There are only four NFL playoff games this weekend, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of action to go around. The league’s top four teams are all in the mix, and if you’re looking for a wager, then you may find plenty of interesting options. Here’s a look at the current betting lines for the playoff games this weekend.
Steelers vs. Bengals (1/4)
The defending champion Steelers visit Cincinnati this weekend for a divisional rematch. The first meeting between these two fierce rivals was one of the most compelling games of the entire season, and it was especially significant because it was a contrast of styles. Pittsburgh’s big offensive line versus the speed of the Bengals’ defense. The Steelers eventually came out on top in a 23-17 victory but it was a hard-fought contest. The lines opened at -3.5 and were then bumped up to -4.5 due to an injury to Bengals cornerback Adam Jones. That injury will keep him off the field for the rest of the season, so this game has huge implications for both teams. The Steelers are 17/2 to win the game and cover the spread and the Bengals are 7/2 to win and cover the spread.
Texans vs. Colts (1/4)
The AFC South meets again in Indianapolis this weekend when the Texans go up against the Colts. Houston is looking to make it a two-team race with a win, and with both teams sitting at 7-5, it would be a great accomplishment. Houston is a very balanced team that likes to run the football and pass it around. They’re 11/2 to win the game but the lines have them as 2.5 point underdogs. The Colts have won the last four meetings between these two teams and they’re coming off a heartbreaking 24-22 loss to the Chiefs in overtime. The game was tied at 20 before Andrew Luck’s pass for Tejay Smolarz was intercepted by Chris Harris, whose touchdown gave Kansas City the win. The scoreboards didn’t lie though and this was another low scoring affair. The total has settled down from the initial -7 to -6.5 and the game is currently a low-scoring affair, which favors the underdogs. The Texans are 21/2 to win the game and cover the spread, while the Colts are 3.5 point favorites.
Seahawks vs. Rams (1/4)
The last time these two rivals met, it was in a game that had huge implications for the playoffs as well. The Rams were in the middle of their eight-game winning streak, a streak that would eventually come to an end with that loss to Seattle. But you can bet the Rams will be motivated to get back at their rivals, especially since it was the biggest game of the year for Seattle up to that point. They entered the game as 16-point favorites but were never able to pull off the upset. The Rams won the coin toss and deferred, which gave Seattle the ball first. The Seahawks used that time to assert themselves in the game and came out firing on all cylinders. They never looked back and steamrolled the Rams 38-9. The first NFL game in Mexico City was also an upset, as the visiting Seahawks scored 38 unanswered points. The Rams eventually tied the game 24-24 at the end of regulation, but the Seahawks went into overtime and kicker Sebastian Janikowski kicked a game winning field goal. That was the last straw for the Rams, who finished the season with an eight-game losing streak. The total has settled down from -7 to -6.5 and this game will probably go down as one of the more exciting playoff rematches of the entire season. The Seahawks are 10/1 to win the game and cover the spread, while the Rams are 3.5 point favorites.
Cardinals vs. Saints (3/4)
The defending champs will be looking to make it a three-peat when they take on the New Orleans Saints this weekend. The first game between these two teams was one of the most anticipated matches of the entire season, especially since it was the first time these two teams would meet since 2014. That year, the Saints made it to the NFC Championship game but lost 19-29 to the eventual champion Cardinals. The game was tied at 14 in the second quarter before the Cards dominated the rest of the game and won by a score of 23-14. The line opened at -5 and was then bumped up to -6 due to rain in the forecast. Heavy rain did pour down on the game and both teams had to settle for a field goal on their opening drive. The total has settled down from the initial -5.5 to -6 and this game could very well decide the division. The Cardinals are heavy favorites, as they are 16/5 to win and cover the spread. The Saints are 20/1 to win and cover the spread. There’s also a good chance the game could end in a tie, which would be a huge upset as this rivalry has usually been decided by an offensive explosion. Not much is known about this year’s edition of the NFC South, but if anyone can spoil the party it’s the defending champs. They’ve got the talent on both sides of the ball and if New Orleans doesn’t watch its back, then nobody will.
These are just some of the more prominent games this weekend, but there are actually 16 more games on the menu. The vast majority of the games have decent betting angles, but it may be tricky to figure out exactly what those angles are. Many of the games feature teams with losing records struggling to make the postseason, so the odds might be against you. But if you want to find the best underdog bets, then you may have to research some stats and figures to find the most attractive games. This kind of analysis can be very useful when making wagers in the sportsbooks, even if you don’t follow all the ins and outs of the games themselves. For example, in the AFC South, the underdogs are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts and 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings. These are some pretty good odds if you’re an underdog fan who wants to see his or her team win but doesn’t want to put money on it. One of the most interesting things about sports betting is the variety of wagers you can make. Just remember to keep things in perspective. You’ll most likely lose some money regardless of what you do, but it’s not like you’re going to ruin your whole life. Just be smart about it and don’t let your emotions get the better of you.