The season started with a bizarre Bills and Rams game on Thursday Night and now the real season begins all over again with the NFL Playoffs. Everyone gets a second chance to look dumb on predictions so let's take advantage of that fact. Here are my game by game Wild Card round predictions both against the spread and straight up.
All odds as of Friday morning on DraftKings Sportsbook - download it today using code 910.
- Seahawks @ 49ers
The third matchup between these two division foes and the 49ers swept the season series. There is a 70% chance of rain on Sunday after several days of rainy, soggy weather in the Bay Area. Brock Purdy will be making his first postseason start after the 7th round rookie went 6-0 in his regular season starts. This feels like a personal challenge for Pete Carroll. The Seahawks are undermanned defensively. Jordyn Brooks's injury leaves a huge void in the middle of their D. Yet, I still think Seattle finds a way to make this interesting. If its muddy and rainy, we saw those conditions gum up Kyle Shanahan's offense earlier in the year when they lost to the Chicago Bears. Yes, one of the three wins for the worst team in the league was against the 49ers in monsoon conditions in Chicago.
- ATS: SEATTLE +9.5
- Straight Up: San Francisco (70% upset watch)
- Chargers @ Jaguars
A rematch from Week 3 when the Jags handed the Chargers their worst loss of the season, 38-10. It was also the week after Justin Herbert suffered a serious rib injury and was trying to gut through it, literally and figuratively. This time, Herbert is healthy, the Chargers offensive line is mostly healthy and the Jags are coming off a less than impressive Week 18 win over the lowly Titans. If Josh Dobbs was able to dominate the Jags secondary, what will Herbert and Allen be capable of? One twist to this game is the status of Mike Williams. The Chargers WR left the week 18 game with a back injury. If Williams can't go or more likely, can play but is limited, it could be a huge bump for the Jags. It could also create a less than ideal environment for the Chargers who would enter this game with serious doubts about their head coach after he screwed up Week 18 and continues to refuse to admit it.
- ATS: JAX +2.5
- Straight Up: Jaguars
- Dolphins @ Bills
The only thing you need to know about this game is Skylar Thompson is starting for the Dolphins. A banged up Skylar Thompson! The Bills should win this game and should win easily. The only curveball is a lesson we have learned recently, most notably the Suns/Warriors game, that sometimes the most obvious bet is not a winning bet.
- ATS: Bills -13.5
- Straight up: Bills (1% upset watch)
- Giants @ Vikings
No one trusts the Vikings and everyone respects the Giants. On paper, the Vikings are just more talented than the Giants from top to bottom. Yet Kirk Cousins somehow has less equity going into this game than Daniel Jones. This is just a weird game. Dalvin Cook's health matters. The Vikings OL health matters and whether Saquon Barkley goes full beast mode matters. This is the most unpredictable game of the weekend, I'm personally planning on staying away.
- ATS: Giants +3
- Straight Up: Vikings (upset watch 90%)
- Ravens @ Bengals
No Lamar Jackson for the Ravens should be the end of the drama for this game. Yet I can't shake the feeling that the Bengals are going into this game overconfident. The Ravens are still the Ravens. JK Dobbins will play and the Ravens rushing attack could be a real problem for the Bengals. Plus, Cincinnati may be without two of their starting offensive lineman. If the NFL gets its way, Sunday Night Football will be a nail biter.
- ATS: Ravens +9.5
- Straight Up: Bengals
- Cowboys @ Buccaneers
I miss the good ole days where you could just count on a 40+ Tom Brady in the playoffs to deliver. Now at age 45, Brady is a home underdog in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. That shouldn't be surprising - HE'S 45 YEARS OLD! - but it is. Here's the problem with this game: the Bucs have confused me all year and the Cowboys have confused me the last few weeks. I don't know what's up and what's down in this game. Will TB12 ride again and remind us all of is never ending greatness? Or will Dallas's defensive speed prove to be too much for Old Man River to handle? When in doubt, you know what to do.
- ATS: Bucs +2.5
- Straight Up: Bucs