NFL Wild Card Game Picks

The regular season is history but there is still plenty of NFL action ahead. The postseason opening weekend boasts three straight days of action. Our NFL Wild Card Game Picks looks at each contest and picks the best bets to win.

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But first, let’s break down the NFL Wild Card Game Picks.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)

The Seahawks limped into the NFC’s final postseason spot. Their reward: a road matchup against the hottest team in football. San Francisco has won 10 games in a row. Plus, the Niners swept the Seahawks during the regular season.

That sweep was a surprise to some as Seattle had dominated San Francisco in recent years. QB Geno Smith could very well be the Comeback Player of the Year. However, this is a poor spot for a struggling team.

Brock Purdy has looked fantastic since taking over under center for the 49ers. San Fran is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight. Meanwhile, Seattle has the opposite record, 1-7 ATS. Also, San Francisco has won five straight at home by an average score of 16 points.

PICK: San Francisco -9.5 (WIN)

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)

This will be the first playoff game for many of the players in this AFC Wild Card showdown. That can make things difficult to handicap.

The Chargers won four of their last five to make the tournament. Also, they were 4-0-1 against the spread down the stretch. LA should have a sight advantage with QB Justin Herbert but will be without WR Mike Williams. Also, traveling east can cause issues for west-coast squads.

Meanwhile, the Jags have a lot of momentum. Jacksonville won their final five contests to surge into the postseason for the first time since 2017. Undoubtedly, Doug Pederson‘s postseason experience could be a big advantage. Plus, the Jaguars have a league-high seven games as underdogs in 2022.

PICK: Jaguars +2.5 (WIN)

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-13.5)

There is no doubt where the momentum lies here. The Bills have looked like the best team in football at times and are extra motivated to play for Damar Hamlin. Meanwhile, Miami cratered down the stretch and is forced to trot out their third-string quarterback in a hostile environment.

Plus, it will be 25 degrees at Orchard Park. That hasn’t been a good situation for the Dolphins. Seventh-round rookie QB Skylar Thompson attempted 10-plus passes in four games. In all, he tossed one touchdown and three interceptions. Also, the Dolphins have dropped 8-of-9 to Buffalo and are 3-7-1 ATS at Highmark Stadium

It’s hard not to root for Josh Allen and company. The Bills Mafia might be the most passionate fan base in sports and will certainly play a factor Saturday. Buffalo has won 11-of-12 at home and dominated the Dolphins. The over has been hot in this series and it feels like the Bills could approach that number themselves.

PICK: OVER 43.5 (WIN)

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings (-3)

Sunday’s opener might be the most difficult game to pick. By looking at their 13-4 record, the Vikings should be big favorites. Instead, Vegas is telling us these teams are practically even. It feels like the house is begging us to take Minnesota.

Conversely, the Giants didn’t exactly dominate down the stretch. However, the Giants were a very good spread team, covering six of their final seven games. New York went 1-4 overall in their last five road games but, oddly, were 7-1 ATS on the road.

The Vikings were the opposite. Minnesota has won 9-of-10 at U.S. Bank Stadium but covered in just one of their last five. The Giants have the advantage defensively, and that might be just enough to keep them in this game late.

PICK: Giants +3 (WIN)

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-8.5)

On initial look, this looks like a trap. The Ravens may be down to third-string QB Anthony Brown and are playing a second-consecutive game in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the defending AFC champions were 12-4 both straight up and against the spread. It feels like the Bengals should be favored by double-digits. So what gives?

Baltimore has fared quite well against the Bengals. The Ravens are 6-3 in their last nine versus Cincinnati. Baltimore has a dominant rushing attack but without Lamar Jackson and facing the league’s No. 7 run D will be a problem. If Tyler Huntley is under center, things improve, But, points will be at a premium.

Meanwhile, the Bengals have covered five of their last six at home. QB Joe Burrow shouldn’t have issues facing a Baltimore pass defense that ranked 26th. But the Ravens will likely try to slow things down and that and the under has hit in 5-of-6 Baltimore games and 6-of-9 Bengals’ games at home.

PICK: UNDER 42 (WIN)

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3)

The Monday night capper should be a great one. America’s hated team travels to Tampa to face the GOAT. The Buccaneers struggled all season and limp into the playoffs with an 8-9 record. Can Tom Brady make one final postseason run as an underdog?

As bad as the Bucs were straight up, they were worst against the number. Tampa was a pathetic 4-12-1 ATS and just 2-6-1 at home. Tampa also has some injury concerns up front, which is bad news against a Dallas defense that ranked 2nd in sack rate.

Dallas appears to have the advantage on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys have also been excellent on the road and have won 10 of their last 12 games on Monday night. However, Dallas has only covered the number once in their last seven postseason appearances.

Also, a team that has a history of playoff disappointments traveling to face Tom Brady in a hostile environment seems like a recipe for disaster. Brady is 7-0 in his career against the Cowboys and has 35 playoff wins since entering the league. In the same span, Dallas has 3.

PICK: BUCS +3


 

About Jody Smith 273 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction.Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.