Bookmaker's Corner: NFL Wild Card Betting Lines & Odds
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 1/6/2010
The thinking over at Bodog Sportsbook is that the first round of the NFL playoffs is going to be a tight one, folks. Of the four games scheduled for this weekend’s wildcard betting, the biggest pointspread we opened with at Bodog was Dallas by 4 over Philadelphia.
The Cowboys made great strides this December to dispel the notion that they can’t play when it counts. Besides ending New Orleans’ perfect season in Week 15, the defense pitched consecutive shutouts versus the Redskins and Eagles.
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Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is on fire, while Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb has looked extremely average in both games between the two teams this season.
That said, we expect a flood of Dallas money for the rematch with the Eagles.
Your other NFC wildcard matchup is a tough one. The Green Bay Packers hammered the Cards, 33-7, on Sunday in Glendale. Then again, Arizona rested their starters.
We opened with the Cardinals by 3 and I expect we’ll draw fairly even action on both sides. Arizona was a disappointing 4-4 at home this season but didn’t make it to the Super Bowl last season for nothing. The Cards also have the experience advantage in this one, particularly with Kurt Warner at quarterback.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers will be making his playoff debut on the road, and even though he’s been one of the best QB’s this season, it’s a different story come playoff time.
Also worth noting, however, is the Packers’ record away from Lambeau. Not counting Sunday’s glorified preseason game, Green Bay went a modest 4-3 on the road, the four victories coming against St. Louis, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. Combined record of those four teams: 15-49.
As far as the AFC wildcards go, I expect the handle for the New England-Baltimore matchup (opening at Pats -3.5) to outweigh what we’ll see when the New York Jets visit Cincinnati. Admittedly, the book might be at risk to lose the most in the lower-profile game. But we’ll see, I guess.
We opened Jets +3 and then quickly had to adjust the payout on the Bengals to +110 to encourage more Cincinnati action. You know I’ll be watching this one…
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