The NFL playoffs are officially underway, and Vegas just released their NFL Wild Card playoff odds and spreads. Let’s take a dive into each matchup, break down the games, and decide which side to bet on.
NFL Wild Card Round Playoff Odds, Spreads, Over/Under, Game Picks
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-4.5)
These are not your typical New England Patriots. The Patriots had the chance to earn a playoff bye for the 10th straight year but couldn’t even take down the lowly Miami Dolphins at home. This isn’t a one-time fluke either, as New England struggled to beat just about every good team they faced. Down the stretch, New England lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans and barely beat the Buffalo Bills at home. The Titans, meanwhile, enter the playoffs looking like one of the best teams in the league. Ryan Tannehill is on fire, A.J. Brown could very well win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and Derrick Henry is in the midst of a career season. The Patriots have home-field advantage and the history of success, but the Titans have what it takes to put up a fight.
Pick: Titans win
Over/Under: 42.5 [Pick: Under]
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-3.5)
Despite playing on Wild Card Weekend, both teams should be relatively rested after sitting most of their starters in Week 17. Buffalo’s defense is legit and Josh Allen took strides in the right direction, but he’ll need to be at his absolute best to take down the Houston Texans on the road. Houston’s defense can be exploited but Deshaun Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. While he is prone to the occasional bust game, Watson should be able to consistently move the ball against Buffalo’s defense. This is going to be a close one that goes down to the wire, but the Texans should win by the narrowest of margins.
Pick: Texans win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 40.5 [Pick: Over]
Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Seattle Seahawks are not nearly as good as their record suggests. Despite having more wins than the Eagles, one could easily argue they are the inferior team. The Seahawks owe their record to Russell Wilson playing at an absurdly high level for the first 10 weeks of the season and getting ridiculously lucky in one-score games. Wilson has cooled off, and winning one-score games isn’t a sustainable skill. Despite all the injuries, Carson Wentz has proven he can carry this injured roster, and Doug Pederson is a considerably better coach than Pete Carroll. Russell Wilson will need to play his absolute best to win this one.
Pick: Eagles win
Over/Under: 45.5 [Pick: Under]
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)
Kirk Cousins is in the midst of what is probably his best season, but he faces long odds to go on the road and take down the New Orleans Saints. Everyone knows about Cousins’ underwhelming numbers in prime time, but even if you ignore that, it’s still hard to imagine Cousins keeping up with Drew Brees and the Saints. Brees is nearly unstoppable in the Superdome and New Orleans’ defense is good enough to prevent Cousins from going blow-for-blow in a shootout.
Pick: Saints win, cover spread
Over/Under: 46.5 [Pick: Over]
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