Despite the fact that the Texans are also in quarterback quandary, the Raiders opened up as a 2.5-point underdog for Saturday's game in Houston, which will kick off off this year's postseason.
You couldn't come up with an uglier quarterback situation if you tried. For the Raiders, they're hoping that McGloin will be able to start, but after suffering a shoulder injury in Oakland's 24-6 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, he's no sure thing for the Texans game. If McGloin can't go, that means the Raiders will have to turn to Cook, a rookie who was brought in with a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
If Texans coach Bill O'Brien can't figure out how to beat Cook, fans in Houston might have a meltdown.
If we lose to the Raiders rookie 3rd string QB in the Playoffs at home, EVERYONE should be fired. Concession stand workers & all! #Texans— ḆʀɪᴄḴ Fʟᴀɪʀ (@iam_MR713) January 1, 2017
Of course, just because the Raiders are starting a rookie doesn't mean they can't win.
It's Brock Osweiler or Tom Savage vs. Matt McGloin or Connor Cook!
Get excited, America!
Let's get to the odds.
NFL wild-card early odds
(All lines via the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Saturday, Jan. 7
(5) Raiders (12-4) at (4) Texans (9-7), 4:30 p.m. ET, (ABC/ESPN)
Opening line: Texans, -2.5 points
Current line: Texans, -2.5 points
Before you even think about betting this game, you're probably going to want to find out who the starting quarterbacks will be, because, right now, that's not clear. Raiders backup quarterback Matt McGloin injured his shoulder in Week 17, which means Oakland could be rolling with third-stringer Connor Cook on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Texans, their quarterback situation isn't any prettier. New starter Tom Savage left Sunday's game against Tennessee after getting banged up, which paved the way for Brock Osweiler's return.
These two teams played back in Week 11 when the Raiders had Derek Carr, and Oakland covered as a 6.5-point favorite with a 27-20 win in Mexico City. Overall, the Raiders went 10-6 ATS this year, which was the second best mark in the AFC. However, that was mostly with Carr.
If the Raiders look nervous on Saturday, it's probably because they haven't been to the postseason since the 2002 season, or it could be because Oakland hasn't won a road playoff game since the 1980 season (0-5 since). As for the Texans, they're 2-1 all-time in home playoff games; however, both those wins came against the Bengals, so you don't have to count them if you don't want.
Opening line: Seahawks, -7.5 points
Current line: Seahawks, -7 points
The Lions have never won a road playoff game in the Super Bowl era (0-10), and it doesn't look like oddsmakers expect that to change this year. The Seahawks opened as a 7.5-point favorite in large part because Detroit has been bad on the road and Seattle has been nearly unbeatable at home. The Seahawks finished the regular season with a 7-1 record at home, which was tied for the best home record in the NFL. In those eight home games, the Seahawks went 5-3 ATS.
In the postseason, the Seahawks have been unstoppable at home under Pete Carroll. Since Carroll was hired in 2010, the Seahawks have gone 5-0 straight-up in home playoff games (3-2 ATS). Dating back to 2005, the Seahawks are 9-0 straight-up in road playoff games.
As for the Lions, this game could turn into a nightmare for one reason: It's outdoors. Detroit went 0-3 both straight-up and ATS in outdoor games this year (with losses to the Giants, Bears and Packers). That's not good news for a team that hasn't won a playoff game since the 1991 season. The Lions will also be going into this game on a short week. Oh, and here's one more ugly stat: The Lions went 0-5 in 2016 against teams that made the playoffs.
In an odd coincidence, both teams went 8-8 ATS during the regular season.
Sunday, Jan. 8
Opening line: Steelers, -7.5 points
Current line: Steelers, -9.5 points
This is the biggest spread of Wild Card Weekend, which might come as a slight surprise to Dolphins fans who watched their team beat the Steelers 30-15 as a 7.5-point underdog back in Week 6. This time around, things will be slightly different. For one, this game won't be played in Miami, and two, the Steelers are almost completely healthy, which is something the Dolphins can't say right now.
There's an outside shot that Ryan Tannehill could play in this game, but even if that happens, then the Steelers will get to go up against a banged-up quarterback who's coming off an MCL sprain. The more likely scenario in this game is that the Dolphins will be starting Matt Moore, who's never even played in a playoff game, let alone started in one.
The Dolphins haven't been to the postseason since 2008, and they haven't won a playoff game on the road since the 1999 season. That being said, the Dolphins did go 5-3 ATS in road games this year (4-4 straight-up).
As for the Steelers, they're 4-1 in their past five home playoff games. The Steelers have also been pretty strong ATS. Since 2005 when Ben Roethlisberger won his first Super Bowl, the Steelers have gone 9-4-2 ATS in postseason games, which is the second-best mark in the NFL over that span (only the Giants are better).
(5) Giants (11-5) at (4) Packers (10-6), 4:40 p.m. ET (Fox)
Opening line: Packers, -7.5 points
Current line: Packers, -4.5 points
If there's one team that won't be intimidated by playing on the arctic tundra at Lambeau Field, it's the New York Giants. As a matter fact, the Giants might look at this game as a good omen. The last two times the Giants traveled to Lambeau for a playoff game (2007 and 2011), their season ended with a Super Bowl win.
Oddly, the Giants have been one of the best road teams in recent playoff history. Since 2007, the Giants have gone 5-0 straight-up and 5-0 ATS in postseason road games. Those two marks are even more impressive when you consider that the Giants were underdogs in all five games. If you count all postseason games since 2007, the Giants are 7-1 straight-up and 7-1 ATS, which is the best mark in the NFL over that span.
With Eli Manning under center, the Giants haven't lost a road playoff game since the 2006 season.
As for the Packers, they're no lock to win in the playoffs. With Rodgers under center, the Packers have made the postseason an impressive seven straight times, but they're only 7-6 in playoff games (including the Super Bowl). In that span, the Packers have been slightly better ATS, going 8-4-1.
If you're looking for any ATS trends for this game, here's something that's not going to help: Both the Packers and Giants finished 9-6-1 ATS this year.