THE FIRST 15 OF THE WILD CARD
We are already on the Buffalo/Houston Under 43.5 but there is more meat on the Under bone in a first-quarter play. The Bills (2.7) and Texans (2.9) sit 30th and 29th respectively in first-quarter points scored this year. It has been even worse for Buffalo of late as it has scored just three first-quarter points over its last three games and has just three 1Q points in its last three road games. Looking through their schedule, they haven’t scored a 1Q touchdown on the road since Week 2, back on September 16.
Buffalo is 0-3-2 SU in the first quarter of its last five and 1-4 O/U on 1Q totals of 7.5. The Texans have had much more success in the first 15 as they are 2-1-2 SU in the first quarter in their last five and 4-1 O/U.
With Buffalo’s inability to score early and rely on Josh Allen comebacks too often, we are taking the Texans 1Q Money Line at -130.
SHOW US YOUR TDs
The New Orleans Saints scored the fifth-most TDs per game at 3.2 this year and have averaged five TDs per game over their last three. In the red zone, the Saints have scored a TD on 80 percent of their trips inside the 20 since Week 15 and 60 percent on the year. The Saints’ games have averaged 8.25 TDs per game over their last four and are 3-1 O/U TD totals of 5.5.
Minnesota is scoring more than three TDs per game on the road this year thanks to getting six points in the red zone 66 percent of the time. In their last five road games, the Vikes are 3-2 O/U TD totals of 5.5.
BETTER OFF RED ZONE
Lots of people are talking about the possibility of the Titans knocking off the Pats Saturday night and it is justified. Tennessee is averaging 412 yards of offense a game over their last three games which is the best mark out of every playoff team. Only Baltimore is averaging more rushing yards a game (186) and no playoff team is getting more yards per completion than Ryan Tannehill (13.9).
The real threat to the Pats is the Titans red-zone offense. Tannehill’s crew is scoring a TD on 87.5 percent of their red-zone trips since Week 15 which equals 2.3 red-zone touchdowns per game.
New England has been one of the league’s best at forcing teams to kick field goals inside the 20 (48 percent TD scoring %) but have padded their stats versus Bottom-10 offenses 10 times this year. In the two games against Top-10 offenses (Baltimore and K.C.), New England allowed five TDs in six trips to the red zone.
We like the Titans Offense a lot better than New England’s and with the Pats liking to receive the ball in the second half, we could see the Titans with the first chance to put up points on the board. We are taking a Titans touchdown as the first score of the game at +250.
ALL MY WILSON
Yesterday we wrote about the Seahawks offensive-line problems and how much Russell Wilson has been getting sacked on the road. When we are looking at QB rushing totals, allowed pressure rates is a great stat to look at because getting outside the pocket and taking off on non-designed QB rush plays are where we can make the money.
Wilson is 9-7 O/U on rushing totals of 20.5 this year and finished with the 6th most QB rushing yards — averaging 21.4 yards per rush a game. Sunday's opponent, the Eagles, have allowed two QBs over the last three weeks to rush for 26 yards or more while Wilson has averaged 28.3 rushing yards a game over his 13 playoff appearances — going 7-6 O/U on totals of 24.5.
We think his rushing total is little high at 24.5, especially one week after being 18.5. We might shop around and hope it opens closer to 20-23 yards but love Wilson’s ability to escape pressure and pick up yards on the ground. We will take the Over 24.5, but will shop around first.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.
21+. NJ only. Odds may vary. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.