The NFL Divisional Round concludes Sunday with a pair of intriguing matchups, and oddsmakers have posted a plethora of wagering options for bettors looking for some action in derivative markets.
Here are three exotic wagers to consider for Sunday’s two playoff games, featuring the Texans at Chiefs and Seahawks at Packers.
Chiefs/Texans longest touchdown OVER 43.5 yards
The big-play ability in this game is too tantalizing to ignore. Even though Texans head coach Bill O’Brien called wide receiver Will Fuller a game-time decision, by all accounts the 25-year-old speedster is likely to return to action on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, giving Houston its deep-threat option back.
On the other side of the ball, reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes is capable of producing a big play at any given time, especially with an assortment of lightning-fast receivers in Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. The latter is always a candidate to return a punt for a touchdown as well.
Houston’s secondary is a banged-up unit, and Mahomes is the ideal candidate to exploit it. In a game featuring two quarterbacks with strong arms and a high total in the 50s – setting up for a healthy amount of touchdowns – we like the longest score to go OVER 43.5 yards.
Packers/Seahawks 1st Half UNDER 23
Bettors should shop around for the best market number here. At 23 or better, there is just enough value to warrant a play on the UNDER in the first half at Lambeau Field in a game that should see both teams preferring to run the ball on early downs.
With 23-degree weather on the forecast in Green Bay, this game has the potential to be a slow, slogging affair to start. According to Football Outsiders, Seahawks ranked No. 20 in the NFL in seconds per play (28.23), while the Packers ranked 28th (28.86). In first-halves only, Seattle was 30th in the league in pace (29.53 seconds per play).
Despite the lack of ground-game success for the Seahawks’ running backs in last week’s victory over the Eagles – where Marshawn Lynch and Travis Homer combined for just 19 yards on 17 carries – the pair has a tremendous get-right opportunity against a Packers defensive front that ranked in the bottom third in rushing yards allowed per game.
Expect Seattle coach Pete Carroll to pound the rock early on in this one. Matt LaFleur and the Packers will likely have a similar approach, which should keep the clock moving for a good portion of the two opening quarters.
Packers total sacks OVER 3
Green Bay’s biggest strength on defense is a strong pass rush, which doesn’t bode well for a Seattle offensive line that is banged up entering Sunday’s contest.
Four linemen are either out or dealing with nagging injuries for the Seahawks. The Packers’ front seven will be licking their chops to get after quarterback Russell Wilson, who was sacked a league-high 48 times during the regular season.
Expect Green Bay to bring a heavy dose of blitz packages to get after Seattle’s gunslinger in this one, and a potential late-game lead behind a hostile crowd should set the table for the Packers to go OVER their sack prop number (3).
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