Wild Card weekend continues on Sunday with matchups between the Giants and Packers, and Dolphins and Steelers. The most dangerous of the bunch is Green Bay, who enter the playoffs on a six-game winning streak. They’ve been one of the most popular Super Bowl bets over the last couple of weeks, but they’ll face a tough test in the Giants this weekend.
Bettors are looking forward to Sunday’s game showcasing the Giants and Packers – two of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. The Giants have won nine of 11, while the Packers have won six straight. To make things more interesting, Eli Manning (2-0) has a better record in the NFL playoffs at Lambeau Field than Aaron Rodgers (2-2).
There’s no question that Rodgers has carried the Packers during their six-game winning streak. He’s thrown for 15 touchdowns and no interceptions in that span. But he’s had help from the defense. They led the league in takeaways (13) over the last four weeks and allowed just 18.7 points per game over their final six contests. That’s a huge improvement compared to the 38.3 points per outing they allowed in the four games prior.
This game will be a rematch from Week 5, when the Packers dominated the Giants. Green Bay managed to hold the Giants to a season-low 219 yards of offense in the 23-16 victory. Rodgers threw only seven interceptions on the season, but two of them came against the Giants in Week 5. The Giants finished second in the NFL in interceptions and points per game allowed (17.8), so Rodgers will have to be sharp in order to get to the next round.
The Steelers are the biggest favourite on the odds board this weekend. They’ve won seven straight games and should be keen on getting revenge against the Miami Dolphins, who beat the Steelers 30-15 in Week 6. With the help of running back Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins handed the Steelers their second-biggest loss of the season. Ajayi cut through the Steelers’ defense to the tune of 204 yards and two touchdowns.
This Sunday, Ajayi will become the seventh player since the merger in 1970 to have 200+ rushing yards in a game against an opponent in the regular season and then face them again in the playoffs. The previous six runners failed to reach 100 yards in the rematch, averaging just 44.7 rushing yards in the second contest. With the Dolphins missing starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, expect Ajayi to be the focus of Pittsburgh’s defense.
*Odds as of January 6, 2017