Our Wild Card preview looks at all four matchups from the first round of NFL playoffs!
Say what you want about Week 17. Sure, there are moments when all you can do is shake your head. But as we worked our way through the first day of 2017, the top seed in the AFC was figured out, Kansas City went into San Diego and secured the second seed, snuffing out any hope of a sentimental finish for Phil and the boys, and Green Bay reminded everyone that they are still way better than Detroit.
It certainly wasn’t the worst Week 17 and having all 32 teams in action for one glorious curtain call is a great way to finish things off.
Now it’s down to business.
Here is a quick look at the four NFL Wild Card matchups for this weekend with some early considerations.
RAIDERS (5) AT TEXANS (4)
QB Matt McGloin did not look good in his brief appearance vs. Denver and after getting crumpled up, he went to the locker room with pain in his neck and shoulder. They’re saying trap today, possibly a pinched nerve. Rookie Connor Cook took over and it was a tough situation, but whether it’s Cook or McGloin, Houston isn’t going to be a lot easier.
The Texans were shutout in the first round last year and that game was over before it started. The last two teams to get shutout in the playoffs went 2-0 ATS in the next playoff game and the home team, Indianapolis (2003), blew Denver away 41-10. They were led by Peyton Manning and Houston doesn’t have anything near that. But they have a pretty good D and a healthy QB competition brewing.
LIONS (6) AT SEAHAWKS (3)
Seattle didn’t look great in San Fran Sunday and they have concerns at running back and in the secondary. Detroit was home in their loss to Green Bay, though, and judging how Matthew Stafford played in recent road games against the Giants and Cowboys, it’s hard to imagine him putting more than 20 points on the board in Seattle.
DOLPHINS (6) AT STEELERS (3)
Home faves are the recurring theme in Wild Card betting and this line is expanding faster than Donald Trump’s list of Twitter followers. Miami was 0-3 as a big road dog this year, losing in Seattle, Cinci and New England. The Dolphins rushed for 261 yards in Buffalo two weeks ago and it would seem that a breakout game from Jay Ajayi is their only hope. Other than Week 16, however, the Fish haven’t cracked triple-digit rushing yards since Week 12.
From December out, big home faves are 25-3 SU and 17-11 ATS vs. teams that are struggling to find a consistent ground game. If you’re thinking about taking a shot with the dog here, maybe have a look at the ‘Rushing Yard’ props as well.
GIANTS (5) AT PACKERS (4)
The Giants D is earning them respect, with some books ghosting the line at Green Bay -7.5 before Sunday’s results were in. The Packers beat New York 23-16 at home in Week 5, ending a three-game losing streak against the G-Men. New York was a shell of its current self at that stage, with no O-Line or run game to speak of. They were also on the road for a second-straight week and playing with short rest off a brutal Monday nighter in Minnesota. The Packers were coming off a bye week. Different story now, to say the least.
Follow @PickSixtySports on Twitter for NFL betting information throughout the playoffs!