When you bet on the NFL, you should know all about the numbers. Numbers for stats, numbers for trends, numbers for betting lines, numbers for ‘totals’ – You should know it all. Here at Bang the Book, we are set to talk about the football betting lines for Wild Card weekend. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
1: The number of times that the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings have ever played against each other in the playoffs. It’s amazing to think that these two storied franchises haven’t done it more often than this, but that’s the case. The one game wasn’t until 2005, and the Vikes got the best of QB Brett Favre and the Pack 31-17.
1: The number of road favorites that we have this week. The Seattle Seahawks are the only team favored on the road, and that comes against the Washington Redskins. More on both of these teams for sure as we go on down the list of the most important numbers to remember this week, but it is intriguing for sure that a team that has to travel 2,500+ miles from Seattle to DC is favored by a field goal in a playoff game.
1: The number of times in the Super Bowl era that a pair of rookie quarterbacks played against each other in the same playoff game. QB TJ Yates and QB Andy Dalton did that last year for the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals, and this year, QB Robert Griffin III and QB Russell Wilson are slated to do the same thing for the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks respectively.
1: The number of touchdowns that the Houston Texans have scored in the last 2.5 games. Yes, it has been over 10 quarters and just one touchdown has been scored by the Texans, who once looked like world beaters this year. One is also the number of touchdown passes that QB Matt Schaub has in his last four games combined. Needless to say, none of that is going to cut it if Houston is going to log its second ever playoff win on Saturday.
3: The number of interceptions that QB Andy Dalton threw in his first career playoff game for the Cincinnati Bengals last year against the Houston Texans. The worst of those three came on a pick six by DE JJ Watt, who raced a ball he batted in the air and picked off the other way for a TD that changed the course of the game just before halftime. From there, Dalton just never had a chance in the game, and he ended up with some horrid numbers. He’s expecting better this year for sure.
4: The number of consecutive games that the Cincinnati Bengals have lost to the Houston Texans in that series. Of course, in there include the fact that the Bengals lost the first ever playoff game in Texans history last season in this very same game, and also in there is the game that QB TJ Yates won up in Cincinnati as well. The Bengals have only ever won once here at Reliant Stadium, and that came way back Houston’s inaugural season.
7: The number of games that rookie quarterbacks have ever won in the playoffs in the Super Bowl era. Naming Ben Roethlisberger with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets, and Joe Flacco with the Baltimore Ravens isn’t that hard. But do you know who the others are? Those with a short memory probably have QB TJ Yates for the Houston Texans last year, but if you remember QB Shaun King with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning in January 2000 against the Washington Redskins, hats off to you. We know that this number will extend to at least eight on Sunday, but will it grow to nine? If it does, QB Andrew Luck would have beaten the Baltimore Ravens. No rookie quarterback has ever gotten to the Super Bowl in this era.
7: The number of games that the Washington Redskins have won and covered in a row since Head Coach Mike Shanahan declared the season to be over and done with. Washington needed every single last one of those wins as well, knowing that it had to beat the Dallas Cowboys last week to even think about getting into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.
8: The number of consecutive games in a row where the Indianapolis Colts have covered the Baltimore Ravens. Indy is 7-1 SU in those games as well, including a pair of wins and covers here in the playoffs. Of course, in all but last year’s game, QB Peyton Manning was the man calling the shots, and now, it’s the hip, new, young rookie, QB Andrew Luck that is going to be trying to do the damage to end the season for Baltimore.
9.5: The number of points that the Green Bay Packers are favored by over the Minnesota Vikings. That makes the Pack the biggest favorites of the weekend by a country mile. Is it justified, though? These two teams both really slugged it out with each other twice already in the month of December, and both games were decided by nine points or fewer. This is playoff time though, and it’s the first time ever that QB Christian Ponder has ever had to play a game in weather this cold in a spot this big in his entire career.
15: The number of playoff games that the eight starting quarterbacks that will take the field this weekend have played combined in their careers. QB Joe Flacco has nine of those games, and QB Aaron Rodgers has five of them. The other one came from by the Cincinnati Bengals’ QB Andy Dalton from last year. The other five starting quarterbacks have a grand total of zero playoff snaps under their belt in their careers. That’s why in the AFC, so many are running to the windows to bet on the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, who have quarterbacks that each have just oodles of playoff experience in QB Peyton Manning and QB Tom Brady.
47: The number of points in the ‘total’ for the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts. That makes this the highest ‘total’ for the entire weekend. It’s really strange to think that this is the case in a Ravens’ playoff game, especially when LB Ray Lewis is playing for the very last time in front of the hometown crowd before retiring. However, it goes without saying that this unit has been just flat out terrible this year at times, and this might not be an exception against the Colts.
153: The number of rushing yards that RB Arian Foster had for the Houston Texans against the Cincinnati Bengals last year in the first round of the playoffs. Foster really has been one of the top backs in the league for the past few years, and he knows that this is his game to shine. Of course, this time around, he does have QB Matt Schaub out there to get him in the football instead of having to rely on QB TJ Yates, which really should help out tremendously.
410: The number of yards that RB Adrian Peterson has rumbled for in two games against the Green Bay Packers this year. The horse of the Minnesota Vikings has been just that, and he knew that he had to do so in Week 17 against Green Bay just to get his club into the second season. In the end, he had a career high in carries for a game with 34, and his last gallop put K Blair Walsh into a position to win the game.
459: The number of rushing yards that the Washington Redskins needed this year to break the all-time record for the most yards on the ground by a team in a single season. It’s not like there’s any shame in what Washington has accomplished, knowing that the club averaged 169.1 yards per game on the ground to lead the league, but it would have been awesome to see QB Robert Griffin III and RB Alfred Morris, a pair of rookies, help break that record that has lasted four decades.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.