Playoff football in the National Football League (NFL) gives fans a shorter amount of games to watch, but an adrenaline rush of high-stakes contests. This also presents new opportunities to add money to the bank account with new bets, and new prop bets. With the stage set for the first round of playoff games we will look at the six games for the 2022Wild Card Weekend.
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Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
Starting Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EST the Raiders take on Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
While the Bengals suffered a 21-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns in week 18, the team rested its star players like Burrow and Joe Mixon, while Ja’marr Chase saw limited action.
Burrow is hot, and claimed an impressive win over the stout Kansas City Chiefs, as he passed for 525 and 446 yards in the past two games, respectively.
Las Vegas comes off a win where they took out an AFC West rival, and extended their winning streak to four games.
Consensus has Cincy at 6.5 to 5.5 with an O/U at 49. Take the under on this game. While the Bengals eclipsed 30 points eight times in the season, the playoff atmosphere is different. The Raiders will be able to keep it close, so the 5.5 spread is good, expect maybe a 24-21 Cincy victory.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
With a kickoff at 8:15 Saturday night the division rivals will go at it in Buffalo once again.
With an O/U of 44 and Buffalo as four-point favorites this game, should be gritty like the previous meeting in Buffalo. .
Buffalo scored 483 points while they allowed 289, and for New England 462 points and 303 allowed, respectively. So, two high powered offenses meet two stingy defenses. Plus, Buffalo is on a four-game win streak where they beat New England 33-21. With a 1-3 record in the past four, the Pats are struggling, and at the most inconvenient time.
With this and a rookie quarterback, New England will struggle to move the ball against a solid Bills defense. Take the under and the Bills in what may be a close game but more of a 17-10, 21-14 type of score.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Sunday 1 p.m. game features arguably the greatest football player ever, Tom Brady, and he is in playoff mode.
These teams matched up in Week 6 of the season as the Bucs bested the Eagles 28-22 in OT. After that, Philadelphia went a modest 7-4 while the Bucs posted an 8-3 record since.
Things have changed dramatically for Tampa Bay offensively as Chris Godwin tore an ACL, Antonio Brown departed after a dramatic showing against the New York Jets and Leonard Fournette is still on the shelf.
The O/U is 45 1/2 with Tampa as 8.5 point favorites. Take Brady in playoff mode and take the over. There is a gut feeling that Brady will claim this first battle convincingly on his warpath for another ring.
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys
The Sunday 4:30 p.m. game is being considered as a tight one. In what is essentially a pick ’em game the lines read an O/U of 49 with Dallas three point favorites.
This makes sense why the line is close, both teams since the start of December finished strong, Dallas 5-1 while San Francisco posted a 4-2 record.
Both defenses are similar in points allowed with Dallas at 358 and San Francisco at 365. Equally important however is Micah Parsons and Anthony Brown should return for the Cowboys defense. Also, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and safety Jayron Kearse return for Dallas as well.
This is the Cowboys, who are notorious for losing in the playoffs. Expect a close game with plenty of scores, go the over and pick whoever you believe in your gut will win, could not fault either.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (KC -12.5)
In the prime slot of Sunday Night Football, the Steelers head to Arrowhead Stadium for a date with the Chiefs.
Projections have this game with a 46 O/U and the Chiefs favored by 11.5.
Honestly, with Ben Roethlisberger saying his team did not have a chance, they will get destroyed.
It sounds demoralizing when the captain and longest tenured player does not give his own team a chance. No stats here as this relies on feeling and the emotional aspect of the game
Kansas City is at a 75.9% chance of winning, and it would not be shocking if it shot up more.
Take the Chiefs and the points, maybe a 35-10 score, but expectations should be low for the Steelers.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
In the final game of the Wild Card weekend, the Los Angeles Rams take on the Arizona Cardinals for Monday Night Football at 8:15.
Sites project this game for a 49 O/U and the Rams by three, and this game should be thrilling.
While LA rattled off five wins before an OT loss to the 49ers, the 20-19 W over the Baltimore Ravens looked alarming. Meanwhile, Arizona looked off in their last six with a 2-4 record, for a team that finished 11-6 on the season, this is the worst time to stumble.
When these teams played in the regular season it was high scores and almost a shootout on offense, in a playoff atmosphere, both teams should be on their best and this has potential to be incredibly entertaining.
Take the over on points, but not the spread, it will be at least a touchdown difference in points.
Playoff football is a great way to start the year, but it is even better with some more money in the bank. For this and all sports betting needs head on over to Sportsbetting3.com!