NFL Line Watch Wild Card Weekend

By: Art Aronson | Monday, January 1, 2018

Game to bet now

Atlanta at Los Angeles Rams (-5.5)

If you like the minus or plus 5.5, best take advantage now because this line could bounce around a bit.  It already has moved based on early cash coming in on the Rams.  Forget Sunday's loss to San Francisco - LA was locked into a home playoff game this coming weekend and rested everyone of consequence.  Atlanta, which will be making its second trip to the coast this season (Week 11 they beat Seattle), needs to find its offense - and quick.  The Rams scored more points than anyone this season, and the Falcons come into this one after averaging only 17 a game during the month of December.  Rams backers might want to jump on this one before the line swells even more.

Game to wait on

Buffalo at Jacksonville (-7)

It took a late choke by the Ravens, but Buffalo has ended a 17-year playoff drought.  The question now for the Bills' giddy fans is whether this will be a one-and-done outlier, or can Tyrod Taylor & Co. actually advance in the post-season? Buffalo will more than have its hands full against a Jacksonville defense that gave up the fewest points and yards per game in the AFC this season.  Taylor is unlikely to move the ball up and down the field against the Jags' secondary, so it's vital that the Bills do at least some damage on the ground. That's where it gets sticky.  The Bills' ground game is built around LeSean McCoy, and McCoy was last seen being carted off the field on Sunday with an ankle injury that will either sideline him or limit him against the Jags.  Might be a good idea to check McCoy's actual status later in the week before committing any cash to this game.

Total to watch

Carolina at New Orleans (48.5)

If this one seems familiar, it is.  These teams met in New Orleans early in December, and they combined for 52 points (31-21, Saints).  The way Drew Brees produces points at home and the way Carolina plays well on the road should bode well for both offenses, which combined for 99 points in the two games they played this season.  There's no evidence that either team's defense (the Panthers were only marginally better than the Saints in that category this season) is ready to hold the other under three scores.  Over bettors will no doubt be on this one early, and may force books to make an upward adjustment in the number.


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