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Wild Card System

   by Tom Stryker - 01/04/2008

Back in 1990, the NFL decided to change its playoff format by adding two teams to the mix (one per conference). That move changed the Wild Card round to what it is today and brought us - the wagering public - even more opportunity to prosper. Thanks to my powerful NFL database I've recorded all of the results in the new Wildcard round since '90 and come up with some incredible results. Take a look at what I've found.



Since the 1990-91 season, NFL home teams in the Wildcard round are a respectable 47-21 SU and 36-29-3 ATS for 55.3 percent. There's enough reason right there to take Seattle, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and San Diego and call it a day. However, within this record, there are certain parameters that can be added that make this technical situation even stronger.



For example, if our host owns a won/loss percentage of .625 or better and finds itself matched up against a foe that carries a won/loss percentage less than .750, this Wildcard system improves to 32-24-2 ATS for 57.1 percent. What I've simply done is taken any host with a 10-6 SU record or better and matched them up against a foe with a 11-5 SU mark or worse. Three home teams remain after this first parameter: Seattle, Pittsburgh and San Diego.



If our home team was fortunate enough NOT to face a division foe last, this post season situation explodes to a sparkling 19-10-1 ATS for 65.5 percent. Division games tend to be more physical and obviously more competitive. By eliminating this parameter, I've removed a 13-14-1 ATS mark from this system. Only one playoff host remains in this set: The Seahawks.



Finally, it is important that our host enters off a straight up loss or a reasonable win. Off a blowout victory, our "play on" home team could check in at an inflated price. For example, with our 19-10-1 ATS record in hand and our host off a pointspread loss or ATS win of LESS than 10 points, this system zips to a sterling 17-6-1 ATS for 73.9 percent! Seattle applies to this tightener.



Good luck with the Seahawks on Saturday. I’ll be back next week with a look at the NFL’s Divisional Playoffs.

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