The NFL Playoff field is set, and there are a number of terrific matchups scheduled in the NFL Wild Card Round. With an expanded playoff this year, there will be three games in each conference during the Wild Card Round as opposed to just two.
Here is a quick look at all six games set to take place next weekend, with a betting preview and pick for each game.
The first game of Wild Card weekend will feature the 11-5 Indianapolis Colts taking on the 13-3 Buffalo Bills. The Colts enter the playoffs as a Wild Card, while the Bills are the champions of the AFC East.
Indianapolis is one of the better defenses in the NFL, and it has found its running game near the end of the season. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor had a monster game in Week 17, and he has rushed for more than 1,100 yards this season.
The Bills have turned into an offensive juggernaut, and they put up 56 points in the season finale against the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Josh Allen had a great season, throwing for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Indianapolis will keep this game close, but the Bills are just too explosive on offense. Bet the Buffalo Bills -6.5 over the Indianapolis Colts in this AFC Wild Card Game.
A pair of NFC West rivals will meet up in the second game on Saturday as the Seattle Seahawks host the Los Angeles Rams. Seattle won the division with a 12-4 record, while the Los Angeles Rams ended the year at 10-6.
These teams split their two regular-season meetings, and they were two very different games. Both teams have the potential to put up plenty of points on offense, but each team has been winning games with defense of late.
Los Angeles is dealing with a number of injuries, including quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams defense has been dominant all season long, and that unit held the Arizona Cardinals to just seven points in a Week 17 victory.
The Seahawks are led by quarterback Russell Wilson, who has thrown for over 4,100 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. Seattle has started to get great play from its defense, and that will likely carry it through the postseason.
Los Angeles is just too banged up at this time to be considered a real threat. Bet on the Seattle Seahawks to cover the 4.5-point spread and move on to the divisional round.
The 7-9 Washington Football Team will host the 11-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC Wild Card Round game on Saturday night. Washington was able to win the NFC East on Sunday night, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned a Wild Card berth in the conference.
Tampa Bay scored 30.8 points per game during the regular season, and it is one of the best passing teams in the NFL. Quarterback Tom Brady is one of the best playoff quarterbacks of all-time, and he is ready to go on another run.
The Washington Football Team is holding opponents to just 20.6 points per game, and that defense can cause some problems for the Bucs. Washington will need to find some offense, which has been a challenge at times.
Tampa Bay has been on a roll of late, and it should have no trouble in this game. Bet on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to cover the 7.5-point spread as they advance to the second round.
The Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans will meet up on Sunday in one of the AFC Wild Card matchups. This is a rematch of a playoff game from a season ago, and it was the Tennessee Titans that came away with an upset win in that matchup.
Baltimore has won five straight games, and it was able to earn a Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Ravens are rushing for more than 191 yards per game, and that offense has been rolling of late.
The Titans are led by running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for over 2,000 yards this season. Tennessee is scoring close to 30 points per game, but its defense has really been allowing points of late as well.
Tennessee will have a slight edge of playing at home in this game, but the Ravens will get revenge on the Titans on Sunday. Bet the Baltimore Ravens -3.5 over the Tennessee Titans in this AFC Wild Card Game.
The 8-8 Chicago Bears will travel to New Orleans to take on the 12-4 Saints on Sunday afternoon in an NFC Wild Card Game. This is a rematch from a regular-season game that was won in overtime by the Saints in Chicago.
Chicago has had an up-and-down season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Running back David Montgomery has really turned it on of late, but the offense continues to give the team's dominant defense very little help.
The Saints could be without running back Alvin Kamara as he has tested positive for COVID-19. Kamara had six rushing touchdowns in the Saints' win on Christmas Day, and they'll need to find some offense to win this game.
Chicago backed into the playoffs, but the Bears are not a real threat to the Saints in this game. Bet on the New Orleans Saints -9.5 over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
The final game on Sunday will feature a pair of AFC North rivals that just met up in Week 17. The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North with a 12-4 record, while the Cleveland Browns earned a Wild Card spot in the AFC with an 11-5 record.
These teams split their two regular-season matchups, with the Steelers winning the first game by a score of 38-7. Cleveland was able to earn a 24-22 win in the season finale in a game that it had to win.
Pittsburgh features one of the best defenses in the NFL, led by linebacker TJ Watt. The Steelers have struggled to run the football, but their offense has plenty of weapons on the outside.
Cleveland is one of the best rushing teams in the league, and both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt can take over a game. The Browns are dealing with a number of injuries, and finding enough defense will be a challenge.
Pittsburgh is the better overall team, and it will find a way to win this game and cover the 3.5-point spread.
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