NFL Wild Card Week Betting Plays and Predictions

January 7, 2021

We have made it to the NFL playoffs and it feels great, as no other professional sports league can remotely rival the joy the NFL playoffs bring. This is also our first “super” Wild Card Weekend since the expansion to 14 playoff teams from the previous 12. This means only the top seed in each conference gets a bye this week and we have six total games instead of the previous four. After this weekend the structure is identical to previous years.

Before diving into the NFL picks, and we will have a play on five of the six games this weekend, a little results housekeeping from the regular season.

Our divisional winner plays went 3-3 but we did profit 0.8 units on the plays. We cashed the Titans +160, the Bills +120 and the Saints -130. We bricked with dart throws on the Browns +500 and Bears +380, but there is consolation in the process that these teams are in the playoffs. The Eagles +140 were the team who simply fell apart and were not necessarily close to winning the division.

We finished the regular season an abysmal 33-39-4 on straight plays, and my apologies for not fully recovering from the worst possible outcome start of the season. We were however buoyed by our prop plays, as those finished the regular season at 44-35 for a total of 77-74-4.

Back to the playoffs. Not many teams are dealing with significant missing pieces going into this week, but the Rams are likely to be without quarterback Jared Goff, and the Browns are in rough shape on the COVID front. More on these later but the absences will be too much for these teams to overcome.

On to the plays!

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Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills

Betting Play: Bills -6.5

105PM EST Saturday
Opening Line: Bills -6.5 and 52.5
Current Line: Bills -6.5 and 51

It was quite an unfortunate turn of events for the Colts last week when the Texans were unable to secure the upset of the Titans. Despite handily winning their game against the lowly Jaguars, the Colts were left on the outside looking in in terms of the AFC South title, and that means this trip to Buffalo to face the league’s hottest team.

The Colts offense has found its stride on the back of beast rookie running back Jonathan Taylor. He has simply been exceptional as a runner and helped to create favorable game scripts where he could keep on running. They have won six of their last seven, but lost the game against the Steelers when that favorable game script was not present. Not coincidentally, this was Taylor’s worst game down the stretch as Philip Rivers and the passing game is simply not one built to truly compete in shootouts. That raises huge red flags in this matchup.

The Bills are scorching hot right now, and it is a nightmare matchup to draw them in the first round, particularly in Buffalo. The Bills are 6-0 since their bye in Week 11 and have won every single one of those games by at least 10 points. The offense has been humming, averaging 37.8 points per game over their last eight, but has fully hit its stride over the last three games. They are averaging 47.3 (!!!) points per game in the last three with an average scoring differential of 29.7 points (!!!). The defense has showed up to the party of late as they are allowing just 17 points per game in that span.

While the Colts defense is no pushover, this Buffalo offense is hitting on all cylinders and they will continue to score at a phenomenal rate. That scoring will create a scenario where Philip Rivers will have to be the great equalizer for the Colts, and that is a very low percentage outcome, particularly in a cold weather game with his advance age and throwing motion. I foresee the Bills running away with this one, and laying less than a full touchdown feels like a gift.

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