Weather Could Have Huge Impact on NFL Wild-Card Weekend


Wild-Card Weekend always seems to be a crapshoot, and it seems that Mother Nature is about to make things even more interesting in the first-round of the NFL playoffs.

Everyone knows playing (or even watching a game) at Lambeau Field in January is not for the faint of heart. As the Green Bay Packers prepare to face another northern team, the New York Giants, temperatures are expected to be around 0 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff in Eastern Wisconsin.

The Pack recently faced temperatures that low in Week 16 when they topped the division rival Chicago Bears at home by a score of 30-27.

In the Steel City, the forecast is calling for a windy day with temperatures in the 20-degree range when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins get things underway at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. For a Dolphins team that’s used to practicing in the 70s and 80s, that’s going to be a big challenge. The ‘Fins have only participated in a handful of cold games this season, but they’re doing their best to prepare themselves for the chilly conditions.

Clearly the Steelers have a big advantage in this one. The black and gold are used to playing playoff games in frigid temperatures, and they’ve participated in a lot of them since the Miami Dolphins last made the playoffs in 2008.

The weather in Seattle will be warmer for the Seahawks-Detroit Lions tilt, but it could fall below freezing before the game ends with a chance of rain. The Lions, who play in the domed Ford Field, have competed outdoors only twice since October 2, and their coldest kickoff temperature all year was 55 degrees in a Week 15 setback to the Giants.

The dome is going to be open at NRG Stadium for Houston’s home date with the Oakland Raiders with no precipitation expected. This will very likely be the sole contest on the docket that’s not impeded by weather.

Inclement weather has a history of greatly impacting NFL games, as scoring tends to dip greatly when it rolls in. In terms of totals line movement, books opened Steelers-Dolphins OVER/UNDER at 47.5 but it’s since been lowered to 46.

Detroit-Seattle has held firm at 43, while the Giants-Packers number has dropped a half-point from 45 to 44.5 since the market opened. Oakland-Houston hit the board at 37.5 but was available for 36.5 as of Thursday afternoon.

To stay up to date on every line move for this weekend’s postseason games, visit our NFL odds page by clicking here.


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