As a general rule, the betting public prefers favorites. And that’s holding true in the wild card round, according to data from a major Nevada linemaker.
At the William Hill U.S. betting shops in Nevada, bettors had placed more wagers on the favorite in all four wild card games as of Friday afternoon.
This is especially true in Colts-Bengals. According to William Hill, 84 percent of the point spread bets have been on Indianapolis, which is a 3.5-point favorite on Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys (-6.5) have also been actively backed vs. Detroit, with 78 percent of the spread wagers on Dallas in the final game of wild card weekend.
The Steelers usually don’t lack for support, and that’s the case Saturday night vs. Baltimore (8:15 p.m. ET, NBC), with 73 percent of the tickets on Pittsburgh (-3).
In the first wild card game Saturday, the Panthers have been bet slightly more than the Cardinals. William Hill has written 54 percent of the point spread tickets on Carolina, which is a 6.5-point favorite.
While the home favorites have been the point spread preference at the William Hill books, the road underdogs have been fancied on the money line, where bettors play a team to win outright.
The Cardinals have been especially popular, with 86 percent of the straight-up bets on Arizona. The Cardinals are +240 underdog, meaning a bettor would win $24 for every successful $10 bet.
The Lions (+260) have been backed at a 74 percent clip, with the Bengals (+160) preferred at a 73 percent rate. Also, the Ravens (+150) have been on 61 percent money-line tickets on Baltimore-Pittsburgh.
It perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise that Arizona has drawn some love from bettors. The Cardinals did win 11 games in the regular season, and they do have a history of playoff upsets. They have won at least one game outright as underdogs in each of their last three postseason appearances (1998, 2008, 2009).