Premium Members
Login Register

The regular season is over, and the Wild Card Round brings us a total of six games on Wild Card weekend for the very first time in NFL history. Three of the games have spreads of a touchdown or more, and there are only two games with a total of 50 or more. There are two games where we will see divisional matchups as the Rams face the Seahawks and the Browns face the Steelers. We will also see a rematch of the Titans and Ravens from earlier this season and last year in the playoffs. A red-hot Josh Allen and the Bills will welcome the Colts, who snuck into the playoffs with a Miami loss in Week 17. It will be a long weekend of football, and there is a lot to break down.

Game

Spread

Total

IND @ BUF

BUF -7

51.5

LAR @ SEA

SEA -4.5

42.5

TB @ WAS

TB -8.5

45.5

BAL @ TEN

BAL -3.5

54.5

CHI @ NO

NO -9.5

47.5

CLE @ PIT

PIT -4

46.5


IND @ BUF

Buffalo and Indy open up the weekend and the Bills are coming in on fire offensively. This team dominated all year long and were 11-5 ATS. They were one of the best teams at covering the spread and will have to cover a touchdown this week. Buffalo will need to get off to a strong start, putting the Colts under pressure to score and move the ball through the air is going to be a key for the Bills to dominate this game as well. Offensively the Bills has put up 31.3 points per game this season and Allen posted career numbers. The over was favorable for both the Colts and Bills this season, especially Buffalo, hitting the over 11-4-1. Buffalo has kicked off their games lately on the front foot and they are letting Allen air it out. The Colts will have an injury issue with Anthony Castonzo but do face a Buffalo run defense that ranks middle of the road. There is no doubt the Colts will try to control this game with Jonathan Taylor and efficient short passing. We have seen them do this with the Chiefs who are sort of similar to how the Bills run their offense. Overall I like the Bills to win and cover this week, the offense is too much for the Colts defense who has played a pretty soft schedule.

LAR @ SEA

An inter-division game between the Rams and Seahawks gives us a slight edge when it comes to looking at the odds and how to attack this game. Seattle is favorited as expected, especially with Jared Goff potentially being out. That is likely the case and John Wolford will take over like he did this past week. This game is headed for a slugfest and it is hard to see a ton of entertainment value. The under has hit in 12 out of 16 games for the Rams this season and 9 out of 16 games for the Seahawks. Over the past three games, the Rams-Seahawks have hit the under. I expect a lot of running in this one on both sides even though they both rank top-ten against the run this season. Seattle still struggles against the pass despite the numbers in the second half but the Rams not having a quarterback to exploit it is trouble right off the bat. Seattle is a tough team to trust when it comes to covering in spots where they should. I will take the over instead of stressing Pete Carroll's decision-making.

TB @ WAS

Heavy money is coming in on Tampa Bay and that was to be expected, especially after Washington's display in their playoff-clinching game. Both teams were near .500 ATS this season and the under was very favorable in Washington games as you'd also expect with their offense and a strong defense. Now we are going to hear about the pass-rush of Washington being a potential x-factor. There has been a common theme with beating the Bucs and that is with a lethal pass-rush. However, those teams also had capable offenses of moving the ball and that is not Washington. This is an easy one and doesn't need much dissecting. Tampa has the best run defense in the league and slowing down Antonio Gibson already limits the Washington offense. I thought the Buccaneers were going to be 10 or 10.5 point favorites but that is not the case. I would get in on this action early.

BAL @ TEN

Despite the Titans winning two of the last three meetings, the Ravens are road-favorites this week. Baltimore is 3.5 point favorites and the over/under is the highest of the weekend. Both have strong rushing attacks and between multiple positions. Ryan Tannehill isn't the runner Lamar Jackson is, but he is a threat. Jackson has the more favorable matchup against the Titans defense that ranks 30th against the pass where the Ravens rank 10th against the pass and 12th against the run. Stopping Derrick Henry is a tough task and not many defenses have succeeded, but the Ravens secondary is going to need to step up against AJ Brown and Corey Davis. This is by far the toughest game to evaluate but I prefer the money line on either side if you are going to look to wager here. This should be tightly contested.

CHI @ NO

There is a slight chance that Alvin Kamara doesn't suit up but I find that to be mostly noise. Chicago isn't given much of a chance here as nine-point dogs. Not a big surprise with Mitch Trubisky under center and an offense that has relied on good matchups down the stretch to get into the playoffs. They also got some help from the Cardinals, who stunk over the last few weeks. Overall this one is a no-brainer as to who we believe will win but covering a two-possession spread can lead you to overthink a bit. Both of these teams have good defenses and what if Kamara is limited or out, does Chicago have a chance? I find it hard to believe they will cover, although early public money is pretty even. Chicago was 8-8 ATS this season and the defense isn't quite potent enough to keep this one close.

CLE @ PIT

Another divisional matchup this week and this is now back-to-back weeks as we saw Pittsburgh nearly ruin the Browns playoff chances with Mason Rudolph under center. Pittsburgh is -4.5 favorites in this one and public money is on the Steelers at a 65% clip. It is also on the over, which I think is sneaky with a Steelers defense that lost some big names and a Browns secondary that ranks 25th against the pass. For an 11-5 Cleveland team, they went 6-10 ATS, lost to the Jets, and nearly lost to Mason Rudolph. I have very little confidence in Baker Mayfield still and the defense just isn't in that top tier to make me buy into them against an older Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers are 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings, winning by an average score of 26 to 14. This is still a mismatch for me and I will grab the Steelers covering.

NFL Wild Card Round FAQ

How Can I Bet On Football?

If you are a resident within one of these states: NY, NJ, PA, NH, PA, RI, WV, OR, IN, IA, NV, AR, DE, MS, NM, you can legally bet on the NFL. Sportsbooks are available, and some of them also offer mobile betting.

What Are Opening Lines?

Opening lines are the very first lines put out to the public by oddsmakers. They are put out early, and then adjustments will be made. Getting in on opening lines is where bettors can have an advantage before the lines change.

When Does The Wild Card Round Start?

The wild card round will begin on Saturday, January 9th. The Colts and Bills will be the first game as there are three games on Saturday and three on Sunday.

What Is A Game Total?

A total set for a game is the set number. You can bet the over or under on for total points. If a game is set at 54.5, you can bet either over or under the total combined points between the two teams.

Why Do Lines Change?

Lines can change for various reasons. If there is an injury leading up to the game that has a major effect on the potential outcome, the line will adjust based on the news. Weather is another reason why it can change.

Who Is The Biggest Favorite Of The Wild Card Round?

The Saints are the biggest favorites at -9.5 against the Chicago Bears. Chicago snuck into the postseason despite winning just eight games.



Comments
No comments.