NFL Wildcard contests Jan 9: Odds & Predictions

Saturday afternoon is the start of wall-to-wall football for two days, followed by the College Football Playoff Championship Monday night. So bettors, rejoice!

Here is a look (our betting preview and predictions) at the three Saturday NFL playoff games. Saturday, January 9, 2021 (Odds via PointsBet).

AFC 7-Indianapolis (11-5) at 2-Buffalo (13-3)

Time and TV:1:05 p.m. EST (CBS and Fubo.tv

Betting Odds: Bills -6.5, money line -301 (Colts +240), over/under 52

Prediction: Get the Bills as soon as possible at the -6.5 before it goes to -7 or higher.

These two teams did not play this year. This could be a shootout. The Bills come into the contest second in the NFL in total yards per game (384.1) and points per game (31.3), while the Colts were ninth in points per game (28.6): those numbers combine to almost 60.

Buffalo has lost just once since October 19, going 9-1 down the stretch to pick up the second seed. But the Colts pose a tough test: in that same period, they were 8-3. A brutal 28-24 loss in Week 16 to the Steelers cost Indy the three seed and a home game. Now, it is a tough trip to Northern New York, facing the most improved player in the league, QB Josh Allen.

NFC 6-Los Angeles Rams (10-6) at 3-Seattle Seahawks (12-4)

Prediction: If those two defensive players sit for Seattle, which was 23rd in yards allowed, this could be the first upset of the weekend. But more than likely it will be the Seahawks, behind Russell Wilson, that soar into the next round>

Time and TV: Jan 9 2021, 4:40 p.m. EST (FOX and Fubo.tv

Odds: Seahawks -4.5, money line -226 (Rams +180), over/under 43

These two NFC West opponents split the season series, with the Rams winning 23-16 back on November 16, while the Seahawks won 20-9 in Week 16 to clinch the division and the home game in the first round.

Safety Jamal Adams is an injury doubt for Seattle, as is DT Jarran Reed, after both were banged up Sunday.

But the Rams might have their own injury issues: QB Jared Goff underwent surgery on his right thumb, but Head Coach Sean McVay expects him to be back for this game. Will it affect his throwing?

NFC 5-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) at 4-Washington Football Team (7-9)

Jan 9 Prediction: Washington could be on the rise with a QB, but this is too much, too soon. Go with the Bucs, especially if you can get them under -7.

Time and TV: 8:15 p.m. EST  (NBC and Fubo.tv

Odds: Buccaneers -8, money line -430 (WFT +320), over/under 45.5

What is that you say? A 7-9 team hosting an 11-5 one? Yep, welcome to wacky 2020, which has reached into the new year. Washington won the NFC (L)East title with a much talked about 20-14 win over Philadelphia Sunday night, and now gets to host Tom Brady and Tampa Bay. 

The Football Team started the season 1-5 and 2-7, but went 5-2 down the stretch to clinch the division. Yes, they went 4-2 in the NFC East; but they also could have been 9-7 with a touch of luck, and have Chase Young to wreak havoc on defense.

Tampa Bay, after a midseason hiccup, won four straight to end the year. But the Bucs were not very good against playoff teams, going 1-5. Interestingly, that one win was 38-10 over Green Bay, which Tampa would play if it beats Washington.

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