NFL Wild Card Trends: NFC home teams, AFC road teams recent winners

USA TODAY Sports

Wild Card betting trends are much harder to pin down than regular season ones. NFL playoff trends have favored NFC home teams and AFC road teams lately, but handicapping Wild Card games is not a science.

In the 2012 Wild Card weekend, all four home teams won. In the 2011 Wild Card weekend, all four home teams lost.

Wild Card betting trends are much trickier than regular-season or exhibition schedule trends as the pressure of playoff action changes the handicapping task.

If you bet NFC home teams and AFC road teams the past four Wild Card weekends, the result would have been a 12-4 ATS and a tidy sum in your wagering account, explains Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com.

"You occasionally get a revenge game or divisional rematch, like the Packers vs Vikings game, but often you get teams that have not played each other recently," said Pickett. "That adds some spice to the playoff point spreads and adds some public opinion to the wagering volumes."

NFC home teams went 6-2 ATS and AFC road teams did the same over that four-year stretch.

If head-to-head patterns provide any insight, then the Colts will not be satisfied with a playoff berth and the Texans will rebound from a sluggish December to advance to the divisional playoffs.

Indianapolis has played Baltimore eight times since 2004 and covered the spread every time (8-0 ATS). The Colts are also 5-0 ATS at Baltimore, according to the NFL database at OddsShark.com, the odds partner to SBNation.

The Ravens, who learned Wednesday that Ray Lewis will retire after the season, have been terrible as a home favorite, losing seven of nine against the spread lately.

Three other teams this weekend have been excellent underdog plays. Washington is riding a 7-2 ATS streak as a dog and lays three points to the visiting Seahawks.

Cincinnati has won outright and covered the spread four straight times as a road underdog and they lay just 4.5 points at Houston.

And the Vikings, looking to repeat their Week 17 upset of the Packers, are getting eight points at Lambeau. The Vikes are on an 8-3 ATS streak as an underdog and they have Adrian Peterson running amok, making them a dangerous dog this weekend.

Check out some Wild Card trends and current NFL playoff odds.

Cincinnati +4.5 at Houston -4.5, Total 43

Bengals 0-4 SU & ATS past four playoff games
Texans 5-0 ATS past 5 games vs Bengals

Minnesota +7.5 at Green Bay -7.5, 46

Vikings 8-3 SU & ATS past 11 as underdog
Packers had won 13 straight division games before losing last week

Indianapolis +6.5 at Baltimore -6.5, 46

Colts 8-0 ATS vs Ravens since 2004
Ravens 16-2 SU as favorite since 2011


Seattle -3 at Washington +3, 46

Redskins 6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS past 8 vs Seattle
Seahawks 2-5 ATS past 7 road playoff games

See NFL odds updates as they happen here at SBNation.

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