The NFL playoffs are finally here, with Wild Card Weekend kicking-off with Bills-Texans on Saturday. All four games feature great matchups, so we did the homework to help you breakdown the games from a wagering aspect.
So, without further ado, here is our breakdown and picks and parlays of all four games this NFL Wild Card weekend.
NFL Wild Card Weekend Picks 2020
Buffalo Bills + 3 at Houston Texans
Let me start this off by saying the Texans are one team that I have not been able to figure out this season. With that being said, I like the Bills and the points in this one. And, there are a few reasons for that.
First, the coaching mismatch. Give me Sean McDermott all day over Bill O’Brien when it comes to which team will have an advantage in this game. I also like the fact that McDermott has had two weeks to prepare for this game, considering Week 17 was pre-season ish for the Bills after clinching.
Another reason to like the Bills is health. Buffalo comes into this game healthier overall, looking good at all key positions. On the flip side, Will Fuller is dealing with a hamstring injury as usual, and so are two key guys on the Texans secondary in Bradley Roby and Johnathon Joseph. JJ Watt has been activated, but who knows where he is at health wise and how much impact he will be able to make. In the playoffs, every good player counts, so Buffalo has the edge here as well.
When it comes to matchups, Buffalo’s pass defense should be able to contain Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. Both are amazing places, so containg the explosive plays will of course be tough to do, but Buffalo is built for just that. The one way I see Buffalo exploiting is their passing offense against Houston’s pass defense. The Texans come into this game ranked 26th in passing DVOA, and are badly injured in the secondary. Guys like Cole Beasley and John Brown should have big games.
The public seems to disagree, with 55%-plus of the public taking the Texans. But, the line has dropped from 3 to 2.5 in most books, indicating reverse line movement on the Bills. It looks like it was sharp money that came in on the Bills at 3, which makes me feel even better about this wager.
As mentioned above, this number has bounced back and forth from 3 to 2.5 in most books. I like both, but obviously 3 better, so make sure you shop around before placing your bet online.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots -5
I’ve been a Titans fan all season long, especially after Ryan Tannehill took over at QB. With that being said, I see their great season coming to an end in Foxboro this weekend.
The coaching edge of course goes to New England in this one. Don’t think I need to add much more there other than Bill Belichick aka Hoodie is the greatest of all-time.
Matchup wise, the Patriots defense comes into this one ranked No. 1 against the pass and No. 6 against the run per DVOA. Hoody usually takes away the other team’s best weapon, and in this case, look for him to scheme a way to slow down Derrick Henry, who comes into this game red-hot.
The public is surprisingly split 50-50 in this game, which is why I think there is value on New England in this spot. Some early sharp money came in on New England, pushing this line from Pats -4.5 to -5. They are 6-2 at Gillette Stadium, and Tannehill has struggled there in his career with an 0-6 record. There is also snow and wind expected for this weekend’s game, which also favors the Patriots.
I know Brady and co. have struggled offensively, but every time people think the Patriots are washed, they rise from the dead to pull out games just like this one. I trust in both Brady and Belichick to get this one done.
Minnesota Vikings +8 at New Orleans Saints
The Saints come into this game rolling, including covering for us last weekend! But, with that being said, this is just too many points for a Vikings team that should be able to stick around in this one.
I know the Vikings secondary has been suspect this season, but Minnesota ranks 7th against the pass and 9th against the run based on DVOA. If the Vikings can just contain Michael Thomas, that will be a victory for them. Offensively, they should get Dalvin Cook back, which helps. Even though NOLA has defended the run well, they have some big injuries that are exploitable if Cook is actually healthy.
Usually I like fading the public, so this game fits the bill in that regard. The general public is pounding the Saints at a 66% clip. I am going to go against the grain in this game, hoping that the good Kirk Cousins shows up.
Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles +1
Everyone is on Seattle in this one, and I mean everyone. The Hawks are being bet on at a historic rate, with 85% of the public betting on them. Per BetLabs this is the highest bet game by the public since 2003. This alone makes me lean the Eagles, but I also like the metrics.In fact, some sharps feel the Eagles should be favored in this one. Let’s look at a few reasons why:
Seattle has the 26th ranked rush defense per DVOA, which the Eagles should be able to exploit in this game. I know Sanders is out for Philly, but Boston Scott looked just fine filling in for him. That has been the story of the season for this Eagles team decimated by injuries. Next man up, just like the year they won the Super Bowl.
Another matchup Philadelphia will be able to take advantage of is their TEs against Seattle’s defense. The Hawks have been shredded by TEs this season. They are so bad at defending the position that it won’t matter if Zach Ertz plays or not. But, for what it’s worth, Ertz does look like he is going to give it a go, which is a big plus for Philly.
The Hawks are also decimated by injuries at key positions, on both sides of the ball. Like we mentioned above in the Bills-Texans breakdown, every guy counts, especially when it is your best players.
I will fade the public and take Philly to win this game straight up!
So, there you have it for our NFL Wild Card picks. Good luck with your wagers and hopefully this sports intel helps with your Sunday NFL card. Also, you can check out our parlay calculator to work out the odds.