NFL Wild Card Weekend Betting Preview

NFL Wild Card Weekend betting has become a staple among football fans and bettors. Sportsbooks across the country are preparing for high betting volumes as teams compete on Saturday and Sunday.

This is with sportsbooks launching in new states and a variety of bets that we have not seen. Sports betting will see record volume this weekend. Expect the unexpected during a chaotic and exciting weekend of football.

Saturday, Jan. 9

Indianapolis Colts Vs. Buffalo Bills (-6.5) 1:05 ET (CBS)

The Buffalo Bills will host the Colts to start the Wild Card weekend betting off strong. The Bills are the hottest team in the NFL and have blown out most of the teams they have played against in the second half. Josh Allen does lack the playoff experience that Philip Rivers has, making the Colts a solid value at +6.5.

However, the Bills have scorched the league for most of the year. The Colts defense is all over the place, and they have few weapons on their offense. The offensive line is what keeps them in most of their games.

The best bet for this is a totals wager: over 51 points. Week 17 featured the most touchdowns in the NFL in over a decade. The playoffs are upon us, so don’t expect these teams to hold anything back. The Bills are legitimate Super Bowl contenders with their expected road to the playoffs.

Pick: Over 51

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Los Angeles Rams Vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3) 4:40 ET (FOX)

This line has steadily climbed down from Rams +4 to Rams +3. Jared Goff is not expected to play for the Rams, but their backup John Wolford looked steady in a tough game on short notice. Wolford brings a different dynamic than Goff as Wolford can run the ball and is more of an athlete than Goff. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is an offensive mastermind and will use this skill to his advantage, tailoring the offense around his skillset.

The Seahawks will have extremely limited tape on John Wolford. Their defense will want to constantly pressure him and have Jamal Adams all over the field like usual. The quarterback discrepancy is massive between these two teams. Russell Wilson is a top-three quarterback in the NFL and Wolford has not played most of the year.

The only way that the Rams can win this game is if their defense dominates the line of scrimmage throughout. I would not expect Russell Wilson to be dominated in a playoff game with his weapons. Grab the Seahawks before the line moves to -3.5.

Pick: Seahawks -3

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Tamba Bay Buccaneers Vs. Washington Football Team (+8.5) 8:15 ET (NBC)

Tom Brady threw for an unbelievable 40 touchdowns at age 43. He is as red hot of a quarterback as we have ever seen. The Buccaneers should win this game going away as Alex Smith can hardly move in the pocket. The Washington offense has been horrific lately.

The only saving grace for the Washington Football Team is their defensive line, which is the best in the NFC. We all know that Brady hates getting hit. However, his offensive weapons are better than he has ever had. Expect Brady to calmly bring the Buccaneers a victory. They have been red hot to end the season.

Pick: Buccaneers -8.5

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Sunday, Jan. 10

Baltimore Ravens Vs. Tennessee Titans(+3.5) 1:05 ET (ESPN/ABC)

In one of the most fascinating games of the entire weekend, Lamar Jackson will get another shot at the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens famously lost to the Titans last year. They were 14-2 and were easily beaten at home. That was a different season and the Ravens have been electric in recent weeks.

This game will probably be the most bet-on game of the weekend slate. The game should be a shootout. The Titans oddly appear to have the Ravens’ number, but they are not the same team they were last year. The immediate reaction is that Ravens should win this game handily against Tennessee. I’ll stay away from that and expect the shootout like we all are…

Pick: Over 54.5

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Chicago Bears Vs. New Orleans Saints (-10) 4:40 ET (CBS, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime)

A very odd matchup in the mid-day window. The Saints have a very strong defensive roster and so do the Bears. Mitch Trubsiky has been given new life to end the season after being benched. What to make of this Bears team is very difficult. Their runningback looked extremely vanilla initially but has shown a strong burst to end the season. Furthermore, their defense has a solid set of players that can get after the quarterback.

The Saints might have the best roster in the NFL. Michael Thomas is expected to return for this game and Alvin Kamara has been electric. Moreover, Drew Brees has slowly begun to look healthier. The Saints should win, but this game confusingly has the largest spread of the entire weekend. Of all of the games, this one is the biggest wild card weekend betting to stay away from. But if you’re hankering to get a bet in at any sportsbook, try:

Pick(s): Under 47.5/Bears +10 

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Cleveland Browns Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) 8:15 ET (NBC, Telemundo, Peacock)

The Cleveland Browns have worked hard to get to this point where they will get a playoff spot. Unfortunately, their coach Kevin Stefanksy will not be on the sidelines during the game. He tested positive for COVID-19, and so has Joe Bitonio, their all-pro Guard.

Seeing your coach sidelined as your team is set for a playoff bout is not ideal. The Steelers rested their guys last week and still gave the Browns fits. The Browns always play down to their competition but no coach and that week 17 showing does not help their cause.

Pick: Steelers -6

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About the Author

Erich Richter

A New York based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. Written on numerous platforms with SEO certifications and a diehard Mets, Giants and Knicks fan (it’s been tough). Interests include keeping up to date on the newest features and technologies from sportsbooks since beta testing several of the legal gaming companies upon their inception.