Extreme Weather Impacting Betting Lines on Wild Card Weekend

NFL Wild Card Line Movements: Totals Plummeting in KC, Buffalo

As we turn our attention to the NFL playoffs, it’s time we assess the betting lines. There’s been some decent movement on the board ahead of Saturday’s kickoffs, especially in Kansas City and Buffalo, where weather significantly impacts play.

Ahead of this weekend’s games, bettors should consider following some notable NFL Wild Card line movements.

Dolphins logo Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs logo

Day/Time:
Opening Total: 47.5 Points
Current Total: 43 Points

The wind chill is expected to approach -30 degrees in Kansas City, making this one of the coldest NFL games on record. Frigid temperatures generally aren’t conducive to a lot of scoring.

As such, the total has seen plenty of movement. It quickly dropped to 43.5 from its opening number of 47.5 and fell as low as 42.5 before trending a bit back in the other direction. As of Friday morning, it’d settled at 43.

Miami led the NFL in yardage (401.3/game) and was second in scoring (29.2) but hasn’t operated with the same efficiency of late. The Dolphins averaged just 15 points over their last three games and haven’t surpassed 30 since Week 13 against Washington. Safe to say, this isn’t the same team that exploded for 70 against Denver.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs — who have climbed from 2.5-point favorites to -4.5 — finished just 15th in scoring (21.8) and went Under the total a league-high 12 times. That includes a 21-14 victory over Miami in Germany. Bettors should consider that when assessing the NFL Wild Card line movements.

Steelers logo Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills Bills logo

Day/Time:
Opening Total: 43 Points
Current Total: 34.5 Points

Forecasts predict below-freezing temperatures with winds gusting up to 50 mph in Buffalo. On top of the wind, they’re also looking at potentially seven inches of snow.

Both teams are accustomed to playing in wintry weather, but these conditions would be extreme. Although there’s been some chatter on social media about the game being moved, the NFL reportedly shot down those rumors.

The weather is clearly affecting NFL Wild Card line movements, as the total opened at 43 and has since plummeted to 34.5, the lowest number on the board. Despite that, according to current NFL odds, the Bills remain heavy 9.5-point favorites.

The Bills are explosive offensively, but to what extent will they be forced to alter their game plan? Notably, both teams went Under the total 11 times this season, matching the second-highest rate in the NFL (64.7%).

Packers logo Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Cowboys logo

Day/Time:
Opening Total: 47.5 Points
Current Total: 50.5 Points

Dallas led the NFL in scoring (29.9) and was a buzzsaw at home, going 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS. It averaged a whopping 37.3 points in those games, including topping 40 points in four straight following the Week 7 bye. The Cowboys also went 5-3 against the Over/Under at AT&T Stadium.

Meanwhile, Green Bay is averaging 27.6 points during its three-game win streak and has gone Over the total in seven of its nine games away from Lambeau Field. Jordan Love has helped fuel the Packers’ resurgence in the NFL standings, passing for 4,159 yards and 32 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions after replacing Aaron Rodgers. Over the last four games, Love has thrown for nine touchdowns and no interceptions.

A majority of bettors are anticipating a shootout, as this total has gone from 47.5 to 50.5 after climbing as high as 51. That’s the second-highest total on the NFL playoff picture bracket behind Rams/Lions (51.5).

Eagles logo Eagles at Buccaneers Buccaneers logo

Day/Time:
Opening Total: Eagles -2
Current Total: Eagles -3

The Eagles are just 1-5 over their last six games and haven’t covered since an overtime win over Buffalo in Week 12. It’s been a stunning fall for the defending NFC champions, but a majority of bettors seem willing to overlook those recent struggles. Philadelphia opened as a 2-point favorite and is up to -3, one of two road favorites this weekend besides Cleveland (-2) over Houston.

Philadelphia was banged up in its Week 18 loss to the Giants, losing quarterback Jalen Hurts (finger), A.J. Brown (knee), and guard Cam Jurgens (eye) to injuries, among others. They were already without receiver DeVonta Smith (ankle) and running back D’Andre Swift (illness). That said, Nick Sirianni has expressed optimism about his team being closer to the whole for the playoffs.

Philadelphia bullied Tampa Bay 25-11 on the road in Week 3, rushing for 201 yards while controlling the time of possession for over 38 minutes. But so much has changed over the last few months that it’s difficult to put too much stock into that matchup.

For NFL betting news, odds, analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine


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