Cash goes to Steelers, Bucs

The NFL wild card weekend is fast approaching and money is pouring into all six matchups at BetMGM.

In four of the six games, both the betting audience and the Sharps are on the side of the favorites. In particular, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers will receive the vast majority of bets as of Thursday.

Tom Brady and the Bucs opened as seven-point favorites but are now up to -8 against the Washington Football Team, the 7-9 NFC East champions. While 78% of the bets are on the Tampa side, 88% of the money is on the bucs to cover the eight point spread.

There’s a bigger discrepancy in the Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers game. Playing in the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, the Browns are grappling with COVID-19 issues that are keeping head coach Kevin Stefanski and some celebrity players from being available for the game.

As a result, the Steelers have gone from 4.5-point favorites to six-point favorites over the course of the week. Despite the line movement, the Steelers got 85% of the bets and a whopping 89% of the money.

The other favorites that are attracting the most bets this weekend are the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks.

The Bills will host the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday afternoon and are favored with 6.5 points. The bills, which enter the postseason with an 11-5 record against the spread in 2020, have received 75% of the bets and 71% of the money.

The Seahawks are favored at home against NFC West opponents Los Angeles Rams with 3.5 points. The point spread opened at 4.5 but has fallen by one point. Seattle got 69% of the bets, but the grip splits are much tighter. Only 54% of the money was received in Seattle.

“This year’s wild card round has an unusually large number of large spreads, with all six games currently above a field goal. Public money is the most favorite, BetMGM needs a few underdogs to win, ”said Matt Cosgriff, director of trading at BetMGM.

The story goes on

Titans, bears popular outsiders

In the other two games, both the audience and the Sharps are underdogs from Thursday.

In Sunday’s first game, the Baltimore Ravens are 3.5-point favorites on the road against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans upset the Ravens in last year’s division round. This year the weather is on the titans, this time as an outsider. So far, 60% of the bets and 63% of the money are on Tennessee.

The other underdog that bettors love is the Chicago Bears, who score 10 points on the road against the New Orleans Saints. It was a spread that opened at 8.5 but is now in double digits. The bears received 61% of the bets and 60% of the money at BetMGM.

The Bears and Saints faced each other in Chicago on November 1, and the Bears covered the spread as an underdog by 5.5 points. The Saints won 26-23 in extra time.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, 22, rushes to a touchdown against the Houston Texans in Houston in the second half of an NFL soccer game on Sunday, January 3, 2021. (AP Photo / Sam Craft)

Sharp eyes in two games

In the data BetMGM released on Thursday, there are two games that really stand out from the bigger picture.

While 73% of the bets placed on the over in the Titans Ravens game are 69% of the money on the under. The total in this game is currently 54.5.

Similarly, in the Saints vs. Bears game, the public is betting over 47.5, but more money comes down to the under. Currently 64% of the bets at BetMGM went over, but 60% of the money went under.

Another reason for this is that the Washington v Tampa Bay game attracts a significant amount of money. While 68% of the total stakes for this game are on the bottom, a whopping 88% of the money is on the bottom. The number opened at 46.5 but has fallen to 44.5.

Other games:

  • Bills vs. Colts (opened: 52.5, currently: 51.5): 85% of the tickets are over, 78% of the tickets are over

  • Seahawks vs. Rams (opened: 41.5, currently: 42.5): 50% of the tickets are over, 58% of the tickets are over

  • Steelers vs. Browns (opened: 45.5, currently: 47.5): 64% of tickets under, 72% of tickets under

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