Jan 07, 2021
Over-Under NFL Playoff Wild Card Saturday Total Predictions, Odds
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Handicapping Saturday's NFL Playoff Wild Card Totals
We made it.
The NFL regular season has concluded, and while the global COVID-19 pandemic caused some scheduling changes and difficulty during the season, the season is buttoned up and we're ready for the playoffs.
The coronavirus is still rearing its ugly head, see the Cleveland Browns, but we have 14 combatants lined up and ready to compete for the Super Bowl LV championship.
We'll take a look at the total information for the Wild Card round.
We have three games on tap for Saturday's Wild Card round, as the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills square off at 1:05 p.m. ET, the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks meet for a third time this season at 4:40 p.m. ET, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team wrap up the schedule at 8:15 p.m. ET in the nation's capital.
As far as injuries are concerned, Rams quarterback Jared Goff (thumb surgery) missed last week's critical Week 17 game to recover from surgery on his thumb. He took part in Wednesday's practice on a limited basis, and he appears to be trending in the right direction toward playing Saturday.
Goff threw for 302 yards on Nov. 15 against the Seahawks in a 23-16 win, and he threw for 234 yars on Dec. 27. He did not have a touchdown throw or run in either of the meetings, and he threw one interception. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, too, so that's more good news for L.A.
Washington Football Team QB Alex Smith (calf), Running back Antonio Gibson (toe) and WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) were each limited participants on Wednesday, although each are expected to fight through their injuries to play. That's what they did in Week 17. Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans could be a game-time decision as well for the Bucs.
The biggest injury news might be with Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs (oblique), who was downgraded from limited Tuesday to 'DNP' on Wednesday. He said Wednesday that he is fine, so total bettors might not want to get too worked up about his absence, but it is a situation to watch.
Wild Card Round Betting Angles
We've seen a recurring theme in the Wild Card round in recent seasons. Since the 2012 season the 'under' has outpaced the 'over' 22-7-3 (75.8%) across the past eight seasons.
The last time we saw more 'over' results that 'under' results in the Wild Card round was the 2011-12 season, when the over finished 3-1.
When in doubt, you may want to lean low.
Over-Under (O/U) Wild Card Round Results
- 2019: 0-4
- 2018: 1-3
- 2017: 1-3
- 2016: 2-2
- 2015: 1-2-1
- 2014: 1-2-1
- 2013: 1-2-1
- 2013: 0-4
Over-Under Line Moves
We have seen plenty of movement so far on the three games for Saturday's schedule, and we'll cover Sunday's games in a separate piece.
- Tampa Bay at Washington: 46.5 to 45
- Indianapolis at Buffalo: 52.5 to 51.5
- L.A. Rams at Seattle: 42 to 42.5
Odds Subject to Change
Over-Under Betting Trends
Listed below are the largest leans for Wild Card round as of Thursday.
- Tampa Bay at Washington: Over 70%
- L.A. Rams at Seattle: Under 60%
- Indianapolis at Buffalo: Under 51%
Trends Subject to Change
Below we list the score and result of the previous matchup this season, if applicable.
Let's break down the games!
NFL Wild Card Playoff Over-Under Preview
Indianapolis at Buffalo (1:05 p.m. ET)
The 'under' went 3-2 in the final five games down the stretch, but their offense has been dangerous lately. They scored 28, 24, 27, 44, 26, 26, 34 and 34 across the past eight games, so betting an 'under' can be rather risky with Indy.
However, this is the playoffs, and we mentioned the results in the past few years all point to the 'under'. On the road, Indianapolis hit the 'over' in five of the past six games, and 6-2 in their eight games overall away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
For the Bills, the 'over' is 2-0-1 in the previous threee outings, as the offense has been on point. They scored a season-high 56 points against Miami last week, 38 in Week 16 in New England, and 48 points in Denver in Week 15.
While that's all well and good, those three offensive outbursts are all against teams which did not qualify for the postseason. They hit an 'under' in Week 14 against Pittsburgh, a fellow playoff team, and the 'over' is just 3-2 in five games for the Bills against teams in the playoff field.
L.A. Rams at Seattle (4:40 p.m. ET)
The Rams have been an 'under' machine this season, averaging 15.7 points per game across the past three games. The 'under' is 4-0 in the past four, including a 20-9 loss in Seattle in Week 16.
The defense has been a huge part of that, too, allowing 7, 20, 23 and 3 during that four-game span, or an average of 13.3 PPG. The 'under' went 12-4 in the regular season, second-most in the NFL, and most among all 2020 playoff teams.
For the Seahawks, they started off hitting regular 'over' results, going 3-0 in the first three games, and 6-2 in the first eight outings.
However, while the 'over' cashed in last week's 26-23 win on the road against the 49ers in the season finale, the 'under' was on a 7-0 run before that.
It started in the first meeting in Week 10 at SoFi Stadium against the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, and also included the second meeting in Week 15.
The 'under' is also 4-1 in the past five Wild Card round games, although the 'over' is 8-3 in the past 11 playoff games. The 'under' is 5-2 in Seattle's past seven as a playoff favorite.
Tampa Bay at Washington (8:15 p.m. ET)
The 'over' cashed in two of the final three for the Buccaneers, but both of those were against Atlanta.
The Bucs haven't faced a playoff team since Week 12, a 27-24 loss against Kansas City at Raymond James Stadium as the 'under' connected.
The 'under' was 4-2 in six games against playoff teams this season. The 'over' is 4-1 in the past five road games for the Bucs, as they scored 47, 31, 36, 25 and 45.
However, all of those results were also against non-playoff teams. Their most recent road game against a playoff team was Week 5, a Thursday night loss at Chicago, 20-19. Tampa Bay did not face Washington this season.
Washington streaks into the playoff on a five-game 'under' run, with the last 'over' cashing on Thanksgiving in Dallas.
At home, the under is 6-0 in the past six at FedEx Field, with the last 'over' at home for Washington coming in the Battle of the Beltway against Baltimore back in Week 4 against the Ravens, a 31-17 loss on a number of (45).
The 'under' has cashed in each of the past three for Washington against non-playoff teams, too, although the 'over' did cash in their first two instances.
NFL Wild Card Playoff Over-Under Predictions
- Best Over: Over 42.5 L.A. Rams at Seattle
- Best Under: Under 51.5 Indianapolis at Buffalo
- Best First-Half Total: Under 23 Tampa Bay
Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
- Over 35.5 L.A. Rams at Seattle
- Under 58.5 Indianapolis at Buffalo
- Over 38 Tampa Bay at Washington