The NFL Playoffs kick off this weekend with 14 teams hoping to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles in about a month’s time.
Green Bay and Tennessee have earned the weekend off after finishing as the top seed in the NFC and AFC respectively while six teams will see their seasons brought to a sudden end in the ruthless win or go home nature of the postseason.
If you missed it earlier in the week, check out our NFL Playoffs Preview where we run through the strengths and weaknesses of every team that made the postseason.
Four of this weekend’s six games are rematches of regular season contests including two which feature divisional rivals playing for the third time.
We’ve run the numbers, looked at the (digital) game tape and analysed the markets to find our best bets for the coming games.
Read on for our previews and best bets for every NFL Wild Card game this weekend.
Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday 16 January, 8:40am, Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati 26 – Las Vegas 19
The biggest variable when predicting this game is finding out how much energy the Las Vegas Raiders have left in the tank.
After such a dramatic ending to their season and having to back up for a Saturday game, nobody should be surprised if the Raiders are a little bit flat out of the gates against Cincinnati.
Anyone who has watched the Bengals this season knows how dangerous they can be, especially if that connection of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase gets going.
Those two would have watched Justin Herbert light up the Raiders secondary last week and thought they could be in for a very big day if given the opportunity.
While there is always the chance of Cincinnati’s young team not being ready for primetime mentally and freezing in the playoff spotlight, it is not something I would expect to happen.
Back Cincinnati to Cover -5.5 @ $1.90
SGM: Joe Burrow 250+ Passing Yards & 3+ TD Passes @ $2.99
SGM: Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon Anytime TD Scorers and Chase 75+ Receiving Yards @ $4.53
New England Patriots
Sunday 16 January, 12:15pm, Highmark Stadium
Buffalo 47 – New England 17
Just like when these teams faced off in Orchard Park in early December, the weather is looking like it will be the dominant storyline heading into the game.
An arctic chill will descend on Western New York setting the stage for one of the coldest games in the stadium’s history as the Bills host their first full capacity playoff game since 1996.
They will be buoyed by their Week 16 win in New England where Josh Allen was the star of the show, throwing for three touchdowns and accounting for 378 of the Bills 428 total yards on the day.
He will need to be at his best however despite being in his fourth season in the North-East, he still has shown signs of struggling in cold weather.
Despite going 4-1 in games under 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius) Allen has only thrown for 205 yards per game with nine touchdowns and four interceptions, a significant drop off from when the weather is more palatable.
Where he will be able to win this game is with his legs, so be prepared for Allen to run against a slow Patriots front that has had its issues with mobile quarterbacks.
New England will run Damien Harris a lot so I’ll back a productive game from him as that is their path to victory however Allen will be the best player on the field and is shaping up as the difference maker as Buffalo records a statement win, edging out their scrappy division rival.
Back Buffalo to Win by 1-13 @ $2.40
Back Josh Allen Anytime TD Scorer @ 2.90
SGM: Damien Harris 70+ Rush Yards & Anytime TD Scorer @ $3.40
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Monday 17 January, 5:00am, Raymond James Stadium
Tampa Bay 31 – Philadelphia 15
The reigning Super Bowl champions will host their first home playoff game since January 6, 2008, when they lost to the New York Giants 24-14… assuming you don’t count last year’s Super Bowl of course.
Either way, they will have a vocal crowd behind them when they take on the Eagles and are heading into this game with the second biggest line in their favour of the weekend.
On paper this should be no contest with the Buccaneers a much stronger side in spite of a handful of injuries depleting their pass catching corps.
They do still have Mike Evans and Brady’s old reliable Rob Gronkowski to call on with the latter absent for their 28-22 win in Philadelphia earlier this season.
Defensively this will come down to how well Tampa can contain Philadelphia’s run game that has been the catalyst for the Eagles strong finish to the year.
While their 7-2 record is impressive, it does also come with a slight caveat they did not beat a single team that made the NFL Playoffs.
Philadelphia might keep it close against a Tampa side that is patching over some cracks but this should be the Bucs’ day to shine.
Back Tampa Bay to Cover -8.5 @ $1.94
Back Rob Gronkowski Anytime TD Scorer @ $2.40
Back Jalen Hurts Anytime TD Scorer @ $3.75
San Francisco 49ers
Monday 17 January, 8:40am, AT&T Stadium
Dallas 17 – San Francisco 23
You will hear plenty of references this week to this game being a throwback to the early 1990’s.
After all it will be the first time these sides have met in the playoffs since the NFC Championship in January 1995, which was won on the day by San Francisco 38-28.
With how both of these sides are setup, a similar scoreline could very well be on the cards in this one as we have two offences that are more than capable of putting up points when they need to.
Dallas has scored for fun this season, breaking 40 points on five occasions, however that has been at least partly due to necessity with a playmaking, all or nothing defence giving up plenty going the other way.
That could be music to the ears of Kyle Shanahan who has one of the best offensive weapons in the league in Deebo Samuel, who Dallas will no doubt try to stop but there are legitimate questions over whether or not they will be able to.
There is a strong possibility that 30 points will be the bare minimum score require to win this game and the over looks very tantalising.
As does backing the visitors outright, following their gritty effort to make the postseason, winning seven of their last nine.
San Francisco is battle tested, Dallas is flashy, this is shaping up as the potential game of the weekend.
Back San Francisco to Win @ $2.35
Back Over 51 Points @ $1.90
SGM: Deebo Samuel and Amari Cooper Anytime TD Scorers @ $4.60
Kansas City Chiefs
Monday 17 January, 12:15pm, Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City 42 – Pittsburgh 21
Arrowhead Stadium will be cold, clear and most importantly loud as the Chiefs try to reach a third straight Super Bowl while also ending the career of Ben Roethlisberger.
The Chiefs are deservedly the biggest favourites of the weekend in a game that should be over by the end of the first quarter.
Even with injury clouds over a couple of difference makers on offence, it is tough to see a way Pittsburgh will be able to score more than the 10 points they registered in their Week 16 defeat at this same venue.
An early Chiefs lead might also cause the scoring to slow down a bit as Kansas will feel very confident in their defence’s ability to protect a two score advantage, especially if Pittsburgh is missing Najee Harris.
In the touchdown market, Patrick Mahomes looks well over the odds given his scrambling ability and tendency to run it in from close range.
He has only ran for two scores this season, however he has four from eight postseason starts, including the first touchdown in Super Bowl LIV two years ago.
At that price it’s worth a shot.
Back Kansas City to Cover -13 @ $1.98
Back Under 46.5 Points @ $1.90
Back Patrick Mahomes Anytime Touchdown Scorer @ $5.60
Los Angeles Rams
Tuesday 18 January, 12:15pm, SoFi Stadium
LA Rams 34 – Arizona 11
For the first time, the NFL will have a playoff game on Monday night as the Rams host the Cardinals at the Super Bowl stadium.
At different times throughout the year, Arizona and Los Angeles have looked like the best team in the league however there are major question marks over each team.
Arizona has looked nothing like the team that started the season 7-0 but finished the year on a 4-6 run as injuries have robbed the offence of its explosiveness.
The Cardinals’ star receiver DeAndre Hopkins is set to miss this game and that has really limited their gameplan as it has allowed the opponents to tee off on slowing down their running game.
Los Angeles has the difference makers on both sides of the ball to swing a playoff game and their two midseason acquisitions Odell Beckham Jr and Von Miller were brought in for games like this.
Add in the NFL’s receiving leader Cooper Kupp and a pair of elite defenders in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and you have all the ingredients for a Rams win.
Back LA Rams to Cover -4 @ $1.90
Back Over 49.5 Points @ $1.94
Back James Conner Anytime TD Scorer @ $2.25
The NFL’s expanded playoff format has offered up an absolute feast of Wild Card action this weekend with not four, but six games to choose from.
The Buffalo Bills will be hoping to keep momentum rolling when they kick things off at home against the Colts on Sunday, followed by another NFC West battle between the Seahawks and the Rams for the second time in two weeks.
Meanwhile, on Monday, another triple-header awaits featuring a rematch of last year’s divisional round game between the Titans and Ravens, capped off with the Browns making their first playoff appearance since 2002 against the Steelers.
This is always one of the most unpredictable weekends on the entire NFL calendar, and with plenty of markets to choose from, you can find our complete 2021 Wild Card Preview below!
Sunday 10 January, 5:00am, Bills Stadium
Close to 7,000 fans will be in attendance at Orchard Park on Sunday as the Bills host their first playoff game in 25 years.
An MVP-like season from Josh Allen helped lead Buffalo to an impressive 13-3 record, but the job is far from over as the Bills now hope to win their first playoff game since 1995.
Standing between the Bills and history is the Indianapolis Colts, a dangerous team likely playing with a chip on its shoulder after just missing out on the AFC South crown last week following Tennessee’s late win over Houston.
The Colts have arguably been one of the top defensive sides all season, which poses an interesting matchup against a red-hot Bills offence that has scored 30+ points in each of its last three games.
On the flip side, the Colts have also held their own offensively this year ranking ninth in points scored, so you could certainly argue that Frank Reich’s side is almost the complete package.
It might sound obvious, but much of this game will boil down to who can win the red zone battle.
Defensively, the Bills have been vulnerable in this area of the field ranking sixth in points allowed, while the Colts can sometimes struggle to convert red zone opportunities into touchdowns.
There’s no denying the Bills are a serious Super Bowl chance this year, but this Colts front seven shapes up to be one of their toughest tests of the entire season.
We’ve seen Indy cause problems for elite QB’s like Aaron Rodgers this year, so if Indy can apply pressure and make Josh Allen force some throws, they should be right in this.
Tip: Back the Colts to Cover the Line (+6.5 Points) @ $1.90
Los Angeles Rams
Sunday 10 January, 8:30am, Lumen Field
The Seahawks have opened as the -4 favourites as they prepare to host the Rams for the second time this season.
Seattle secured the NFC West crown two weeks ago with a win over Sean McVay’s side, but this still shapes up to be one of the most difficult games to try and pick from a betting perspective.
The uncertainty surrounding Jared Goff, who could potentially miss his second straight game with a thumb injury, largely explains the $1.52 about Seattle head-to-head.
Backup John Worfold did just enough to steer the Rams to a playoff berth last week with a win over Arizona, but it’s difficult to see LA matching Seattle on the scoreboard if Goff doesn’t start.
In all likelihood this game boils down to whether the Rams can ride their defence to another win.
LA caught a break last week with Kyler Murray leaving the game injured, but that doesn’t take away from the fact they held a dynamic Cardinals offence to just seven points.
Russell Wilson is as dangerous as they come, especially in the playoffs, but the Seahawks have hardly been the juggernaut we thought they might be way back in September.
San Francisco proved last week that if you take D.K. Metcalf out of the equation, Seattle starts to look a little suspect on the offensive side of the ball.
Wilson has also had a few turnover issues at times this season, which the Rams did well to exploit when they defeated Seattle 23-16 back in Week 10.
All of this points towards a low-scoring game, even if the total is set at 42.5 points.
Twelve of LA’s games have gone under this year, while the Seahawks have failed to put up more than 23 points in each of their last three games.
Tip: Under 42.5 Total Points @ $1.90
Washington Football Team
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday 10 January, 12:15pm, FedEx Field
The Washington Football Team is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 after securing the NFC East crown last week with a win over the Eagles.
After finishing the season 7-9, it’s no surprise to find WFT as +8 underdogs heading into this Wild Card matchup against the Bucs, but there is a case to be made for Ron Rivera’s side if the defence can do the talking.
Chase Young declared last week that he was coming for Tom Brady, and if he gets his wish, the Bucs might be in some trouble.
The main reason Washington even finds itself in this position is due to their fierce defence.
WFT finished the regular season ranked sixth in sacks and fourth in fewest points allowed, a combination that could make life difficult for this high-powered Bucs offence if Washington’s pass rush can slow Brady down.
Of course, Washington will need to find points somewhere, and although Alex Smith’s comeback story is quite easily one of the best in sports, it’s difficult to see Washington keeping this game close if the defence doesn’t fire.
Backing Washington to win or even cover might be a tad ambitious, but backing their defence to hold the Bucs to a slim total is certainly in the realm of possibility.
Tip: Bucs Under 26.5 Total Points @ $1.88
Monday 11 January, 5:00am, Nissan Stadium
The Ravens will be out for revenge on Monday when they face the Titans in the playoffs for the second year in a row.
It appears the bookies are all-in on Baltimore winning comfortably with a -3 line set, but if their previous Week 11 meeting was any indication, we should be in for a shootout.
After knocking off the Ravens in last year’s divisional round, the Titans added more misery this season by winning on a walk-off Derrick Henry touchdown in overtime.
The two sides combined for 54 points that day, but it’s fair to say a lot has changed since then.
Firstly, the Ravens were in the midst of their COVID outbreak during the midway point of the season, so it’s tough to read too much into Lamar Jackson’s numbers against Tennessee when they last met.
Second, Baltimore has looked almost unstoppable over the last month rattling off five consecutive wins over Dallas, Cleveland, Jacksonville, the Giants and Cincinnati, while the Titans barely survived their game against Houston last week after being destroyed by the Packers the week before.
Henry dominated Tennessee earlier in the year as the Ravens continuously blitzed, but there’s a good chance defensive coordinator Don Martindale has learned his lesson.
Last year’s divisional loss was also something Lamar Jackson stewed on all offseason, so you just know he’s going to be amped up for this game.
There’s no doubt this game should be a high-scoring classic, but the Ravens do look a good bet purely due to the revenge angle based on recent form.
Tip: Back the Ravens to Cover the Line (-3 Points) @ $1.90
New Orleans Saints
Monday 11 January, 8:30am, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
The Saints have opened as double-digit favourites as they prepare to host the 8-8 Chicago Bears on Monday.
Even after losing to the Packers in a blowout last week, the Bears still managed to sneak into the playoffs as they prepare to face a red-hot Saints team that has won two straight games by double digits.
Drew Brees seems to be returning to full strength, and considering this might be his last real shot at winning another Super Bowl, it wouldn’t be surprising if he finished with some big numbers.
Star wide receiver Michael Thomas is eligible to play for the first time since Week 14, and although the Saints are playing it safe with Alvin Kamara, all signs point towards him starting at running back.
Defensively the Bears are no slouch, but they do look outmatched heading into this game.
The Bears really haven’t beaten anyone of note since their win over Tampa Bay way back in October and there’s also the added risk of Mitch Trubisky turnovers to factor in.
You might not know it, but the Saints have been a tough team to throw the ball against this year ranking fifth in fewest yards allowed.
Providing Kamara starts, this looks to be the safest bet of the weekend.
Tip: Back the Saints to Cover the Line (-10.5 Points) @ $2.02
Monday 11 January, 12:15pm, Heinz Field
The Browns qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last week with a dramatic win over the Steelers, but things have really taken a turn for the worst ever since.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski won’t be on the sidelines to coach his team after testing positive during the week – a tough pill to swallow as the Browns now find themselves drifting out to +6 in betting.
Even with Stefanski absent, it was difficult to get too carried away about Cleveland’s chances after just squeaking by against Mason Rudolph and the rest of the Steelers’ understrength roster last week.
To be fair, Pittsburgh has hardly been impressive in the second half of this season, but they should be much better off with Ben Roethlisberger and a handful of key defenders returning.
Home field advantage is also a key factor in this game.
The Browns haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 2003, while their complete lack of playoff experience might see that record extended even further.
This has been a significantly important season for Cleveland and there’s no doubting they’ve improved drastically on last year.
Baker Mayfield could keep the Browns in this game providing he keeps his emotions in check, but with no Stefanski and the Steelers well-rested, a win seems a tough ask.
Tip: Back the Steelers 1-13 @ $2.40
Some consider Wild Card weekend to be the crown jewel of the postseason and with four highly anticipated games on offer, it’s hard to disagree.
After an epic conclusion to the regular season between the Seahawks and 49ers, there is only a short five day break ahead of Sunday’s AFC doubleheader between the Texans and Bills, followed by the Patriots and the Titans from Foxboro.
Monday’s NFC slate also holds value with the Saints hosting the Vikings, followed by an almost even money game between the Eagles and Seahawks from Philly.
Nothing beats playoff football, so if you’re searching for some winners, be sure to read our entire 2020 NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview below.
Sunday 5 January, 7:35am, NRG Stadium
Two of the seasons best betting plays are in action on Sunday as the Bills find themselves as +3 underdogs heading to Houston.
Buffalo’s loss to the Jets last week cemented the Bills at 10-6 after head coach Sean McDermott chose to rest a handful of his starters. The Bills will also be eager for revenge after losing to the Texans 20-13 on the road last season.
Houston also comes into this game well-rested after losing in blowout fashion to the Titans last week. The Texans stuck to their season script by winning two straight games followed by a loss, which does suggest another Houston victory is instore this week.
Before you go loading up on the Texans though, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Bills are 4-1 against the spread following a previous loss and 6-2 on the road.
Buffalo’s defence has also been outstanding against the pass allowing the fourth-fewest yards against. That could pose a few problems for a Texans team that ranks only middle of the pack offensively through the air.
On the flip side, the Texans also rank fourth in passing yards allowed, which could lead to the Bills passing the ball a lot more than we’ve grown accustom to. With Buffalo’s elite defence in mind and their strong numbers against the spread, it’s worth taking the Bills to Cover.
Tip: Back the Bills to Cover the Line (+3 Points) @ $1.92
New England Patriots
Sunday 5 January, 11:15am, Gillette Stadium
The Patriots will play in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009 after losing a stunner to the Dolphins last week at home.
Not surprisingly, the bookies still have faith in the defending champs though, favouring New England by -4.5 points in this 2018 Divisional Round rematch.
The Titans, meanwhile, will relish their underdog tag on the road in Foxboro. Tennessee’s midseason turnaround has earned coach Mike Vrabel a worthy mention in the Coach of the Year conversation, while the Titans’ 5-3 record on the road is also worth factoring in.
Tennessee has lost two of its last three games against the Patriots, although the Titans will take faith in the fact they beat New England 34-10 when these two sides met last year.
As far as Sunday’s game goes though, there are a number of things to consider.
Firstly, Bill Belichick’s disciples have had the upper hand over their former mentor with Bill O’Brien and Brian Flores both earning wins over the Patriots this year. Considering Vrabel is a former Patriots player, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Titans give New England a run for their money.
Second, Tennessee’s defence has allowed an average of only 17-points on the road this year, largely due to the fact they’ve allowed the seventh-fewest third down conversions to opponents.
Last but not least, plenty has been made of the Patriots’ passing game this year – especially with Julian Edelman nursing injuries – but New England still ranks eighth in passing yards and seventh in total points scored.
Overall, it’s difficult to see the Patriots losing this game, but it’s also hard to see the likes of Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill going down without a fight.
Tip: Back the Patriots to Win & the Patriots Under 24 Total Points @ $4.10
New Orleans Saints
Monday 6 January, 4:05am, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Anyone else got a sense of dejavu?
The Saints and the Vikings meet on Sunday in a rematch of 2018’s unforgettable Miracle in Minneapolis with a trip to the Divisional Round on the line.
New Orleans has been installed as -7.5 favourites with home-field advantage, but with a 4-4 record against the spread at home this year, it’s worth diving deeper into this one.
The Vikings head to the Superdome well-rested after Mike Zimmer chose to rest a handful of his starters during last week’s loss to the Bears. Word is star running back Dalvin Cook is expected to return this week, leaving the line looking a little generous in the Saints’ favour.
Minnesota has struggled without Cook losing back-to-back games to close out the regular season, but with that said, the Vikings still rank sixth in the league in rushing yards and touchdowns.
On the flip side, the Saints have been one of the league’s best teams against the run allowing the fourth-fewest yards and only 13 touchdowns. New Orleans has also been a tough team to convert against on third down holding teams to the sixth-lowest conversion percentage in the league.
The Saints have covered in two of their last three games against Minnesota, which spells further bad news for a Vikings team that went 4-4 on the road during the regular season. Minnesota hasn’t won at the Superdome since 2008, so it’s worth backing the Saints to extend that streak even further.
Tip: Back the Saints to Cover the Line (-7.5 Points) @ $1.96
Monday 6 January, 7:40am, Lincoln Financial Field
The events that led to this game have been nothing short of entertaining.
Philly find themselves in the playoffs for the third straight year after reclaiming the NFC East last week against the Giants, while Seattle, on the other hand, had a chance to skip the Wild Card round entirely if only they’d beaten the Niners (and the refs) at home.
Looking ahead, this has the makings to be the most entertaining game of the weekend, if not the entire playoffs.
Made up of second stringers and Carson Wentz, the Eagles are a bag of bones right now that nobody – not even the bookies – are giving a chance. And as for the Seahawks, well… what can you say about a team that has now lost two straight games?
Philadelphia has opened as +2 underdogs with home-field advantage, but you might want to go all-in on the Eagles to win this game outright for one simple reason: their tight end game.
Seattle’s defence was shredded last week by the Niners, and we should see the same happen again this week if Wentz can hook up with Zach Ertz or his replacement Dallas Goedert.
The Seahawks have allowed the second-most yards to opposing tight ends this year, while Seattle’s run defence will also have its hands full with emerging stars Boston Scott and Miles Sanders.
Say what you will about the Eagles and their injuries, but like 2017, this team has a distinct underdog feel to it. With four wins from their last five, it’s worth backing Philly to keep the momentum rolling.
Tip: Back the Eagles to Win @ $2.10
Four big games over two huge days – there’s nothing like Wildcard Weekend in the NFL.
After the regular season reached boiling point last week, expect the unexpected as all eight teams look to move one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Among those teams, the Philadelphia Eagles – last year’s champions. But can Philly really pull off the unthinkable for the second year in a row?
Be sure to check out our entire 2019 NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview below!
Sunday 6 January, 8.35am, NRG Stadium
Houston 7 – Indianapolis 21
Even after posting an 11-5 record good enough to claim the third seed in the AFC, the Texans will still meet their division rival in the Wild Card round this weekend.
The 10-6 Colts are perhaps the most dangerous team in the playoffs, and as their 33-17 domination over the Titans last week suggests, Indianapolis are capable of piling on points in a hurry.
Since these two are more than familiar with eachother, it’s worth revisiting their match ups this season. In Week 4, well before the Colts had established themselves as a winning team, let alone a playoff contender, the Texans held on for a narrow 37-34 victory behind a huge 169-yard, one touchdown game from wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Fast forward to Week 14, and it was the Colts on the right end of a three-point victory, defeating the Texans on the road 24-21 thanks to a huge 399-yard, two touchdown game from quarterback Andrew Luck.
So what does that all mean?
Other than each game being decided by as little as three-points, don’t get too carried away dreaming about an offensive shootout. Both of these teams know how to play defence, and as it just so happens, the Texans and the Colts rank Top 10 in takeaways this season.
Unfortunately for Houston though, there’s one problem: the offensive line. Houston have allowed the most sacks (62) of any NFL team this season, and with a 0-4-1 record at the line against the Colts in their last five games, failing to protect the quarterback should see the Texans’ brilliant season come to abrupt end.
Tip: Back the Colts To Win @ $2.05
Sunday 6 January, 12.15pm, AT&T Stadium
Dallas 24 – Seattle 22
It’s the crown jewel of Wild Card Weekend, and we should be in for some good ol’ fashioned smashmouth football between two of the league’s top defensive sides.
The Seahawks held on for a nail-biting 27-24 home win over the Cardinals last week, but they required all four quarters and a last second field goal to defeat one of the league’s worst teams.
As for Dallas, winning their 23rd division championship a fortnight ago was worth celebrating, but after an equally narrow 36-35 win over the Giants last week, they too have plenty of questions left to be answered.
For Seattle, there’s no doubt the Seahawks look very flukey and very beatable. Sure, they held on for a huge win over the Chiefs at home a fortnight ago, but Seattle’s 4-4 record on the road leaves plenty to be desired.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, have home field advantage to their name, which makes a world of difference with a 7-1 record inside Jerry World. Better yet, Dallas’ defensive unit has allowed the sixth fewest points this year and the fifth-fewest rushing yards, which should be enough to contain Russell Wilson in the pocket.
Seattle aren’t one-dimensional, but they are very dependent on Wilson, who by all accounts should figure in the MVP discussion. You could say the same about Dallas and Ezekiel Elliott, but going up against a Cowboys side that are 6-1-1 at the line in their last eight games, the lack of a consistent running game should hurt the Hawks’ chances.
Tip: Back the Cowboys To Cover The Line (-1 Point) @ $1.90
Los Angeles Chargers
Monday 7 January, 5.05am, M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore 17 – LA Chargers 23
The best defence against one of the top scoring sides, what more could you ask for?
On one hand Baltimore’s dramatic two-point win over the Browns last week earned them the right to the AFC North crown, but on the other, it secured home-field advantage against the Chargers.
Los Angeles will be sweating on Melvin Gordon’s health after sustaining an ankle injury last week, but all reports suggest the star running back expects to make the trip to Baltimore. It’s good news following on from the Chargers’ 23-9 victory over the Broncos last week, but LA will need to rely on more than just Gordon, Philip Rivers and their talented receiving trio this week.
On defence the Chargers have allowed the eighth-fewest rushing and passing yards this season, and they’ll be relying on plenty of pocket pressure from defensive end Joey Bosa to get the job done against the Ravens.
Bosa has played in just seven games this season, but his presence has been felt around the ball. The former first round draft pick has 5.5 sacks and 18 tackles to his name, which should come in handy against an elusive and agile quarterback like Lamar Jackson.
Defence has carried the Ravens this far, but it nearly cost them last week against Cleveland. With a rookie quarterback at the helm and no go-to wide receivers to rely upon, it’s hard to look past the Chargers and their 7-1 road record.
Tip: Back the Chargers To Win @ $2.15
Monday 7 January, 8.40am, Soldier Field
Chicago Bears 15 - Philadelphia Eagles 16
After posting a 12-4 record on their way to their first NFC North title since 2010, are the Bears actually legit?
If you’ve been tossing up on Chicago being a ‘contender’ or a ‘pretender’ this season, you’re not alone. We should find out this week at Soldier Field though, as Chicago prepare to face last year’s Super Bowl champs.
The Eagles snuck into the playoffs thanks to a 24-0 thumping over the Redskins on the road last week. The status of starting quarterback Nick Foles looked a little cloudy after taking a shot to the chest in the third quarter, but the good news is last year’s unthinkable Super Bowl MVP is set to start on Monday.
For the Bears, things are heating up at the right time, particularly on the ground game. As far as consistency goes, running back Jordan Howard has been the exact opposite, but his 109-yard, two touchdown effort against a stingy Minnesota defence last week was an encouraging sign.
It goes without saying, but if Chicago can rely on the running game, look out. It takes the pressure off Mitchell Trubisky, who’s passing skills are questionable at best, and it should also wear out the Eagles’ defence – a unit that has allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards all season.
This game is tough to call, mainly due to the quarterback position. Can Trubisky be trusted? And how healthy is Nick Foles?
There’s no doubt the Eagles are way over the odds at this price, and it’s worth remembering the Bears are 2-6 in their last eight games against the Eagles at home. With plenty to think about, the Points market is probably your best bet.
Tip: Back Under 41 Total Points @ $1.90
The 2018 NFL Playoffs are finally here and we are set for four massive games this weekend.
Wild Card Weekend is always one of the most anticipated events on the NFL schedule and this year in particular is packed full of massive games.
We have had plenty of success with our NFL Tips during the NFL Regular season and we are confident that will continue in the NFL Playoffs, so don’t miss out on our NFL Playoffs Wild Card Weekend tips below.
Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 7 January, 8.35am, Arrowhead Stadium
Tennessee Titans 22 - Kansas City Chiefs 21
The Kansas City Chiefs are the shortest-priced favourites in the opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs.
It has been an up and down season for the Chiefs, but they were able to secure the AFC West with four straight wins to finish the season and on their day their offence is one of the most explosive in the NFL.
The Chiefs have won six of their past nine games as home favourites and they have covered the line in each of these victories.
The Tennessee Titans scraped into the NFL Playoffs with their narrow win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the final weekend of the season and they would need to go to another level to beat the Chiefs.
It has been the Titans defence that has gotten them to this stage of the season and their offence would need to step-up significantly for them to make a deep run.
The Titans have lost their past three games as away underdogs and their record against the line is not much better.
This is a game that Kansas City should win comfortably and they can cover the line in the process.
Back Kansas City To Beat The Line (-6 Points)
Los Angeles Rams
Sunday 7 January, 12.15pm, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Atlanta Falcons 26 - Los Angeles Rams 13
The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the big improvers in the NFL this season and they will start this clash with the Atlanta Falcons as clear favourites.
Los Angeles face the biggest challenge of their season to date against the Falcons and they do look a touch under the odds at their current price.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has hardly been a happy fortress for the Rams and they have won only four of their games at home this season, while they are a team that has very little NFL Playoffs experience.
Atlanta secured their place in the NFL Playoffs with a win over the Carolina Panthers last weekend and we saw last season that they are a side that is more than capable of winning in the post-season.
The Falcons have won five of their past eight games on the road as well as their past four games against the Rams.
This is an offence that can be close to unstoppable when they get hot and there is nowhere near as much between these two sides as the current betting market suggests.
Back Atlanta To Win @ $3.60
Monday 8 January, 5.05am, EverBank Field
Jacksonville Jaguars 10 - Buffalo Bills 3
This is a huge occasion for both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills.
Jacksonville are back in the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2007 – after winning the AFC South for the first time – and they will go into this clash with the Bills as clear favourites.
The Jaguars did lost their past two games of the regular season and they have produced some poor efforts this season, but they generally do produced their best football in front of their home fans.
They have won five of their past six games as home favourites for a big profit and they are 4-2 against the line in this scenario.
Buffalo ended the biggest post-season drought in American sports with their emotional win over the Miami Dolphins in week 17 and that may have been their Grand Final.
The Bills have won two of their past six games as away underdogs for a profit, but they are only 2-1-3 against the line in this scenario and they have struggled when they have faced the top sides in the NFL this season.
This is a huge opportunity for Jacksonville to make a deep NFL Playoffs run and they should prove too strong for the Bills.
Back Jacksonville To Beat The Line (-8 Points)
New Orleans Saints
Monday 8 January, 8.40am, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans Saints 31 - Carolina Panthers 26
This is a massive game between these NFC South rivals.
The improvement of the New Orleans Saints defence has been one of the most underrated stories in the NFL this season and they could be the team to beat in the NFC.
New Orleans have been particularly strong in front of their home fans this season and they have won all seven of their games as home favourites, while they are 5-2 against the line in this scenario.
Add in the fact that the Saints comfortably beat the Carolina Panthers twice this season and it is easy to see why they will start this clash as clear favourites.
Carolina won six of their last eight games to get back into the NFL Playoffs and they are a team that is capable of brilliance on their day.
The Panthers have won three of their past five games as away underdogs for a big profit and they have beaten some of the best teams in the NFL this season.
The betting play that really stands out in this is the Over in our Total Points betting market.
Backing the Over in games involving either of these teams has been a profitable betting play all season long and 12 of the past 16 games between the sides played at Mercedes-Benz Superdome have gone over.
Back Over 48 Points
The 2017 NFL Playoffs finally get underway this weekend and we are set for four outstanding games of football.
Wild Card Weekend often produces some of the best football of the entire NFL Playoffs and all four games this weekend have the potential to be absolute rippers.
There have been a great deal of upsets throughout the NFL regular season and that doesn’t look likely to end in the Playoffs, which means that there is plenty of excellent value available this weekend.
Sunday 8 January, 8.35am, NRG Stadium
Houston Texans 27 - Oakland Raiders 14
The Houston Texans finished on top of the AFC South, while the Oakland Raiders claimed a wildcard after being narrowly denied the AFC West title.
There is no doubt that the injury suffered by Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr a fortnight ago has completely changed the complexion of this game as the Raiders would likely have started as narrow favourites.
Instead it is the Texans that will start this clash as clear favourites and they are extremely tough to beat in this scenario.
Houston have won all six of their games as home favourites this season for a clear profit and they are 3-1-2 against the line in this scenario.
Oakland won four of their six games as away underdogs this season, but they did so with Carr under centre and I just don’t think that either Matt McGloin or Connor Cook are capable of leading their team to a playoff victory.
Back Houston To Beat The Line (-3.5 Points)
Sunday 8 January, 12.15pm, CenturyLink Field
Seattle Seahawks 26 - Detroit Lions 6
The Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West, while the Detroit Lions scored a wildcard after losing to the Green Bay Packers in the game that decided the NFC North.
Seattle have been inconsistent throughout this season, but they are a team that is perfectly suited to Playoffs football and they have an abundance of big-game experience.
The Seahawks will start this clash as dominant favourites and they have won seven of their past eight games in this scenario, while they are 4-1-3 against the line.
Detroit head into the NFL Playoffs on the back of three losses and they take very little momentum into the post-season.
The Lions won three of their seven games as away underdogs this season, but their record against the line is identical for a clear loss.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Monday 9 January, 5.05am, Heinz Field
Pittsburgh Steelers 30 - Miami Dolphins 12
The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North once again, while the Miami Dolphins produced an outstanding second half of the season to claim a wildcard.
Pittsburgh have won seven games in a row since their loss to the Dallas Cowboys in a thriller and they go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Steelers have won six of their past seven games as home favourites for a clear profit and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
Miami’s transformation in the second half of the season has been fairly remarkable, but that are still up against it in this clash.
The Dolphins have won three of their seven games as away underdogs this season for a narrow profit and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
Pittsburgh should be able to get the job done, but it should be closer than the current market suggests and the Dolphins are a great bet to cover the line.
Back Miami To Beat The Line (+10 Points)
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
Monday 9 January, 8.40am, Lambeau Field
Green Bay Packers 38 - New York Giants 13
The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions in the final game of the regular season to win the NFC North, while the New York Giants were quick to secure a wildcard.
Green Bay have finally started to find their mojo in the second half of the season and they go into this clash as clear favourites.
The Packers have won five of their seven games as home favourites this season for a narrow loss, but they have proven to be a winning proposition against the line in this scenario.
New York have played some excellent football this season, but they have generally struggled to win as away underdogs and they have taken out just one of their past five games in this scenario.
This game could end up being a shootout and if that is the case I would much rather be on side with Aaron Rodgers than Eli Manning.
Back Green Bay To Beat The Line (-4.5 Points)