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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2019 NFL Playoffs: Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles O/U

We noted ahead of the commencement of Wildcard action the strong historical tendency for the UNDER to prevail in the first round of the NFL post-season. Since 2003, the aggregate O/U in wildcard action is 25-41 (after the UNDER collected on both of Saturday's games).

Further, we note, albeit from a scant sample size, that the UNDER is 10-6 in wildcard games where the home team is taking points

Seaparately, the National Weather Service Forecast Office expects double-digit winds at Lincoln Financial Field through approximately the first half of play. This development too supports the UNDER, as far as we can tell. Our working hypothesis regarding inclement conditions is that strong winds introduce added uncertainty to the passing game, as QBs find it harder to place the ball on target when the air blows hard. This sloppier play opens the door to reduced completion rates and more turnovers. To avoid such potential, teams tend toward the run more when winds are particularly high, which generally results in fewer yards gained per minute, and ultimately lower aggregate scores.

We studied the impact of wind on NFL totals earlier in the season, and found accounts that winds in the 7-12 mph range reduced average scores by better than a field goal per game on average. Further, winds of 13 mph or greater reportedly dropped scoring by more than 8 points per game. 

On the other hand, we also found evidence that when bookmakers lowered betting totals by at least a full point from open to close in response, the edge for the UNDER was nullified for the full game, that is. First half O/U results for windy games demonstrated an immunity to falling betting totals--the UNDER's edge was observed to be virtually unchanged versus windy games where the line remained flat or inched higher.

Bottom line: The tendency for the UNDER to prevail in NFL wildcard action, and the inclement weather that is expected to attend this afternoon's action align us with the UNDER -- both for the full game (u45) and the first half (u22) -- when the Seahawks travel to Philly Sunday.

Happy betting!!

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