The Oakland Raiders will be led by a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start Saturday afternoon when they kick off NFL Wild Card Weekend action against the Houston Texans as 3 1/2-point road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Selected by Oakland in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft, Connor Cook has been thrust into the starter’s role for Saturday’s Raiders vs. Texans betting matchup at NRG Stadium following injuries to first-stringer Derek Carr and backup Matt McGloin.
Cook made his NFL debut in relief of McGloin last week against the Denver Broncos, tossing one touchdown and one pick in a 24-6 loss that marked the Raiders’ second outright defeat in three road dates, and the third time they have seen the point total finish under in their past four games.
Houston hits the postseason after claiming its second straight AFC South crown, but has posted SU wins in just four of seven, and just three against-the-spread victories in its past nine games. The Texans also have struggled against the Raiders, going 1-3 SU and ATS in their past four meetings, including a pair of home losses, both as betting chalk.
On Saturday night, the Seattle Seahawks aim for a 10th straight playoff win on home turf as they host the slumping Detroit Lions as eight-point favorites. The Seahawks wrapped up the regular season on a middling 3-3 SU run, 2-4 ATS, but posted a strong 7-1 SU record at CenturyLink Field this season.
The Lions look for their first playoff victory since January 1992, but ride a three-game SU losing streak and are winless in three visits to Seattle since 1999, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
On Sunday, the 10-6 Miami Dolphins look to continue their surprising season as they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers as 10-point underdogs. The Dolphins have exceeded expectations since opening the campaign on a 1-4 SU and ATS run, winning nine of 11 SU, 8-2-1 ATS, including a 30-15 win over Pittsburgh as 7 1/2-point underdogs.
The Steelers have won seven straight, but are winless ATS in their past two games, and a meager 2-5 SU, 2-4-1 ATS, in their last seven dates against AFC East opponents.
NFL Wild Card Weekend then closes out at Lambeau Field, where the surging Green Bay Packers host the New York Giants as 4 1/2-point favorites.
The Packers, who hold the best odds to win Super Bowl 51 of all the Wild Card Weekend participants, posted six straight wins down the stretch, 5-1 ATS, and have dominated in three straight home wins, holding opponents to just 16 points per game.
The Giants are 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS in their past 11 games overall but have been held to 19 or fewer points in each of their past five contests.
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