For each of the past 17 weeks, avid NFL bettors have had up to 16 games to choose from when it came to placing their bets. With the start of the playoffs this weekend in the Wild Card Round, there are a total of 11 games left on the betting board to decide this season’s Super Bowl champion.
All eight division winners plus the two next best teams from each conference form the 12-team field. There are four games in the opening round, four more matchups in the divisional playoffs, two conference championships leading up to Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 2.
While the actual number of games left to bet on may be limited, the actual betting options at your favorite online sportsbooks have been expanded. The books know that the NFL playoffs is one of the biggest betting events of the year. They also know that the Super Bowl itself is the single biggest betting day of the year.
Even casual sports bettors get excited over the entire Super Bowl Derby leading up to the big game. Heading into the opening round this Saturday and Sunday, now is the time to formulate your overall NFL playoff betting strategy.
You should start with the basic betting lines for each game. Along with the pointspread and total line, the NFL moneyline becomes a popular option in the postseason. Most of the games are expected to be close, especially when you get to the division matchups and conference championship games. Taking the underdog straight-up on the moneyline offers a much better return that taking the underdog and the points at a straight 10 percent commission bet.
The closest game in this year’s Wild Card Round has the Seattle Seahawks set as two-point road favorites over the banged up Philadelphia Eagles. Seattle is coming off back-to-back losses to Arizona and San Francisco and it is 0-3-1 against the spread in its last four games.
The walking wounded in Philadelphia needed to win its last four games SU while covering in its last three to win the NFC East. Two points is not going to help the cause all that much this Sunday, so the higher +120 return on the Eagles’ moneyline might make the most sense.
Breaking the games down into four quarters and two halves, you can also find a complete set of betting lines for smaller increments of each game. Betting the underdog early in the game can offer some solid value with many tight playoff matchups turning into comfortable blowouts in the second half.
The most exciting way to bet on any football game is after the opening kickoff. Live in-game betting gives you the chance to fully immerse yourself in the action on the field. Playoff football raises the intensity of that action.
Along with fluid betting lines that continue to move as the game wears on, the “what happens next” aspect of live betting is enhanced by that same increase in intensity. Momentum is a huge factor when betting postseason NFL games. That momentum can swing one way or the other on one single play.
Most of the top online books will offer a full set of NFL futures covering a wide set of options. Some of the best value can be found ahead of the opening round games with the odds changing radically ahead of each subsequent round.
Add in a full set of game, team and player props for each contest and it becomes easy to create a NFL playoff betting strategy that offers the best chance for a positive return on investment.