NFL Playoff Odds 2019: AFC, NFC Vegas Lines for Wild Card and Super Bowl

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Home-field advantage is valuable in the eyes of the oddsmakers when it comes to setting postseason lines. 

All four home teams playing in the Wild Card Round enter as favorites, but only two of them have spreads in their favor of three points or more. 

In the last two years, six of the eight home teams won on Wild Card Weekend, but three years ago all four road teams came out on top.

Home-field advantage is also important to consider when looking at the early Super Bowl odds, as all but one No. 1 seed advanced to the title tilt in the last three years. 

Based off that trend, your wagers should be in favor of New Orleans and Kansas City, but there are a few other intriguing teams worth looking at before you lock in your bet. 

                              

Wild-Card Schedule and Odds (via OddsShark)

All Times ET. Picks against the spread in bold.

Saturday, January 5

Indianapolis at Houston (-1.5) (4:35 p.m., ESPN/ABC) 

Seattle at Dallas (-1.5) (8:15 p.m. Fox) 

           

Sunday, January 6

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore (-3) (1:05 p.m., CBS) 

Philadelphia at Chicago (-6) (4:40 p.m., NBC) 

                      

The betting lines for each of the four wild-card games fluctuated a bit since they were released Sunday. 

The most recent change comes in the early Sunday game, as Baltimore is back up to a three-point favorite after the spread fell as low as 1.5 points in favor of John Harbaugh's team.

There's plenty going against the Los Angeles Chargers to understand why the line would bounce back in Baltimore's direction.

The Chargers are playing in the dreaded early Sunday window for a west coast team, and there were some concerns about running back Melvin Gordon. 

Gordon quashed any worries about his status Wednesday, as he confirmed to NBC San Diego's Fernando Ramirez that he'll be playing. 

"I feel good, man. I'm ready to roll," Gordon said. 

Gordon's health plus the return of tight end Hunter Henry, who is expected to play, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, could shift the spread more as the game inches closer. 

Sarah Warnock/Associated Press

In the Chargers' eight road games, in which they went 7-1, the average margin of victory was 10.8 points

The lone road loss suffered by Anthony Lynn's team was by 12 points at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. 

With the Chargers ready to avenge a 12-point home loss in Week 16 to the Ravens, they're an intriguing pick, but Baltimore is 6-1 in its last seven games and won its last four home games. 

The Ravens will most likely cover if they win, as just two of their 10 victories were by three points or fewer. 

The most intriguing spread of Wild Card Weekend comes from the final contest of the four-game slate, as Chicago has held firm as a six-point favorite. 

Matt Nagy's team is 7-1 at Soldier Field, with the lone loss coming to the New England Patriots in Week 7.

Chicago's defense concedes an average of 17.5 points per game at home, while Philadelphia scored 21 points per game in seven true road games. 

Those numbers suggest it will be a low-scoring affair, which means you'll have to use your judgement to trust either the Bears to win by a touchdown or for the Eagles to cover while losing or win outright.

Saturday's spreads are so tight that it makes sense to pick your winner and dabble on money lines as well. 

With lines as low as 1.5 points in both Houston and Dallas, the majority of the bettors on all four teams are taking the team they think will win. 

                       

Super Bowl Odds (via OddsShark)

New Orleans (+240; Bet $100 to win $240) 

Los Angeles Rams (+425) 

Kansas City (+470) 

New England (+650) 

Chicago (+675) 

Baltimore (+1300) 

Los Angeles Chargers (+1500) 

Dallas (+2500) 

Houston (+2500) 

Seattle (+2800) 

Indianapolis (+3000) 

Philadelphia (+3300) 

                

There's still good value in betting on any of the 12 playoff teams to win the Super Bowl. 

Because there's no clear-cut favorite with dominant odds, it's worth taking a flier on franchises with higher odds. 

Philadelphia sitting at +3300 is worth a small bet because of the December winning streak that it put together behind quarterback Nick Foles, which is similar to the run it went on a year ago. 

Seattle is even more intriguing at +2800, as the Seahawks carry Super Bowl experience into the postseason and possesses a strong defense that not many people are talking about. 

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

If you trust Houston, Indianapolis or Dallas to win four postseason games, they're worth the risk with high odds as well. 

If Houston beats Indianapolis, it has to travel to New England, which doesn't inspire a ton of confidence, while Dallas faces a difficult wild-card matchup with Seattle that could scare bettors away from a futures bet. 

As for the teams with the best odds, Chicago is an enticing option because of how well its defense played and the success it had against potential divisional-round opponent Los Angeles in the regular season. 

Then there's the Patriots, who can never be counted out this time of year, as they stand two games away from the Super Bowl.

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Co. won't show any fear at home against Houston, or whichever opponent arises out of the Wild Card Round, and they certainly won't be afraid of Arrowhead Stadium if they face Kansas City in the AFC Championship. 

Over in the NFC, home-field advantage means more because New Orleans is usually reliable inside the Superdome. 

Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber season, but he'll enter the divisional round with two weeks of rest, which may throw off the Saints' rhythm and set them back a bit.

If you subscribe to that theory and don't believe in the Bears, then the Rams have to be your pick out of the NFC. 

                    

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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