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.

Watch Jaguars vs. Titans Thursday Night Football – livestream online

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The Tennessee Titans (3-4) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) for an AFC South matchup on Thursday Night Football. Neither team is really tearing it up this season, but the winner will be in the thick of a division battle with the 4-3 Houston Texans and 3-4 Indianapolis Colts.

Titans RB DeMarco Murray is the NFL’s third-leading rusher, while the Jaguars are 18th in the NFL against the run, so don’t be surprised to see Murray running wild.

When: 8:25 p.m. ET

Broadcast network: NFL Network

Live Stream: Twitter

Packers projected to finish under10.5 wins at NFL prediction site

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The Green Bay Packers have an OVER/UNDER wins total of 10.5 for the season ahead at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, and one NFL prediction website has the UNDER wager pegged as the correct choice on that betting line heading into the 2016 campaign.

At PredictionMachine.com the Packers are projected to win 10.1 games in the season ahead, which would be in line with their 2015 performance in which they posted a 10-6 record. That was good for just second place in the NFC North standings behind the 11-5 Minnesota Vikings, with the Packers then having to settle for a Wild Card berth in the NFC postseason.

Green Bay beat Washington soundly in a 35-18 victory on Wild Card Weekend last season, but they came up short in a 26-20 loss at Arizona against the Cardinals in the second round.

The Packers went OVER 10.5 wins on the season as recently as 2014, when they posted a 12-4 record and won the NFC North title. Green Bay has picked up 56 wins over the past five seasons, an average of 11.2 wins per year, highlighted by the team’s 15-1 mark back in 2011.

And while that preseason projection has the Packers falling UNDER 10.5 wins on the season, at the sportsbooks the OVER is the chalk wager at -175 (bet $175 to win $100). Green Bay is also the -180 favorite on the odds to win the NFC North, and at +850 on the Super Bowl odds.

That +850 line has the Packers second behind only the New England Patriots (+600) on the Super Bowl LI odds, and Aaron Rodgers and company are also ranked as the second most likely team to win the title at PredictionMachine.com; the website ran the 2016 NFL campaign 50,000 times, with the Packers ending up winning the Super Bowl 9.7% of the time overall.

The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 11.7% of the projections, with the Cardinals coming out on top 8.9% of the time. The top AFC team according to the predictive score modeling site is actually the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the Super Bowl 7.3% of the time in the projections. The Patriots fell behind in that computer simulation, winning 6% of the time.

The Packers will get their regular-season schedule underway on Sunday, September 11 when they pay a visit to the Jacksonville Jaguars. PredictionMachine.com gives the Packers a 61.9% chance of winning that game, with the projected score Green Bay 28.2-23.1.