NFL Wild Card Betting Tips: Seahawks to beat the Rams again, Steelers to get revenge over the Browns?
Odds and preview ahead of the NFL Wild Card weekend
After 17 weeks of gruelling gridiron action, just 14 teams remain in contention to become Super Bowl LV champions.
To see who makes it to the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, it’s time for NFL playoff action to begin, with Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers already sealing their spot in the Divisional Round thanks to a first-round bye.
We’ve got six Wild Card playoff games to enjoy this weekend, with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making their first playoff appearance in 13 years, still in with a chance to make the Super Bowl at their home stadium.
Elsewhere, Cleveland Browns ended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought of 18 years to reach the post season, facing Pittsburgh Steelers for the second week in a row. Ahead of this season’s playoff action, we’ve previewed each of the six NFL Wild Card round games.
A 28-14 final week victory over Jacksonville Jaguars was enough for Indianapolis Colts to seal their spot in the playoffs, where they’ll take on AFC East champions Buffalo Bills.
The pair haven’t faced each other so far this season, with the Bills coming out on top in their last matchup back in August 2019, with a 24-16 victory.
It’s the Bills who are odds-on 1/3 favourites on the Money Line, with Indianapolis a 12/5 shot to make the next round.
Buffalo QB Josh Allen added three more TD’s to his stat sheet against Miami, giving him 37 for the season. Colts have been tough to breakthrough, conceding a total of 362 points across the season, an average of just over 21 per game. There’s 11/5 on under 23.5 Bills point in the game.
Allen has formed a unique on-field partnership with Stefon Diggs, pulling in eight TD’s for the seasons. Diggs is 6/1 favourite to score first, or 909/1000 anytime.
The Colts rookie RB Jonathan Taylor impressed in his first season in the league, rushing for 11 TD’s and over 1,100 yards. He’s 4/5 to score anytime, with 7/2 saying he scores a brace in his first playoff appearance.
Pete Carroll’s Seahawks sealed the NFC West with a 20-9 win over LA Rams in week 16, with both sides spot in the playoffs almost assured. Just two weeks later, only one side can make it through to the Divisional round.
The Rams failed to score a TD against the Seahawks last time out, with QB Jared Goff throwing for 234 yards with a completion rate of little under 56% while dislocating his thumb. John Wolford stepped in against the Cardinals, and while he also failed to throw a TD, his running game impressed.
Seattle Seahawks are 3/5 favourites to win on the Money Line, with the Rams 11/8 to claim the win.
The Seahawks 11-point win over the Rams in week 16 eclipsed the Rams week nine win over Seattle, where they won 23-16. Fancy Seattle on the -10.5 spread again? That’s 14/5, while there’s 10/3 on an LA Rams win by 1-6 points.
Despite all the attacking talent on show on both sides, both defences will be keen to get the stops they need to make big game plays. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey and DT Aaron Donald are considered two of the best defenders in the game, alongside Seahawks safety Jamal Adams.
We’ve got under 32.5 points in the game at 27/10, though if you think the offenses can steal the show, over 39.5 points can be found at 4/6.
Washington sealed their place in the playoffs and the NFC East title for the first time in five years after beating a Philadelphia Eagles side who had seemingly downed tools.
Tampa Bay finished with an 11-5 record, just one game behind New Orleans Saints for the NFC South division, ending their 13-year wait for a playoff berth. They lost in the Wild Card round to an NFC East side that season, so they’ll hope lightning doesn’t strike twice.
Buccaneers are odds-on 2/7 favourites on the Money Line, with this season’s surprise package Washington 14/5 to cause a shock.
Washington boast the third-best passing defence this season, with the second-fewest yards per game allowed and third-lowest completion percentage allowed, but they’ll come up against one of the greatest passers the league has ever seen in Tom Brady.
Brady had the third-most pass completions of over 20 yards this season, with 67 in total, but Washington are the best side at stopping that with only 36 allowed all year. The veteran had 40 TD passes, with 12 interceptions. Could he come out on top here?
The Bucs offense lead the betting for first TD scorer, with Mike Evans the 11/2 favourite, closely followed by Chris Godwin at 13/2. Antonio Gibson could be the biggest threat for Washington, and he’s 87/100 to score anytime.
The Ravens come into the Wild Card round as the most in-form side out three, obliterating their last five opponents on their way to their third playoff challenge in as many seasons.
Tennessee Titans are no pushovers though, and they’ll be hoping to cause another playoff shock against the Ravens just as they did last season, beating Baltimore 28-12 in the Divisional round.
Baltimore come into this one as 8/15 favourites on the Money Line, with Tennessee 6/4 underdogs, a tag they thrive with in playoff football.
Will the Titans rely on their running game as heavily as they did last year? QB Ryan Tannehill threw two TD’s for only 88 yards, with RB Derrick Henry also throwing a TD for three yards. That’s 91 yards of total passing yards in contrast to 217 on the ground, 195 of which came through Henry.
Henry has led the league in running attempts, yards and rushing TD’s this season, completing 17. He’s 11/2 to score first, or there’s 533/1000 on him anytime.
Lamar Jackson hasn’t quite hit the heights of last season’s MVP performances, but that playoff defeat will have left a sour taste he’d like to get revenge for. His side have scored 23 TD’s in the last five, averaging little under 5 TD’s a game. They’re 23/10 for over 4.5 TD’s here.
With one meeting over and done with already this season, it was New Orleans who claimed the win in a close fought battle in week seven, needing overtime to eventually end the game.
Saints RB Alvin Kamara was kept relatively quiet that game, rushing for only 67 yards and failing to register a touchdown. But he’s come on leaps and bound since, having a career game on Christmas Day, claiming six rushing TD’s for 155 yards, equalling the NFL record.
With home advantage, New Orleans are overwhelming 1/5 favourites on the Money Line, with Chicago 19/5 to progress.
New Orleans claimed the number two seed in the NFC with their win over Carolina last time out, with QB Drew Brees throwing for three TD’s after throwing three interceptions in the previous two before that. Saints are 4/11 for over 2.5 TD’s against the Bears.
Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has been somewhat unreliable on the throw this year, with Nick Foles sharing responsibilities with him. They’ve thrown 26 TD’s between them, in contrast to Brees, who has thrown 24 while missing four matches through injury.
Chicago could utilise their running game more this time around than they did in that week seven defeat. David Montgomery only gained 89 yards on 21 carries, but he’s claimed eight TD’s so far and is 9/1 to score first, 87/100 anytime or 9/2 to score a brace.
Despite going through somewhat of a Covid crisis in their ranks, an under-strength Cleveland Browns got the job done in week 17 against Pittsburgh, claiming a 24-22 win and tasting playoff football for the first time since 2002.
That allowed the Browns to finish just one game back of the Steelers, who lost four of their last five matches after starting with an 11-0 record, with week 16’s win over the Colts sealing the NFC North title, their first since 2017.
Pittsburgh are 7/20 to avenge last week’s defeat on the Money Line, with Cleveland 23/10 to inflict a second straight defeat on the Steelers.
The game could rest upon the shoulders of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and which version of him shows up on the big stage. He’s thrown 33 TD’s in 15 games this season, but he’s not always been on top of his game, especially with concentration lapses in three of the Steelers four defeats.
The same must be said for Browns QB Baker Mayfield, with may still on the fence as to whether he can be the franchise QB the side are looking for. It’s one win apiece so far this season for each side, but who’ll claim the all-important third match?
RB’s could be just as important, with the Browns pair of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt impressing, as has Steelers RB James Conner. Chubb is the 6/1 favourite to score first, with 727/1000 on him anytime. Conner can be found at even money anytime, with Hunt 909/1000 to find the end zone.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.