Raiders +5 @ Bengals
Patriots +4.5 @ Bills
Eagles +8.5 @ Buccaneers
49ers ML @ Cowboys
Steelers @ Chiefs UNDER 45.5
Cardinals @ Rams -4
The Super Wild Card Weekend Parlay includes only one favorite covering their number and one outright upset. If it’s going to live up to its name, and truly be super, this bet is nails. There is plenty to consider in each of these games, but most importantly, the intangible nature of the energy which surrounds the playoffs each January. This slate is chalk full of rivalries, new and old, and should deliver exactly the show it is advertised as.
Raiders @ Bengals
Las Vegas +5 almost feels like a safety. Yes, the Bengals marched onto the strip and ransacked the place a month ago. Yes, the Bengals offense is clicking at a pace unmatched in the AFC right now. No, the Bengals do not have any playoff experience on their roster. The Raiders, in fairness, are limited in playoff experience as well, this being quarterback Derek Carr’s first appearance of his career and all, but the team as a whole is far more seasoned. Expect that to play a significant role in the playoff opener. Favorite prop: Ja’Marr Chase 2+ TD prop and Over 48 (+700)
Patriots @ Bills
This is the closest thing to a toss up on the whole slate. There is so much to unpack in this grudge match that it’s tough to identify which factor carries the most weight. Bill Belichick proving he can do it without Tom; Josh Allen proving to Bills Mafia that he can win in weather; the Bills proving to the league that they are who they should have been; the Patriots proving that they are still the top dog in the East. This one should be a lot of fun, but the main boost on Pats +4.5 is just how tempting the Pats on the moneyline is. Winning on the road in January and February is exceptionally difficult, but this game in Buffalo will feature single-digit temperatures, and, surely, some masterfully compiled layering of hoodies on the Dark Lord. Frigid temps in the Northeast just scream for a let down spot on anybody playing against Bill Belichick.
Favorite prop: Damien Harris TD/Over 60.5 yards (+230)
Eagles +8.5 @ Buccaneers
In theory, this should be one of the two biggest blowouts of the weekend, but if that’s to come to fruition, it would take the super right out of the Wild Card. Here’s all the evidence you need to add this leg: The Eagles always play tough against TB12, and that same TB12, the best to ever do it, is 0-5 in his career ATS facing NFC East teams in the playoffs. Nick Sirianni has formed this Eagles identity into the rushing attack to be reckoned with throughout the NFL, and with nasty weather on the horizon in Tampa Bay on Sunday, expect that strength to shine through in an old-school feeling game.
Favorite prop: Jalen Hurts Over 50.5 yards rushing, Leonard Fournette Over 60.5 yards rushing, Miles Sanders Over 45.5 yards rushing (+475)
Niners @ Cowboys
Here’s the outright upset. San Francisco is +135 on the moneyline, and that is far too juicy to pass up. Dallas sits right in the middle of the league in terms of rushing yards allowed per game, and on overage surrenders 112 ground yards to opponents each week. The SF motive is to physically dominate, and no matter who they are playing, the Niners are looking for the knock out punch for all 60 minutes. They want to demoralize, and physically break, each and every opponent they face. Unfortunately for Dallas, they are itemized under the “flashy” category as opposed to the “tough” category that is led by San Fran. Another disappointing finish to a promising run from America’s Team. Sorry, not sorry.
Favorite prop: Deebo Samuel to get 50+ rushing yards and a touchdown (+500)
Steelers @ Chiefs
Per Vegas odds, this is the other likely lopsided affair. The Chiefs -12.5 is the greatest margin a team has been favored by in a Wild Card game. The Chiefs will not cover it. A brawl is going to break out in Kansas City with Big Ben on his last leg, and Mike Tomlin being the ferocious competitor that he is. No matter the outcome, however, this game is going under 45.5. My number on this one is 20-24 Chiefs, as that allows for the Steelers to show plenty of life, and still remain below the total. This is a great bet, because if Vegas is right, and the Chiefs win 31-13, we’re still going under. Hell, give Pittsburgh two touchdowns, 31-14. Still safely under.
Favorite prop: First touchdown scorer Tyreek Hill (+400)
Cardinals @ Rams
This is the only favorite to cover on the week. Rams -4 to convince everyone, once and for all, that they are for real. The Cardinals, although decimated with injury through the heart of the year, never really were real, but a no doubter win from the Rams here will be enough to propel them to “the team that nobody wants to see.” Even considering that Los Angeles is the second home of whomever decides to take it over, and you can rest assured there will be plenty of red out there Monday, don’t overthink this one. Who is the better team?
Favorite prop: Cooper Kupp to score 3+ touchdowns (+1400)