How to Bet Historic Trend that Suggests First-Time Playoff Quarterbacks Will Struggle on Wild Card Weekend

Young Quarterbacks will struggle this weekend, with one notable exception

Jan 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) drops back to
Jan 6, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) drops back to / Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports
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Experience is important in the NFL and at no position is it more important than quarterback, especially when playoff time rolls around.

It's one thing for a signal caller to get his team to the postseason and another for him to lead a team to victory against the best teams that the NFL has to offer.

The NFL playoffs are an animal of their own and while pressure is felt during the regular season, it's nothing like the quarterbacks are likely to feel this week, matched up against some of the best the game has to offer.

Last month, I suggested that blindly betting trends is not wise and that trends should be investigated and used as one tool in your betting arsenal, if appropriate.

The first four games of this year's playoffs feature a trend so strong we're obliged to investigate whether it's worth considering an investment.

Quarterbacks Making First Playoff Start Trend

Each of these games should be considered on its own merits as each situation is different, from a young quarterback playing at home, another playing on the road against a home juggernaut, one facing the best quarterback of the era, and the fourth facing a team on a tear.

Let's walk through each and see if the trend fits or the playoff newbie is worth considering.

Browns vs Texans (+2.5)

C.J. Stroud has had a phenomenal rookie season helping the Texans go from league laughingstock at 3-13-1 to the AFC South Division Champions at 10-7,

Stroud's reward? He gets to lead his team against a ferocious Browns defense in the Wild Card round.

Stroud is the only one of the four young quarterbacks that will have the opportunity to play at home and that certainly makes a difference, but even more impressive is his poise and maturity level.

I was in the stands on Christmas Eve when the Browns walloped the Texans in the very same stadium, but that was a Texan team with Case Keenum at the helm, as Stroud sat out his second game with a concussion.

This is a different team with Stroud on the field and the Texans as a team are healthier this time around.

Stroud has been even better since returning from injury, completing 76% of his 58 passes for 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and more importantly, 0 turnover-worthy plays per PFF.com.

You could argue Stroud is playing his best ball of the season and I would consider taking the Texans on the Moneyline as well, as the Cleveland defense has given up an average of 29.6 points on the road.

PICK: Texans +2.5

Dolphins vs. Chiefs (-3.5)

Tua Tagovailoa gets the unenviable task of taking his team to Kansas City to face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs and while this doesn't appear to be a Chiefs team of the last several seasons, this is still a formidable ask.

Mahomes makes the headlines, but the real story here is the Dolphins' second most prolific scoring offense in the league against the Chiefs' defense, which allows just 17.3 points per game and an even lower 16.8 points at home.

Tua is in season four, so he's experienced in the general sense, but it's doubtful he's experienced anything like a night playoff game in Arrowhead Stadium.

Their offense is nothing special, but I still like the Chiefs by a touchdown and expect some mistakes from Tagovailoa who has 14 interceptions on the season.

Pick: Chiefs -3.5

Steelers (+10) vs Bills

Mason Rudolph has been on a roll, leading Pittsburgh to three straight wins, two on the road, while throwing for over 700 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions since taking over in the Steel City.

Another way to look at it is he led his team to wins over a depleted Bengals team, a mediocre Seahawks squad, and a Ravens team without Lamar Jackson.

And T.J. Watt is hurt.

The Steelers defense has been slightly better on the road than home, but without Watt, this group takes a huge step back.

Josh Allen has been a turnover machine, but one of these quarterbacks is not like the other and I suspect the shine comes off of Rudolph in Buffalo this weekend.

This is an efficient line in my mind, but given the number, I'll take the Bills to win and the Steelers to cover.

Pick: Steelers +10

Packers vs. Cowboys (-7.5)

This is a fascinating matchup of a young Green Bay team with a budding superstar vs. a home wagon that has struggled in the playoffs for what seems like forever.

The Cowboys lead the NFL in scoring and are even better at home, averaging a whopping 37.4 points per game, 5.5 more than the closest team.

The Packers' middle-of-the-road defense doesn't inspire much confidence that they can slow down Dak Prescott and Dallas, which means Jordan Love is going to struggle to keep up and that will likely lead to mistakes.

Lost in all the explosiveness of the Cowboys offense is that the defense is fifth in the league in yards allowed, coming in at just under 300 per game.

Weird things happen to Dallas in the playoffs, but I'm betting that'll happen down the line, as Love and the Packers gain experience through the school of hard knocks in this one.

Pick: Cowboys -7.5

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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