NFL Wild-Card Weekend wagering trends, odds: Bettors mixed on totals; recent history points toward unders winning round

There is no clear betting trend at Caesars Sportsbook regarding totals on Wild-Card Weekend but recent history hints at Unders winning the round.
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During the NFL regular season, Unders dominated with a record of 146-124-2 via Caesars Sportsbook closing numbers. Yet of the six Wild-Card Weekend games, five of them are taking Over leans at the book, although on the money wagered it's an even split. Know this: In the past five postseasons, the Under has hit in 63.6 percent of Wild-Card Weekend games.

"People are more willing to bet on Overs again now that it's the playoffs. All the teams that are in the playoffs are good teams, and when you have two good teams playing each other, a lot of people are looking for high scoring. When it's bad teams, people think Unders," said Adam Pullen, Assistant Director of Trading at Caesars Sportsbook.

Seven of the top eight scoring teams in the regular season are in the playoffs; the only one of the eight not to make it was the Los Angeles Chargers (27.9 ppg), and they likely would have been in if not for a questionable timeout called by Coach Brandon Staley in a Week 18 overtime loss at the Raiders.

Meanwhile, of the top four scoring defenses this season, only two teams are in: Buffalo (17.0 ppg) and New England (17.8). Their game Saturday night in Buffalo will mark the first time ever that the top two scoring defenses face off in a Wild-Card round game. It's going to be bitterly cold in Buffalo and the total of 44 points is the lowest of the six games. Thus far, 64 percent of tickets are on the Under but 62 percent of money on the Over.

"It's going to be very cold in Buffalo," Pullen said. "It doesn't make sense to me why there are so many night games scheduled in Buffalo late in the year, the later in the day the colder it's going to be. People think cold and they think Unders for the most part. But these teams are used to playing in the cold. As long as there's no wind, these teams should be fine. The majority of the money has been on the Over so far, but that could be sharp players trying to drive the line up to come back on the Under later. This wouldn't be the first time they set up something up to pound later in the week when the limits are higher."

Only two games are taking a double-lean on the total and both are on the Over: 49 points in Saturday's Raiders-Bengals matchup and 51 points in Sunday's 49ers-Cowboys game.

"I'm not surprised this game has gotten mostly Over action," Pullen said of Las Vegas-Cincinnati. "The Bengals' offensive skill players are pretty phenomenal. The Raiders can put up points on their best day, but their production has gone down since midway through the season. Before their last game against the Chargers, they scored 23, 17, 16, 9 and 15. But the Bengals are going to hold a lot of weight from their recent offensive performances, and that's what is probably driving most of the interest on the Over."

The most money wagered on the Under is Monday night's Cardinals-Rams showdown with 88 percent leaning that way, but 73 percent of tickets are on the Over 49.5 points. Both regular-season matchups between the NFC West rivals saw at least 53 points scored. 

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