Packers slim favorites at rival Vikings for Sunday Night Football

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Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who have struggled as a favorite recently, are out to turn around that trend against the rival Minnesota Vikings in an exciting Sunday Night Football betting matchup this weekend.

In a matchup of NFC North rivals who are each off to 1-0 starts, the Packers are listed at two-point favorites against the host Vikings with a total of 43 points, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Packers are 11-3 straight-up in their last 14 games, but are only 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games as favorites, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Vikings, who are opening their new U.S. Bank Stadium, are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with winning records.

Rodgers is a two-time NFL MVP, while Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has not announced whether Shaun Hill or recently acquired Sam Bradford will be his starting QB. The Packers, who are 10-2-1 SU in their last 13 games against the Vikings, will be looking to establish RB Eddie Lacy against a Vikings front seven that will not have DT Sharrif Floyd (knee).

Green Bay receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will also not have to worry about CB Xavier Rhodes (knee), and rookie replacement Trae Waynes got picked on at times in the Week 1 Vikings win against Tennessee.

The Vikings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a home underdog, but only 1-5 SU in their last six Week 2 contests. Veteran RB Adrian Peterson averaged only 56 rushing yards in two games vs. Green Bay last season.

While the quarterback question hangs over this matchup, second-year WR Stefon Diggs and counterpart Charles Johnson could be facing a depleted secondary since CB Sam Shields (concussion protocol) and Josh Hawkins (hamstring) are banged up for Green Bay. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is integral to Minnesota’s ball-control offense, but he has a tough matchup against Green Bay SS Morgan Burnett and FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The total has gone over in eight of the Packers’ last 11 games in Week 2. The total has gone under in seven of the Vikings’ last 10 home games. The total has also gone under in the last three Packers-Vikings games.

The OddsShark Computer is projecting an 18.8-14.5 Vikings victory on Sunday night, but Minnesota’s quarterback issues foster doubt about their chances against the Packers.

Marcus Mariota can’t even explain his historic touchdown catch

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A touchdown pass to … yourself?!

That’s exactly what happened to Titans QB Marcus Mariota in Tennessee’s incredible 22-21 Wild Card victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs were up 21-3 entering halftime and appeared to be well on their way to advancing to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, but then Mariota made history with one of the craziest plays you’ll ever see:

With the six-yard touchdown, Mariota became the first player in NFL history to record a passing and receiving TD in a playoff game.

NFL Wild Card Weekend betting lines reflect recent favorites trend

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Wild Card Weekend has been ruled by favored teams recently – on the field, if not on the board. Favored teams are 10-2 straight-up in wild card games over the last three seasons. At the sportsbooks – and this seems germane with the home teams each laying at least six points this weekend – favorites are a more modest 7-4-1 against the spread.

The 2017 playoffs saw home teams go 4-0 SU and ATS in wild card games. Eighteen of the last 28 wild card games have gone under the posted total, with one push.

The Kansas City Chiefs are listed as 9-point favorites against the Tennessee Titans with a 44-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in a Saturday matchup. The Chiefs are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, but QB Alex Smith has had a stronger second half of the season than Marcus Mariota, his Titans counterpart.

Tennessee, which is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against the Chiefs, could be compromised offensively if DeMarco Murray (knee) is unable to play and spell off team rushing leader Derrick Henry. The total has gone over in five of the Titans’ last seven games against the Chiefs.

The Los Angeles Rams are 6.5-point betting favorites against the Atlanta Falcons with a 48.5-point total in the late Saturday matchup. The Rams and first-time playoff QB Jared Goff are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. However, Los Angeles, which lost its regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, is 5-0 SU in its last five games after a loss.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan, whose team is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 night games, will not have his optimal offensive line in front of him as LG Andy Levitre (triceps) is out for the season. The Rams defense, led by DT Aaron Donald, has the third-highest tally of interceptions. The total has gone under in the Falcons’ last five games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are nine-point betting favorites against the Buffalo Bills with a 39.5-point total in a Sunday matchup between teams that had a combined 26-year playoff drought (since 1999 for the Bills; 2007 for the Jags). The visiting team is 5-1 ATS in the last six games of this matchup, but Buffalo will likely only stand a chance if RB LeSean McCoy (ankle sprain) is healthy enough to play; there is no way he will be 100 percent.

The Jaguars, who are only 4-13 SU in their last 17 home games against teams with winning records, must hope QB Blake Bortles has some recent regression out of his system. The total has gone over in the Bills’ last five games against the Jaguars.

And the New Orleans Saints are listed as seven-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers with a 48-point total in a late Sunday betting matchup. The Panthers and QB Cam Newton are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six tries against the NFC South rival Saints and also boast the NFL’s 28th-ranked passing attack while the Saints are fifth through the air (each team’s pass defense is right in the middle of the rankings).

New Orleans and veteran QB Drew Brees are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against divisional opponents, as well as 5-0 SU in their last five home playoff games. The total has gone over in six of the Panthers’ last seven games against the Saints. The total has also gone over in five of the Saints’ last six games in the wild card round.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.