Will the road teams be the story of the NFL divisional round?

SugarHouse Sportsbook customers, who backed away from home teams during Wild Card Weekend, made out well.

The Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans, who were both underdogs, and Seattle Seahawks all prevailed.

The Houston Texans were the lone home winner.

They play at the Kansas City Chiefs (3:05 p.m. Sunday) and will take the field as a 9.5-point underdog. All four home teams enter the weekend as favorites:

  • Vikings +7 at San Francisco 49ers (4:35 p.m. Saturday)
  • Titans +9.5 at Baltimore Ravens (8:15 p.m. Saturday)
  • Seahawks +4 at Green Bay Packers (6:40 p.m. Sunday)

But this is the playoffs where backing the favorite is far from a guaranteed win.

Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, the parent company of PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers, said the first weekend of the NFL playoff season was “everything we wanted it to be.”

“Betting interest in the Eagles-Seahawks game was strong and the game went down to the final two minutes. The losses by New England and New Orleans show how balanced the playoffs are and that the underdog teams are playing very well.

“This has set up a compelling second round of the playoffs and we are excited for it.”

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NFL divisional round betting trends

Rush Street shared an updated betting breakdown on Friday afternoon.

The 49ers are receiving 63% of the moneyline tickets and 81% of the handle. As far as the spread goes, 58% of the tickets and 56% of the spread handle is on the Vikings.

Here is a closer look at some of the other action:

  • The Ravens have 71% of the moneyline tickets and 95% of the handle against the Titans.
  • The Chiefs are receiving 75% of the moneyline wagering.
  • Green Bay bettors have accounted for 65% of the spread handle.

Eagles fall short of expectations

Of course, the eight remaining teams are looking to punch a ticket to Miami. That will be decided next weekend.

However, the Super Bowl betting picture looks quite different from when training camps opened.

The Eagles winning the big game seemed like a realistic possibility. They were listed at +500, good enough for the third-best odds on the board.

If only there were an over/under on the number of injured players. It includes Carson Wentz getting knocked out of his first career playoff game against Seattle with a concussion.

Backup Josh McCown did complete 18 of 24 passes, but none of them were touchdowns. Eagles lost 17-9.

Is it the end of the Patriots dynasty?

Bettors who backed the Patriots (+315) at the start of the season have losing tickets, too.

This is the first time since 2010 that Tom Brady and crew have failed to make it to the AFC Championship game. Three of their six Super Bowl titles came over that same time.

Of course, there was that 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

This time around, the Titans spoiled the championship plans, 20-13.

A shift in Super Bowl odds

With the Pats, Eagles, and Saints (+400 in August) all out,  there is some fresh intrigue with the remaining eight teams.

The Chiefs (+400) are the lone franchise listed among the early favorites still in the hunt. There is still time to place another Super Bowl bet.

Here are the current odds from SugarHouse:

  • Ravens +200
  • 49ers +325
  • Chiefs +350
  • Packers +800
  • Seahawks +1200
  • Vikings +1400
  • Texans +2800
  • Titans +2800

The Ravens, winners of 12 straight games, are certainly the NFL’s hottest team right now and looking like a smart play. Like last weekend, there is always the possibility of an upset.

Stetz said the second week of the playoffs should be an exciting follow-up to last week. In other words, it’s another week where things could go either way:

“How much momentum will the first-round winners be able to carry over now that they play the top teams that earned the first-round byes?

“The underdogs surprised a lot of people last week. Can they do that again or are teams like the Ravens, Packers, 49ers and Chiefs just too strong?  We’ll find out.”

Current odds for NFL divisional playoff games

Odds highlighted in green have changed since you last viewed this table.
Bill Gelman

About

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.