Even though three of the six NFL Wild Card Weekend games are in potentially wintry-weather cities without domes, the forecasts look good other than a bit chilly. That could help explain why bettors at William Hill Sportsbook are leaning Over the point total on tickets sold in every single game, although four of the six are taking Under leans on money wagered. The top Over game is Browns at Steelers on Sunday, while the biggest Under game is Rams vs. Seahawks on Saturday. Overs barely won the regular season, going 126-125-5 (50.2 percent).
Los Angeles at Seattle has the lowest total on the board at 42.5, and the weather forecast in the Pacific Northwest is a partly cloudy with a high of 45 and nearly zero percent of precipitation. The Rams still don't know if they will have starting quarterback Jared Goff after he missed Week 17 due to thumb surgery – Goff could be a game-time call.
That and the fact these teams played two low-scoring games during the season – both games went Under the total -- are surely why bettors are hammering the Under with 76 percent of money wagered. That's the highest Under lean of any game. Rams Unders were 12-4 in the regular season, second-best in the NFL.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh is the Sunday night game and the total is set at 47.5, up from an open of 46.5. For the 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff, the forecast is for partly cloudy skies and temperatures around 32 degrees with almost nil chance of snow. A total of 62 percent of tickets sold are on the Over, which isn't the highest among the six games, but the 77 percent Over lean on money wagered is the highest.
"The movement on that total makes no sense to me," said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. "It's supposed to be nice and chilly in Pittsburgh that night, and these are two teams that know each other well. It wouldn't be my choice to bet it over, but obviously some professionals think there's going to be some scoring."
It is interesting that bettors are jumping so heavily on the Over considering the Browns will be without their head coach and offensive play-caller in Kevin Stefanski and their facility was closed all week. In addition, the Steelers are a fantastic defensive team and led the NFL with 56 sacks.
The only other game taking an Over lean on both the tickets sold (again, all six games are there) and money wagered is Bears at Saints on Sunday. A total of 65 percent of tickets sold is on Over 47 points and 53 percent of money wagered. That's in a dome so no weather worries there.
Wild-Card Weekend kickoff weather forecasts
Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET: Colts at Bills -- Partly cloudy, 28 degrees, zero percent chance of precipitation, little wind.
Saturday, 4:40 p.m. ET: Rams at Seahawks – Partly cloudy, 45 degrees, two percent chance of precipitation, little wind.
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET: Bucs at Washington – Clear skies, 36 degrees, zero percent chance of precipitation, little wind.
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET: Ravens at Titans – Partly cloudy, 35 degrees, five percent chance of precipitation, little wind.
Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET: Bears at Saints – DOME
Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET: Browns at Steelers – Partly cloudy, 32 degrees, one percent chance of precipitation, little wind.
The SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up almost $7,900 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago. It is a sizzling 23-13 on top-rated NFL picks this season, returning well over $800. The model also enters the 2021 NFL Playoffs on an incredible 119-77 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.