NFL Wild Card Playoffs Key Numbers: Lions Drop To -3

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
NFL key numbers

NFL playoff odds have several games near key numbers despite the shortened slate. Most interestingly, the marquee battle between revenge-seeking quarterbacks has seen significant action on the Rams, dropping the Lions to the key number of -3. Here, we’ll primarily focus on games hovering at or near these NFL key numbers with brief discussions of why or if they might move.

When betting on football, bettors must always keep in mind key numbers. NFL key betting numbers are precisely what they sound like. They are numbers in the spread that often hold the key to winning and losing. They frequently determine wins and losses in spread betting because they represent the most common margins of victory.

Football fans should naturally be aware that three and seven dominate (secondary key numbers include six, four, and 10). Things have changed a bit in recent years thanks to the longer extra point. But, historically, around 24% of games end with margins of three or seven.

NFL Key Numbers Near 3 For Wild Card Playoffs

Browns At Texans

Despite the Texans’ dramatic win to secure a playoff spot and the Browns mailing in Week 18, the betting market hasn’t cured itself of Flacco Fever. Browns odds, after opening at -1.5, crept up to the key number on two separate occasions at DraftKings Sportsbook this week. Each time, after a stretch of 10 hours or so, the money came in on Texans odds to drop back below +3.

The buy point makes sense, particularly when looking back at the Dec. 24 matchup between these teams. Then as now, with the Browns playing on the road, they closed around -3 despite the Texans using the decidedly mid tandem of Case Keenum and Davis Mills at QB.

CJ Stroud is back, but what of his weapons? It looks like he’ll have Nico Collins and not a whole lot else.

Assuming Amari Cooper news is favorable this week, the injury report will probably look better for the Browns than the Texans. Anyone looking to back Houston should see if more +3s pop as this number ebbs and flows.

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Rams At Lions

The market leans strongly toward the old man in the Matthew Stafford vs. Jared Goff revenge bowl. It’s been all L.A. money this week, dropping Rams odds from +3.5 to +3 at most of the market, albeit a cheap +3.

However, Caesars Sportsbook has been making slightly more aggressive adjustments. They were the first shop to go to a flat -3 on Lions odds, and they remain there even as others charge closer to -120.

Since Stafford returned to the lineup, the Rams covered seven of their final eight games, even if most of the competition wasn’t the most inspiring. The market has been slow to buy in fully to this team, but with tickets and money flooding in, it looks like the Rams finally have the market’s attention.

Eagles At Buccaneers

The Eagles completed their massive collapse in hideous fashion with a stunning blowout loss to the Giants. Consider that early in the season, the Eagles dominated the Bucs in Tampa, easily covering as -6 favorites in a 25-11 win. Now, bettors could have gotten Eagles odds below the key number for much of the early part of the week.

The market has since resettled at Eagles -3 across the board. DraftKings Sportsbook has a very cheap price on them and looks to be the closest to returning to -2.5.

Keep an eye out for injury reports here, as critical pieces on both sides could move the markets. Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown and Devonta Smith are all hurting for the Eagles, while Baker Mayfield has had two terrible weeks and is reportedly nursing rib and ankle injuries.

NFL Wild Card Spreads Near Key Number of 7

Packers At Cowboys

Markets opened right on the key number here with slightly pricy Cowboys odds of -115. Initial action moved the Cowboys as high as -8 before things settled back at -7.5. That’s where it has sat all week, suggesting sharps don’t see any value in Packers odds even above the key number for the moment.

Jordan Love just played one of his best games as a Packer against a very respectable Bears bunch. But with the Cowboys occupying a prominent position in Super Bowl odds, it looks like the market still sees these teams pretty far apart.

The possible return of Christian Watson may help, but given his mediocre production this season, it’s hard to see a whole lot that would move this number.

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