NFL Betting Trends for Wild Card Weekend of 2021 NFL Playoffs – See Who the Public Is Betting

Ryan Tannehill hands off to Derrick Henry
Ryan Tannehill hands off to Derrick Henry. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
  • The NFL playoffs kick off Saturday, January 9 with Wild Card Weekend
  • The Bills vs Colts game is the most lopsided in terms of money bet
  • See the breakdown of bets and money percentages for all six games this weekend

If your New Year’s resolution was to arm yourself with NFL betting trends before laying any of your hard-earned money, you’ve come to the right place. (Hopefully you haven’t already made any bets, though!)

I’ve disclosed the breakdown of bet and money percentages for all three bet types (against the spread, moneyline, and totals) below so you can decide whether you want to tail or fade the public. As you may be aware, though, betting trends are changing on the fly. So if you want the most accurate numbers for each game closer to kickoff, follow me on Twitter @SBD_Matt.

You can use the links below to quickly skip to the game you’re after, or take a scroll through all six. (Each game will receive an update below within an hour of kickoff.)

Colts vs Bills | Rams vs Seahawks | Bucs vs WFT | Ravens vs Titans | Bears vs Saints | Browns vs Steelers

Colts vs Bills Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Indianapolis Colts 22% / 17% 21% / 11% Ov 78% / 81%
Buffalo Bills 78% / 83% 79% / 89% Un 22% / 19%

Depending where you looked, this line opened at either Bills -6.5 or Bills -7. Despite no team having a bigger percentage of the ATS money on them than Buffalo (83%), we’ve seen the spread hold / move a half-point in Indianapolis’ favor based on your book.

We know sportsbooks fear sharps. They’re obviously fearing them here with the spread hanging around a key number (7).

We’re seeing some reverse line movement on the total, as well. We saw this total open at 52.5 and is currently down to 51, despite 81% of the over/under money being on the over. It’s the most lopsided split of totals money this week, as well. The reverse line movement is likely due to sportsbooks anticipating money coming in on the under once everyone realizes how cold it’s going to be in Orchard Park.

Rams vs Seahawks Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Los Angeles Rams 22% / 20% 27% / 17% Ov 47% / 45%
Seattle Seahawks 78% / 80% 73% / 83% Un 53% / 55%

The spread opened Seahawks -4.5 in this one, but has slowly come down to just three. We’ve been waiting all week to learn who will start at quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff or John Wolford. Goff had surgery on his thumb after Week 16, leaving Wolford to start in Week 17.

If Goff sits out, you can expect even more public money to pour in on the Seahawks. This is already the second-most lopsided split of ATS money, with 80% being on the Seahawks. The significant reverse line movement we’ve seen in this one signals that there must be some sharp money on LA.

This is one of two games in Wild Card Weekend where there’s more public money on the under than the over – 55% vs 45%. The total in this game is set at just 42.5, by far the lowest total of the week.

Tampa Bay vs Washington Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 76% / 78% 85% / 94% Ov 56% / 48%
Washington Football Team 24% / 22% 15% / 6% Un 44% / 52%

The spread in Tampa Bay vs Washington has been on the move all week. It opened as low as Tampa Bay -7, moved to 8.5 by Monday morning after money poured in on the Bucs, reached a high of nine, was back down to eight last night, and now sits at 8.5/9.

Tampa Bay is just one of two road teams favored this weekend, and they’re the heaviest road favorite on Wild Card Weekend since the Steelers went into Denver as 7.5-point favorites against Tim Tebow’s Broncos.

Watch for this one to continue moving rapidly, though. If Alex Smith does miss this game, forcing Taylor Heinicke under center, I expect we’ll see the public hammer Tom Brady and company even harder. The 78% split of ATS money will soar above 80% in this case.

This is the second game this weekend where the public is backing the under, with 52% of totals money. The total opened at 46.5, and currently sits at 45/45.5, depending where you look. This is the second lowest total of the weekend, and the closest split of over/under money.

Ravens vs Titans Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Baltimore Ravens 53% / 61% 41% / 52% Ov 69% / 65%
Tennessee Titans 47% / 39% 59% / 48% Un 31% / 35%

All  NFL betting trends for Sunday’s Wild Card games have been updated on January 10.

This was another game that saw the opening line move very quickly. The Ravens opened as 3-point road favorites over the Titans, and were 3.5-point favorites before we went to bed Sunday (January 3) night. But we’re back down to three now and money is very evenly split on the game.

This is by far the closest game in terms of ATS money splits. The second road favorite of the week, the Baltimore Ravens, are seeing 52% of the money bet against the spread.

This game has the highest total of the week, opening and holding at 54.5. Despite the big number, 65% of the money is still on the over.

Bears vs Saints Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Chicago Bears 44% / 37% 19% / 8% Ov 65% / 66%
New Orleans Saints 56% / 63% 81% / 92% Un 35% / 64%

The worst opening line of the week came from Chicago vs New Orleans. One sportsbook jumped the gun a little and opened the Saints as 7-point favorites. Within a matter of minutes, the spread had moved to 8.5. It currently sits at 9.5/10, depending where you look, and is the largest spread of Wild Card Weekend.

The public is backing the heavily favored Saints, though, as 63% of the money bet against the spread is on New Orleans. With no official word yet on Alvin Kamara’s availability, we could see even more public money come in on the favorites if/when it’s announced Kamara will suit up.

The total in this one opened at 48.5 and has come down to 47/47.5 based on your sportsbook. This is another example of reverse line movement, as 66% of the over/under money is on the over right now.

Browns vs Steelers Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Cleveland Browns 33% / 26% 35% / 19% Ov 56% / 55%
Pittsburgh Steelers 67% / 74% 65% / 81% Un 44% / 45%

We’ve seen the Cleveland vs Pittsburgh spread move pretty dramatically after opening at Steelers -4.5. The line had come down to 3.5 by Monday morning, but was quickly sent the other direction when Cleveland was said to have some positive COVID tests.

The line had moved back to its original 4.5 before Kevin Stafanski, a top candidate in NFL Coach of the Year odds, was found to be one of the Browns members who tested positive. Stefanski has been ruled unable to participate in the game, leaving the play-calling duties to Alex Van Pelt. As a result, the spread reached 6 within a matter of two hours of the news breaking.

The spread still sits at 6 at some books, but has gone up to 6.5 at others. It’s crazy to think that a 77-23% split of ATS money (in favor of Pittsburgh) is just the fourth-most lopsided of the weekend.

The total opened at 47 and remains at that number at some books, while moving up to 47.5 at other sportsbooks. The public is having a little trouble picking a side on the total, though. With just 55% of the money on the over, it’s the second closest split of over/under money we’ve seen this weekend.

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