Wild Card weekend was ruled by underdogs, with all pups covering the spread and two of them earning outright upsets to advance to this week’s Divisional playoff games.
The Atlanta Falcons survived a late comeback to upset the Carolina Panthers as 6-point underdogs and now head to Philadelphia as 3-point pups for Saturday’s contest. About 66 percent of bettors are on Atlanta to cover that number. One of the most popular bets of the weekend has more than 80 percent of players betting over 41.5 points on this total.
In Saturday’s nightcap, the Tennessee Titans are set as big 13.5-point underdogs in New England with the Patriots coming off their bye. Last week the Titans upset the Chiefs on the road, but nearly 65 percent of bettors are backing the Pats at home to cover the fat spread.
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers are pegged as 7.5-point favourites at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags got by the Bills in an ugly win last week while the Steelers were on a bye. The betting public is going back and forth on this matchup with early money coming in on the Jags to cover and then buy back on the Steelers. Right now just over 52 percent of the betting action on the spread is supporting Jacksonville.
To finish off the weekend, the Saints are seeing early action as 3.5-point underdogs in Minnesota against the Vikings. About 70 percent of bettors like New Orleans to cover. This one could be the best game of the bunch with Minnesota’s league-best total defence facing the NFL’s second best total offence.
The Winnipeg Jets have been the only Canadian team worth a wager for a while now and they’re starting to get serious consideration as Stanley Cup contenders. The Jets lead the Central Division and are third overall with 59 points and now sit. They’ve also earned their supporters nearly eight units this season, good for fifth place in the NHL puckline money standings. Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens (-8.34 units), Edmonton Oilers (-11.93) and Ottawa Senators (-14.05) sit in the bottom five of those standings and continue to disappoint.
The Toronto Raptors face a stiff test Thursday with the Cleveland Cavaliers coming to town, but it may not be a good barometer of where they stand in the East unless Kyle Lowry is back in the lineup. Lowry missed Tuesday’s loss with a bruised tailbone and without him, the Raps are nowhere near the team that has put together a 28-11 record. The point spread will be directly tied to his health for this matchup.