top of page
  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2019 NFL Playoffs: Wildcard Saturday

History says place wagers contain the syllables "under" in the first round of NFL playoff action. For Saturday this axiom implies the Bills and Titans (the two under-dogs) are worthy of consideration versus the number, and that bettors should position for disappointingly low aggregate scores (the UNDERs in the O/U arena)...especially in the evening contest.

The current NFL playoff format has been in effect since 2003, after the 2002 expansion introduced the Houston Texans to the League. Since that point, 64 wildcard round playoff games have been decided. The team taking points is 34-29-1 ATS (54%), per Pro Football Reference.

Further, the 26-22 ATS (54%) historical result when the underdog is traveling, as is the case in both of Saturday's games, is remarkably similar to the location-neutral account.

Accordingly, bettors inclined to take a stab at the ATS outcomes of today's NFL action might consider deviating from the herd and taking the points (54% of public ATS wagers are down on Houston, while New England has amassed the backing of 55% of ATS bets).

But of greater interest to us, we note that the O/U is a more compelling 25-39 (61%) in modern-era first round NFL playoff action.

The Titans/Patriots betting total opened at 44 and has since been bid up to 45 (typical of the optimism that has enveloped New England throughout much of the Tom Brady era). We are most comfortable backing the under in this higher total contest.

Bottom line: The Titans/Pats u45 strikes us as the most compelling play of the NFL's wildcard Saturday lineup. This pick is supported by a strong historical penchant for disappointing scores early in playoff proceedings and an UNDER-prone lead official. With decidedly lower conviction, we are also leaning toward the Bills/Texans UNDER and the two underdog covers ATS.

Happy betting!!

bottom of page