NFL Wild Card Weekend Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

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An 8-7 Week 18 brought us to 126-114 on year. A solid .525 winning percentage. Consider us the Dick Vermeil of picking regular season football games against the spread. How will our playoff picks fare? Only time will tell.

Here are our Wild Card predictions and picks against the spread (all odds via WynnBet).


Las Vegas has faced seemingly insurmountable challenges at every corner this season and overcome them all. Fresh off thinking about intentionally tying and then intentionally eliminating the Los Angeles Chargers, they'll have some win-or-go-home experience under their collective belts, as well as a four-game winning streak. Maxx Crosby is perhaps the NFL's most under-appreciated player and should be a major reason the Raiders' front four gets pressure on Joe Burrow. The Bengals have at times looked like the class of the AFC and at others looked like a paper tiger. With both teams largely unfamiliar with postseason play, we expect some nerves and some field goals until the nerves wear off. The home team may advance here, but it won't be without a tremendous fight and 59 minutes of intrigue. Bengals 23, Raiders 20

BILLS (-4.0) over PATRIOTS

The Patriots split the season series with the Bills but their win came using one of the most bizarre gameplans we've ever seen that was only possible due to a very specific set of circumstances. When the two met a few weeks later under standard circumstances, Buffalo smacked New England in Foxborough. The latter feels more indicative than the former as far as how their third meeting will play out. The Patriots have stumbled in the last weeks of the season while the Bills ripped off four straight wins to finish strong. All signs point to New England going down early and being forced out of their comfort zone by playing from behind. Josh Allen will have a stellar game en route to the divisional round and Buffalo excises any remaining Bill Belichick-shaped demons. Bills 27, Patriots 20


We all laughed at Nick Sirianni and rightfully so. Then the first-year coach found a way to bring a team with mediocre talent and little offensive explosion into the postseason tournament. The reward is a matchup against the inevitability of Tom Brady, which on paper isn't all too exciting. But with Chris Godwin's injury and Antonio Brown's meltdown, the Bucs are extremely thin at wide receiver. They've also flirted with average teams in recent weeks before smashing the gas pedal to the floor. This line is suspiciously low and there's no way we regret this pick 10 minutes into play. Buccaneers 27, Eagles 21

COWBOYS (-3.0) over 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo put forth a heroic effort to even get here, leading a comeback win over the Rams in Week 18 despite a very damaged thumb. But the reason they needed the comeback effort in the first place was his poor play in the first three quarters. The Cowboys will not let San Francisco get away with that sort of performance, especially in Dallas. Kyle Shanahan's run game will do a lot of damage but the opportunistic Cowboys secondary will gift Dak Prescott a short field at least once and the Niners' secondary is not nearly good enough to contain Dallas' talented wideout duo for a full 60 minutes. San Francisco will probably keep it close enough to be interesting but not enough to cover. Cowboys 34, 49ers 27

CHIEFS (-12.5) over STEELERS

The husk of Ben Roethlisberger gets a bonus game after all the fond farewells and it will be an extremely unceremonious one. Patrick Mahomes has rounded back into form and the Chiefs enter the playoffs with the most ferocious offensive weaponry around. Two weeks ago the Steelers limped into Kansas City and were thumped, 36-10. There's absolutely no reason to think these proceedings will be any more intriguing. Chiefs 35, Steelers 13

CARDINALS (+4.0) over RAMS

The Rams were very uninspiring in Week 18, dropping a must-win game and very nearly losing the division title despite going up 17 points against the Niners. It was worrying for their Super Bowl hopes and home-field advantage clearly isn't going to be a benefit for this Los Angeles team. The Cardinals did not look all that much better in their own season finale, giving up 38 points to a Seahawks team with nothing to play for. These two split their season series and it feels like the Rams will take advantage of Arizona's injuries to move on to the divisional round, but Kyler Murray will keep it close. A field goal difference means a cover, which we feel is a good bet. Rams 30, Cardinals 27