The NFL’s final regular season games happen on Sunday, January 9. The following week, teams that have secured playoff spots throw down in Super Wild Card Weekend. Because the NFL Playoffs is on our doorsteps, it’s time to take a look at the best handicapping strategies to ensure a positive NFL postseason bankroll. Read about the top five optimal betting strategies for the 2022 NFL Playoffs so you can bet against the NFL Playoffs odds.
Optimal Betting Strategy for the NFL Postseason
2022 NFL Postseason
- When: Saturday, Jan. 15 – Sunday, Jan. 30
Home field advantage should be important this season
2020 and 2021 saw limited capacity at stadiums during the playoffs. The pandemic, although not in its early stages, had a huge effect on fan participation.
Home field didn’t mean as much in 2021 as it did in 2020. In 2022, though, home field should mean a ton, which is why a team like Green Bay has a big advantage.
Heading into Week 18, the Tennessee Titans are in line to secure home field throughout the AFC Playoffs. If Tennessee secures the 1-seed, their Super Bowl chances jump.
But 1-seeds aren’t the only teams who will benefit from home field advantage. 2-seeds benefit at least until the conference championships. So will 3-seeds and 4-seeds during the first round of playoff games.
Look for moneyline upset plays during Super Wild Card Weekend
Super Wild Card Weekend should produce a fair share of upset winners. In the NFC, the Rams are likely to play either the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, or New Orleans Saints.
All three of those teams can beat the Rams. Tampa will have to play either the above three teams the Cardinals or the Cowboys. The Buccaneers must also play without Chris Godwin and possibly without Leonard Fournette and Shaquil Barrett.
The Cardinals, Eagles, or Saints may end up playing the Cowboys. If that happens, Dallas could be in some trouble.
Over in the AFC, the Patriots or Bills will be a wild card team. The Raiders or Chargers will be a wild card and the Colts should make the playoffs. Any of the five will have a shot to upset their first round opponent.
The only AFC team safe from a loss during Super Wild Card Weekend will be the 1-seed. Any favorite playing during the weekend will be vulnerable to a moneyline upset.
Often during the playoffs, defense rules
Teams with fantastic defenses like the Colts, Patriots, and Titans in the AFC often perform well during the playoffs.
NFC squads like the Rams, Cowboys, Eagles, and Saints if they make the postseason, should also play well. Defensive minded teams don’t always lead to moneyline victories. But against the spread, give more weight to teams with the better defenses to cover.
Create your spread lines you think are fair
Create your spread lines and then compare them to what oddsmakers have established. For example, if the Saints make the playoffs, New Orleans could end up against Tampa Bay.
Tampa lost both games versus the Saints but this is the playoffs. So is Buccaneers -6 fair? Is Saints +3 fair?
What’s a fair line if the Bills end up facing the Patriots for a third time? Does home field matter as much considering Josh Allen and his teammates beat the Patriots in New England and Bill Belichick’s squad beat the Bills in Buffalo?
Create spread lines you think are fair, compare your personal ATS line to the actual line, and then back overlay options.
When in doubt, go with your gut
The final piece of advice is something every handicapper should take to heart. Trust your instincts before anyone else’s.
Don’t let an analyst’s opinion about a game talk you off who you like to cover a spread or win straight up. There’s tons of information on every team in every game during the NFL Playoffs.
If you listen to every piece of information, you won’t have a clue as to which team will cover the spread. You must assess each piece of information and give more weight to relevant info.
So, for example, Derrick Henry returning to the Titans for their first playoff game is relevant, but what if Tennessee’s starting left tackle, Taylor Lewan, can’t go?
Henry’s return after not having played for half a season becomes less relevant. So assess information, especially from so-called experts, before deciding on which teams to back.
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