With the NFL's regular season now in the rearview mirror, just 14 teams remain and are preparing for a mad dash to Super Bowl LV. For 12 of those clubs, that march to Tampa begins now with Super Wild-Card Weekend kicking off in just a few days. By the look of this weekend's slate, there are a number of high-profile matchups that are worth your full attention which makes it even more enjoyable to bet on.
Before we jump into our picks this week, let's take a look back at how we did in Week 17. We were very strong on the moneyline, notching a 13-3 mark, and essentially drew even with an 8-7-1 ATS record. Those totals bring us to 117-127-10 ATS for the entire season and 171-82-1 SU. Not too shabby if you ask us. We'll try to carry that momentum into the playoffs starting with this Super Wild-Card Weekend slate.
Saturday 1:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
Buffalo has enjoyed a magical season, winning the AFC East for the first time since 1995. Here, they'll look to add to this stellar year with their first playoff victory since '95. The Bills have covered eight straight games heading into the postseason, making them just the fourth team over the last 40 seasons to do so. Each of the previous clubs not only won their first playoff game but went 3-0 ATS. Buffalo seems like they could be right in line with those other clubs as they come into the playoffs winning six straight games by double-digits.
As for the Colts, they've failed to cover each of their last three games and are surprisingly getting points for the first time all season. Philip Rivers has a tremendous track record against the Bills in his career, going 4-0 SU and ATS over his last few starts while throwing 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The veteran quarterback has also covered 72% of his career starts on short rest. Even with that strong history with Rivers, however, Buffalo seems to be moving at a clip above most clubs these days and I don't expect that to slow down anytime soon. Fans being in the stands at Bills Stadium is also a factor here.
Projected score: Bills 33, Colts 24
My pick: Bills -6.5
What picks can you make with confidence during the Wild Card Round? And which Super Bowl contender gets a huge scare? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are covering in more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up nearly $7,900 on its top-rated picks.
Saturday, 4:40 p.m. ET (FOX)
This game is hard to peg because we really don't know what the situation is going to be like for the Rams under center. Jared Goff is still recovering from a fractured thumb in his throwing hand and needed surgery to repair it. If he doesn't play, that'd throw John Wolford back under center, which doesn't exactly instill confidence in bettors. These two division rivals split the season series, but it may be wise to lean toward the home team in Seattle.
Not only have the Seahawks won 10-straight home playoff games (7-3 ATS) but this version of the club has played well at Lumen Field all season, owning a 6-2 ATS and 7-1 SU record. Pete Carroll's defense has also been strong as of late, allowing just 16 points per game over the last eight games, which is the best mark in the entire NFL. With the defense playing like that and Russell Wilson under center on offense, it's much more comfortable to lean towards Seattle, especially with uncertainty under center for Los Angeles.
Projected score: Seahawks 27, Rams 17
My pick: Seahawks -4
Buccaneers at Washington
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
There's a little added spice to this game after Washington rookie Chase Young seemingly called out Tom Brady after their win over Philadelphia to win them the NFC East, but his club does match up quite well against Tampa Bay. The book on disrupting Tom Brady is pressing him up the middle and spook him early to throw him off his spot. Washington's front seven headlined by Young has the ability to rush four and still get after the quarterback, which makes this matchup pretty interesting. The Buccaneers have won four straight coming into the playoffs and have covered four of their last five. While I don't see Tampa Bay losing, my gut has this being close enough to take Washington and the points. The Bucs are 0-4 ATS (1-3 SU) in primetime this season and the fact that this game is on the road adds to the confidence for the Football Team.
Projected score: Tampa Bay 27, Washington 24
My pick: Washington +8
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN)
The Ravens and Titans have had quite the history over the last two seasons. In the 2019 Divisional Round, Tennessee knocked Lamar Jackson's club out of the playoffs as a 10-point underdog as the eventual league MVP totaled three turnovers. This year, the Titans beat the Ravens in overtime as a six-point underdog thanks to a Derrick Henry walk-off touchdown.
While Tennessee has gotten the better of the Ravens over these previous two matchups, I see John Harbaugh and company getting the money off their back here. Since Lamar Jackson returned from COVID, the Ravens have gone 5-0 ATS and SU and are averaging 37.2 points per game. It should be stated, however, that only one of those five opponents made the playoffs so those numbers many not exactly translate into Super Wild-Card Weekend. The takeaway from that, however, is simply the positive momentum that Lamar Jackson had heading into the playoffs as he continues to search for his first postseason win. Both of his first two playoff losses occurred at home. In his career as a starter, Lamar Jackson is 13-4-1 ATS (77%) on the road.
Projected score: Ravens 30, Titans 24
My pick: Ravens -3
Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET (CBS)
Chicago's offense has finally untapped something with Mitchell Trubisky under center as it is averaging 28.3 points per game with him under center while going 6-3 on the season. The Bears have beaten up on bad teams as of late but this 10-point spread is almost too big to pass up, especially when you look at these two clubs needing overtime to determine a winner in their earlier contest in Week 8. That game was with Nick Foles under center, which may only add to the confidence around Chicago and the points as Trubisky has by far been better for the Bears. I think New Orleans ultimately finds a way to win, but Chicago keeps this close enough to take the points.
Projected score: Saints 27, Bears 24
My pick: Bears +10
Sunday, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
This is another game filled with some uncertainty as Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is among those out for Sunday's matchup in Pittsburgh due to a positive COVID-19 test. That does take the wind out of Cleveland's sails as they are enjoying their first playoff game since 2002, but even if Stefanski was coaching in this game there will be strong momentum in the direction of the Steelers. The Browns had trouble securing a spot in the postseason against the Pittsburgh B Team last week led by Mason Rudolph. When the Steelers were at full strength for their matchup back in Week 6, they blew Cleveland out, 38-7. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger is 12-0 SU (8-4 ATS) at home vs Cleveland in his career. With that type of history and the lack of a head coach, the Steelers are the way to lean here.
Projected score: Steelers 27, Browns 17
My pick: Steelers -6
Against the spread in Week 17: 8-7-1
ATS overall: 117-127-10
Straight up in Week 17: 13-3
SU overall: 171-82-1