With the first weekend of the NFL Playoffs upon us, let’s take a look at our picks and predictions for the six Wild Card games. Will we see the home teams advancing in all six games, or will there be some upsets along the way?
Note: You can view some of the Moneyline and Wine crew talking about their best bets for Wild Card Weekend in the video above. Don’t forget to visit and subscribe to the PFN YouTube Channel for more.
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks, predictions for the NFL Playoffs — betting lines, odds, and scores
Six games on Wild Card Weekend means even more options than usual when it comes to betting. This weekend can often live up to its name of being somewhat wild. Before we get into our picks and predictions for Wild Card Weekend, let’s take a look at the odds and betting lines as of 5 AM ET Saturday morning.
Analysis of each game can be found below the table. The Wild Card Weekend NFL odds below are from the William Hill Sportsbook.
This table is best viewed in landscape mode if you are using a mobile device.
|Indianapolis Colts||245||6.5 (-110)||Over 51.5 (-110)|
|Buffalo Bills||-290||-6.5 (-110)||Under 51.5 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Rams||140||3.0 (-110)||Over 42.0 (-110)|
|Seattle Seahawks||-160||-3.0 (-110)||Under 42.0 (-110)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-400||-8.0 (-110)||Over 44.5 (-110)|
|Washington Football Team||320||8.0 (-110)||Under 44.5 (-110)|
|Baltimore Ravens||-175||-3.0 (-125)||Over 54.5 (-110)|
|Tennessee Titans||155||3.0 (+105)||Under 54.5 (-110)|
|Chicago Bears||400||10.0 (-110)||Over 47.0 (-110)|
|New Orleans Saints||-500||-10.0 (-110)||Under 47.0 (-110)|
|Cleveland Browns||230||6.0 (-110)||Over 47.5 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-270||-6.0 (-110)||Under 47.5 (-110)|
Saturday’s Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (-6.5)
This is a superb matchup between two of the best teams over the past five weeks to kick off the NFL Playoffs. In terms of EPA/play, these two teams rank in the top five overall. On offense, the Bills have had more success passing the ball. However, the Colts have been the more successful team with their run game.
This game could come down to which defense plays best. In the past five weeks, the Bills have the best defense in EPA/play, while the Colts rank 11th. However, neither team has faced elite opposition in that time. The Bills have the better overall team and should be able to come out on top, assuming their early-season frailties against the run do not rear their head.
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions: Buffalo Bills 30, Indianapolis Colts 27
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-3.0)
The Rams offense is a serious concern in the matchup, regardless of who is under center. In the past five weeks, the Rams offense has been below average in EPA/play in both aspects. However, the Seahawks defense has not been great either. Among qualified players, Russel Wilson ranks 22nd of 30 QBs in efficiency in the past five weeks.
Both defenses have ranked in the top five in recent weeks, and this should be a tight, tense affair. Even with Wilson’s struggles, it is hard to pick against him in a matchup with either John Wolford or a banged-up Jared Goff.
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions: Seattle Seahawks 22, Los Angeles Rams 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.0) at Washington Football Team
This appears to be a huge mismatch this weekend. The Buccaneers rank as one of the best four teams in the league in EPA/play in the past five weeks. Meanwhile, Washington ranks in the bottom 10. However, the third-ranked Washington defense will be a far greater test than the Buccaneers have seen defensively in the past few weeks.
The first half of this game will be crucial. If the Buccaneers race out to a lead, it is hard to see Washington coming back. However, if Washington gets in front, then this could be a really close matchup.
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23, Washington Football Team 16
Sunday’s picks, predictions, and betting lines
Baltimore Ravens (-3.0) at Tennessee Titans
Right or wrong, a lot of the focus heading into the NFL Playoffs on this game could end up being on the quarterbacks. Coming into the game, Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Jackson rank in the top five in efficiency in the past five weeks. That has translated to these two teams being two of the best five offenses in the NFL over the closing period.
The concern for the Titans is likely to be their defense. In those last five weeks, the Titans have ranked 31st in EPA/play, while the Ravens rank seventh. If the Titans’ defense cannot step up, it puts a lot of pressure on their offense.
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions: Baltimore Ravens 30, Tennessee Titans 27
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-10.0)
When you look at efficiency metrics over the past few weeks, the Bears and Saints are quite similar teams. However, the Saints have played some tough matchups, while the Bears have had the advantage of a fairly week schedule.
We saw what happens to the Bears when facing one of the best teams in the NFC in Week 17. It would be a shock to see anything other than a Saints victory in this matchup. The biggest question will be, how much do they win by?
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions: New Orleans Saints 27, Chicago Bears 17
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.0)
Over the past five weeks, the Browns have clearly been the better team. No quarterback in the NFL has been more inefficient in the last five weeks than Ben Roethlisberger. Meanwhile, Mayfield has ranked seventh in that same time period.
The problem for the Browns is their preparation has been less than ideal. They will be without their head coach, and they have several players absent. They also did not get onto the practice field until Friday. All of that makes it hard to think the Browns can go on the road and beat the Steelers for a second-straight week.
NFL Wild Card Weekend picks and predictions: Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Cleveland Browns 17