the 2021 NFL Playoffs have arrived, and there is wall-to-wall action with now six games played on the wildcard weekend. Between the triple headers on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1:05 p.m. ET, there are more spreads and point totals to navigate through when selecting.
The Seahawks are the least favorites, by a basket in their rubber game against the Rams in Seattle. The Ravens are the only AFC favorites on the road in Nashville, although they lost to the Titans twice last year.
With the Washington 7-9 football team and 8-8 Bears in the NFC playoffs, it’s no surprise they’re the two biggest underdogs, Washington at home against the Buccaneers and Bears on the route des Saints.
For the most part, injuries are not a problem. The Rams are hoping Jared Goff will return from his fractured thumb, while Washington relies on Alex Smith to stay healthy following his return in Week 17. The Steelers, who rested Ben Roethlisberger in last week’s battle with the Browns, suggested they might have a few QB wrinkles prepared for Josh Dobbs.
The bigger scenario concerns the Browns, who have had an outbreak of COVID-19, affecting several players and head coach Kevin Stefanski, who has been replaced in his role as leader and play call by coach of the special teams Mike Priefer and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. This situation caused the line to lean more towards the Steelers.
For more expert predictions about the NFL, check out Sporting News’ picks directly and against the spread for wild-card playoffs.
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NFL odds for wild card playoff games
Below are the latest NFL playoff odds, including point spreads, silver lines, and passing totals for each game, as per the DraftKings Sportsbook:
Last update: Saturday January 9
NFL wild-card game point spreads
|Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills||BUF -6.5|
|Los Angeles Rams to Seattle Seahawks||WED -3|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team||VG -8|
|Baltimore Ravens to Tennessee Titans||BAL -3.5|
|Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints||NO -10|
|Cleveland Browns to the Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -6|
NFL wild card gambling money lines
|Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills||BUF -275|
|Los Angeles Rams to Seattle Seahawks||WED -175|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team||TB -375|
|Baltimore Ravens to Tennessee Titans||BAL -182|
|Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints||NO -500|
|Cleveland Browns to the Pittsburgh Steelers||PIT -265|
NFL Over / Under Joker Game
|Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills||51|
|Los Angeles Rams to Seattle Seahawks||42|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team||44.5|
|Baltimore Ravens to Tennessee Titans||54.5|
|Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints||47.5|
|Cleveland Browns to the Pittsburgh Steelers||47.5|
Best NFL bets for wild card games
1. Colts to tickets over 51
The Colts have good zonal defense, built on flex without breaking. It will help contain the Bills’ big plays, but Josh Allen sees his sizzling attack ahead of the playoffs. The Bills are vulnerable in the right places defensively, against the run and against the tight end, to think the Colts can keep him around a touchdown with a consistent score from them. This is the second highest total of the week, but it is not high enough as both teams tend to overtake their games.
2. Rams to Seahawks under 42
When they met in the regular season and shared their NFC West games, the Rams won 23-16 in Los Angeles and the Seahawks won 20-9 in Seattle. The Rams may have to adjust more to a crushing attack, while Russell Wilson won’t enlighten him against that rushed and secondary pass. The 39 and 29 totals from before suggest that getting a total of 40 will be a struggle.
3. Washington +8 vs. Buccaneers
There’s something about that number over a touchdown and an extra point that screams Washington at least to get backdoor cover. The Bucs aren’t the same team on the road and can get into ugly defensive-leaning games, as we saw with the prime-time loss to the Bears and the prime-time victory to the Giants. The underside is also tempting, but it seems more difficult to trust.
4. Saints +10 vs Bears and OVER 47.5
The Saints defense has leaked more lately and the Bears defense is overrated with a few key injuries. The Saints won the regular season game, 26-23, in overtime in Chicago. The Bears can’t cover the tight end and get run over by the current game, and Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray will be well rested for New Orleans. Bears tend to do some trash damage in the second half and Saints can do that by having a big enough lead.
5. Steelers +6 vs Browns and under 47.5
The Steelers offense will shoot aggressively against a limited passing defense by the Browns with a rested Ben Roethlisberger. They won’t have much running success as usual, but clashes across the board at the wide receiver and tight end favor them well. Defensively, they can take care of scoring the Browns enough to catch up by mastering the run and putting pressure on Baker Mayfield’s face and around the edges. Mayfield will be shaken by the play appeal adjustment and the Steelers will be moved to take down their division rivals at Heinz Field.