NFL Wild Card Weekend Betting Preview

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NFL Wild Card Weekend Betting Preview

Author: Andy Hammel | Publish Date: January 13, 2024 | Last Updated: January 12, 2024

The NFL playoffs commence this weekend with live odds across NFL betting sites.

The schedule for the wildcard round of the 2023 NFL playoffs is set – twelve playoff teams will face off this coming weekend to determine who among them will advance to the divisional round.

Below, we’ll go over how to bet on the action this weekend, and what fans should expect when the games kick off as well as how to claim the best NFL betting promos.

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How to Bet on the NFL Playoffs

Betting on the NFL playoffs is simple, but it also provides options that aren’t available when betting through the regular season weeks of league action. In addition to playoff futures that are available all season and traditional moneyline, spread, and total markets, players will have access to certain props that span the playoffs as a whole.

For example, here are lines on 2024 NFL Playoffs Passing Yards leaders, courtesy of BetMGM:

  • Dak Prescott (+300)
  • Josh Allen (+400)
  • Brock Purdy (+600)
  • Patrick Mahomes (+750)
  • Lamar Jackson (+750)
  • Jared Goff (+900)

Prop bets like this come with an added layer of projection from the playoffs’ elimination aspect. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led quarterbacks through the regular season in passing yards (4,624), but likely won’t through the playoffs if his team is eliminated early. For Brock Purdy and Lamar Jackson, there’s the added twist of the first-round bye leaving them with one less playoff game to accumulate yards. Prescott and Allen are the quarterbacks for the two highest-seeded teams playing on wildcard weekend, and are accordingly favored for the prop.

Top Games to Watch on Wildcard Weekend

Below is a list of NFL games that’ll be featured this wildcard weekend on betting apps. Odds shown are courtesy of BetMGM, as of Monday, January 8.

  • 5 Cleveland Browns (-145) at 4 Houston Texans (+120) – Saturday, Jan 13, 4:30 PM ET
  • 6 Miami Dolphins (+150) at 3 Kansas City Chiefs (-185) – Saturday, Jan 13, 8:15 PM ET
  • 7 PIttsburgh Steelers (+380) at 2 Buffalo Bills (-500) – Sunday, Jan 14, 1:00 PM ET
  • 7 Green Bay Packers (+275) at 2 Dallas Cowboys (-350) – Sunday, Jan 14, 4:30 PM ET
  • 6 Los Angeles Rams (+155) at 3 Detroit Lions (-190) – Sunday, Jan 14, 8:15 PM ET
  • 5 Philadelphia Eagles (-150) at 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+125) – Monday, Jan 15, 8:15 PM ET

It’s hard to find a game on the slate that doesn’t have a compelling narrative element. Saturday will mark the first return of Tyreek Hill, who led all players in receiving yards (1,799) and touchdowns (13) while playing with the Dolphins this year, to the home stadium of the team for whom he played through the first six seasons of his career, winning a Super Bowl in 2020 and playing in another one in 2021. Other high-profile reunions this weekend include:

  • Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers, whom he coached from 2006 to 2018 and won a Super Bowl with in 2011. 
  • The Rams and Lions, who received each other’s starting quarterbacks – Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff – in a blockbuster 2021 trade that, thus far, has worked out well for both teams.
  • The Browns and Texans, who were involved in both a trade of the 12th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft that the Texans used to take quarterback Deshaun Watson and a notorious 2022 trade that landed Watson back on the Browns. The Texans still own the Browns’ picks in the 1st and 4th rounds of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the latter trade.

Wildcard Weekend Best Bets

More markets will become available and lines will move as kickoff approaches, but there are bets already on the market that bear watching early.

  • A big variable in the Steelers-Bills tilt will be the availability of Steelers edge defender T.J. Watt, who left the team’s last regular season game with an MCL sprain. While Pittsburgh took care of business despite losing him, they won’t be facing Baltimore’s backup quarterback in an oppressive rainstorm on Saturday night. Bills quarterback Josh Allen has put up a rollercoaster performance through the team’s five-game win streak to secure the 2 seed, but he can carve up the Steelers’ defense if they can’t pressure him.
  • The Cowboys enter the playoffs with the fifth-highest mark in yards per game (371.6), the highest mark in points per game (29.9) and an 8-0 record at AT&T Stadium. Six of their home games were won by 20 or more points. Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry has been maligned all season and runs a unit that ranks 23rd in EPA this season and 26th in EPA since Week 15. The unit ranks 4th in yards (265.7) and points (16.3) allowed per game through their last 3, but that wasn’t against the Cowboys in Arlington.

Andy Hammel

Andy is our resident NFL expert, but his knowledge extends to all corners of the sports betting industry. Andy is always tracking betting trends and keeping you up to date on all the relevant news in your home state.