Friday January 6th, 2017

Last year, the visitors went 4-0 in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, putting home teams on high alert this Saturday when this year’s postseason kicks off.

Wild Card favorites have gone 3-7-2 against the spread as well the previous three years, a trend that the Houston Texans (9-7) and Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) will try to reverse on Saturday in their respective games.

The Texans will start this year’s playoff action in the afternoon by hosting the Oakland Raiders (12-4) as 3.5-point home favorites on the NFL point spreads at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler will get his starting job back and try to prove he was worth his four-year, $72 million deal that he signed in the off-season.

The AFC North champion Texans were blanked 30-0 at home by the Kansas City Chiefs in their 2016 Wild Card round game last year, prompting them to ink Osweiler.

NFL
Blanket Coverage: Examining exploitable weaknesses for every NFL playoff team

The Raiders were unfortunate to lose starting quarterback Derek Carr to a broken leg in Week 16 and will also be without backup Matt McGloin, who is out due to a shoulder injury. That means rookie Connor Cook will be under center as Oakland tries to improve upon a 7-2-1 ATS mark in its last 10 playoff games.

The road team has also gone 4-0 straight up and ATS in the past four meetings, making this game the best candidate to see the visitor’s success continue in potentially extending that winning streak to five.

The Detroit Lions (9-7) seem far less likely to pull off the upset when they visit the Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) on Saturday night. The Lions are listed as eight-point road underdogs, although they did play the NFC West champion Seahawks tough at CenturyLink Field last year, falling 13-10 but covering as 9.5-point underdogs.

Seattle has been a strange team this season, looking like a legit Super Bowl contender one week and a pretender the next. However, the Seahawks do own a very impressive record in primetime games lately, going 20-4-2 ATS in their last 26.

While the Seahawks have failed to cover four straight versus Detroit, the Lions have lost eight consecutive playoff games, and the visitor has lost seven of nine SU in the series according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.