2023/24 NFL Wild Card Round Betting Insights
Now it’s time to get real. That’s right: It’s the NFL Playoffs. The strong have prevailed, while the NFL’s weaker teams are already on the beach.
Bovada Sportsbook has all the bets you need for the NFL Wild Card Round and beyond, as we ride with you all the way to Super Bowl LVIII. Read on as we dig deep for Wild Card Weekend betting insights and tips.
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CLEVELAND BROWNS at HOUSTON TEXANS
Somehow, despite the loss of RB Nick Chubb and QB Deshaun Watson for most of the season, the Cleveland Browns put together a solid 11-6 record. The Houston Texans, meanwhile, are all about super-rookie C.J. Stroud, the QB who played like a seasoned vet all year.
Both teams deserve their spot in the NFL Wild Card Round, but it’s the Browns’ D that gives them the -2.5 point spread edge. They had the #1 overall defense in the league, including the top-ranked pass defense. Combined with facing a rookie – even one as poised as Stroud – and you might look at the 44-point O/U as an attractive Under wager.
We also don’t need to look too far back from the Wild Card Round to see a precedent that bettors might consider: the Browns beat the Texans in Week 16 by a score of 36-22 (only 2 garbage time TDs by the Texans made it look closer than it was), with WR Amari Cooper racking up a hefty 265 yards receiving and 2 TDs. You might like the Bovada prop set at +1500 for him to once again score two and catch for more than 150 yards.
MIAMI DOLPHINS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
What happened to the Kansas City Chiefs this season? After looking like a dynasty the past 5 years, fans might be clinging to the past a little. Truth is, tight end Travis Kelce has lost a step at age 34 (teams don’t even double team him anymore) and their wide receivers have the league’s highest percentage of dropped passes heading into NFL Wild Card Weekend.
The Miami Dolphins started the year off en fuego, going 9-3. But injuries have taken a serious toll, and they are (literally) limping into the Wild Card Round with major wounds on defense especially. Their top two edge rushers are out, and they sustained even more losses in Week 18 as their outside LB’s went down.
Even with a slower Kelce, it’s hard to see the Fins holding back Mahomes & Co. for a full 4 quarters. The Chiefs at -4 looks safe, even if the line moves higher come game time. If you don’t like the Chiefs meager 4-4 home record ATS this season, the -210 moneyline looks compelling. The home crowd at Arrowhead, big game hunter Mahomes and experienced head coach Andy Reid are all factors in KC’s favor.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS at BUFFALO BILLS
We’re not sure how Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin does it year after year with a mediocre squad, but here they are in NFL playoffs again. Not that bettors are giving them much of a shot, mind you. At -10, the Buffalo Bills have the biggest spread of the Wild Card round against Tomlin and his team of overachievers.
Buffalo enters the postseason as one of the league’s hottest teams, winners of their last 5 games. Add to that a 7-1 home record and the ability of Josh Allen to beat teams throwing and running, and maybe we’re not too keen on messing with that double-digit spread.
The Game Props in Bovada’s Prop Builder can make this a more interesting contest. For example, you can wager on Bills’ WR Stefon Diggs to have 2+ TD’s and the Bills to win the game for a cool +750 (check the Player Performance Doubles section). With the Steelers’ elite pass rusher T.J. Watt going down last week and fellow All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick possibly returning but not at 100% yet, this could be one of several tasty props for Buffalo’s offense.
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GREEN BAY PACKERS at DALLAS COWBOYS
Jordan Love is blooming at right time for the Green Bay Packers. The team’s QB is improving almost weekly for the NFL’s youngest team. But with a Football Power Index chance of making the Super Bowl at only 1.3%, and odds of winning it at +8500, most oddsmakers think this team still needs to gain some maturity.
The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, were a perfect 8-0 at home this season (6-2 ATS). They are sitting at a comfy -7.5 point spread. Dak Prescott would be looking at a league MVP title this year, if not for Lamar Jackson, and CeeDee Lamb has established himself as arguably the best wide receiver in the game.
On the prop side, a defensive TD scored by either team is sitting at +230. If you think Love might have the big game jitters with this being his first Wild Card round, and then you factor in Cowboys’ DB DaRon Bland’s amazing five pick-six plays this season, this might be your bet.
LOS ANGELES RAMS at DETROIT LIONS
In what has to be the most compelling storyline of the NFL Wild Card Round, Los Angeles Rams’ QB Matthew Stafford returns to face the Detroit Lions, where he built his career over his first 12 seasons.
He’s coming in hot too. The Rams have averaged almost 30 points in their last 7 games, and wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua are healthy. They’re a big reason why this game boasts the biggest O/U of the weekend at 51.5.
On the other side of the ball, Lions’ QB (and ex-Ram) Jared Goff had a stellar 4,500-yard season. But he just lost his excellent TE Sam LaPorta. Unless you expect the Rams to really light it up, going with the Under might be the way to go now.
Both QB’s have recent Super Bowl experience, except Goff’s was abysmal. Will that matter now that he’s on a different team with a different head coach? At -3.0 and -170 moneyline, the oddsmakers are saying he’s got a better shot this time around.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
What’s the dilly in Philly? The once dominant Philadelphia Eagles, 10-1 to start the year, are sliding into the NFL Wild Card Round with a dismal 1-5 record over their final six games. Still, they’re 3-point favorites as they fly (drift? plummet?) into Tampa to face the Buccaneers for the final game of Wild Card weekend.
There are enough twists and turns with both teams. Baker Mayfield can get hot, but he is nursing a rib injury. Then again, the Bucs are 7-3 in their last 10 ATS. Then again, they looked awful in their must-win game against the lowly Panthers in Week 18 and almost blew it. Speaking of looking awful, the Eagles themselves were down 24-0 in the first half in a game they eventually lost to the New York Giants last week.
Philly fans did get to see QB Jalen Hurts lighting it up all season with WR A.J. Brown. But both got hurt in that final regular season game and are less than 100% healthy. FWIW, the Eagles did handle Tampa easily way back in Week 3, 25-12. This is as good a barometer as any to guide your picks for this coin flip of a game.