In preparation for Wild Card Weekend you’ve analyzed the lines, evaluated the teams on the field, adjusted for injuries and considered the impact weather may have on the games. At any point, did you stop to think about the refs? You know, the guys with the whistle.

Jeff Triplette, Ed Hochuli, John Hussey and Tony Corrente will lead the four crews officiating the Wild Card games. Referees are expected to be impartial but are there tendencies that bettors can exploit?

Note: Records include regular season and playoff games since 2003.

Jeff Triplette: Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5) vs. Tennessee Titans

  • Favorites: 81-67-2 ATS (54.7%, +10.82 units)
  • Home Teams: 68-77-2 ATS (46.9%, -11.57 units)
  • Overs: 76-70-4 (52.1%, +2.36 units)
  • Chiefs: 6-3 ATS
  • Titans: 5-8 ATS

If you like betting the favorite, 65% of spread dollars have moved the Chiefs from -7.5 to -8.5, Jeff Triplette is the zebra for you. The chalk is 81-67-2 (54.7%) ATS when Triplette officiates, a $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $1,082 betting his games – most profitable in the Bet Labs database.

Ed Hochuli: Los Angeles Rams (-6.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons

  • Favorites: 66-89-4 ATS (42.6%, -26.29 units)
  • Home Teams: 72-81-4 ATS (47.1%, -12.15 units)
  • Overs: 76-81-2 (48.4%, -8.14 units)
  • Rams: 6-4 ATS
  • Falcons: 1-8 ATS

Is Ed Hochuli a dog or cat person? Based on this information I’d say the muscle-bound NFL rules enforcer has a thing for the pooches. Underdogs are 89-66-4 (57.4%) ATS and big dogs, teams getting 6 or more points, have gone 36-19-2 (65.5%) ATS when biceps-Ed oversees a game.

John Hussey: Jacksonville Jaguars (-8.5) vs. Buffalo Bills

  • Favorites: 26-19-1 ATS (57.8%, +5.32 units)
  • Home Teams: 23-21-1 ATS (52.3%, +0.50 units)
  • Overs: 18-27-1 (40.0%, -9.89 units)
  • Jaguars: 0-2 ATS
  • Bills: 1-1 ATS

We don’t have a lot of information about Hussey as this is only his third season as a crew chief. According to FootballZebras, when Hussey isn’t mixing it up on the gridiron he is a sales representative for a retail logistics group. How does this apply to Jags-Bills? It doesn’t. Good thing we’ve pieced together a Wild Card preview.

Tony Corrente: New Orleans Saints (-7) vs. Carolina Panthers

  • Favorites: 72-78-3 ATS (48.0%, -8.34 units)
  • Home Teams: 76-71-3 ATS (51.7%, +2.63 units)
  • Overs: 64-87-2 (42.4%, -25.41 units)
  • Saints: 5-4 ATS
  • Panthers: 7-2 ATS

The total for Saints-Panthers is sitting at 48.5, tied for the highest in the Wild Card round. A majority of bets and dollars are on the Over, which could burn bettors. Corrente is the least profitable Over official in our database going 64-87-2 (42.4%). In high total games (46 or more points), the Over is 22-36 (37.9%) when Corrente is on the field.

Placing a wager based solely on the past results of the referee officiating the game would be unwise, but this is one more piece of information to make you a more informed gambler. Knowledge leads to an edge, an edge turns into profit.


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Photo Courtesy of Brian Spurlock- USA Today Sports