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On the line from Vegas: Sunday wild-card analysis

By Tim Graham

Joel Staniszewski noted earlier today that betting trends for playoff teams are going to be sparkly. The games are tougher to dissect.

But he correctly speculated the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers would cover their spreads today.

Staniszewski, oddsmaker for Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas, has been delivering his betting insight for Buffalo Bills games all season and is continuing his analysis for the playoffs.

Here are his thoughts on Sunday's games.

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

Spread: Ravens minus-7

Total: 47 points

  • • Baltimore is 5-1 against the spread in its past six wild-card games.
  • • Indianapolis is 5-1 against the spread in its past six games.
  • • Indianapolis is 8-2 against the spread in its past 10 games versus the AFC.
  • • Indianapolis is 8-0 against the spread the past eight meetings with the Ravens, but that's with Peyton Manning at quarterback.

Staniszewski's take: "The thought about the Ravens is the same as the Houston Texans. They started off strong and played some solid games, but the games you remember are the games they've played poorly. The public loves the Colts' underdog story, the feel-good story of the coach, the No. 1 overall draft pick taking the last-place team to the playoffs. But Cinderella gets you only so far. This is Baltimore at home in the playoffs."

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins

Spread: Seahawks minus-2.5

Total: 46 points

  • • Home team is 4-1-1 against the spread in the past six meetings.
  • • Seattle is 4-0 against the spread in its past five games in a spread loss.
  • • Seattle is 6-0 against the spread against teams with a winning record.
  • • Washington is 4-0 against the spread in its past four home games.
  • • Washington is 5-0 against the spread versus teams with a winning record.

Staniszewski's take: "This game, when we first looked at, was a pick game. Maybe the Seahawks were a slight favorite on the money line. This is a tough one to gauge. You're looking rookie quarterback against rookie quarterback in a big game. Seattle can run the ball well with Marshawn Lynch, and Washington can run the ball with Alfred Morris."


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 |