Five games wiseguys like on NFL Wild-Card Weekend

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The NFL regular season has come and gone. Overall, it was a profitable one for contrarian bettors as dogs finished 141-126 ATS (53%) and Unders finished 146-123 (54%). Home-field advantage isn't what it used to be, as road dogs finished 85-71 ATS (55%) and short road dogs + 6 or less finished 51-28 ATS (65%). Windy Unders 10 mph or more went 50-36 (65%).

Now the real fun begins with the playoffs. Historically, dogs have barked louder in the playoffs than in the regular season. Over the past decade, playoff dogs are 61-50 ATS (55%). Playoff dogs with a line move in their favor (think + 7 to + 6.5) have gone 28-8 ATS (78%). Playoff dogs playing a team that missed the postseason the previous year have gone 20-10 ATS (67%).

With these stats in mind, here are five Super Wild-Card Weekend games wise guys are targeting.

Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5, 49.5)

The Raiders (10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS) were once left for dead but won four straight down the stretch to sneak in as the No. 5 in the AFC. The Raiders just upset the Chargers 35-32, winning outright as 3-point home dogs. The Bengals (10-7 SU, 10-7 ATS) are the No. 4 seed and won the AFC North. Cincinnati rested its starters in Week 18, losing to the Browns 21-16 but covering as 6.5-point road dogs. This line opened with the Bengals as a 6.5-point home favorite. Respected money jumped on the Raiders plus the points, dropping the line from 6.5 to 5.5. As mentioned above, playoff dogs are 61-50 ATS (55%) over the past decade. Playoff dogs against teams who missed the playoffs the previous season are 20-10 ATS (67%). Playoff dogs with a line move in their favor are 28-8 ATS (78%). We've also seen some Over money show up, raising the total from 48.5 to 49.5. At BetMGM, the Over is receiving 89% of bets and 86% of money.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-4, 43)

These AFC East rivals trended in opposite directions down the stretch. The Patriots (10-7 SU, 10-7 ATS) lost three of their last four and just fell to the Dolphins 33-24, losing outright as 6-point road favorites. On the flip side, the Bills (11-6 SU, 9-6-2 ATS) ended the regular season with four straight wins, including a 27-10 victory over the Jets in the finale, covering as 16-point home favorites. This line opened with Buffalo listed as a 4.5-point home favorite. The recency-biased public is happy to lay the short number with the Bills at home, yet we've seen this line fall from 4.5 to 4. This signals some sharp reverse-line movement buying low on New England. Divisional dogs in the playoffs are 9-4 ATS (69%) over the past decade. The Pats also have value as a divisional dog in a low total game.

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (-3, 51)

The 49ers (10-7 SU, 9-8 ATS) went 7-2 down the stretch to earn the NFC’s No. 6 seed. San Francisco just upset the Rams 27-24, winning outright as a 3.5-point road dog. Similarly, the Cowboys (12-5 SU, 13-4 ATS) went 5-1 in their last six to win the AFC East and earn the No. 3 seed. Dallas crushed Philadelphia 51-26 in the finale, easily covering as a 6.5-point road dog. This line opened with Dallas as a 3-point home favorite. The public is all over the Cowboys as a short home favorite. However, this line has remained frozen at 3, signaling some liability on the road dog. Sharps may be waiting for a hook to pop on the 49ers (+ 3.5). Niners coach Kyle Shanahan is 25-18 ATS (58%) as a dog in his career. Playoff dogs against teams that missed the postseason the previous year are 20-10 ATS (67%) over the past decade.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5, 46.5)

The Steelers (9-7-1 SU, 8-9 ATS) needed a Week 18 miracle to sneak into the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 7 seed. Pittsburgh just upset Baltimore 16-13, winning outright as a 3-point road dog. The Chiefs (12-5 SU, 8-9 ATS) are the No. 2 seed and won the AFC West. Kansas City just edged the Broncos 28-24, failing to cover as 11.5-point road favorites. This line opened with the Chiefs listed as a 13-point home favorite. The line has fallen to 12.5, signaling some respected money grabbing the points. Playoff dogs with a line move in their favor are 28-8 ATS (78%) over the past decade. Sharps have also hit this Under, dropping the total from 48.5 to 46.5. If the total drops at least a point, the Under is 24-18 (57%) over the past decade. The forecast calls for mid-30s temperatures with 10 mph winds at Arrowhead. These teams met three weeks ago and the Chiefs won 36-10.

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-4, 49.5)

The Cardinals (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS) were once the darling of the NFL but stumbled down the stretch, going just 1-4 over their last five games. Arizona just fell to Seattle 38-30, losing outright as a 5.5-point home favorite. Meanwhile, the Rams (12-5 SU, 8-9 ATS) went 5-1 in their last six but lost to the 49ers 27-24 in the regular-season finale, losing outright as 3.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Los Angeles as a 4-point home favorite. Some books touched 4.5 and immediately got hit with Arizona money, dropping the line back to 4. The public is all over the Rams, yet we're looking at a virtual line freeze with Arizona plus the points. Divisional dogs in the playoffs are 9-4 ATS (69%) over the past decade.

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