By Marcus Mosher | | 9 mins
NFL Wild-Card Weekend Odds, Picks & Complete Betting Guide
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For the first time in NFL history, there are seven playoff teams in each conference. That means we get six games in the wild-card round, and there are several fascinating matchups for fans of NFL betting. With only two teams having a first-round bye (Green Bay and Kansas City), we will see a ton of teams play this weekend who have great chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in just a month.
Given the extra two games, it’s a bettors’ dream, as we should have highly competitive games all weekend long. To help you navigate this six-game slate on Saturday and Sunday, here is our gambling guide for each contest along with our best bet for each game.
Wild-Card Weekend Saturday Picks
Colts at Bills Odds & Top Bet
Believe it or not, this game between the Colts and Bills will feature two of the best offenses in the NFL as both teams averaged over 28 points per game this season. Buffalo has been one of the hottest teams, winning six straight entering the playoffs. It's fair to expect some playoff nerves for both of these teams, and with the Colts having Philip Rivers under center, they might be the more poised team in this game.
There are some concerns about Indianapolis’ ability to beat good teams, but they are one of the most complete teams in the NFL as they have a top-10 offense and defense. However, Buffalo has been one of the league's hottest teams over the past two months. Can the Bills continue their hot streak into the playoffs?
TOP BET: Bills Moneyline
The odds are fantastic, but the Bills should find a way to win this game. Their offense is playing at an incredible level, and with John Brown returning to the lineup, it has a chance to be even better. Look for Buffalo (with a few thousand fans in attendance) to score into the upper 20s and win their first playoff game in decades. You can make the bet with FanDuel.
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Rams at Seahawks Odds & Top Bet
We just saw this matchup in Week 16 when the Seahawks beat the Rams to win the NFC West. However, this time, it’s going to look a lot different becaue Jared Goff isn’t expected to play after undergoing thumb surgery last week. However, with John Wolford under center, the Rams were able to defeat the Cardinals in Week 17 in a meaningful game. Can Sean McVay find a way to upset the Seahawks in Seattle in the playoffs with a relatively unknown at quarterback? That feels like a tall task.
TOP BET: Under
Wild-card games that feature divisional opponents tend to be low-scoring given the familiarity with one another. That should be the case once again, as both defenses are peaking at the right time. Look for both to utilize the run game and rely on the defense to get stops. It's just hard to envision a way the Rams score more than 17 points this week, making the under the smart play in this NFC West battle. Grab these odds over at DraftKings.
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Buccaneers at Washington Odds & Top Bet
With a win over the tanking Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17, Washington secured its spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. However, its win wasn't all that convincing, and the offense continued to struggle. There has even been some talk this week from Ron Rivera about potentially rotating quarterbacks against Tampa Bay. That sounds like a disaster, and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are licking their chops ahead of this matchup on Saturday night.
TOP BET: Buccaneers ATS
It's shocking that this line has stayed below 10 points considering the difference in offensive firepower. If Tampa Bay takes an early lead, Washington doesn't have the horses to win in a shootout. As long as the Buccaneers score into the 20s, they should have no problem covering the 8.5-point spread. There is certainly a chance for a backdoor cover here by Washington, but look for Tampa Bay to make a statement in Round 1. We grabbed these odds at FOX Bet.
Wild-Card Weekend Sunday Picks
Ravens at Titans Odds & Top Bet
Earlier this season, the Titans defeated the Ravens in dramatic fashion, sending Baltimore into a tailspin. But though Tennessee is hosting this game on Sunday, the Titans are a 3.5-point NFL odds home underdog against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. The Titans have one of the league’s best offenses, scoring 31 points per game, but their defense could be a problem in this one. Can Jackson take advantage of one of the league’s worst pass defenses? That will likely be the deciding factor.
TOP BET: Titans ATS
The Titans continue to prove they are one of the best and most physical teams in the AFC. They've shown they can run against the Ravens, and their pass defense isn't exposed (as much) against Baltimore's run-first offense. That is why we love the Titans as home dogs over at PointsBet.
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Bears at Saints Odds & Top Bet
Despite losing to the Packers in Week 17, the Bears were able to sneak into the playoffs with an 8-8 record but must travel to New Orleans to take on the 12-4 Saints. Chicago’s offense has improved over the last month, but that could be due to playing bad defenses (Houston, Minnesota, Jacksonville). Will they enjoy the same success against the No. 5 scoring defense playing on the road? Probably not. However, along with an improved offense, Chicago's defense should allow them to stay in this game.
TOP BET: Bears ATS
The Saints should be able to win this game, but we’ve seen them upset several times in recent years in Round 1. Chicago’s defense could make life difficult for Drew Brees, especially if he is without Michael Thomas and/or Alvin Kamara. For that reason, take the Bears to cover this spread, but for the Saints to ultimately win this game. We got the best odds at BetMGM.
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Browns at Steelers Odds & Top Bet
After beating the Steelers in Week 17, the Browns made the playoffs for the first time since 2002. However, the team they will face in Round 1 is the team they just beat a week ago. But this time, the Steelers will be at full strength.
In their early meeting this season, the Steelers dominated from the start. Baker Mayfield couldn’t solve Pittsburgh's defense, and Ben Roethlisberger had a ton of success through the air. Cleveland still has one of the league's worst defenses, and they lost defensive end Olivier Vernon to an Achilles injury last week. The Browns will also be without head coach Kevin Stefanski and guard Joel Bitonio, who both tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
TOP BET: Steelers ATS
Despite a late-season slump, the Steelers are by far the better and healthier team entering this game. Pittsburgh also has the added benefit of a rested team and a ton of playoff experience. While the Browns are certainly a nice story, they aren’t ready to compete with the AFC elite. Look for Pittsburgh to win by double digits. We grabbed them at William Hill.
Wild-Card Weekend Schedule & TV
Saturday’s Wild-Card Schedule
- AFC: (7) Colts at (2) Bills, 1:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
- NFC: (6) Rams at (3) Seahawks, 4:40 p.m. ET (FOX)
- NFC: (5) Buccaneers at (4) Washington, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday’s Wild-Card Schedule
- AFC: (5) Ravens at (4) Titans, 1:05 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, Freeform)
- NFC: (7) Bears at (2) Saints, 4:40 p.m. ET (CBS, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime Video)
- AFC: (6) Browns at (3) Steelers, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)