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Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

By Adam Thompson | | 8 mins

NFL Wild Card Free Picks & Predictions: Your Best Bets For All Games

NFL Wild Card Free Picks & Predictions: Your Best Bets For All Games
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We’ve seen what Joe Burrow can do for the Bengals, we’ve seen what Jalen Hurts brings to the Eagles offense. But now that the regular season has ended and the NFL Playoffs are here, should we worry about young quarterbacks bringing their “A” game to the big show?

In a word, yes. In more words, it hasn’t gone well at all for first-time QBs when going up against playoff vets. In that situation, the veterans are not just 31-16 straight up (66%), but 32-14-1 against NFL spreads, a massive 70% cover rate.

Five QBs are making their first-ever playoff starts this weekend. That includes both Burrow and Raiders veteran QB Derek Carr, who face each other on Saturday. The other three new QBs will have to buck history – Hurts takes on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, the Patriots’ Mac Jones faces Josh Allen of the Bills and the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray matches up with Matthew Stafford of the Lions. All three are underdogs.

Bookies.com NFL handicapper Adam Thompson has hit on a whopping 62.1% of his best bets in the 2021 NFL season, finishing over 60% in each of the last three seasons. Here are his five best NFL betting wagers for Wild Card Weekend:


RELATED: NFL Wild Card Picks & Predictions For Every Game


NFL Wild Card Weekend Best Bets To Back

Rams ATS over Cardinals

Which Rams team will we see? I’m going with the one that has beaten Kyler Murray in four of five matchups, has allowed just 10 passing TDs all year, and is 8-1-1 ATS in its last 10 games vs. Arizona. Conversely, the Cardinals are decent vs. the run but have allowed 27 passing TDs, most in the NFL.

Arizona sports betting fans had a great run as the Cards went 7-0 to start the season but they've lost six of 10 since, the last five by at least six points each (including an 18-point drubbing by the Lions). We’re laying just four points in a game that could get ugly if veteran L.A. is locked in. (Locked in at -3.5 at DraftKings)

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Raiders ATS over Bengals

There isn’t much separating these teams on paper. Each team prefers to pass – the Raiders are much better at stopping it. Each team likes to use it to set up the run, but only kind of. The Bengals have the slight edge there, and they’re at home.

But the Raiders have a better road-covering record than the Bengals’ home mark, and they’re 3-0 ATS when getting 4-7 points on betting apps. Vegas is getting too many points. (Locked in at +6.5 at BetMGM)

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49ers ATS over Cowboys

Football is a game of matchups, and this isn’t a good one for the host Cowboys. San Francisco is as good as it gets stopping the run, and its pass defense should be better now that it’s healthier. Dallas is 2-4 when allowing over 125 rush yards and the Niners have gained at least 135 in three of four.

San Fran has won seven of nine and is finally healthy. Dallas is no pushover but I like getting a field goal on the more-balanced, steady, momentum-laden Niners. (Locked in at +3 at BetMGM)

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Patriots-Bills Under

We’re talking the No. 1 and No. 2 pass defenses in the NFL, we’re talking just six passing TDs allowed by Buffalo all year, just six rushing TDs allowed by New England. And we’re talking sub-zero wind chills expected in Buffalo. The offense won’t have an edge anywhere on the field. This number at sportsbooks is easily the lowest of the weekend, but first to 20 points might win. New York bettors, don't forget to check out the latest deals on the best NY betting apps before making your wagers on the Bills or Patriots. (Locked in at 43.5 at bet365)


Eagles-Buccaneers Under

Whipping winds are expected for this one, which means less effective passing for Tom Brady and a pass attack that’s already missing key pieces. Add in that Philly will run as long as it’s allowed (which may not be long vs. Tampa’s front) and the return of Leonard Fournette that boosts the Bucs’ ground game, and this has the makings of a close, lower-scoring affair. (Locked in at 49.5 at SugarHouse)


Steelers ATS over Chiefs

OK so these teams matched up not long ago, and it wasn’t even close, a 36-10 blowout and Travis Kelce didn’t even play. So what’s the difference? For one, the KC defense isn’t playing as well as it did when it held four out of five opponents to single digits.

Three of the last four have scored 24-34. The strength-for-strength matchups are nearly even. Aside from the KC beatdown and both matchups vs. the Bengals, every other Steelers game has been decided by 10 points or less. (Locked in at +13 at DraftKings)

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com.