NFL wild card making a bet odds, picks, counsel: Giants cover, Bengals improve

The playoffs are here! Matchups are set for wild-card weekend, so we're searching at the key questions because the postseason gets underway and groups begin their march toward the tremendous Bowl

what is worth from a betting standpoint? And which might be the most appropriate plays to assist you are making smart wagering decisions?

having a bet analysts Doug Kezirian, Tyler Fulghum, Joe Fortenbaugh, Anita Marks and Erin Dolan, myth and activities betting analysts Eric Moody and Andre Snellings, ESPN Stats & information's Seth Walder and football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz offer their insights into the games with counsel and picks.

observe: lines are from Caesars Sportsbook except otherwise indicated.

The second-seeded San Francisco 49ers (-9.5, forty three) enter Saturday afternoon's NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks driving a ten-online game win streak. Rookie Brock Purdy is 5-0 as the 49ers' starting QB and appears so as to add to his undefeated checklist within the postseason and support San Francisco relaxed a spot in the divisional round. Seattle has had problem offensively in the previous two matchups between these groups in the normal season, averaging just 10 elements per online game. Will San Francisco cowl the unfold? What are your thoughts on the total, which is presently the lowest of untamed-card weekend?

Kezirian: i might lay the 9.5 facets. Seattle managed just one offensive touchdown in the first two conferences and that i don't see any motive those struggles should still alternate. apart from a negative protective efficiency in Las Vegas, the Niners had been very respectable over the last month. This run reached a further equipment once they dealt with the Seahawks in Seattle on a Thursday night. That game may have damaged a unique means if now not for a dropped interception, but for probably the most part this matchup facets one crew achieving a further apparatus and one more that's limping to the conclude line.

Fortenbaugh: i'm laying the elements. San Francisco has gained 10 straight games by a regular of 16 features per online game and is one in every of simplest two groups in the NFL (Philadelphia) that accomplished the commonplace season ranked in the suitable five in both offensive yards per play and protecting yards per play. The Niners additionally went 2-0 towards the Seahawks this season, beating them by way of a grand total of 28 facets. Seattle is a pleasant story, however the typical season is over and here's a huge step up in type.

Dolan: under play at forty three. Unders have cashed sixty seven% of the time in wild-card weekend for the reason that 2017. All six playoff games are rematches from the standard season, which capability groups have statistics on how they play in opposition t every different. both conferences this season between these two have long past beneath the full with a typical of 34 mixed aspects. I don't believe this Seahawks offense to place up a ton of facets after averaging 18 points per online game in its closing five video games and averaging 10 features per video game against San Francisco this season. This Seahawks offense will go towards a stout 49ers protection. The 49ers' defense leads the league in total yards per online game, holding opponents to a league-top-rated 16 elements per online game. while here's the lowest total on the board, I believe this might be an under game.

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    Moody: there is a very good possibility the 49ers will cowl the spread. The Seahawks have scored 19 or fewer points in three of their past four video games. The 49ers had been held below 35 aspects only once with Brock Purdy below middle. In its previous six playoff video games, San Francisco has long gone 5-1 against the spread. moreover, the 49ers are 5-0 in opposition t the unfold of their previous five domestic games. on account that the entire, i am leaning toward the beneath. The under is four-0 in the 49ers' previous 4 playoff games. The 49ers should depend closely on Christian McCaffrey, the working video game and their defense with Purdy beneath center. On Dec. 15, these two NFC West opponents scored only 34 combined elements. On Saturday, we could see an identical effect. This season, the 49ers' protection has allowed 14.8 features per video game at home. The Seahawks' offensive line, which ranks 21st in move-block win price over the ultimate seven video games of the season, will battle in opposition t the 49ers' defensive position.

    Marks: I even have a small lean on the below during this matchup, considering the fact that it should be the third assembly this season and these teams recognize each other's inclinations greater than most. The 49ers' defense is the most desirable in the playoffs and sports the good turnover ratio at +13. The 49ers will run the ball and make the most a Seattle rush protection it really is giving up close to 5 yards per carry. McCaffrey is averaging over a hundred complete yards per video game, but i love the low total of speeding yards for Elijah Mitchell and should take the over at 36.5. Mitchell is remarkable in yards after contact, and the 49ers will wish to pace each backs for the lengthy haul, giving Mitchell alternatives to surpass that total.

    Walder: i am taking Seattle +9.5. As I look over the three massive spread video games this weekend, if there's one video game that I feel could get bizarre it be this one. Even in any case the success the 49ers have had with Purdy, we're still speakme a couple of rookie seventh-circular pick at quarterback for a heavy favorite, facing a group that does have skill! Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are a superb receiving pair, Seattle's flow insurance plan unit is strong and Tariq Woolen is a bit of of a decide on-magnet. Plus, here's the third time these groups are dealing with each and every different, which I consider is a bit of an equalizer. i may guess on the Seahawks and chaos.

    Fulghum: i am inclined to trust the 49ers are more likely to cover the online game than not. Their offense is as dynamic as any within the league (Kansas city included) now that they're absolutely suit. Deebo Samuel is returned. Elijah Mitchell is the perfect complement to CMC. George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk were balling. This group can ranking at will on anyone. that is why my favourite guess of the weekend is the 49ers group total over 26.5. San Francisco has cleared this threshold in all but one in every of Purdy's starts. In that span, the 49ers are averaging 33.5 PPG.

    Snellings: i could take the below. The 49ers have Seattle's quantity on defense, and i don't see that altering of their third meeting of the season. additionally, early climate forecasts imply there can be heavy rain right through game time that may additional dampen the passing assault and keep scoring down.

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    The crew Joe Fortenbaugh is siding with in Chargers-Jaguars

    Joe Fortenbaugh appears forward to the Chargers' playoff matchup vs. the Jaguars.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars will appear to become just the third crew within the commonplace draft period (on account that 1967) to win a playoff game after having the No. 1 average choose previous that 12 months. They face the resurgent l. a. Chargers (-1.5, forty seven.5), who comprehensive the season winning five of their remaining seven games. This line opened with the Chargers because the 2.5-element favorite however moved down over the final couple of days. Can Trevor Lawrence and the Jags proceed their worst-to-first turnaround or will Justin Herbert and the Chargers strengthen to the division round?

    Fortenbaugh: i'm laying it with the Chargers. best the Buccaneers throw the ball more than l. a., which is dangerous information for a Jacksonville protection that struggles to safeguard the flow. Conversely, L.A.'s move defense has gotten an awful lot more desirable as the season advanced. every person is talking about Jacksonville's five-game profitable streak, but only one of these victories came in opposition t a group with a successful checklist.

    Marks: I actually have a small lean with the Chargers, due to the fact health news is fine on Mike Williams and Joey Bosa enjoying this Saturday. I do just like the over in this matchup. Travis Etienne Jr. and the Jags will be capable of run the ball towards a Chargers rush defense it's enabling 5.fifty nine yards per raise, and Herbert may be capable of exploit a Jags secondary that ranks bottom five within the league. The Chargers are the most-pass chuffed crew, so give me Herbert over 37.5 passing makes an attempt (-a hundred thirty) as considered one of my favorite bets during this matchup.

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    Fulghum: This should be would becould very well be the toughest video game to handicap for the entire weekend. I tend to lean Chargers and the under. despite the fact, I trust Anita that essentially the most confident wager one can make during this game is to bet Herbert goes to drop returned and throw it a ton. Herbert averaged 41.1 attempts per online game this season, and especially with this video game expected to be shut on the scoreboard for all 4 quarters, I predict the Chargers to invariably lean into the abilities they have got with Herbert throwing against Jacksonville's move-funnel protection. Herbert over 37.5 passing makes an attempt.

    Schatz: i will be able to go with the Jaguars in this video game. Jacksonville comprehensive the yr just a little ahead of the Chargers within the football Outsiders DVOA rankings, with the Jaguars thirteenth and the Chargers 18th. Add in home-box advantage and the Jags are a slight favorite. If i wished to guess on the Chargers, i might be specifically concerned about Mike Williams' back issues. When Williams changed into injured this yr between Week 8 and Week 13, the Chargers' offensive DVOA dropped to -15.2%, which would have ranked twenty ninth for the season.

    Moody: i am backing the underdog Jaguars. The Jaguars are peaking on the right time, and head train Doug Pederson these days received a super Bowl with the Eagles. Jacksonville has received five straight video games. The Jaguars won 38-10 when these groups met returned in Week 3. In that online game, the Chargers had been with out Keenan Allen and Justin Herbert turned into dealing with a rib damage. There is no doubt that each teams have evolved during the season. during this game, the Chargers' protection might possibly be their undoing. right through the season, the la protection has given up loads of big plays. When the Chargers permit 150 or greater dashing yards, they're 4-6. This season, the Jaguars' defense has given up the fifth-most passing yards per game. These two teams may still surpass forty seven.5 aspects.

    Snellings: i would lay the points for the Chargers. The Chargers are stronger than they showed this season, with health as the simple limiting ingredient. They are getting more healthy at the correct time, and Herbert is without doubt one of the most desirable within the league at getting the ball out of his hand at once, and the Jaguars are probably the most worst defenses in the league at defending short throws. i like the Jaguars as a group on the way up, but I feel like the Chargers are a few year ahead of their construction, and a good way to demonstrate on Saturday.

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    Why the expenses are a safe guess vs. the Dolphins on wild-card weekend

    Doug Kezirian explains why he is laying the aspects on the bills in opposition t a brief-exceeded Dolphins squad.

    The Buffalo expenses (-13, 43.5) kick off Sunday's slate in a rubber healthy with the Miami Dolphins. The remaining two regular-season matchups between these groups have been decided by three features or much less, however Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa performed in each of those; he's out and backup Teddy Bridgewater may additionally not play. Can the Dolphins cover the unfold or will Josh Allen and the bills cruise to the divisional circular during this matchup?

    Moody: The expenses are 5-2 in opposition t the spread of their closing seven games and have won seven straight. i am backing them in opposition t a Dolphins team who will start third-string rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson. The expenses are enormously motivated by means of two issues. Buffalo is calling to avenge last year's extra time loss to the Chiefs in the playoffs. moreover, the bills would like to win for Damar Hamlin, who continues to improve after suffering cardiac arrest in a "Monday night football" video game.

    Marks: The Fins head north to face the expenses in freezing circumstances with their third-string quarterback in Skylar Thompson. Many professional place gamers on the Dolphins' offense (Raheem Mostert, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle) are banged up from their previous online game in opposition t the Jets. The bills win, however i am not definite they cowl with the aid of two touchdowns. i am going to play a identical-video game parlay: Daniel Knox anytime TD and expenses win at (+225). Knox has scored a touchdown in four consecutive games. The Dolphins' defense ranks twenty eighth against tight ends this season, allowing an 80% trap rate and eight yards per goal to the position. Josh Allen needs to cut down on his red zone turnovers, and Knox will improvement.

    Schatz: Tagovailoa ranked 2nd among qualifying quarterbacks in passing DVOA this season. If Bridgewater had satisfactory makes an attempt to qualify, he would have ranked 22nd. And if Skylar Thompson had sufficient makes an attempt to qualify, he would have ranked 31st. Yuck. As tremendous as Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will also be, it be an extended means down from QB1 to QB3 in Miami. The expenses are an all-round amazing group, handiest the seventh group considering 1981 to rank within the top four in DVOA in all three phases of the online game. they have home-field competencies and emotion on their side as they try to win an excellent Bowl for Damar Hamlin. Add all that together and i'm chuffed to take bills -13 in this one. I also like taking on 22.5 in the first half as each groups are more suitable on protection and worse on offense after halftime.

    Snellings: i'm laying the elements to take the expenses. with out Tua, in Buffalo in January, i wouldn't be shocked to look the bills run away with this one the way they did in their first-round matchup towards the Patriots final season.

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    The activities betting storylines to search for in Giants-Vikings

    Tyler Fulghum breaks down why he's taking the elements with the Giants and the over in their matchup vs. the Vikings.

    Two of the shock teams of the yr meet in Minnesota. The Vikings (-three, forty eight) surged to a 13-win season and face a new York Giants crew that no person notion can be in the postseason. The Vikings received this battle three weeks in the past on a 61-yard stroll-off FG. Can they continue their magic or will the upstart Giants proceed to surprise?

    Kezirian: i am on the Giants because of two issues. First, the Minnesota protection is fairly terrible, ranking 21st in protecting efficiency. The Giants rank 22nd, however they are going to get some key items returned and will be able to take competencies of a Vikings offensive line it's down two starters. I suppose long island's circulate rush will are living within the backfield and Kirk Cousins might be below drive all game. The circumstance truly favors new york, so i will seize the key variety of three.

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    Fortenbaugh: Giants +three. appear on the first assembly between these two teams. The Giants were -2 in turnover differential and transformed simply three of eleven third down attempts and still only misplaced the online game by three features. you could run on Minnesota, and that's precisely what this neatly-rested Giants offense will do, protecting Cousins & Co. on the sideline within the process.

    Dolan: Giants +3. Underdogs have covered in sixty one% of all playoff video games due to the fact that 2017, together with sixteen-eight ATS in wild-card weekend in that span. The Giants boast the most beneficial cowl fee within the league at 13-four ATS all the way through the commonplace season. The Giants coated as a four.5-factor 'dog, however misplaced 27-24 to the Vikings on Christmas Eve. be aware that Minnesota vital 17 features in the fourth quarter to win. within the outdated meeting, Daniel Jones had one in every of his most efficient passing performances with 334 passing yards. Saquon Barkley had 14 carries for 84 dashing yards and eight receptions for 49 receiving yards with one landing. The leading subject in this online game is the Vikings' protection, which ranks 31st against the move and twentieth towards the run. The Giants can get points once again on this defense and preserve it close. I desire the features in my pocket with the Giants.

    Moody: After having nothing to play for towards the Eagles within the normal-season finale, the Giants enter this online game well-rested. manhattan hopes to win its first playoff game on account that 2011 behind Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. however, I consider Ms. Dolan and am recommending the underdog Giants. manhattan is 7-1 against the spread in its past eight street video games. as a result of Minnesota gives up the 2nd-most passing yards per online game, it's easy to assault the Vikings' defense throughout the air. youngsters the Giants wouldn't have a prolific passing online game this season, Jones had a season-excessive 334 yards during the air in Week sixteen. moreover, he is able to gaining additional yards along with his legs and has performed smartly as a passer when under force. The Giants' flow rush should still have success disrupting the Vikings' passing video game. in the past seven games, new york has ranked fourth in circulate rush win fee, whereas Minnesota ranks 24th in flow block win cost. The Giants may shock bettors during this online game.

    Marks: i really like the Giants during this spot and will additionally play the money line at +a hundred and forty. The G-men consider they acquired robbed in Week 16, losing to the Vikings 27-24 due to a Giants blocked punt and a Vikings sixty one yard-field purpose. this is a revenge online game, and big apple comes in rested after treating Week 18 as a bye week. Minnesota's protection ranks 30th in yards per play, twenty eighth in opponent scoring expense and has allowed seventy three plays of 20 yards or greater. Daniel Jones handed for over 300 yards in Week 16 and may prefer up the place he left off. Cousins struggles against the blitz, which the Giants do most of any team in the league. long island sacked Cousins 4 times of their remaining online game, so search for the Kayvon Thibodeaux sack prop bet to hit the board quickly and soar on it.

    Fulghum: I share identical enthusiasm for the underdog in this spot, but at the risk of sounding redundant, i could add that i like this game to go over the entire. What I in reality love, youngsters, is a different participant prop. Giants QB Daniel Jones may additionally no longer have the most appropriate weapons to work with, but he is obtained an amazing coaching staff constructing a online game plan in opposition t one of the most worst flow defenses within the whole league. Jones lit the Vikings up for 334 yards on forty two attempts in their Week 16 matchup. I completely are expecting Brian Daboll and Jones to lean into the same online game plan this weekend. Jones over 32.5 passing attempts.

    Schatz: Add me to the record of individuals taking Giants +3. I've written a ton concerning the Vikings this 12 months; our DVOA ratings at soccer Outsiders hate their season much more than all the other advanced metrics out there that say their true nice fell in need of a 13-four crew. The groups are moving into opposite directions, as the Giants move from twenty first to 18th in our weighted ratings that supply less electricity to the early a part of the season; the Vikings in fact drop from 27th to twenty eighth. In particular, the Giants' pass offense went from 15th via Week 9 to seventh in Weeks 10-18, whereas the Vikings' circulate protection went from 17th to twenty ninth within the identical time duration. I don't think the Giants will run away with this one, however although the Vikings do win this online game, is rarely there a strong probability they win by only two or three?

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    Why Tyler Fulghum likes the Bengals to cowl vs. Ravens

    Tyler Fulghum sees the Bengals overlaying and the total vs. the Ravens being the below.

    The Cincinnati Bengals (-eight.5, 40.5) and Baltimore Ravens meet for the second straight week, however this time the winner strikes on and the loser goes home. Baltimore gained the first assembly returned in Week 5 on a Justin Tucker stroll-off FG, while the Bengals dominated remaining week. Who do you love during this one?

    Kezirian: I lean to Cincy -8.5 but I choose to play them on a teaser, taking the Bengals to -2.5. Baltimore hung around in final week's online game and John Harbaugh can rally his defense. Plus, he isn't afraid to kick varied box dreams, which makes laying massive numbers hard. In these instances, the protection performs to the scoreboard and protects the conclusion zone, so Harbaugh will take the elements and jeopardize the cover. that's how the Ravens coated closing week's eleven.5-factor unfold. So i'd tease Cincy to the Giants or Bucs.

    Dolan: Bengals first half (-4) and double influence CIN/CIN. The Bengals were ecocnomic right through the season (12-four ATS), yet word the Bengals have additionally been profitable within the first half as of late. Cincy is 4-1 ATS in the first half in its past five video games typical and 5-0 ATS within the first half in its past 5 domestic video games. in the first meeting between these teams, the Bengals and Ravens have been tied on the half in Week 5. within the second meeting, the Bengals had been up 17 features in the first half. The Bengals are a different group than that first meeting, while the Ravens are banged up and Lamar Jackson has been ruled out. Bengals go up within the first half.

    Moody: i admire the Bengals to cowl. The Bengals are perfect in opposition t the spread over the past seven video games. Even when Lamar Jackson became fit, the Ravens were inconsistent. Baltimore has managed simply 4 touchdowns in the five games with out him. moreover, the Ravens have averaged 12.5 aspects throughout that point. there is lots of familiarity between these two teams. of their previous eight divisional video games, the Ravens have long past 1-6-1 towards the spread. In Baltimore's previous 4 games in opposition t the Bengals, it has long past 0-3-1 in opposition t the unfold. The Ravens face an uphill combat towards the Bengals, who are at full electricity. In its last 10 video games in opposition t the Ravens, Cincinnati is 6-3-1 in opposition t the unfold.

    Marks: As crazy as this sounds, I in reality agree with the Ravens are more desirable starting Tyler Huntley over Jackson, on account that Jackson has not practiced in five weeks and has no longer played on the grounds that Dec. 4. The Bengals are the improved team and should win, i'm simply not definite they cover. Division opponents meeting for the third time this season is a difficult call. i will be able to use the Bengals in a two-group, 6-element teaser (-2.5), and i additionally like the identical-online game parlay of Ja'Marr Chase each time TD and the Bengals win (+a hundred thirty). Chase has double-digit targets in 4 straight video games and is second within the league in red zone targets given that Week 13.

    what is your favourite participant prop for wild-card weekend?

    Kezirian: Geno Smith over 20.5 completions. of their previous meeting, Smith entire 31-of-forty four passing. The stout San Francisco circulate rush compelled the quarterback to assess down and get rid of the ball promptly. Nothing has changed considering that that. Plus, in video games where Seattle is a large underdog, he typically surpasses this mark. it's pretty much unimaginable to run against the Niners, so Smith will ought to spread the ball around with beneath throws. I also predict Seattle to be trailing many of the online game.

    Moody: George Kittle over forty two.5 receiving yards. There isn't any doubt that Kittle and Brock Purdy are calibrated. The veteran tight conclusion caught four of five aims for ninety three receiving yards towards the Seahawks returned in Week 15. In 10 profession video games in opposition t Seattle, Kittle has averaged 65.5 receiving yards per game. The Seahawks depend heavily on zone coverage and have struggled against tight ends all season. On Saturday afternoon, Kittle should still play an active function in opposition t Seattle.

    Walder: Nick Bosa under 0.25 sacks (+a hundred and seventy at DraftKings). i know, i do know, this sounds ridiculous. And let me inform you, I actually have a horrific listing having a bet against Bosa this 12 months. i'm literally 1-7 having a bet against Bosa's sack unders. So why maintain coming returned? price, value, cost. My sack mannequin, which has been profitable despite absorbing all those Bosa losses, gives the advantage DPOY a 54% opportunity to checklist over 0.25 sacks Saturday. That forty six% possibility that he doesn't makes +one hundred seventy a worthwhile payout.

    Marks: Daniel Jones over 241.5 passing yards. Jones passed for 334 yards against the Vikings in Week 16. The Vikings' pass protection is likely one of the worst within the league and has allowed 73 plays of 20 yards or greater. Jones might not want a ton of quantity to go over this complete.

    Fulghum: Justin Herbert over 37.5 passing attempts. Herbert averaged forty one.1 makes an attempt per online game this season and should be leaned on closely in a game it's expected to be tight all over towards a circulate-funnel protection.

    Schatz: George Kittle over 42.5 receiving yards. The Seahawks rank twenty seventh in DVOA towards tight ends, and after adjusting for the exceptional of opponents, they allow a league-excessive 67 yards per online game to opposing tight ends. Kittle played in just probably the most two video games towards Seattle this yr, but he had ninety three yards and two touchdowns returned in Week 15.

    Snellings: Trenton Irwin over 7.5 receiving yards. Irwin is a reputation many have no idea, however he has stepped up as a consistent fourth alternative with upside for the Bengals. He has at least 12 receiving yards in eight of his 9 video games this season, including closing week's online game towards the Ravens. Plus, even though both had been capable of proceed to play ultimate week, both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd needed to depart the game in short as a result of injury, and Irwin is primed to provide if he gets any further taking part in time.

    what's your premier wager for wild-card weekend?

    Fortenbaugh: 49ers -9.5 over Seattle. here is a monster step up in class for a Seahawks team that goes to be overwhelmed on each side of the ball. The Niners have received 10 straight video games by a regular of 16 elements per online game. Seattle went 3-5 over its last eight games, notching two wins against the Rams and yet another in opposition t the Jets.

    Marks: My optimal bet is Giants +three, but I also love a 3-team, 7-factor teaser with the 49ers -2.5, Giants +10 and Bengals -1.5 at +130.

    Fulghum: 49ers team total over 26.5. San Francisco is averaging 33.5 PPG considering the fact that Brock Purdy took over the offense. This crew is utterly suit and has five reputable playmakers on the offense. The Niners should still be able to run at will on Seattle and will possibly even ranking defensively towards Geno Smith, whose play has tailed off precipitously the closing months of the season.

    Schatz: My most useful bet is Giants +three. It simply looks like we are in line for one other close game between two groups that each and every played lots of close games this season.

    Snellings: bills -9.5. I just do not see how the Dolphins dwell aggressive in Buffalo without Tua. The expenses should put some most important features on the board, and that i don't consider the Dolphins can stay with them.

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