clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Playoff Picks Against the Spread: Wild Card Games

Suggestions for trying to beat the odds.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Before the first round of the 2022 NFL playoffs schedule kicks off, let’s have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for the wild card games. You can find all of the NFL betting lines via DraftKings SportsBook. You can CLICK HERE for straight up NFL picks without regard to the spread.

My regular season recorded finished at 142-129. I once again beat out the collective BGN community, which finished 139-132. Now let’s see how we do against each other now through the postseason.

WILD CARD GAMES

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6): The Bengals were able to rest starters during the 1:00 PM window in Week 18 while the Raiders had to play a thrilling overtime game late into the night. Cincy’s obviously had their share of playoff disappointments, so one might have a hard time trusting them in this spot. But it’s not like the opposite can be said for the Raiders. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are worth believing in. And, really, the Bengals are just a significantly better team; Cincy ranks eighth in point differential while Vegas is 23rd. PICK: Bengals -6

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Raiders +6
    (288 votes)
  • 70%
    Bengals -6
    (675 votes)
963 votes total Vote Now

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at BUFFALO BILLS (-5): Josh Allen’s volatility isn’t easy to bet on. But the upside is intriguing. The Bills’ win over the Pats was a more replicable performance than the Pats’ win over the Bills’ was. Neophyte quarterbacks tend to struggle in the playoffs and Allen has experience that Mac Jones does not. PICK: Bills -5

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Patriots +5
    (329 votes)
  • 65%
    Bills -5
    (621 votes)
950 votes total Vote Now

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-8): I really don’t feel incredibly confident in predicting the winner of this game. The one thing I DO feel confident about is that it’ll be close. The Eagles’ defense figures to struggle against Tom Brady and the Bucs’ offense. But Philly’s commitment to their ground game offers a new dynamic that Tampa will have to deal with, unlike the last time these two teams met. The weather could also be an interesting factor in this matchup with heavy winds expected. Such a variable might only stand to benefit the underdogs. The Eagles’ vibes are too positive for them to totally get housed in this matchup. And it’s not like the Bucs are exactly firing on all cylinders lately. Their last five games: destroying the listless Panthers twice, getting shut out by a Saints team that didn’t even have a real quarterback, almost blowing a big lead at home to the Bills, and needing a big comeback to beat the Jets. The reigning Super Bowl champions are not invicible. PICK: Eagles +8

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Eagles +8
    (895 votes)
  • 24%
    Buccaneers -8
    (283 votes)
1178 votes total Vote Now

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at DALLAS COWBOYS (-3): No team has been better at covering the spread as favorites this season than the Cowboys; they were 10-3 in such situations. It pains me to say it but I genuinely believe Dallas is going to win the Super Bowl. If this line was at 3.5, I’d be tempted to take the 49ers because I think it’ll be close. San Fran will give the Cowboys a run for their money. But I’ll have to side with my projected winner at only three points. Jimmy Garoppolo is prone to turning the ball over and the Dallas defense is incredibly opportunistic. PICK: Cowboys -3

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    49ers +3
    (644 votes)
  • 35%
    Cowboys -3
    (358 votes)
1002 votes total Vote Now

PITTSBURGH STEELERS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-12): One might be tempted to quickly take the Chiefs in this scenario. On the surface, it makes sense. We’re talking about Patrick Mahomes versus the corpse of Ben Roethlisberger here. But one would be remiss not to consider that the Steelers are 47-25-3 ATS as an underdog since hiring Mike Tomlin in 2007. No team has a high coverage percentage since then. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are not so great at covering the spread, in part due to high expectations. KC will win this game but the Steelers will bring a fight in Big Ben’s last NFL start. PICK: Steelers +12

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Steelers +12
    (395 votes)
  • 57%
    Chiefs -12
    (541 votes)
936 votes total Vote Now

ARIZONA CARDINALS at LOS ANGELES RAMS (-4): Did you know the Cardinals are undefeated ATS as an underdog this season? They’re a perfect 6-0. The Rams, meanwhile, are only 6-9 ATS as favorites. Matthew Stafford’s recent struggles are concerning; he has more turnovers than touchdowns through his last four starts. Not to mention a 87.8 passer rating in three career playoff games. Sean McVay’s regular cowardice also doesn’t inspire confidence. That being said, it’s also hard to feel great about Arizona. They’re the only team in the NFC playoff picture that didn’t go 4-1 in their final five games ... and instead went 1-4. I’ll take the Rams to win but the Cards will make it a close game. PICK: Cardinals +4

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Cardinals +4
    (434 votes)
  • 50%
    Rams -4
    (437 votes)
871 votes total Vote Now