Wild Card Saturday Trends and Picks

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Wild Card Saturday Trends and Picks

Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!

Wild Card Saturday

Indianapolis Colts (11-5, 8-8 ATS) at Buffalo Bills (13-3, 11-5), 1:05 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Colts 22.25, Bills 28.75

  • Spread/Total Movements: 6.5 to 7 to 6.5, 52 to 51

  • Weather: 30 degrees, clear, 5 mph

  • Colts Injuries to Watch: RB Jonathan Taylor (shoulder), DT DeForest Buckner (ankle), CB Rock Ya-Sin (concussion), RB Jordan Wilkins (COVID-19), OT Will Holden (ankle)

  • Bills Injuries to Watch: WR Cole Beasley (knee)

Colts Trends

  • The Colts have won four of their last five games to finish the regular season, but they’ve dropped three straight games against the spread.

  • Indy owns a 2-3 ATS and straight-up record in outdoor games this season.

  • Jonathan Taylor came into his own at the end of the season, albeit against a relatively easy slate, as he averaged 139.5 scrimmage yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game in his final six contests. It helped that Jordan Wilkins was completely phased out of the offense in the final weeks of the season as he didn’t play a single snap in Weeks 15-16 before landing on the COVID-19 list. The Bills are giving up a generous 4.5 YPC this season but no individual back has reached 15+ carries or 70+ rushing yards against them since their Week 11 bye.

  • Nyheim Hines has 3+ catches in seven of his last eight games, and he’s reached 50+ scrimmage yards in four straight games. The Colts enter this week as touchdown road underdogs so they could be in a negative game script but the Bills have been stingy to RBs in the passing game, allowing just 4.8/38.7/.1 receiving per game.

  • Philip Rivers has fallen below 13 FP with just a single TD pass in consecutive games after posting 17+ FP and multiple TDs in five straight games in Weeks 11-15. The Bills have given up 11 TDs with 11 INTs in their last eight games.

  • T.Y. Hilton has seen more than seven targets once in his last 10 games, but he’s reached double-digit FP in five of his last six contests thanks to five touchdowns and his 16.1 YPR average. The Bills are giving up just 32.5 FPG to WRs (4th-fewest) this season, and Diontae Johnson managed just 4/40 receiving against Tre’Davious White and company in Week 14.

  • Zach Pascal scored three touchdowns in Weeks 15-16 but he managed just 2/41 receiving on four targets last week. Outside of his two-game burst, he’s seen four or fewer targets in five of his last seven games. Lynn Bowden needed 12 targets to post 8/44 receiving against the Bills last week.

  • Michael Pittman hasn’t reached 50+ receiving yards in his last six games after his three-game surge in Weeks 9-11. He’s also averaging just 4.2 targets per game in his last five contests.

  • The Colts haven’t had a tight end reach double-digit FP since Trey Burton did it in Weeks 11-12 with a pair of touchdowns. The Bills have given up the second-most receiving yards to TEs (62.1), but Noah Fant is the tight end to reach 50+ receiving yards in the last five games.

Bills Trends

  • The Bills enter the playoffs with an NFL-best 11-5 ATS record thanks to an eight-game cover streak to end the season.

  • Buffalo has seven outright victories in that span, which all came by double digits, and their only loss came on the Hail Murray play against Arizona in Week 10.

  • The Bills have yet to be favored by more than seven points during their hot streak.

  • Josh Allen threw for three touchdowns in one half last week against the Dolphins so he’s accounted for 3+ touchdowns in nine of his 16 games this season. He was also well on his way to his ninth 300-yard game before getting pulled last week. The Colts allowed seven 300-yard passing performances in their final 11 games after keeping QBs to under 250 passing yards in their first five games. Indy has also allowed multiple TD passes in four straight games.

  • Stefon Diggs finished with Bills’ records for receiving yards (1535) and receptions (127), and he broke Brandon Marshall’s previous record for receiving yards (1508) by a player changing teams when he went from Chicago to Miami in 2012. Diggs posted 7+ catches in eight straight games with 90+ yards in seven of his last nine contests. The Colts allowed 21+ FP to individual WRs in six of their final seven games.

  • John Brown returned to the lineup last week off of his ankle injury after he last played in Week 10. He went right back to producing with 4/72/1 receiving to give him 70+ receiving yards in his last three active games. The Colts have given up 13+ FP to pairs of WRs in four of their last five games.

  • Cole Beasley is looking unlikely to play for the second straight week after suffering his knee injury late in their victory over the Patriots in Week 16. Isaiah McKenzie stepped into his spot with 25 slot snaps last week and he turned in 6/65/2 receiving while adding a punt return TD against the Dolphins. Keelan Cole managed just 3/23 receiving in this matchup last week, but Keke Coutee gave them issues in Weeks 13 and 15 with a combined 13/194/1 receiving in two games.

  • Gabriel Davis finished fourth in routes (17) last week with Brown back in the lineup, but he still turned in a touchdown for the fifth time in his last eight games.

  • Dawson Knox saw a season-high eight targets last week with half of them coming from Allen in the first half and the other half coming from Matt Barkley in the second half. The Colts gave up just 10.6 FPG to TEs (5th-fewest) this season, but they have given up double-digit FP to TEs four times in their final four games.

  • In six games since their Week 11 bye, Devin Singletary is averaging 11.7/61.4/.2 scrimmage per game while Zack Moss is averaging 9.6/47.3/.2 scrimmage in that same span. The Colts are giving up 3.7 YPC and a solid 5.4 catches per game to RBs this season

Brolley’s Bets

Buffalo Bills -7 (Best Bet)

Josh Allen (Buf) over 297.5 passing yards (Best Bet)

Stefon Diggs (Buf) over 90.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Los Angeles Rams (10-6, 9-7 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (12-4, 8-8), 4:40 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Rams 19.5, Seahawks 23
  • Spread/Total Movements: 5 to 3.5, 43 to 42.5
  • Weather: 45 degrees, 20% chance of rain, 5 mph
  • Rams Injuries to Watch: QB Jared Goff (thumb), LT Andrew Whitworth (knee), RB Cam Akers (ankle), RB Darrell Henderson (ankle), LG David Edwards (ankle), LT Joe Noteboom (back)
  • Seahawks Injuries to Watch: S Jamal Adams (shoulder), DT Jarran Reed (abdomen), TE Greg Olsen (foot), LG Mike Iupati (neck)

Rams Trends

  • The Rams have played under the total in four straight games and in nine of their last 11 games since the calendars flipped to October.
  • Jared Goff will be in a race to be ready for Saturday after having surgery on his thumb following his dreadful performance against the Seahawks in Week 16. He completed 24/43 passes for 234 yards (5.4 YPA) with no TDs and one INT in that contest. He’s averaging just 5.9 YPA with a putrid 3.0% TD rate in his last 10 games. John Wolford averaged 6.1 YPA with 231 scoreless yards and an INT in their victory over the Cardinal last week. The Seahawks have given up just three passing TDs in their last five games.
  • Robert Woods fell below 9 FP in three of his last four games, which includes 4/48 receiving on nine targets against the Seahawks in Week 16. He managed just 8.6 FP (5/33) against them back in Week 10 too. Even with Kupp out last week, Woods saw just an 18% target share (7) for 4/36 with Wolford last week.
  • Cooper Kupp is expected back this week after missing last week with COVID-19. He posted 8/66 receiving on nine targets against the Seahawks in Week 16 after posting 5/50 on seven targets against them in Week 10.
  • Van Jefferson saw a team-best eight targets with Wolford last week, which he turned into 4/50 receiving. Josh Reynolds managed 4/29 on six targets but Kupp will be back this week. Reynolds has actually had the most success against the Seahawks this season with 14/159 receiving in two games.
  • Tyler Higbee has been more active against the Seahawks than Gerald Everett this season. Higbee posted 6/94 receiving on 11 targets and 49 routes in two games against Seattle while Everett has 4/40 on six targets and 48 routes.
  • Cam Akers missed just one game for his high-ankle injury, which came in Week 16 against the Seahawks. He struggled on the ground with just 34 yards on 21 carries (1.6 YPC) but he had his best day as a receiver with 4/52 receiving. The rookie missed Week 16’s matchup with the Rams, but he did average 18.5/97.5/.5 rushing per game in four contests in Weeks 12-15. Darrell Henderson (high ankle) is expected to miss again this week. Henderson and Malcolm Brown combined for 32/160/3 rushing (5.0 YPC) in two games against the Seahawks this season.

Seahawks Trends

  • The Seahawks beat the Rams 20-9 in this matchup two weeks ago with Jared Goff playing poorly through his thumb injury. Seattle closed as 1.5-point home favorites in that contest so the move from Goff to John Wolford has moved this line by a full field goal.
  • The Seahawks needed 34 combined fourth-quarter points with the 49ers last week to snap a seven-game under streak in Weeks 10-16.
  • The home team has won the last four meetings in this series over the last two seasons
  • The Seahawks are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as 3.5-point favorites or more. Their lone victory came against a Jets team that no-showed in Week 14.
  • Russell Wilson is averaging just 208.9/1.5 passing per game in his last eight games after averaging 317.6/3.5 passing per game in his first eight games. He’s thrown for 473 yards, one TD, and two INTs in his two matchups with the Rams this season. He at least added 60 rushing yards in Week 10 and a rushing TD in Week 16 against them.
  • D.K. Metcalf has fallen below 65+ receiving yards in six of his last eight games with Wilson cooling off after topping 90+ receiving yards in seven of his first eight games. Metcalf has muscled out just 8/87 receiving on 12 targets in two games against Jalen Ramsey and company this season.
  • Tyler Lockett exploded for 12/90/2 receiving on 14 targets against the 49ers last week for 33.0 FP. He had failed to reach 13+ FP in eight of his last nine games in Weeks 8-16, which includes a combined 8/110 receiving on 14 targets in two games against the Rams.
  • The Seahawks secondary WRs David Moore (60) and Freddie Swain (50) have each run fewer routes than TEs Jacob Hollister (77) and Will Dissly (60) in the last four weeks, and none of these receivers has 8+ catches or more than 80 receiving yards in that span. Greg Olsen also sat out last week after running 11 routes in his return from a foot injury against the Rams in Week 16.
  • Chris Carson is averaging 17.2/87.8/.4 scrimmage per game in his last five games after the Seahawks eased him back into the lineup in Week 12. He mustered just 16/69 rushing and 3/10 receiving against the Rams in Week 16 and he missed their previous matchup in Week 10. Ty Johnson is the only RB to reach 15+ FP against the Rams in their last 13 games.

Brolley’s Bets

Los Angeles Rams +5 (Best Bet)

Russell Wilson (Sea) under 254.5 passing yards (Best Bet)

Russell Wilson (Sea) under 23.5 completions (Best Bet)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5, 9-7 ATS) at Washington Football Team (7-9, 9-7), 8:15 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Buccaneers 26.75, Football Team 18.25
  • Spread/Total Movements: 7.5 to 8.5, 47 to 45
  • Weather: 31 degrees, clear, 5 mph
  • Buccaneers Injuries to Watch: WR Mike Evans (knee), LB Devin White (COVID-19), DT Steve McClendon (COVID-19), OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), CB Carlton Davis (groin)
  • Washington Injuries to Watch: WR Terry McLaurin (ankle), RB Antonio Gibson (toe), QB Alex Smith (calf), LB Thomas Davis (knee)

Buccaneers Trends

  • The Buccaneers ended the season on a 4-1 ATS, which included three straight covers as seven-point favorites or more.
  • Tom Brady averaged 8.4 YPA or better in each of his last five games with 15 total TD passes. TB12 has thrown for multiple scores in seven straight games and in nine of his last 10 contests. The Football Team has allowed multiple TD passes just once in their last six games and just twice in their last 11 games. This game will likely come down to Washington’s front four getting Brady off his spot with their 8.2% sack rate (4th-best).
  • Mike Evans’ status will be the big story of the week after he hyperextended his knee going for an end-zone target in the season finale. He’s scored six TDs in his last six contests entering last week’s season finale while averaging 5.5/87.2 receiving on 8.8 targets per game in that span. Washington is giving up the second-fewest TDs per game to WRs (.6) this season. Scotty Miller would get a bump in playing time if Evans would miss this week
  • Chris Godwin is heating up with 13+ FP in six of his last seven games with 80+ yards in four of those games and 5+ catches in five of those contests. He hung 5/133/2 receiving last week with Evans leaving early. Washington is giving up just 12.6 catches and 146.3 receiving yards per game to WRs this season.
  • Brady got his roommate Antonio Brown a nice bonus last week by getting him to 45 catches for the season with his 11/138/2 receiving line against the Falcons. AB has a combined 16/231/3 receiving in two games against the Falcons this season and a combined 29/252/1 receiving in his other six games combined. He has scored four TDs in his last three games after failing to score in his first five games.
  • Rob Gronkowski is averaging just 2.4/37.8/.5 receiving on 4.6 targets per game in the eight contests since Brown joined the team in Week 9. He’s at least averaging 15.9 YPR with four scores in that span. The Football Team is giving up just 11.1 FPG to TEs (8th-fewest) this season and they’ve allowed just one TE to top 30+ receiving yards in their last eight games
  • Ronald Jones out-snapped (36 to 30), out-touched (12 to 7), and out-gained (78 to 27) Leonard Fournette last week after his two-week absence. LeSean McCoy went back to being a healthy scratch while Ke’Shawn Vaughn played just three snaps. The Football Team is giving up just 18.9 FPG to RBs (3rd-most) this season, including just 21.3/83.4/.5 rushing per game.

Washington Trends

  • Washington became the fifth team to win a division with a losing record. Ron Rivera’s 2014 Carolina Panthers were the last team to do it, and those Panthers and the 2010 Seahawks each won in the Wild Card Round — the 1982 Lions and the 1982 Browns each lost their first games in the playoffs.
  • The Football Team has played under the total in five straight games with none of their games in that time reaching 41+ combined points.
  • Washington has dropped consecutive games against the spread after running off a five-game ATS win streak in Week 11-15.
  • The Football Team hasn’t lost by eight or more points since the Rams beat them 30-10 with Kyle Allen at quarterback in Week 5.
  • Alex Smith will look to play through his calf injury again this week with Taylor Heinicke waiting in the wings if needed. Smith hasn’t averaged more than 6.6 YPA in each of his last six games, and he has just six TD passes and eight INTs in his last seven appearances. Tampa has given up multiple TD passes and 20+ FP in five of their last seven games.
  • Terry McLaurin found the end zone for just the fourth time in his return to the lineup last week after a one-week absence for his ankle injury. Washington is managing his practice reps again this week, but he’ll likely be ready to go on Saturday. The Buccaneers contained Calvin Ridley to 8/52 receiving last week after he exploded for 10/163/1 against them in Week 15.
  • Cam Sims has seen his role expand in recent weeks with McLaurin batting through his ankle issues. Sims has posted 5+ catches and 8+ targets in three of his last five games, and he has 40+ receiving yards in three games in that same span.
  • Logan Thomas has posted double-digit FP in six straight games after scoring a spectacular TD on an end-zone target in Week 17. He’s averaging 7.0/60.3/.5 receiving on 9.0 targets per game in that span. The Buccaneers have allowed 12+ FP to TEs in four of their last five games with T.J. Hockenson being the only player to fail to do so with David Blough and Chase Daniel at quarterback.
  • Antonio Gibson has 29/136 rushing and 4/14 receiving in his first two games back from his toe injury, but he’s failed to find the end zone after scoring eight TDs in his last five full games in Weeks 7-12. He gets a brutal matchup this week against a Buccaneers defense that’s giving up a league-low 60.0 rushing yards and 3.4 YPC to RBs this season.
  • The Football Team enters as eight-point home underdogs, which means J.D. McKissic could be in store for a bigger role this week. He’s posted 17+ FP, 7+ catches, and 10+ targets in each of their last four losses. The Buccaneers are one of the toughest run outfits in the league, but they’re giving up a league-high 6.3 catches per game to RBs.

Brolley’s Bets

Washington Football Team +8.5 (Staff Pick Lean)

J.D. McKissic (Was) over 4.5 receptions (Best Bet)

Logan Thomas (Was) over 38.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.