NFL betting tips: 4 best bets for the Wild Card round
Jack Green makes his NFL betting picks for the first round of the playoffs, with four picks against the spread.
Visit Betway’s NFL picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.
Las Vegas Raiders (+5.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Raiders won four straight games to reach the postseason, kicking a 47-yard field goal in overtime last week to beat the Los Angeles Chargers and end their playoff hopes.
Las Vegas is also getting healthy on offense just at the right time, with stars Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller both good to go after a week of limited practice.
The Bengals rested quarterback Joe Burrow for last week’s defeat to the Cleveland Browns and had been on a charge themselves, winning three straight from Week 15 to 17.
They also beat Las Vegas back in Week 11, but the Raiders were in the middle of five defeats in six games at that point. They’re healthier now, and showed real grit to fight back into the playoffs.
The Bengals are rightly favourites at home, but the Raiders should have enough to keep things close and it would be no surprise if this one ends on a field goal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) vs Philadelphia Eagles
Last year, the Buccaneers came into the playoffs as a No. 5 seed and won three road games to reach – and then win – the Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay should have an easier path this season, starting with a home game against the Eagles.
Philadelphia is coming off a 51-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and lost at home to the Buccaneers back in Week 6. They were held to just 213 total yards in that game, including only 115 through the air.
Tampa Bay’s defensive front has allowed the third-fewest rushing yards of any team this season, and the Eagles have very little chance of keeping this game close if they have to rely upon the arm of Jalen Hurts.
With Leonard Fournette returning from IR and set to play on Sunday, the Bucs’ offense has the firepower to win this game very comfortably.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Dallas Cowboys
An incredible overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams last week saw the 49ers make the playoffs, and they have a good chance of advancing to the next round via this game in Dallas.
The Cowboys have won five of their last six games, but those victories all came against average-at-best NFC East teams and the heavily depleted New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys have gone 3-3 against playoff teams this season, with two wins coming against the Eagles.
The 49ers have faced injuries all season but managed to make the playoffs in the extremely tough NFC West, and seven wins in nine games since Week 10 show that they are a team to be feared in the postseason.
They’ve gone 6-3 on the road this season, and should dominate Dallas at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in this game.
Los Angeles Rams (-4) vs Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals were looking like Super Bowl contenders with an 8-1 record at the halfway point of the season, but a run of four defeats in five games since the middle of December sees them enter the playoffs lacking momentum.
They now travel to Los Angeles to face their divisional rivals, who had won five straight before last week’s overtime defeat to the 49ers.
The Rams won 30-23 when these teams met in Arizona five weeks ago, and a repeat looks likely given how these teams have performed over the past two months.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has not been at his best over the second half of the season, and the running game could also be affected by lingering injuries to James Conner and Chase Edmonds.
Few teams in the playoffs are as balanced as the Rams on both sides of the ball and it’s hard to see them being eliminated at the first hurdle.