NFL Wild Card Weekend Betting Guide

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2009

Vegas Predicting Another Season of Road Warriors

In two of the last three seasons, a wild card team ran the table on the road and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Las Vegas has not forgotten. The NFL is not the NBA (thank God). Road teams have shown that they can win against heavy odds.

This season, the NFL Wild Card round sports four games where the visiting team is favored. That does not necessarily mean these teams will win, of course. Some of them will....but which ones..?

Atlanta (-2) at Arizona (o/u 51)

The Falcons are the sexy pick here. And why not? The Cardinals have failed just about every major test thrown at them this season, and ended the year on a sour note. The Falcs have soared with rookie Matt Ryan at QB, RB Michael Turner and a formidable defense.

The skinny........earlier in the season, the Cards would have been seven-point faves....the Cardinals have not sold this game out, meaning they really don't have much a home field advantage. That being said, Atlanta has not been a great road team, either. This will be a close one. The line started at one and has climbed to two. This is a game where I see the home team prevailing. The game will come down to the final seconds, so I suggest you take the points with Arizona and the over.

Indianapolis (-1) at San Diego (o/u 51)

The game is actually pick'em in many sportsbooks, but the LV Hilton is favoring the Colts.  Both teams are red hot and this should be a great game to watch.  The Colts, winners of nine straight, won in SD on November 23, 23-20. The Chargers won their last four and seemed to have worked out their internal problems.

The skinny..........The Colts were derailed at home last season by the Chargers, so there is a revenge factor here....I see this game playing out very much the same as the first meeting.  Both offenses are flying high, but defense wins in the post season, and that's where the Colts have the advantage.  Take Indy and the under.

Baltimore (-3.5) at Miami (o/u 37.5)

Two first-year head coaches clash in an unlikely matchup of two doormats from last season. Needless to say, a lot has changed.  The setting of this game matters not. Miami has a tough time selling out negating any home field advantage they might have hoped for. They have been winning by employing unusual tactics on offense and not turning the ball over. The Ravens did not fall for those tactics when they visited here in October, winning handily, 27-13.

The skinny..........that half a point is always an indicator to take the points. In this case, considering the previous meeting and the manner in which the two teams finished up, you should bypass that axiom.  The Ravens are playing at a high level, winning nine of their last 11. Their only two losses were to the Giants on the road and the controversy-filled 13-9 game vs Pittsburgh. This is a no-brainer. Ravens and over.

Philadelphia (-3) at Minnesota (o/u 37.5)

The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl, so I'll keep this short and sweet. They have everyone healthy and are playing their best football in years. The Vikings are a solid team, but with an inexperienced QB (Tavaris Jackson) this game will likely be ugly. In case you don't know what I'm referring to....Philly DC Jim Johnson has a history of confusing, perplexing and battering young QBs.  

The skinny.......barring something unforeseen, the Eagles should win this game by no less than 10 points.  In that case, throw a flier on the over while you're at it.