NFL Wild-Card Weekend Betting Preview

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL playoffs are finally here! It's an amazing time of year that has a whole new level of excitement this season with two extra games on wild-card weekend. Back-to-back playoff triple-headers make this weekend a football fan's paradise. It can also be a bettor's paradise.

If your team missed the playoffs or has a bye, there's no better way to get that next-level adrenaline rush than wagering. Plus, if your team is in the playoff dance, why not double down and bet on them too? Let's walk through the six games on tap for wild-card weekend and find out where the prime betting opportunities lie.

All odds are courtesy of our friends over at BetOnline

Overall Trends to Know:

  • Road underdogs covered in 54.7% of games this season
  • Over cashed on 50.4% of games this season

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Spread: IND: +6 (-107) | BUF: -6 (-113)

Moneyline: IND: (+245) | BUF: (-290)

Total: 51 – Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Trends to Know:

  • Colts are 5-3 ATS on the road this season
  • Colts lost and failed to cover in the only road game they were underdogs in (+1 @ Browns)
  • 75% of Colts' road games went Over this season
  • 62.5% of Bills' home games went Over this season, including 60% as home favorites
  • Bills covered in 75% of their home games overall and 80% as a favorite

Pick: Bills O14.5 points in first half (+100). The Bills were tied for the second-best team in the NFL in overall first-half scoring (16.6 points per game) and rank third in home first-half scoring (17.1). The Colts rank in the bottom 10 in first-half scoring defense overall, allowing 13.9 points per game and 12.8 on the road. No team is hotter than the Bills and the weather report projects a mild day in Buffalo.

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Spread: LAR: +3.5 (-119) | SEA: -3.5 (-101)

Moneyline: LAR: (+160) | SEA: (-180)

Total: 42.5 – Over: (-105) | Under: (-115)

Trends to Know:

  • Rams are 2-2 ATS as road underdogs this season; 0-1 against Seahawks
  • 75% of Rams' road games as an underdog went Over this season
  • Seahawks covered in 75% of their games as a home favorite this season
  • 62.5% of Seahawks' home games went Under this season

Pick: Under 42.5 (-115). This game carries the lowest total of the weekend and deservedly so. I have a lot of doubts about how healthy Jared Goff is (and their top RBs too) and how effective that offense will be overall. On the Seattle side, the Seahawks are averaging just 22 points per game in their last three and, if you remove the Jets game, just 20.2 points per game in their last five. In the last three meetings between these divisional foes, the two teams have combined to score 32 points per game with a max of 40 points.

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Spread: TB: -8 (-105) | WSH: +8 (-115)

Moneyline: TB: (-400) | WSH: (+320)

Total: 44.5 – Over: (-105) | Under: (-115)

Trends to Know:

  • Buccaneers are 4-3 ATS as road favorites this season
  • 57.1% of Buccaneers' games as a road favorite went Over this season
  • Washington was 2-2-1 ATS as home underdogs this season
  • 60% of Washington's games as a home underdog went Under this season

Pick: J.D. McKissic at least 5 receptions (+106). McKissic has served in a major role for Washington all season and is averaging 8.4 targets and 6.8 receptions per game in his last five. Tampa Bay also allowed a league-high 6.5 catches per game to running backs this season. I expect the Buccaneers to be up and Washington to be throwing a lot.

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Spread: BAL: -3.5 (-102) | TEN: +3.5 (-118)

Moneyline: BAL: (-183) | TEN: (+163)

Total: 54.5 – Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Trends to Know:

  • Ravens are 3-3 ATS as road favorites this season
  • 50% of Ravens' games as road favorites went Over this season
  • Titans are 1-1 ATS as home underdogs this season
  • Over has cashed in both of the Titans' home games as underdogs

Pick: O10 points in the first quarter (-120). These are two of the fastest starting offenses in the NFL and I want a piece of the action early. The Ravens and Titans are two of the five highest-scoring first quarter teams this season—Baltimore led the league with an average of 7.4 points, Tennessee was fifth with an average of 6.0. On the road, the Ravens averaged 6.9 points per first quarter, while the Titans averaged 7.4 points at home. I'd be surprised if we don't see at least a pair of first-quarter touchdowns in this game.

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Spread: CHI: +10.5 (-125) | NO: -10.5 (+105)

Moneyline: CHI: (+395) | NO: (-500)

Total: 47 – Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Trends to Know:

  • Bears are 4-3 ATS as road underdogs this season; 0-3 as an underdog of 6+ points
  • Over is 4-3 in Bears' seven games as road underdogs this season
  • Saints are 4-3 ATS as home favorites this season; 1-2 as a favorite of 7+ points
  • Over is 5-2 in Sants' seven games as home favorites this season

Pick: Bears +10.5 (-125). While I don't expect the Bears to win this game outright, this spread is just too large. These two teams met a little over two months ago in Chicago and it took overtime for Drew Brees and Co. to secure a victory over the Nick Foles-led Bears. We don't know how healthy Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are going to be for New Orleans, plus the Bears have been a plucky road team this season—they have a +1 average scoring margin away from Soldier Field this season. I'm siding with Chicago as long as I'm getting 10 points or more.

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Spread: CLE: +6 (-113) | PIT: -6 (-107)

Moneyline: CLE: (+220) | PIT: (-260)

Total: 47 – Over: (-113) | Under: (-107)

Trends to Know:

  • Browns are 2-2 ATS as road underdogs this season; 0-1 against the Steelers
  • Over is 2-2 ATS in Browns' four games as road underdogs this season
  • Steelers are 4-3 ATS as home favorites this season; 1-0 against the Browns
  • Over is 4-3 in Steelers' seven games as home favorites this season

Pick: Steelers -6 (-107). Two-weeks-ago me would've laughed at this pick, but considering how much trouble the Mason Rudolph-led Steelers gave the Browns in a must-win Week 17 game, it isn't so crazy. Plus, the Browns will be down their head coach, one of their top offensive linemen, and a handful of other key players due to COVID-19 protocols. I think Kevin Stefanski being sidelined has a bigger effect on Cleveland than some, and it'll be evident more as the game goes along.

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My official ATS picks for Wild-Card Weekend: Bills (-6), Seahawks (-3.5), Buccaneers (-8), Ravens (-3.5), Chicago (+10.5), Steelers (-6)

NFL picks ATS 2020: 136-112-8 (55%)

NFL picks ATS 2019: 145-119-3 (55%)

NFL picks ATS 2018: 140-115-12 (55%)

To bet on these games and more, head on over to BetOnline.

Written By:

Jaime Eisner

Managing Editor

Managing Editor of The Draft Network. He’s a former editor for Sports Illustrated, FanRag Sports and Arizona Sports. He’s the co-host of the TDN Fantasy Podcast and has an extensive background covering fantasy sports and sports betting.

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