Betting public appears torn as divisional round approaches

The betting trends ahead of the NFL's divisional-round playoff games have taken shape with revealing that while the big-money wagers are leaning toward the favorites, individual bettors like the underdogs.

Adding to the balanced betting nature of the wagering is that three division champions -- the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots -- all were eliminated in the wild-card round, adding more credence to the chances of underdogs in this postseason.

Roll in the fact that two of the four games in the opening weekend went into overtime and the perception of a well-balanced field has only grown.

--The San Francisco 49ers are a 7-point favorite at home against the Minnesota Vikings and have received 63 percent of the money line tickets, and 81 percent of the handle.

But the Vikings were able to handle the New Orleans Saints last week as 7 1/2-point underdogs and that has not been forgotten. The Vikings have 58 percent of the spread tickets and 56 percent of the spread handle. The Vikings had just 16 percent of the money line selection last weekend, but have 37 percent this time around.

--The most heavily backed team of the weekend is the Baltimore Ravens, who are 9 1/2-point favorites over the visiting Tennessee Titans. The Ravens have 71 percent of the money line tickets and 95 percent of the handle. Baltimore also has 66 percent of the spread handle.

The Ravens still stand as the overall Super Bowl favorite at +200, according to DraftKings, while the Texans and Titans are the longest shots on the board at +2800 each.

--The Kansas City Chiefs also are a 9 1/2-point favorite, holding their wide margin over the visiting Houston Texans. The Chiefs have received a total of 75 percent of the money line wagering.

The spread wagering tells a different story, though, with 52 percent of the tickets going to the Chiefs, as the Texans could have Will Fuller back from a groin injury this week. As for individual bets, the Chiefs have 69 percent of the spread handle.

--If betting tendencies are an indication, the best game of the weekend could come when the Seattle Seahawks visit the Green Bay Packers in a game that might be played following a heavy overnight snowstorm.

The Seahawks opened as 4-point underdogs, but actually have 55 percent of the money line tickets. But the money line volume tells a different story with 73 percent going to the Packers.

A total of 65 percent of the entire spread handle has gone to the Packers.

The Seahawks and Packers also have the only line movement of the week with the Packers now up to a 4 1/2-point favorite. As for playing in what is forecasted to be a high of 23 degrees, DraftKings lists an over/under for the game at 47.

--Field Level Media

About the Author