NFL Wild Card Best Bets
January 13, 2022
We are looking to keep rolling on our NFL Wild Card Week betting picks and player prop picks. You will find the best picks and predictions for Wild Card Weekend below.
We made it through this land mine laden season. The playoffs are upon us, and it is my personal favorite sporting time of the year. The playoff field is admittedly a bit watered down with the expansion to seven playoff teams per conference, but we will still get great football. In a win or go home matchup last week, we got an instant classic between the Chargers and Raiders. We should get much more of that this weekend.
We will have a trio of betting plays out of the six games happening between Saturday and Monday. A first ever Monday night playoff games sounds awesome, sign me up. We will also have a couple of player props. Be sure to check the NFL betting picks to view those.
Combining the picks below with one or more of these NFL sportsbook promos is definitely recommended:
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Without any further ado, let's get to our three betting picks.
Cincinnati Bengals -5.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders
✅ The Raiders got in with a crazy win against the Chargers at home last week. That win did not come without help from the Chargers. The Chargers came out quite flat and jittery and spotted the Raiders 10 points early on. The Raiders were able to put up 35 points on the heels of a running game. That is a concern, as the Chargers defense has long been a run funnel, and the Raiders have not had a consistent running game this season.
✅ Despite the win and the high point total last week, Derek Carr was far from good. He threw for just 186 yards, and now has to battle the elements on the road. Playing at Cincinnati will be a much tougher task than the comforts of home. We will see them go back to the anemic offense that scored 17 or fewer in seven of nine games.
✅ The Raiders defense got surprisingly leaky last week as well. Justin Herbert threw for nearly 400 yards and Mike Williams was a big play machine Enter the scorching hot passing offense of the Bengals and the problems for the Raiders secondary will get worse. Joe Burrow has been a machine and the tandem of Jamarr Chase and Tee Higgins has been electric on the outside. Look for the Bengals passing offense to keep the hot pace and put up scoring numbers the Raiders are unable to match.
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Buffalo Bills -4 vs New England Patriots
✅ The Patriots passing offense will continue to struggle. The nature of divisional matchups recurring in the playoffs is having seen two matchups between the teams already. What we saw is Belichick wholly resistant to throw against Buffalo. Once the passing game was forced into action, we saw the reason for the hesitation. Mac Jones was putrid. After throwing just three passes in the first matchup, Jones completed just 14/32 for 145 yards and two picks in the second matchup in Foxboro.
✅The Bills won that road matchup by double digits and are set up to do so again. They were the superior team on both sides of the ball. On defense, the Bills can truly key in on stopping the run game. Damian Harris was the Patriots only real offense against Buffalo, and the Bills should choose to sell out to force the Patriots to pass. That may happen organically as the Bills offense will likely find success and play from ahead once again.
✅ Josh Allen was dominant as both a passer and rusher in the home matchup against the Pats. He now has an emerging Devin Singletary as a reliable lead back. After having a frustrating committee with no one stepping up all season, Singletary has done so over the past month. He has been fed volume and has been highly productive. With a run game to complement, Allen and the passing game will have a much easier time.
Dallas Cowboys -3 vs San Francisco 49ers
✅ The Cowboys used last week to rune up an offense that frankly needed it. This should always be an elite offense but they have not been playing like it. Those glitches seemed to be fixed last week, even against many second stringers of the Philly defense. Dak Prescott served up five touchdown passes. We saw Dalton Schultz get back on track. Most importantly, we saw Prescott's rapport with Cedrick Wilson continue. He will be important filling in for Michael Gallup.
✅ The 49ers run game has only been able to exploit lower end rush defenses over the past couple of months. Gashing the likes of the Falcons and Texans will not translate well against the stout front of the Cowboys. There will be added pressure on the passing game when the run game does not get established early on. The Cowboys essentially always set a high scoring pace at home. If the pressure falls on Jimmy Garoppolo come up with scoring drive after scoring drive without turning the football over, it is likely to be a bit too much for him.
✅ I mentioned the Cowboys and their offense at home. They have scored 33 or more points in six of eight home games this year. More impressively, they have scored at least 41 in half of those games. The offense seems to be in as good of shape as it has been in some time. The balanced and high end attack will be enough to simply outscore the 49ers in what I suspect will be a high scoring affair.