After an exciting December of playoff battles, the stage has finally been set as just 12 of the NFL’s 32 teams remain. Wild Card Weekend begins this Saturday, and the four games will narrow the field from 12 teams down to eight. Here are two of the top plays for this weekend’s betting action.
Cincinnati +4.5 at Houston at 5Dimes
When you look at the season as a whole, Houston was more successful than Cincinnati with a 12-4 SU (9-7 ATS) record compared to Cincinnati’s 10-6 SU (9-6-1 ATS). But recent form tells a very different story.
Cincinnati finished the season off 7-1 SU and ATS including impressive wins over the New York Giants, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Houston meanwhile finished the season 1-3 SU and ATS with three double-digit losses.
The Bengals have the defense to contain the Texans, especially if Matt Schaub continues to struggle as he has over the last month or so. In a matchup between two fairly evenly matched teams, getting so many points with the hot hand seems like the way to go.
Green Bay -7.5 vs. Minnesota at Bodog
Over the last two games against the Minnesota Vikings, including their game last week in Minnesota, the Green Bay Packers have had an Adrian Peterson problem. The star running back gashed Green Bay for 210 yards in a 23-14 loss in Green Bay earlier this season and 199 yards in last Sunday’s 37-34 win.
The change in venue is significant. The Packers are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over their last seven home games against the Minnesota Vikings, including three straight wins both SU and ATS. As great as Adrian Peterson is, Christian Ponder leads the league’s least effective passing attack (just 171.9 passing yards per game), and it is hard to see him having a big day at Lambeau Field in January.
Also, as hard as his stats make it to believe, Adrian Peterson is human. Last week’s season-high 34 carries and the hits that came with them had to take their toll on Peterson’s body, and outside of the Dome in the brisk cold this Sunday those hits are only going to feel harder. This isn’t to say that he won’t be a major factor, but don’t expect him to be quite as dominant this week.
This will likely be a close game in the first half, but look for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to eventually pull away and win this one by double digits.
Lines available on the other two playoff games this weekend (both at Bet365) are the Indianapolis Colts +6.5 visiting the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks -3 visiting the Washington Redskins.