Football odds on the NFL playoffs and college National Championship have many believing now is the best time of the year. The holidays might be behind us, but those in Nevada and Las Vegas are ready for one of their most prosperous times on the calendar.
The Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs kicks off on Saturday, and the College Football Playoffs come to a close on Monday with the National Championship.
The sports betting action will be heavy in the Silver State, where oddsmakers are fielding a variety of bets on the best the gridiron has to offer.
#2 Clemson (13-1) vs. #1 Alabama (14-0)
No one in their right mind believes Alabama isn’t the best team in the country. Since 2008, Alabama has won 86 games to just 10 losses. However, the NCAA title game must still be played before coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide can hoist the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy for the second straight year.
Vegas doesn’t have much faith in that not happening, as the spread favors Alabama by 6.5 points. ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gives Saban’s squad a 60.4 percent chance of winning.
Standing in Alabama’s way is the same team they defeated in last year’s championship, Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers. The SEC team topped the ACC’s best a year ago 45-40.
Clemson has had one goal since the defeat: to reach the National Championship and prevail.
Before Monday night’s epic college rematch, the pros get started with the NFL Wild Card round.
Raiders vs. Texans
The first game on tap is the Oakland Raiders (12-4) in Texas against the Houston Texans (9-7). The Raiders, a team that is expected to file for relocation to Las Vegas at the end of the season, lost its star quarterback Derek Carr during week 16. With backup QB Matt McGloin now also injured, the Silver and Black turn to third stringer rookie Connor Cook to take the under center duties.
Still, the Texans are favored in Nevada by just 3.5 points.
Lions vs. Seahawks
Detroit sneaked into the playoffs at (9-7), but will have their work cut of for them with Seattle (10-5). The Seahawks are 7-1 at home, and have one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Las Vegas has Seattle as the favorite spotting Detroit 8 points.
Dolphins vs. Steelers
Miami and Pittsburgh gets the Sunday action underway, with the 11-5 Steelers hosting the 10-6 Dolphins. The NFL playoffs are all about quarterbacks, and the Black and Gold have one of the best in Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben faces Miami, the same city where he attended college, and is picked by Vegas to win. Pittsburgh is currently a 10-point favorite.
Giants vs. Packers
The final game of the Wild Card round pairs New York (11-5) against Green Bay (10-6) at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin. Led by Super Bowl 45 MVP Aaron Rogers, the Packers are picked to win, but the experts in Sin City are only giving the Giants 4.5 points.
On the opposite side of the field, Giants quarterback Eli Manning also knows a thing or two about winning big games. The younger brother of last year’s QB champ, Eli is a two-time Super Bowl MVP.