The Packers are making the last minute of their games very exciting, but not coming away with W’s,” Avello said. “The Skins, on the other hand, are playing their best football in years. How things change. The Pack would have been a 6- to 7-point favorite six weeks ago, and now you’re looking at pretty much a pick ‘em.”

    Lester said these two teams seem made for each other in the opening round.

    “These are a couple of mercurial teams that might be viewed as the weakest in the NFC,” Lester said. “We opened the line at Washington -1, essentially a toss-up, so we’ll see where the wagering world will take it. Our expectation is that the public will back the Packers, while the sharps grab the Redskins.”


    NFL Playoffs betting stats: The good, the bad, the ugly
    By Marc Lawrence

    Don’t look now but the 2015 NFL season is in the rear view mirror and with it the start of the Wild Card playoff games begins this Saturday.

    Let’s take a look at some of the best, and worst, trends surrounding this weekend’s card. Here’s a brief capsule of the teams and noteworthy trends…

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings

    Good: Seattle QB Russell Wilson is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in the postseason

    Bad: Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is 1-4 SU as a playoff visitor

    Ugly: Super Bowl losers are 0-4-2 ATS away off a win in Wild Card rounds

    Green Bay Packers at Washington Capitals

    Good: Washington is 6-2 SUATS in Wild Card Round games

    Bad: Green Bay is 1-4 SUATS vs. foes with a winning record this season

    Ugly: Teams who won 4 fewer games last season are 1-12 SUATS as Wild Cards

    ATS Diabetes

    Like kids in a candy store, NFL Wild Card teams playing off huge regular season wins tend to crash-and-burn in these playoff openers.

    That’s because Wild Card teams, off a season-ending SU double-digit win as an underdog win, are just 5-15 SU and 4-15-1 ATS.

    The Redskins and the Seahawks could be up against it this weekend.

    Stat of the Week

    The straight-up winner in NFL Wild Card Round playoff games is 111-12-4 ATS since 1980.


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play On – Road teams (SEATTLE) after having won 2 out of their last 3 games, in a game involving two good teams (60% to 75%) in the second half of the season
    41-15 over the last 10 seasons. ( 73.2% | 24.5 units )
    2-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 2.0 units )

    Play Over – Any team vs the the 1rst half total in a game involving two average teams (+/- 3 PPG differential.), after scoring 17 points or less in 2 straight games
    29-8 over the last 10 seasons. ( 78.4% | 20.2 units )
    1-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 1.0 units )



    Green Bay Packers



    20* NFC Wild Card No-Brainer!
    Seattle Seahawks -4.5

    15* NFC No-Doubt Rout!
    Green Bay Packers -1



    Game: Green Bay Packers (107) @ Washington Redskins (108)
    Time: Sunday 01/10 4:40 PM Eastern
    Pick: Green Bay +1 (-112)
    These teams are heading in opposite directions, or at least it would appear as Kirk Cousins looks more like Aaron Rodgers than Aaron Rodgers himself. There is a hidden issue in this game. The Redskins did not beat a single team with a winning record this season, and subsequently saw very little resistance in their passing game. They only faced three teams all season that allow fewer than 20.5 points per game as the Packers do, and they generated 704 yards of total offense in the three games. Cousins threw four INTs in the three games, and Washington was 0-3 SU and 0-3 ATS in those games, getting outscored 35-15.3 or by 20 points per game. The rest of their schedule against bad teams kept a bad defense from being truly exposed as they were able to hold onto the ball longer, limiting the time the defense was on the field. However, that has not been the case against a team that doesn’t allow points, where they allowed 35 ppg! Mike McCarthy is 24-14 ATS as a road favorite of 7 points or less. I think Green Bay is better served here on the road away from the naysayers in Green Bay, and against an opponent they have a much better matchup against, and they will take advantage of it. Green Bay takes this one.



    #103 SEATTLE -4

    #103 seattle – OVER 39

    #107 GREEN BAY +1


    SB Professor Original NFL Picks

    ‘System play’
    Washington -1



    103 1:05 PM SEA @ MIN -5 6.9 55.3 $31
    107 4:40 PM GB ♦Upset Watch♦ @ WAS 1 1.5 53.3 $10

    103 1:05 PM SEA @ MIN 24.6 17.6 67.8
    107 4:40 PM GB @ WAS 24.5 22.9 53.1

    108 4:40 PM GB @ WAS 45 47.4 Over 53.9 $16
    104 1:05 PM SEA @ MIN 40 42.2 Over 53.9 $16

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