The regular season is finally over and now the playoffs kick off with all the unpredictable matchups they traditionally offer, which means you’ll need our experts’ NFL Wild Card predictions more than ever. On the field things rarely play out the way they’re expected to, but our team is here to help you benefit from any mistake the sportsbooks make with their odds. How To Bet’s experts forecast matchups based on analysing advanced data, exploring relevant trends, and taking into account the latest and most important team news, topped off with their innate hunch for the game. This is the proven recipe for success with our NFL picks in general and our NFL Wild Card picks make no exception. And here’s the best part: you get them for free!
So cease losing precious hours doing your own research for each game and looking around for the most attractive odds. Quit staying glued to the screen waiting 24/7 for any breaking news that could endanger your wager. Stop taking harmful risks with your bets because of your team or player bias. Just leave it all to our experts – they’ve already done the job for you, unearthing the hidden value on the odds market and offering you on a plate the best bets available with their NFL Wild Card predictions. All you need to do is to take just a couple of minutes to read our betting picks & tips, place a wager and enjoy sports betting and, most of all, winning.
On this page, on top of breaking down all six matchups, you will also see the odds movement and the complete schedule of games in the first round of the postseason. This is Wild Card Weekend – let’s get straight to winning!
Two NFC West rivals square off in the first-ever Monday Night Football Wild Card game. The Rams were the hottest team in the league until halftime last Sunday. Winners of five in a row they blew a 17-point lead against San Francisco losing 27-24 in OT. But still managed to win the division title and secure a home game this weekend after the Cardinals lost for the fourth time in their last five games – 38-30 to Seattle.
Arizona is a team that is impossible to understand. They were in first place in the NFC on December 14th, hosting the COVID-ridden Rams for a chance to secure a playoff berth. Instead they lost 30-23 after head coach Kliff Kingsbury bypassed a chance for a couple of FGs going for it on fourth down deep in LA territory. A complete nosedive followed, including losses to Detroit and Indianapolis and in the end the Cardinals ended with the 5th seed with an 11-6 record.
The losing streak was propelled by the absence of WR DeAndre Hopkins who missed four games in a row with a foot injury. The game plan was tweaked to rely more on the running game but RB James Conner was ineffective down the stretch averaging 40.7 YPG and missing the games against Indianapolis and Dallas with a rib injury. He aggravated it last Sunday and his status for Monday is unknown. Hopkins was already ruled out so the offensive outlook is bleak.
DE J.J. Watt may be available after last playing on October 24th. The Cardinals’ defense gave up 252 points in ten games without so there’s room for improvement. But for a team used to late season collapses it may be too little too late. Kingsbury’s seat is hot and he’s 1-5 against Rams’ head coach Sean McVay. Look for the trend to continue when making your NFL Wild Card picks.
Our Expert NFL Pick for This Game: Rams Money Line (-182)
Buffalo and New England square off for the third time in the last seven weeks. They split the regular season series with both teams winning on the road. But the momentum is definitely on Bills side. While the Patriots limped to the finish line, Buffalo is on a four-game winning streak, capturing its second straight AFC East title.
New England won 14-10 on a blistering Monday night back on December 6th. Going into their bye week the Patriots were leading the AFC but went on a nosedive, losing three of the next four on the way to a 10-7 finish. Their biggest concern, as expected, is rookie QB Mac Jones. The Alabama product went 68-of-105 for 787 yards, 3 TDs and 5 INTs in three losses. Jones’ ineffectiveness combined with the ground game struggles and the COVID outbreak among the RBs doomed NE chances for a home game in the playoffs.
Buffalo lost controversially 33-27 in OT to the Buccaneers on December 12th but finished with wins over Carolina, New England, Atlanta and NY Jets for an 11-6 record and the #3 seed in the AFC. On top of that they’ll get a big boost from Mother Nature on Saturday night. The forecast calls for single digit temperatures and while Bills QB Josh Allen has played numerous times in winter weather as a part of the Wyoming Cowboys, being raised in Florida and attending a college in Deep South Mac Jones is not somebody to trust in such conditions.
New England rode the ground game a month ago in challenging weather. I expect a similar approach to this one by head coach Bill Bellichick and running the ball consumes time and shortens the game. I was a little surprised to see the total go up by a point since the start of the week but I would still recommend backing the under in my NFL Wild Card predictions.
Our Expert NFL Pick for This Game: Under 44.5 (-118)
The NFL playoffs kick off on Saturday afternoon with a matchup between teams that are not accustomed to being part of the postseason in recent years. Cincinnati won the AFC North title for the first time in six years and is looking for the first playoff win since January 1991 (41-14 against the then Houston Oilers). Las Vegas will play just their second postseason game in the last 19 years and the one in that period they were non-competitive against Houston (14-27) without the injured QB Derek Carr.
The Bengals caught a big break last Sunday when a last second FG sent them the Raiders as an opponent instead of the Patriots. Why is this a break? Well, Cincinnati rested most of its starters in the 21-16 loss to the Browns. At the same time Las Vegas played five super charged emotionally quarters just to secure a place in the tournament. And now on a short week and an early Saturday start the disadvantage is huge.
The Raiders listed a couple of DTs on the injury list as “non-participants” and four other starters as “limited”. While the Bengals have S Ricardo Allen (concussion), WR Stanley Morgan (hamstring) and DT Josh Tupou (knee) questionable for Saturday but none of them is of much importance.
The Bengals’ drought is about to end. Las Vegas had six walk off wins this season and the luck should be over. The Joe Burrow – Ja’Marr Chase combo will be too dangerous for a defense that is 21st in DVOA against the pass.
Our Expert NFL Pick for This Game: Bengals -5.5 (-110)
Big Ben’s career was prolonged by at least another week after the Steelers somehow squeezed into the playoffs with two OT thrillers that went their way. First Pittsburgh beat Baltimore 16-13 on a Chris Boswell 28-yard FG with 6:08 to go. Then in the nightcap Daniel Carlson kicked a last-second FG to lift the Raiders 35-32 over the Chargers and gave the Steelers the #7 seed in the AFC.
Nobody in Pittsburgh, even the players, expect the team to go much deeper in the playoffs. At 9-7-1 only the Eagles have a worse record. The offense is 25th in DVOA and 21st in scoring (20.2 PPG). The defense is 14th in DVOA, 27th against the run and by all estimations they should’ve been 7-10. Yet they are in the tournament!
The Steelers went to Arrowhead on December 26th and were trounced 36-10. KC was 30-0 up six minutes into the second half and a garbage time TD pass to WR Diontae Johnson made the final score a little more respectable. Do I think another beating is in the cards? Sure. On January 16th 2000 (see the coincidence?) Dan Marino’s career ended with a 62-7 drubbing at the hands of the Jaguars. I don’t think Ben Roethlisberger is immunized against following his footsteps.
I don’t like double digit spreads in playoff games. But there are many reasons for this one. The Steelers are a very flawed yet very fortunate team. Apart from the AFC Championship game the Chiefs have covered in all games (4-1) finished by QB Patrick Mahomes (he was knocked out with a head injury last year against the Browns). Of all the NFL Wild Card predictions this is the one I’m least confident. But I have to go with the hot hand at home.
Our Expert NFL Pick for This Game: Chiefs -12.5 (-110)
27 years and one day after San Francisco beat Dallas 38-28 to go (and eventually win) Super Bowl XXIX two of the most storied franchises in the modern era of the NFL will renew their playoff rivalry. The Cowboys finished with a 12-5 record, good for the NFC East title, won five of their last six games and scored 50 or more points in two of the last three. But I’m sorry, Cowboys’ fans, doing it against Taylor Heinicke & the COVID stricken WFT and Gardner Minshew & the Eagles backups doesn’t count.
Dallas became the 6th team since 1990 to have both a player with 10+ INTs (Trevon Diggs – 11) and 10+ sacks (Micah parsons – 13). But Diggs also gave up more than 1000 yards in coverage (most among all NFL players) and as celebrated the Cowboys’ pass rush was it’s actually the Niners that got more sacks as a team (48, 4th in the league).
For both teams this is a dream but at the same time a nightmare matchup as well. The Niners are fifth in the DVOA running the ball and are facing the 16th ranked running defense. On the other side Dallas is sitting at #6 in pass offense and will face the 16th best pass defense in the league. A team that is plagued by pass interference calls week after week and is forced to start the rookie Ambry Thomas at CB.
The biggest question mark for San Francisco is the health of Trent Williams. The best graded LT in the league missed the 27-24 OT win against LA Rams with a sprained elbow. He declared himself good to go for Sunday but whether he actually plays remains to be seen. With Williams, the Niners’ running game is almost unstoppable. If Williams is on the field I see SF winning but because of his uncertain status I’ll be cautious in my NFL Wild Card predictions.
Our Expert NFL Pick for This Game: 49ers +3.5 (-125)
The two teams met in Week 6 and the Buccaneers won 28-22 away from home. Back in October WR Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 93 yards and a TD and RB Leonard Fournette ran for 81 yards and found the end zone twice. The former is out of the league after his meltdown against NY Jets while the latter has just returned to practice after a month long layoff because of an injury. But the Eagles are the team that underwent the more drastic transformation.
In the beginning of the season Philadelphia tried to be an explosive pass happy offense but the experiment failed miserably. The Eagles were 2-5 before becoming a run-first team that won seven of the next nine games to clinch a playoff berth. Head coach Nick Sirianni decided to rest all the starters in the season finale and the 51-26 loss to the Cowboys sounds scary but it was a calculated risk to put his team in a position to succeed against the defending Super Bowl champions.
A year ago the Bucs were the best defense against the run. They remain a top unit although not at the historical level of 2020. Tampa Bay finished only 12th against the run in DVOA this season and this should make things a little interesting against the third-best ground attack in the league.
This will be another bad weather game. There’s an 80% chance of rain with possible thunderstorms and wind gusts of up to 32 mph. The under is the obvious pick for the game but the line that opened at 49 has already dropped to 46 and even 45.5 at some bookmakers. Even though I still think this is the right bet.
Our Expert NFL Pick for This Game: Under 46 (-110)
Let’s start with clarifying what NFL expert picks are: selected betting predictions made by people with a particularly high level of knowledge and experience in uncovering the best bets in the league. Go with them and you’ll get detailed and perfectly reasonable suggestions on how to bet on carefully picked games that give you the highest chance of winning. This way you will join a big army of punters that trusts these selected NFL Wild Card expert picks.
The option to bet on your own judgement over experts’ view is the other possible way. Go solo and you will be fully responsible for both winning and losing, so there will be no one else to blame in case of failing. After all, it’s your money at stake.
While this is a relevant point, there are still numerous reasons why the majority prefers expert picks and considers them to be the art form of NFL betting. See the most important ones below.
Now that you have decided in favor of following the experts’ advice with their special selection of NFL Wild Card predictions, your next job is to know and understand the specifics of the betting markets. The three most popular among football betting enthusiasts are:
All three will most certainly be offered to you by every online sportsbook so let's look at each one of these markets and explain how they work. After that you will have a complete understanding of the matter and you’ll be 100% ready to explore the best bets we have in line for you with our experts’ NFL Wild Card predictions.
People look for NFL Wild Card Weekend picks against the spread because the straight up odds for the two teams in a particular game may be quite differing in magnitude. By trying to even them up, all sportsbooks offer point spread markets that impose an artificial handicap on the team in the role of the favorite. The spreads give the underdog team an equal and opposing advantage, and consequently the odds available tend to be much more balanced. As a result, picks against the spread are in such demand. Check this example:
|Kansas City Chiefs||-12.5||-110|
Here you see Pittsburgh being given an advantage of +12.5 points, while the heavy favorite Kansas City have a handicap of -12.5 points. If you place a wager on the Chiefs, they will need to win by 13 points or more for you to succeed. Bet on the Steelers and you will only lose if they lose by 13 points or more. With these conditions in place, the sportsbook is able to offer even odds for both teams (-110).
When turning to expert predictions, you will most probably run across NFL Wild Card ATS picks. Just wager on the named team in the point spread market and you’ll have your winning bet served on a plate if the pick is correct.
The straight up or moneyline betting market is probably the simplest to understand. Here you will be offered odds about both of the teams involved in a NFL game and your only job is to place a wager on the team that you think will win. If your prediction is correct, your bet is a winning one and it will be settled at the odds you took. In a nutshell, when you see our NFL Wild Card straight up picks, you should be able to bet on them easily. See the following example:
|San Francisco 49ers||+135|
Let’s say you fancy San Francisco to win the NFL game against the favorite Dallas. You could bet on the 49ers at odds of +135 and a stake of $100 would therefore give you a profit of $135 if they succeed. Conversely, you have to wager $155 on the Ravens and they have to win the game for your profit to be $100. This is as straightforward an example as you would find – now you should be ready to take advantage of our NFL Wild Card straight up picks.
As this is the third main betting market, you will undoubtedly find many sources for NFL Wild Card picks over/under. Here you only have one job: to predict whether the total number of points scored in the game by both teams combined will be Over or Under a total figure quoted by the sportsbook. Unsurprisingly, that’s why this is also known as the Totals market. Take a look at the following example and you will surely get a grasp of the concept:
|Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Over 49.5/Under 49.5||-110/-110|
The good news is that over/under betting is just as simple as moneyline betting. (Especially if you have access to free expert NFL Wild Card predictions and picks to help guide you through the process.) In our example, all you have to do is decide whether you think there will be over or under 49.5 points scored in the game by both teams combined. If you go for Over, there would need to be 50 points or more for your wager to succeed. Go for Under and there would need to be 49 points or fewer for your bet to win.
Did you understand the concept? If the answer is ‘yes’, find the best bets available within our experts’ NFL Wild Card picks over/under and place a wager.
With NFL picks Wild Card Weekend offers tons of possibilities all around the web and traditional media. So check out the success rates of the NFL predictions provided by our experts to be 100% convinced in their value. See also what lies ahead in the future.
These are the expert’s betting choices for a NFL game and are based on hours and hours of research. You can either choose to follow these predictions or trust your own judgement.
There are many places where you can find NFL expert picks for the Wild Card Weekend. Not all experts are equal though, and most will charge you money to receive their predictions. The NFL Wild Card picks here at How To Bet are provided by some of the best specialists we’ve found in our extensive search. And the icing on the cake is that you can benefit from them completely for free.
In order to benefit from the NFL Wild Card best bets on the market, you need to do lots of research. You must check stats, injury lists, coach changes, weather forecast, and anything else that could affect the game. Most of all, you need to be able to analyse this information properly and also to read the game before all the action unfolds.
You can also follow expert NFL picks from Week 1 all the way to the Super Bowl. And it’s totally free here at How To Bet!
ESPN and CBS are regarded as the top of the pops for NFL picks among the big media outlets. But don’t hesitate to check How To Bet’s picks too. We have a great winning percentage that equals and many times even betters the success rates of some of the most popular experts.
Our NFL Wild Card predictions are expert picks based on solid data and analysis, but they are still only predictions. There is no guarantee that NFL picks from any source will win, and form upsets can occur at any point during the season. The only guarantee is that the expert picks have a much higher chance of winning because of the amount of work, knowledge, experience and advanced data access these specialists have. So always obey the golden rule of betting and never wager more than you can afford to lose in a worst-case scenario.
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