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On the line from Vegas: A look at today's wild-card games

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills didn't make the playoffs, but our favorite oddsmaker, Joel Staniszewski, still has more betting information to share from Las Vegas.

Throughout the postseason, Staniszewski will pass along the important trends for those of you who are into that kind of thing.

Trends are trickier this time of year.

"You're playing good team against good team," Staniszewski said. "You're going to find good trends for everything."

We'll touch on today's wild-card games now. Check the Press Coverage blog Sunday morning for this weekend's other two games.

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans

Spread: Texans minus-4

Total: 43 points

  • • Cincinnati is 4-0 against the spread in its past four road games.
  • • Cincinnati is 5-0 against the spread in its past five games against the AFC.
  • • Houston is 4-1 straight up in its past five games against Cincinnati.
  • • Houston is 5-0 against the spread in its past five against Cincinnati.

Staniszewski's take: "The thought is Houston started the season so strong and faded at the end of the year and played poorly against bad teams. The spread reflects recent games. I don't think the bettors really are taking into account how good this Houston team can be. This team is really going to be able to get up for a playoff game."

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers

Spread: Packers minus-7.5

Total: 45 points

  • • Home team in this series is 4-0 against the spread the past four meetings.
  • • Minnesota is 4-0 against the spread in its past four games.
  • • Green Bay is 8-1 against the spread in its past nine games after a straight-up loss.
  • • Green Bay is 4-1 against the spread in its past five January games.

Staniszewski's take: "Minnesota can't pass the ball. Green Bay can't really defend the run well. But I recall seeing games where Minnesota passed for under 100 yards, and they've won based upon their defense and Adrian Peterson. If Green Bay can slow him down at least a little bit, I think it could be a big win for them at home."


On the line from Vegas
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |