Wild Card weekend is here, and if you want to be a big money winner these are the bets to place.
Let me start by saying that the best bets are sometimes the ones you don’t make. Bookmakers get paid a lot of money to be as accurate as possible with point spreads and under-overs. They want to avoid having bad lines that the sharp bettors (or simply “sharps”) can take advantage of. That said, I intentionally have stayed away from the two NFC playoff games this weekend. As much time as I spend on the Seattle vs. Dallas and Philadelphia vs. Chicago games, I can’t get a feel for the right bet. In that case, I stay away and advise you do the same.
Gamble your money wisely. There’s always a game to bet if you’re looking and both AFC playoff games provide strong opportunities.
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
This is the third match up between these two divisional rivals this season with the road team winning by three points on both occasions. Both teams have streaked this season. The Colts have stormed into the playoffs by winning nine of their past 10. Meanwhile, the Texans had a similar 9-1 streak beginning in September with their 37-34 win over the Colts. So we shouldn’t be surprised that the oddsmakers opened Houston up a 2.5 home field favorite which basically calls for an even game. The current line of Houston -1 shows that the market has moved in the Colts favor and we have to dig deeper to find out why,
Defensively, Houston has allowed two points less on average than its opponents typically score while the Colts allow 21.5 points vs offenses that score 20.6 on average. The advantage the Texans have on defense comes from a dominant run defense that allows nearly a full yard per rush less than their opponents average. But this doesn’t feel like a game that will be decided with the Colts run offense. Neither team sports an above average pass defense as both teams allow 7 yards per pass vs a schedule of offenses that would gain 6.6 on average.
Offensively, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson has had a very efficient year, throwing for 0.7 yards per pass more than his opponents allow. Therefore, the Texans should be able to move the ball and win the yardage battle when all is said and done. This game, however, may just come down to the Colts top five red zone scoring offense vs the Texans red zone defense,which ranks just 28th in scoring percentage. That could be the reason the market is siding with the Colts. I see a game where the Texans are kicking field goals while the Colts convert just enough touchdowns to pull out a close victory.
Pick: Colts +1