NFL Preview: Wild Card Round

NFC – No. 1 Green Bay Packers (13-3) 1st Round Bye

 

4:40 p.m. ET, Saturday, January 9, 2021

No. 6 Los Angeles Rams (10-6) vs. No. 3 Seattle Seahawks (12-4)

Opening line: Seahawks -4 ½; Over/Under 42 ½

Will LA’s Jared Goff be available after suffering a thumb injury in the penultimate game of the season or will Week 17’s starter John Wolford get the nod after he led the Rams to a workmanlike 18-7 win over the Cardinals? Can either keep up with the high-flying Seahawks led by Russell Wilson? Well, the NFL odds for all the playoff games can be found in one location, and right now the oddsmakers are dealing the Seahawks as 4 ½ point home favorites, which haven’t budged an inch since the opener.

8:15 p.m. ET, Saturday, January 9, 2021

No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) vs. No. 4 Washington Football Team (7-9)

Opening line: Bucs -9 ½; Over/Under 46 ½

Tom Terrific will take his high wire act on the road where his Tampa Bay Bucs will meet the Washington Football Team, after they secured a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles ,to win the anemic NFC East. Philly was rewarded with home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs despite their sub .500 7-9 record. The oddsmakers have lowered their line on this game due to an influx of money on Washington to where it now sits at Tampa bay -8, a full 1 ½ points lower than the opener. Can Washington hang with one of the most lethal offenses in the league? Tune in and find out!

4:40 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 10, 2021

No. 7 Chicago Bears (8-8) vs. No. 2 New Orleans Saints (12-4)

Opening line: Saints -10 ½; Over/Under 48

New Orleans copped the second seed in the NFC after a thorough 33-7 beating of the Carolina Panthers in Week 17. But now the question is whether Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky, who has been playing well in the home stretch of the season, can keep pace with Drew Brees and the myriad of weapons at his disposal. The Bears defense has been good, but unspectacular this season, which might not be enough to stop the Saints from marching to the next round.

 

AFC – No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) 1st Round Bye

 

1:05 p.m. ET, Saturday, January 9, 2021

No. 7 Indianapolis Colts (11-5) vs. No. 2 Buffalo Bills (13-3)

Opening line: Bills -7; Over/Under 52

This might be the most competitive game we will see all weekend, but the public is clearly putting the Bills in their sites after they demolished the Dolphins, 56-26, in their final game of the regular season. And although the Colts defeated their Week 17 opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, that 28-14 score was not convincing enough over the worst team in the league to move the needle on the prevailing NFL odds, currently revealing the Bills as seven-point home favorites.

1:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 10, 2021

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (11-5) vs. No. 4 Tennessee Titans (11-5)

Opening line: Ravens -3 ½; O/U 54

If it’s points you like to see, then tune into this AFC tilt where Lamar Jackson will take his suddenly surging offense into the lair of the best pure power runner on the planet, Derrick Henry. Tennessee’s quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, has exceeded all expectations this season and has a complementary aerial game to the rushing attack led by Henry. But can their defense contain Baltimore’s multi-dimensional quarterback and his arsenal of weapons? This should be a good one from the Music City.

8:15 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 10, 2021

No. 6 Cleveland Browns (11-5) vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

Opening line: Steelers -3 ½; O/U 47

These AFC North foes just played last week as the Browns scored a huge, 24-22, win against the Steelers’ backups, and earning a playoff invitation for the first time since 2002! However, their victory was not as convincing as the oddsmakers predicted it would be as they were installed as 10-point favorites heading into that one. But now that the script has flipped, and Pittsburgh will be featuring all of their big guns, including Big Ben Roethlisberger under center. The  Steelers come into this game as 3 ½ point favorites, where many believe they will win by even more predicated on Cleveland’s narrow victory over the Steelers’ scrubs. Add the curveball of Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski missing the game due to COVID and Cleveland may have some trouble against their archrival.