Friday, January 07, 2011

NFL Wild Card Betting Lines and Early Looks

The NFL playoffs kick off on Saturday afternoon when the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks take the field to kick off the Wild Card round of the playoffs. While there is still plenty of time to break down the teams that are taking the field, we decided it was a good time to take a look at the betting lines Vegas has laid out for us.

New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks +11: The Seahawks are the worst team in playoff history. Seriously at 7-9 they have the worst record of any NFL team to ever win a division and/or make the post season. Nonetheless they are in, and they get to host a home game nonetheless. The Saints have stepped up their efforts in the latter half of the season as they have gotten healthier. 11 points is a lot, we're even seeing 11.5 in some markets. Yes, the Seahawks are bad, but they do have a great home field advantage, just ask the St. Louis Rams.

Don't be surprised if Seattle can cover the 11 points. If this line jumps even higher definitely jump on the Seahawks.

Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets +3: This is a rematch of last year's AFC Championship. While most felt the Colts and Jets would meet each other again in this year's post season, most did not think they would meet in the Wild Card round. The Jets hit a rough spot during the middle of the season where they failed to score points. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas the Jets were only able to muster 3 offensive touchdowns. However, in the final weeks of the season the Jets broke out of their slump as Mark Sanchez was able to take over control of the offense.

With the Indianapolis Colts you know what you are going to get. Sure plenty of the skill players may have changed due to injury, but the Colts are still run by Peyton Manning, and while his stats are the best, Manning has put forth one of his best efforts to date.

The spread favors the Colts by three points and that's a number I like. Rex Ryan had his guys hyped up at the beginning of the season but they limped into the playoffs. The Colts have had to fight for the past few weeks just to win their division and make the postseason. They will continue their winning ways this weekend.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs +3: This is an odd match up mainly because no one including all the writers at Walker Sports anticipated the Kansas City Chiefs winning their division or making the post season. Nonetheless this functional yet dysfunctional team has made their way into the Wild Card round where they will take on a focused Baltimore Ravens squad.

It's not impossible for the Chiefs to win this game, but they will have to be near perfect. The Ravens are built to win now, and they will do what it takes to pick up the win on Sunday. The spread sits at 3 points, but that should be no issue for the Ravens to cover.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers +3: This game is a rematch of the season opener that saw the Green Bay Packers picking up the win. Another note from that game is the Packers knocked then starter Kevin Kolb out of the game and thus ushered in the Michael Vick era.

With Vick at the helm full time now the Eagles are a very different team. At one point under Michael Vick looked unstoppable, but in the final weeks of the season teams seemed to have figured out the Vick situation. One team that has the tools to handle Michael Vick is the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have the linebacking core that can apply pressure and force Vick into some bad situations.

The spread favors by the Eagles by three points, but a lot of people are jumping on the Green Bay bandwagon. I like the Packers, but jump on this line soon. There is a good chance this line could drop down and it will be much less appealing at that point.


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