NFL Wild Card Weekend Predictions & Best Bets To Back Today
Bill Speros | 14 mins
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The playoffs have arrived. The NFL betting Super Wild Card Weekend schedule begins Saturday and runs through Monday night.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles earned first-round byes with the top seed in the AFC and NFC, respectively. For 12 other teams, it’s win or go home.
The Seattle Seahawks (No. 7 seed) visit the white-hot San Francisco 49ers (No. 2) to kick things off Saturday afternoon. The Niners have won 10 straight, including five in a row with rookie QB Brock Purdy commanding the offense. The Seahawks earned the final open spot in the league thanks to Dan Campbell’s Lions. They knocked off Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the final game of the regular season, perhaps ending Aaron Rodgers’ career in the process.
Saturday night, the Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5) travel to Duval County to face the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 4) in the AFC’s first playoff game. The Jaguars won the AFC South by beating the Titans in their season finale. The Chargers played for nothing in Week 18, but still lost and saw WR Mike Williams get hurt in the process.
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The Buffalo Bills have become the latest iteration of “America’s Team”. Buoyed in part by the recovery of Damar Hamlin, terrible special teams play by New England, and three Mac Jones interceptions, the AFC East champion Bills bounced the Patriots from the playoffs Sunday and iced the No. 2 overall AFC seed in doing so. They get a Dolphins team that barely beat the Jets in Week 18 with their No. 3 quarterback. That game begins Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
The New York Giants (No. 6) take their improbable story to Minneapolis for a late Sunday afternoon showdown against the NFC North champion Vikings (No. 3). The Baltimore Ravens (No. 6) and AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals (No. 3) meet for the second week in a row and third time this season at 8:15 p.m. Sunday. Buckeye State bettors looking to back the home team on Ohio betting apps should stick around for our pick on the game below.
Super Wild Card Weekend concludes in Tampa Bay with a Week 1 rematch between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 4) and Dallas Cowboys (No. 5). Tampa Bay won that Week 1 game 19-3.
NFL Picks for Super Wild Card Weekend
Oddsmakers on betting apps have now set betting lines on the Super Wild Card Weekend matchups. Here are our NFL Wild Card picks and best bets:
Saturday, January 14
No. 7 Seattle Seahawks (9-8) at No. 2 San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
Time/TV: 4:30 p.m. (FOX)
The 49ers swept the Seahawks this season by a combined score of 48-20. San Francisco, winner of 10 straight, has not lost since falling to the Chiefs at home 44-23. Five of those wins came with Mr. No-Longer-Irrelevant Brock Purdy starting at QB. More impressively, the rookie has gone 4-1 against the spread.
The Seahawks needed some help to reach the postseason in Week 18 and did not clinch their spot until the Lions toppled the Packers. The 49ers are favorites to win the NFC at +160. That journey begins Saturday. Even against a double-digit line.
Best Bet: 49ers -10 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook ➜
No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) at No. 4 Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
The Chargers – for some reason – went all-out to win in Week 18 and kept their starters in most of the game in a meaningless loss to the Broncos. Mike Williams was hurt but is expected to play Saturday.
The Jaguars are playing their best ball of the season. They’ve won five straight, including a pair over Tennessee that sealed the AFC South title. Jacksonville’s defense has emerged as a potent weapon, holding opponents to under 23 points in four of their past five games. The Chargers only beat one playoff team all season, and that was the 7th seed Dolphins. Duuuuvall!
Best Bet: Jaguars Moneyline (+104) at FanDuel Sportsbook ➜
Sunday, January 15th
No. 7 Miami Dolphins (9-8) at No. 2 Buffalo Bills (13-3)
Time/TV: 1 p.m. (CBS)
Jim Nantz and Tony Romo have a new home away from home: Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. They will be back for the second consecutive weekend, calling this AFC Super Wild Card matchup featuring two AFC East foes. The Bills and Dolphins split their season series. The Dolphins beat Buffalo 21-19 in a game most remembered for an ugly situation involving Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa.
The Bills clinched their playoff berth by beating the Dolphins and Tua 32-29 in the snow of Western New York on December 18. The Bills turned Damar Hamlin’s injury and recovery into a Disney movie against New England in Week 18. The Bills scored on the opening kickoff and would never trail. It’s unlikely Tagovailoa will be cleared to play this week given his status in concussion protocol. Teddy Bridgewater is questionable with an injured finger. The Bills have won eight of nine against Miami. The Bills could well pitch a shutout given Miami’s QB situation.
Best Bet: Under 44 Points (-110) at DraftKings ➜
No. 6 New York Giants (9-7-1) at No. 6 Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
Time/TV: 4:30 p.m. (FOX)
The Giants rallied for a cover on a 16-point line against Philadelphia in Week 18 and finished with the best record in the league ATS this season at 13-4. Big Blue covered in six of its final seven games. When these teams met on Christmas Eve, the Vikings won 27-24 on a game-ending 61-yard field goal. The Giants grabbed the cover at +4.5.
Danny Jones threw for 334 yards and Saquon Barkley carried the ball 14 times for 84 yards in that one, but the Giants were plagued by turnovers. This time, the Giants should hold on to the ball and leave Minneapolis with the win.
Best Bet: Giants Moneyline (+135) at DraftKings ➜
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (10-7) at No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
The Ravens won 19-17 when these teams met back in Week 5. The Bengals toyed with a depleted Ravens squad in Week 18, rolling to a 27-16 win at Paycor Stadium just six days after the world was stunned by the injury to Damar Hamlin on the same field. The win over Baltimore in Week 18 iced the location of this game, avoiding a coin-flip. The Ravens rested many of their key personnel in Week 18.
Lamar Jackson has not practiced in a month-plus since his Dec. 4 knee injury. It’s unclear if he’ll be available. His status as a potential free agent looms here. Jackson and the Ravens could have differing views on his status. The Bengals finished a best-in-the-AFC 12-4 ATS - so Cincinnati fans should grab the best Ohio sportsbook promo codes before backing them again here. Joe Burrow has completed 68.2% of his passes in his past five games, with 12 TD passes and just four picks. Talk to the paw.
Best Bet: Bengals -6.5 (-110) at DraftKings ➜
Monday, January 16
No. 5 Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)
Time/TV: 8:15 p.m. (ABC/ESPN)
Tom Brady just completed his first losing season since his freshman year of high school. Tampa Bay finished No. 32 against the spread, going 4-12-1. The Buccaneers lost to Atlanta in Week 18, but sat most of their regulars. Moving forward, Brady has never lost to the Cowboys. The Buccaneers, more importantly, have gotten healthy at the right time.
Brady is 2-0 with Tampa Bay in opening-round playoff games. Overall, the underdog has covered in four of Tampa Bay’s last five playoff games. And the Cowboys are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games in January. Hard to ride against the GOAT in this one, especially when he’s getting points at home.
Best Bet: Buccaneers +3 (-120) at BetMGM ➜