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These Are The Best WildCard Road Teams In Modern History

201515711658-8747%3 199915901531+59670 YEARAVERAGE HOME ELOAVERAGE ROAD ELODIFFERENCEAVERAGE HOME WIN PROBABILITYHOME UNDERDOGS 200116121589+22620 200315791573+5601 200015661617-50522 Since the NFL postseason expanded to 12 teams in 1990, home teams have won 65 percent of the time on wild-card weekend — an even better rate than the league’s 59 percent home field advantage in the regular season. For teams that can’t lock down a bye week, playing at home has traditionally been a solid consolation. This year, though, it could be that none of that will matter once the games begin.As of Tuesday morning, three of the four home teams in this weekend’s games are underdogs in Vegas, and you can make a good case that the fourth — Washington, which hosts Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers — should also be expected to lose. According to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings, our favorite measure of a team’s strength at any given moment, this is the first time since 1990 that three home teams have been underdogs in the wild-card round: This year’s group is also the second-most-overmatched batch of home teams since 1990, the only impediment to No. 1 being 2010, when the 7-9 Seahawks hosted (and won!) a wild-card game. That year’s crop of home teams was exceptionally weak; in addition to Seattle, Kansas City was a below-average team according to both Elo and Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System, and the Eagles and Colts were helped by good fortune (they exceeded their Pythagorean expectations).While this year’s wild-card home teams aren’t great, they’re not all that bad — that three-quarters of them are underdogs owes more to the strength of their opponents. By Elo, this is easily the strongest group of road squads that wild-card weekend has seen since 1990. It includes teams ranked Nos. 1 (Seattle), 4 (Kansas City), 7 (Pittsburgh) and 9 (Green Bay) in the league. Those are the kinds of teams that typically host wild-card games, not travel to other cities as guests.Back in October, my colleague Andrew Flowers and I wrote about how downright weird the season was shaping up to be, in the sense that the distribution of wins was out of whack compared with historical norms. Now, on the eve of the playoffs, that weirdness is manifesting itself another way: Each conference’s lowest-seeded teams are among its strongest. It’s a phenomenon that could pay big dividends for road teams on wild-card weekend.Check out our Super Bowl odds for every playoff team. 200715701570+0590 199216161615+1590 201315641593-29551 199015681582-15570 201115521578-25551 199515571545+12601 199715851535+50660 200415951530+65680 199815941542+52660 199315531547+6600 200915891617-28552 200215911524+67680 199415761543+34640 201415961578+18620 201215991580+19611 199115971541+55660 199615981506+92710 Pregame Elo ratings and odds for wild-card round, 1990-2015 200815541628-74492 200616031522+81700 200515841615-31551 Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 201015181638-120432

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