Over-Under NFL Playoff Wild Card Sunday Total Predictions, Odds
January 7, 2021
By Joe Williams
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Handicapping Sunday's Wild Card Totals
We made it. We have three games scheduled for Sunday's Wild Card round, as the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans tangle at 1:05 p.m. ET, the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints square off for a second time this season at 4:40 p.m. ET, and the schedule wraps up at 8:15 p.m. ET in the third installment of the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.
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.
On the injury front, the Ravens saw wide receiver Willie Snead (ankle) sit out Wednesday due to an ankle injury. On the defensive side, defensive end Calais Campbell rested Wednesday, and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) sat out. DE Yannick Ngakoue (thigh) and CB Jimmy Smith (ribs, shoulder) were listed as limited participants, so that's a situation to watch closely into Friday when the official injury report/game status comes out.
The Titans are in a lot better shape, as WR A.J. Brown (knee, hand) was limited, but he is the only key player listed on their injury report this week.
The Bears had a laundry list of players on their practice report. WRs Darnell Mooney (ankle) and reciever/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson (personal) did not practice, and neither did linebacker Roquan Smith (elbow). That are big absences to keep an eye on. LB Khalil Mack (shoulder) practiced in full, and he should be good to go, as will WR Allen Robinson II (hamstring).
The Saints are healthier, DE Trey Hendrickson (neck) and quarterback Taysom Hill (concussion) were each limited, and offensive linemen Nick Easton (concussion) did not practice.
The Cleveland Browns have the biggest news off the field, and that's not a good thing.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski will miss Sunday's game after testing positive for COVID-19, so special teams coach Mike Priefer will assume the head honcho role. He once served as acting head coach in 2016 in a regular-season game for the Vikings.
As far as the team is concerned, DE Myles Garrett (shoulder) practiced in full, as did WR Jarvis Landry (hip). That's the good news. The bad news is that the Browns have some issues along the O-line, as guard Wyatt Teller (ankle) is limited, while WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (concussion) did not practice.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (neck) was also limited, so watch that. On the Steelers side, kicker Chris Boswell (groin) was limited, while safety Terrell Edmunds (shoulder) practiced in full. They're much healthier after resting key personnel in last week's regular-season finale in Cleveland.
Wild Card Round Betting Angles
As mentioned in Saturday's Wild Card breakdown, there are some crazy trends that could have you leaning low again on Sunday.
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
Over-Under Line Moves
We have seen plenty of movement so far on the three games for Sunday's schedule, with likely plenty more to come.
Chicago Bears at New Orleans: 48 to 47.5
Baltimore at Tennessee: 54.5 to 55
Cleveland at Pittsburgh: 46.5 to 47
Odds Subject to Change
Over-Under Betting Trends
Listed below are the largest leans for Wild Card round as of Thursday.
Baltimore at Tennessee: Over 58%
Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Under 80%
Chicago at New Orleans: 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
Baltimore at Tennessee
Tennessee 30 at Baltimore 24 (OT)
The Ravens and Titans are the first of three rematches from the regular season on Sunday. The Titans picked up a 29-yard touchdown run from RB Derrick Henry in overtime in Baltimore in Week 11 to help the visitors pick up a 30-24 win. It also helped 'over' bettors pick up a victory across the board.
The Ravens wrapped up the regular season with a pair of strong defensive efforts, allowing just 16 total points in the final two games. The 'under' hit in each, but that was against a pair of non-playoff teams. The 'over/under' went 4-4 in eight games against teams in the playoffs. As far as the road is concerned, Baltimore the 'under' went 5-3 in eight games on the road, including 4-1 across the past five road trips.
The Titans hit the 'over' in three straight to close the season, and seven of their final eight games.
In fact, the Titans saw the 'over' go 12-3-1, tied with the Las Vegas Raiders for the most over results in the NFL.
Tennessee saw the over go 6-1-1 against teams in the current playoff field, too.
The offense has produced 30 or more points in six of the past seven, averaging 34.6 points per game.
In last year's Divisional Playoff game between the pair, Tennessee stifled Baltimore 28-12 on the road and the 'under' (47.5) connected.
This week's total is more than a touchdown higher than this number and if you like to follow trends, then check out our Wild Card Weekend Trends & Angles piece.
Chicago at New Orleans
New Orleans 26 at Chicago 23 (OT)
The Saints took care of the Bears back in Week 8 as the 'over' came through as the pair combined for 17 points in the fourth quarter before the final three in overtime. Make a note that QB Nick Foles was under center for Chicago and he actually played decent, completing 28-of-41 yards for two touchdowns and 272 passing yards.
Fast forward to Sunday and this game will be in New Orleans. Luckily for the Bears, they won't have to deal with a raucous crowd at full throat in the Crescent City.
The Bears have hit the 'over' in three in a row, as their offense really came alive down the stretch.
Chicago went for 15, 41, 33, 36, 30 and 25 in the final six games, as QB Mitchell Trubisky might be playing the best football of his career. The 'over' hit in five of those six contests, too. The under is 12-5 in Chicago's past 17 against winning teams, though.
For the Saints, their defense showed back up in the finale in Carolina, allowing just seven points to snap a 3-0 'over' run.
The 'under' is 6-3 across the past nine for New Orleans, and their defense allowed 16 or fewer points in each of the contests which hit under.
The under is 5-2 in the past seven for New Orleans in playoff games, although the over is 6-2 in their previous eight home games this season.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 38 vs. Cleveland 7
Cleveland 24 vs. Pittsburgh 22
The 'over' (44.5) connected, just barely, in the Week 17 matchup in Cleveland.
However, that was a game which Pittsburgh rested key starters, including QB Ben Roethlisberger, while the Browns had Stefanski on the sidelines.
So this game will have a completely different complexion seven days later.
Cleveland's offense stumbled down the stretch, averaging just 20.0 PPG in the previous three outings, while the defense yielded just 17.0 PPG.
The Browns defensed allowed 22, 23, 6, 47, 35 and 25 across in the final six games, hitting the 'over' four times.
Pittsburgh hit the 'over' in each of the final three games after a 5-0-1 'under' run from Weeks 9 through 14.
The offense picked up the pace a little bit, averaging 25.0 PPG in the final two games, although, again, the final game was with QB Mason Rudolph under center and not Big Ben, so it doesn't really matter.
The defense of the Steelers has let up recently, yielding 24, 24, 27, 26 and 23 over the past five games, as they lost four of those outings.
Best Over: Over 54.5 Baltimore at Tennessee
Best Under: Under 47.5 Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Best First-Half Total: Over 23.5 Chicago at New Orleans
Three-Team Total Teaser (+7, +135)
Over 47.5 Baltimore at Tennessee
Under 54.5 Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Over 40 Chicago at New Orleans
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